25 Acres Added to Bellevue Greenway (WA)

Bellevue, WA 9/10/03 — Last week the Trust for Public Land (TPL) and the City of Bellevue completed the transaction that conveyed the 25-acre McTavish Highlands in Bellevue’s Woodridge neighborhood to city ownership. The property that had been slated for development with continuing opposition from the neighborhood will now be permanently preserved as open space after 12 years of effort by the neighborhood, TPL, and the City.

In addition to protecting the riparian corridors in the Richards Creek and Kelsey Creek Basin, McTavish Highlands offers the community the increasingly rare gift of urban open space. Conservation of the land ensures the continuation of outdoor recreation opportunities that the Woodridge community has long appreciated.

The city exercised the purchase option with TPL for $1,450,000. Grants from the State of Washington for $750,000 and the King County Conservation Futures fund for $200,000 helped offset the cost to the city.

“Adding the McTavish property to the Bellevue park system will not only protect this important open space, but also preserve the wonderful character of the Woodridge neighborhood,” said Bellevue Mayor Connie Marshall. “The opportunity to have trails connecting the neighborhood to the Richards Valley is a valuable quality of life investment in our community.”

Woodridge Community Association President Barbara Sauerbrey said, “The scarcity of open space in our community is a growing concern, especially when precious land is being taken away right in our own neighborhood. If McTavish Highlands had been developed, the character of the entire community and critical habitat would have been irreparably changed.”

Landowner Jeanne McTavish was committed to seeing the land protected as open space. “I am so pleased with this outcome. Conserving land for parks and open space is very important and I am grateful to the many people who made this success possible.”

TPL Northwest Regional Director Roger Hoesterey said, “The McTavish Highlands property was a very important acquisition goal for the community, adding an important piece to the Lake to Lake Greenway in Bellevue. With Bellevue growing quickly, it is crucial to proactively protect its open space for future generations.”

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 1.5 million acres of land in 46 states. In Washington, TPL has protected more than 47,000 acres. TPL depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve land for people mission.