Mountains to Sound Greenway
The Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area stretches 100 miles from Seattle, across the Cascade Mountains, to Ellensburg in central Washington.
The greenway includes 1.5 million acres of national forests, busy suburbs, sublime alpine lakes, rural farms, vital salmon habitat, and stunning high deserts.
Much of Trust for Public Land’s early work in Washington State was focused on preserving the integrity of this beautiful natural corridor. The impetus for our work came from the ground up. As Seattle began spreading outward along I-90 toward the small timber towns and farming communities to the east, the Issaquah Alps Trail Club began to lobby for an unbroken ribbon of protected land from the Puget Sound to the Cascade Mountains, and Trust for Public Land immediately signed on to colead the initiative.
By 1991, participants from federal, state, and local governments, as well as landowners, recreation interests, wildlife experts, and local people, were all working on the plan, and Trust for Public Land established the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust as a separate organization, with the sole mission of protecting the greenway. Jim Ellis, the Greenway Trust’s founding president, believed that conservation and economic development could coexist and complement each other. That vision remains the driving force behind our land conservation efforts, 30 years later.
However, population growth continues to threaten key natural areas and places where people of all ages and abilities can easily enjoy nature. To secure the legacy of the greenway for future generations, it is essential that we take action now to conserve key lands in public ownership.
Thanks to Ellis, the greenway is a treasure trove of public lands that we all own together. Its future rests on the decisions we make together today. Investing in these lands sustains our unique quality of life by expanding and strengthening our connection to nature.