By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
In spring 2019 Snohomish County announced a new community stewardship program called the Healthy Forest Project “to restore and care for the forested parks and natural areas managed by the county.”
“Forests need active management to stay healthy,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers in a January 6, 2020, press release.
He went on to say, “With the help of our community, we will make a significant and lasting impact on the health of Puget Sound and do our part to address climate change. Our community depends on healthy forests for our quality of life and our economic health.”
According to press release, “The framework and structure of the program follows Forterra’s Green City Partnership model, used in 14 cities across the Puget Sound.”
Snohomish County plans to “partner with local communities to recruit, train, and support volunteer stewards to lead forest restoration projects in one of the priority parks.”
Ten pilot locations have been identified for the Healthy Forest Project, including:
- McCollum Park,
- Kayak Point Park,
- Portage Creek Wildlife Area,
- Smith Island,
- Picnic Point Park,
- Meadowdale Beach Park,
- Lake Stickney Park,
- Lord Hill Regional Park,
- Evergreen State Fairgrounds, and
- Paradise Valley Conservation Area.
Snohomish County Healthy Forest Project map. Image courtesy of Forterra.
Originally formed in the 1980s as Cascade Land Conservancy, Forterra is a Washington state land conservation non-profit focused on the conservation and restoration of natural areas.
According to Wikipedia they have “conserved 180,000 acres (730 km2) of working farms, forestlands and natural areas to date.”