After the storm: A few facts about King County’s February widespread flooding

Originally posted at Keeping King County Green the Department of Natural Resources and Parks Blog.

Five months ago, long-range weather experts told us this winter’s western Washington weather would be influenced by “La Nada” – the “anything is possible” middle pattern that is neither La Nina nor El Nino.

Cedar River reached its highest flow since 2009Road closures in the Snoqualmie Valley

The rainstorm that drenched western Washington beginning Feb. 5 and led to widespread flooding across much of the region was one for the record books. Thanks to that storm, the official rain gauge at Sea-Tac Airport has received half a foot more rain since Jan. 1 than our already gaudy average for this time of year.

So it was not too surprising that on Wednesday, Feb. 5, King County’s Flood Warning Center opened for the fifth time since Jan. 1 – that’s five flood events over the first six weeks of the year.

By the time the Flood Warning Center closed early in the evening on Tuesday, Feb. 11, flood center workers had taken roughly 1,000 calls during this current activation – one of the highest call volumes over the past several years.

And the County’s award-winning Flood Warning App was accessed more than 24,500 times at the peak of the flooding Feb. 6-7 – a record for any two-day period since it was introduced in late 2012.

Unlike the previous four flood events, this flood caused significant impacts to King County residents, as well as county roads, trails, and other infrastructure.

Also unusual about this flood was where it hit the hardest.

Typically, the Snoqualmie and Tolt rivers lead the way in flood impacts, such as closed roads, inundated fields, and neighborhoods becoming isolated by floodwaters.

This time, Issaquah Creek and the Cedar River saw the highest flows, with homes, roads, bridges and more sustaining significant flood damage.

Issaquah Creek soared to a Phase 4 flood alert level, with the Hobart gauge recording its highest flood elevation since 2006. The high flows resulted in emergency evacuations for more than 200 people living along the creek in Issaquah, a multi-day closure of Issaquah-Hobart Road while crews made emergency repairs, and several more major problems.

Lake Sammamish – which receives Issaquah Creek at the southern end of the lake and sends flows down the Sammamish River at the lake’s northern end – recorded its highest elevation in 23 years, leading to concerns from lakeside residents with flooding on their property.

The Sammamish River’s low gradient watercourse means lakeside residents have to deal with higher-than-normal lake levels long after stream flows feeding into the lake have receded.

The Cedar River didn’t fare any better, with the Landsburg gauge recording its highest flow since 2009. Flooding led to the closure of a four-mile section of State Route 169, while a neighborhood that lost access to and from their homes relied on an emergency route using a portion of the county’s Cedar River Trail for access.

Although constrained by levees, the Cedar River was flowing too high and too fast to be contained along its entire length. A portion of the Riverbend lower levee was breached by swift flows, sending a portion of the river’s flow into Cavanaugh Pond – a King County Natural Area.

Engineers are concerned that as flows from the pond area move downstream to rejoin the river’s mainstem, additional erosion could cut into the riverbank immediately adjacent the Cedar River Trail – threatening not only the trail itself, but a fiber optic line located underneath the trail.

The Green River also recorded major flood flows, with recordings at the Auburn gauge reaching their highest levels since 1996. Road closures were common throughout the Green River Valley upstream of Auburn, as floodwaters fanned out across the valley at levels that hadn’t been seen in a decade or longer.

Flood patrol crews were in the field for six straight days beginning in the evening of Feb. 12, with two-person teams working 12-hour shifts to serve as the Flood Warning Center’s eyes and ears. They observed flood conditions, checked on levees and other flood structures, and reported findings back to River and Floodplain Management colleagues.

Those observations helped King County identify damage to many river facilities, with more problems becoming visible as floodwaters recede. These detailed inspections will continue for several days as the water levels take place once water levels drop.

So even though flood flows are largely a memory a week after the peak of this flood event, the impacts from high, swift waters will be something King County will be working to address for weeks or months to come.

About the King County Flood Control District
The King County Flood Control District is a special purpose government created to provide funding and policy oversight for flood protection projects and programs in King County.  The Flood Control District’s Board is composed of the members of the King County Council. The Water and Land Resources Division of the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks develops and implements the approved flood protection projects and programs. Information is available at

About the King County Water and Land Resources Division

The Water and Land Resources Division works to protect the health and integrity of King County’s natural resources. Employees work to reduce flood risks, monitor water quality and restore wildlife habitat; manage, and reduce the harmful impacts from stormwater, noxious weeds and hazardous waste; create sustainable forestry and agriculture; and protect open space to support all of these efforts.

From trash to treasure: a clean and lean idea helps the Lake Geneva community

By Marta Olson

For years, something unpleasant was lurking in the waters of Lake Geneva – disturbing visitors and residents alike. No, not a mythical sea monster, but a 15-foot boat that sank in the lake and had been abandoned years ago. Kayakers and boaters complained about hitting it in the summer months when the water is lower; that it detracted from the natural beauty of the lake; and it was just plain bad for the lake’s ecological health.

Lake Geneva is one of 760 small and large lakes and reservoirs in King County.

Lake Geneva is located in the suburbs between Auburn and Federal Way, and the shoreline includes a public park, boat launch, woods and private homes. Chris Knutson with King County’s Water and Land Resources Division administers the Lake Geneva Management District, which formed in 2016 to address issues like increased algae blooms, decreased water quality, debris and noxious weeds. In this role, he was tasked with solving the sunken boat problem.

Chris Knutson with King County’s Lake Stewardship Program.

Chris started with the obvious solution – just pull the boat out of the lake. After meeting with staff from King County Roads and surveying the location, Chris thought he might have a plan. But it required a truck with a winch, flaggers on both sides of the street, a flatbed for transporting the boat and possibly an excavator to help pull the boat up the steep slope from the lake to the road and onto the truck. While the plan was feasible, all the heavy equipment and crew time needed to carry it out added up to about $6,000.

Chris felt stuck; the Lake Geneva Advisory Board wanted the boat gone but the cost would be more than 40% of District’s annual budget. So he started looking into other options. He had never considered waterside removal by boat since no one in his department had that equipment or expertise. He reached out to Deputy Chris Bedker from the King County Sheriff’s Office Marine Rescue Dive Unit to ask about the logistics and legal process of derelict boat retrieval and disposal.

In that conversation, a rather elegant solution was proposed: use the boat removal as a training exercise for Marine Unit deputies. On Nov. 10, the Marine Rescue Dive Unit arrived at Lake Geneva, removed the boat, and disposed of it at a landfill – all for a total cost of $28. The cost savings were lauded by the Lake Geneva residents who were able to see their District contributions spent on other important projects like improving water quality and noxious weed control.

Deputy Chris Bedker towing the abandoned boat.

There are so many fabulous departments and divisions within King County with expertise in all different areas. Collaborations like this one show how the resources of the County can be combined to solve problems creatively and at the highest possible value for our customers.

Deputy Ben Callahan prepares the boat for disposal.

Learn more


Water and Land Resources Division in the field: Part 1

fish passage team
Fish passage field team members Zach Moore and Kat Krohn measure the diameter of a culvert that may be a barrier to fish trying to pass under a King County owned road.

One culvert at a time

At the frontline of King County’s effort to protect and restore salmon habitat is the fish passage field team

The workday for the fish passage field team starts with a carpool ride from King Street Center to the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal in West Seattle. Today the team has an important job: Locate, map, and assess stream crossings on Vashon Island.

As part of King County’s greater effort to protect and restore the habitat of native fish, the team will inventory and assess roughly 2,500 sites where streams pass under county owned roads and trails. They are looking for barriers that prevent salmon from reaching important habitat upstream.

Evan Lewis, project manager for the fish passage program, explains it best: “One of the best ways to help our salmon runs is to remove barriers that prevent them from reaching quality stream habitats. Just as we count on smooth roads crossing streams to get to where we want to go, salmon need to be able to get past county roads, trails, and other instream structures to reach habitat that’s essential for their growth and reproduction.”

Most of the stream crossings the team will assess are culverts, a type of pipe allowing a stream to flow freely beneath the road. Culverts come in all sizes and can be made of corrugated metal or concrete.

Barriers to fish passage caused by culverts can include water drops from the culvert to the stream that are too high for the fish to clear, a culvert that is too dry to swim through, or a culvert with a slope and a water flow that is too fast.

Team members Liora llewellyn and Andrea Wong get ready to take stream measurements in the Island Center Natural Area on Vashon Island.

The field team is Rachel Crawford, Kat Krohn, Liora Llewellyn, and Zach Moore, with project oversight from Andrea Wong. The small size of the crew provides an opportunity to build close bonds. Liora reflects on the process of taking culvert measurements with Kat: “It’s almost as if we don’t have to talk to each other, we just know.”

fish passage team ferry photo
Meet the fish passage field team. From left to right: Rachel Crawford, Kat Krohn, Andrea Wong, Zach Moore, and Liora Llewellyn.

Assessing the quality of a stream or culvert is physically demanding work that on occasion means cutting back large patches of blackberry while carefully sparing native plants struggling for equal space. This attention to detail requires crew members to be equipped with an in-depth knowledge of local plants and animals.

The unofficial member of the team is the trusty stadia rod, a surverying instrument that when paired with a laser receiver and range finder helps to measure the slope of a culvert. Measurements are entered into a database in real time using a smartphone or tablet which connects to the County’s mapping database. Other crucial equipment includes measuring tape, a flashlight to see into the murky depths of a culvert, and a solid pair of boots, which on occasion need to be dug out of the mud with a shovel.

Team members Andrea Wong and Liora Llewellyn measure the slope of a culvert housing Judd Creek.

Sometimes measurements don’t work out as planned because of spotty cell phone reception, or monster blackberry bushes that can’t be tamed in a single visit, and the team must trek back to a culvert site on another day or wait for a more opportune time to take measurements. Still, one-by-one, each culvert is assessed.

Aside from the satisfaction of helping to restore vital salmon habitat integral to the cultural and economic wellbeing of Washington State, work in the field for the fish passage team provides an excellent opportunity to experience nature in a way sometimes lost to adulthood. This nature doesn’t have to be a County owned park but can be the green space just off a busy road.

Trekking down into a ravine with Liora at the edge of the Vashon Island Golf and Country Club, we take special care to avoid spiderwebs and red-headed ants that colonize all surface space.

At the bottom of the ravine a tiny pool forms where the culvert once dumped out a stream. Here, insects called water striders dance across the water until Liora jumps in to take measurements with the stadia rod. At the bottom of the ravine the ground is cool and the air smells like dirt. Soon, hopefully salmon fry will populate this stream and have plenty of bugs to eat.

Under a canopy of green, Liora Llewellyn positions the stadia rod to help achieve accurate measurements.

Later, on the ride back to Seattle Liora reflects on the uniqueness of her position: “One of the reasons I took this job is the ability to explore different places. Each culvert or stream has its own unique culture. Each culvert is its own problem, its own mystery you have to solve.”

At the end of the day the team ensures they haven’t unknowingly transferred any invasive hitchhikers, such as the New Zealand mud snail, a tenacious mollusk with a history of becoming an unwelcome pest in streams throughout the world. In invaded areas the snails rapidly become extremely abundant and deplete food sources for native water insects, an essential food source for baby salmon. Taking special care to eliminate transfer of the snails mud is scraped from equipment and boots are placed in a freezer with enough time to kill the unwanted critters. All in a day’s work for the Fish Passage Team.



Making meat local: King County helps develop USDA meat processing in Carnation

In recent years, consumer demand for local food, including local meat and poultry, has risen. One of the barriers for livestock producers interested in meeting this demand has been the lack of processing facilities in King County that can safely prepare these products.

“USDA processing allows producers to sell sausages, steaks, burger patties, and a wide variety of other small cuts that are in high demand in King County,” said Darron Marzolf, butcher at Marzolf Meats. “The USDA mobile meat processing unit provides this service close to home for local livestock operators.”

Local pork chops at Columbia City Farmers Market

In 2015, King County was approached by livestock producers from SnoValley Tilth and Puget Sound Meat Producers Cooperative to help bring a USDA meat processing system to serve King County producers who needed help overcoming the barriers to USDA meat processing.

This project supports the Local Food Initiative strategy focused on improving local food processing, distribution, and marketing infrastructure in King County.

King County applied for and received a Regional Food System Grant from the King Conservation District in 2016 to support, locate and build out a site for a USDA mobile meat processing unit (MPU). The goal of this project is to make local meat more accessible in King County while providing a variety of benefits to local producers and creating demand for local processors and butchers.

The Beefing Up Infrastructure project team has worked over several years to locate and connect the many critical components of this work. More than 80 King County livestock producers have participated in workshops and helped shape the project by providing information and production numbers.

This new USDA operation will provide the butcher, site, infrastructure services, USDA grant of inspection and USDA inspector needed so that local farmers can locally access USDA processing.

What are the barriers for small-scale livestock producers? How does USDA processing help overcome these barriers?

“You make me so happy I could cry! Knowing I’ll have a close-to-home options leaves me optimistic about my future meat processing.  I was seriously thinking about moving to Skagit to join Island Grown, because I’m just so done with driving to Sandy, Oregon.” – CH, King County Pork Producer

Many farmers in King County have limited options for processing their livestock for local sales. With only a handful of operating USDA inspected facilities throughout Washington state, many local, small-scale farmers have little to no access to USDA processing, which limits their access to local markets for their products.

“Traveling long distances to these facilities causes a variety of problems for farmers and their animals,” said Patrice Barrentine, Agriculture Policy and Economic Development Specialist at King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks and also the Project Manager for this project. “Many producers have to travel more than 100 miles to deliver animals for processing. This not only stresses the animals, but also loses profits for producers paying for fuel and spending time in traffic.”

King County does not currently have a USDA meat processing facility that serves local livestock producers, which is a major barrier to local livestock production.

“Processing needs to happen as close to the animal as possible,” said Hannah Cavendish-Palmer, Executive Director at Carnation Farms. “To travel three to six hours for processing and then three to six more hours to cut and wrap facilities is unsustainable as a business and for the environment.”

What does USDA inspected mean?

“It is extremely difficult for farmers to raise livestock in King County because of limited access to USDA processing facilities,” said Marzolf. “I firmly believe this MPU will increase the number of livestock operations in King County.”

USDA inspection is required for farmers to sell meat to retail outlets such King County farmers markets, local restaurants and grocery stores.

Local bacon and ham from a farm vendor at Columbia City Farmers Market

The MPU is a custom trailer approved to operate and inspected every day of operation by a USDA inspector on-site.  The new MPU operation and site will be built out and ready for operation in late September at Carnation Farms.

USDA approves the site, facility, operational plans and inspects every animal throughout the process. This ensures safety and compliance with federal standards.


Carnation Farms

How it works 

“Carnation Farms is very excited to host USDA meat processing and increase the economic viability of King County’s livestock farms,” said Cavendish-Palmer.

Interested producers should call Darron Marzolf, butcher at Marzolf Meats located at Carnation Farms, for more information and to schedule an appointment at 425-931-8081.Producers make an appointment with Marzolf Meats to schedule processing. Producers take their animals on their prearranged processing day to the site at Carnation Farms. Producers then unload their livestock and the meat is harvested on-site. Afterward, the meat is transported to a USDA cut and wrap facility, which allows producers to sell their products anywhere, including local farmers markets, restaurants, grocery stores, and directly to consumer.

What are the benefits of local meat processing?

“USDA meat processing this close to King County markets will significantly help King County farmers and the region economically,” said Barrentine. “For a consumer, this means they can find locally produced meats in more markets. For a livestock producer, this means more time on the farm and less money spent on travel to processing facilities.”

Access to USDA processing is important because, this way, customers can find specific cuts of meat from locally grown livestock, rather than purchasing a whole or half animal and storing it in a freezer.

Another benefit of this project includes support for sustainable local livestock production and reducing food miles.

In addition, USDA inspection increases market opportunities for farmers and increases options for consumers to buy local meat. This helps ensure local dollars circulate and remain in King County.

The MPU will be in operation in late September, so be sure to keep an eye out for local meats at year-round farmers markets, restaurants and grocery stores!

Water and Land Resources Division’s Women in STEM: Part 3

This is part 3 of a four-part series about women in fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

At King County March is proclaimed Women’s History Month. Historically, careers in STEM fields have been male-dominated. In the Water and Land Resources Division, 45 percent of the nearly 400 employees are women representing the STEM fields — the expertise needed to provide clean water and healthy habitat for all of King County.

We asked a sampling of our ecologists, biologists, engineers, planners and landscape architects how they pursued a career in a historically male-dominated field and what advice they might have for other women.

About the Water and Land Resource Division’s employees

20180412-IMG_4404.jpgJessica Engel is a water quality planner in the Stormwater Services Section’s Water Quality Compliance Unit. She develops and implements a variety of programs that improve water quality and climate resiliency throughout the region.

“I have a Bachelors in Sociology and a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy,” said Jessica. “Both have given me the ability to understand what drives people to treat the environment the way they do and the framework to ensure our natural resources are protected.”


Mary Rabourn does environmental communications and is on the same team in Stormwater Services.

“I work with regional teams on effective outreach and multicultural communications,” said Mary. “Information needs to meet people where they are, in a form they can use, at a time they need it, and when it is relevant — and exciting — to them.”

Mary began her career in geology and remote sensing and has worked on industrial and residential hazardous waste projects, pesticide safety, and stormwater. She specializes in building personal and community connections to big issues.

DSC_0077Richelle Rose is a program manager for the Snoqualmie River team in the River and Floodplain Management Section where she manages non-structural, flood risk reduction programs to improve resiliency for residents and farms.

“Much of my 25 year career has been focused at the intersection of people and natural hazards,” said Richelle. “It is important to understand the natural environment and how people interact with nature to protect both.  Growing up in Alaska inspired my love for the outdoors and the environment which lead me to pursue a career that respects that balance.”

Richelle has a Bachelor of Science in Geologic Sciences from University of Washington.

Continue reading Water and Land Resources Division’s Women in STEM: Part 3

Water and Land Resources Division’s Women in STEM: Part 2

This is part 2 of a four-part series about women in fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

At King County March is proclaimed Women’s History Month. Historically, careers in STEM fields have been male-dominated. In the Water and Land Resources Division, 45 percent of the nearly 400 employees are women representing the STEM fields — the expertise needed to provide clean water and healthy habitat for all of King County.

We asked a sampling of our ecologists, biologists, engineers, planners and landscape architects how they pursued a career in a historically male-dominated field and what advice they might have for other women.

About the Water and Land Resource Division’s employees

20180314-IMG_4344Beth leDoux is the technical coordinator for the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum and works in WLRD’s Rural and Regional Services Section.

“I pursued my interest in environmental science at a college and graduate school level,” said Beth, “and have leveraged my communication and leadership skills in my current job to support salmon recovery through improving technical knowledge and partnerships.”

20180412-IMG_4466Alison Schweitzer (née Sienkiewicz) is a stormwater pollution prevention inspector in the Water Quality Compliance Unit of WLRD’s Stormwater Services Section. She has a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies from the University of Washington.

“I perform pollution prevention visits at all commercial businesses within unincorporated King County,” said Schweitzer, “providing education and technical assistance to businesses and property owners to identify and mitigate potential pollution discharges.

20180314-IMG_3688Olivia Wright is an engineer in WLRD’s River and Floodplain Management Section where she provides technical and engineering support for river and floodplain management programs and projects. Olivia is a transplant from Atlanta, GA who holds a master’s degree in environmental engineering from the University of Washington.

20180412-IMG_4531Jo Opdyke Wilhelm is an environmental scientist with WLRD’s Ecological Restoration and Engineering Services Unit. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Macalester College and a master’s degree in aquatic ecology from the University of Michigan.

“I design, permit, implement, and monitor stream, river and nearshore habitat restoration projects with teams of restoration professionals in King County,” said Jo.


Continue reading Water and Land Resources Division’s Women in STEM: Part 2

Water and Land Resources Division’s Women in STEM: Part 1

At King County March is proclaimed Women’s History Month. Historically, careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) have been male-dominated. In the Water and Land Resources Division, 45 percent of the nearly 400 employees are women representing the STEM fields — the expertise needed to provide clean water and healthy habitat for all of King County.

We asked a sampling of our ecologists, biologists, engineers, planners and landscape architects how they pursued a career in a historically male-dominated field and what advice they might have for other women.

About Water and Land Resource Division’s employees


Fauna Nopp is a capital project manager in the Rural and Regional Services Section of WLRD’s Ecological Restoration and Engineering Services Unit. She has a degree in landscape architecture and started working on restoration projects as a design team member 25 years ago.

“Over the years I took an interest in managing projects, obtained my project management professional certification,” said Fauna. “Now I manage and supervise some of King County’s largest capital improvement habitat projects.”


Laura Hartema is an ecologist in the Ecological Restoration and Engineering Services Unit of WLRD’s Rural and Regional Services Section.

She is part of team of engineers and ecologists that develops, designs, permits and builds habitat restoration projects along streams, rivers, wetlands and floodplain environments, followed by monitoring the projects and reporting on outcomes and success. Laura has a bachelor of science in biology and a minor in chemistry.

“I prepared for this job through years of volunteering, internships, stints at a state fish hatchery and a hazardous waste firm, completing UW’s certificate program in wetlands, working as a fisheries observer on Alaska’s high seas, and never giving up,” said Laura.


Sophie Chiang is a senior ecologist in the Ecological Services Unit of WLRD’s River and Floodplain Management Section.

Sophie provides ecological guidance related to levee design, levee setback, and revetment design and is responsible for the environmental permits of these facilities. Habitat components include fish habitat, mitigation, and restoration for projects associated with flood risk reduction. She has an undergraduate degree in environmental analysis and design and a master’s degree in environmental science.

“Before working for King County, I worked in the field of environmental consulting and with non-profit organizations as a wildlife biologist and gained a wide breadth of project experience along the West Coast, including the Pacific Northwest, Intermountain West, as well as throughout the United States,” said Sophie.


Heidi Kandathil is a project manager, now with the Department of Natural Resources and Parks, Parks and Recreation Division.

“I work on special projects for the Parks and Recreation Division and am currently working on developing the proposal for the next parks levy,” said Heidi.  “My background is in engineering and urban planning but the Peace Corps is what really instigated my interest in community development and conservation.”


Continue reading Water and Land Resources Division’s Women in STEM: Part 1

Land Conservation Initiative: Preserving and protecting farmland and urban green space

What is the Land Conservation Initiative?

The Land Conservation Initiative is the way we can protect the livability, health, and ecological integrity of our region for everyone. Access to nature and open space is the foundation to our collective quality of life. However, development threatens working lands that produce food, jobs, and a rural way of life. The Initiative sets forth the goal of conserving and preserving 65,000 acres of remaining high conservation value lands throughout King County within the next 30 years.

This Initiative is a regional collaboration between King County, cities, business people, farmers, environmental partners, and others that began by creating a strategy to preserve our last, most important natural lands, resource lands and green spaces.

“The main goals of the Initiative are to accelerate investments in land conservation to save money, to ensure critical natural areas and resource lands can be preserved before they are lost to other uses, and to ensure green space for all residents,” said Bob Burns, Deputy Director of King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks. “Prior to the Initiative we estimated it would take 60 to 70 years to protect those 65,000 acres. The goal of the Initiative is to cut that in half.  Because land values rise faster than the growth of our revenue streams, accelerating the pace to within 30 years will save an estimated $15 billion.”

The 65,000 acres of land fall within six categories: urban green space, trails, natural lands, river corridors, farmlands, and forests.

LCI pic 2.PNG

How is this initiative funded?

The primary funding source is the Conservation Futures Tax (CFT) fund, which is a property tax that exists on all parcels in the county.  The CFT requires a 50 percent match in most cases.

“We work to find match dollars, from other local, state or federal sources, to pair up with the CFT fund,” Bob said. “One way we invest our land conservation dollars is to buy farmland easements on our most valuable agricultural lands. Easements to remove development rights from private lands will preserve farmland and help keep farmland affordable and active, supporting local food production.”

How will it help protect agricultural land and green space in King County?

“Approximately 15,000 acres of the 65,000 acres goal is agricultural land,” Bob said. The Farmland Preservation Program (FPP) is an important component of this Initiative by preserving rapidly diminishing farmland through development rights purchases.

In addition to the 15,000 acres of agricultural land identified in rural areas, the Initiative also plans to protect 2,500 to 3,000 acres of urban green spaces, some of which could be used for community gardens.

LCI pic 3
Community gardens and open spaces make us healthier and our neighborhoods more livable

“An exciting component of this Initiative is urban green space preservation,” Bob said. “A key goal of the LCI is to ensure there is green space for every resident in King County. We want to make sure every neighborhood has green space. These green spaces will be preserved in ways that focus on resident interests and needs. The communities will drive how these green spaces will be used, whether that is through a community garden, open space, or other passive use.

“Green spaces provide a multitude of benefits for residents, and not all of our communities currently experience these benefits,” he said. “Every resident should have the opportunity to live their best lives, and providing access to open spaces for every neighborhood will help eliminate disparities in the quality of life for residents.”

In addition to addressing open space inequities, preserving farmland and green spaces will support locally grown food, which helps strengthen the local food economy and increase community resilience in the face of climate change.

“Investing in the preservation of farmland and green spaces will strengthen our local economy and promote a more robust local food system, which will benefit us all,” Bob said.

Learn more about the Land Conservation Initiative here.