Save Weyerhaeuser Campus is working with city, county and state governments and Forterra, the Seattle-based land-conservation nonprofit, in an effort to purchase and conserve 54 acres of undeveloped shoreline along North Lake for public use.
The property, located east of Weyerhaeuser Way, is part of the historic Weyerhaeuser campus now owned by Industrial Realty Group. At this time, IRG is not a "willing seller," so no price has been set, but it's been estimated that the lakefront property could cost $6-$8 million or more.
To date, our efforts have resulted in allocations of:
- $1 million in Surface Water Management (SWM) funds from the city of Federal Way, pledged by Mayor Jim Ferrell in 2017 and supported by the City Council.
- $1 million matching grant from King County Conservation Futures Tax (CFT) program in 2017 and a second CFT grant for $500,000 in 2018. King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer, who represents Federal Way, was key in supporting the CFT grants at the County Council.
- $750,000 grant from Washington State in 2018 that includes $500,000 for property acquisition and $250,000 to Forterra for its work on open-space acquisition strategies on the campus. State Rep. Mike Pellicciotti of Federal Way led the efforts to secure the funding.
- $1 million for acquisition is being requested in the 2019 state budget, also spearheaded by Rep. Pellicciotti.
- Forterra is working on another CFT grant application during 2019.
The west side of North Lake is one of the longest undeveloped shoreline in South King County. The forested shoreline is a crucial piece of the North Lake-Hylebos watershed and includes trails that have been open to public use for more than 40 years.
We envision trails, an interpretive center and signage and year-round paddling access along the North Lake shoreline.
Our efforts also include securing public access to as many of the 7 miles of campus trails as possible and preserving the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden (with its trail system) and the Pacific Bonsai Museum.
In 2018, King County Dow Constantine announced the Land Conservation Initiative to preserve 65,000 acres of high-conservation land around King County. The North Lake shoreline and trails on the the campus -- and Save Weyerhaeuser Campus' campaign to save them-- were highlighted as the type of urban green spaces the initiative aims to preserve. Read more.