North Lake has one of the longest undeveloped shorelines in South King County. 

The Washington state capital budget approved in April 2019 included an additional $500,000 for acquisition of portions of the historic Weyerhaeuser campus, bringing total acquisition funds to $3.5 million. See the bulleted list, below, for more details.

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 or appraisal completed, but it's been estimated that the lakefront property could cost $8-$10 million or more.

To date, our efforts have resulted in allocations of $3.5 million for potential acquisition:

  • $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.
  • $1.25 million in grants from the state of Washington in 2019 and 2018; includes $1 million 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.
  • Awaiting word on the 2019 CFT grant application submitted by Forterra.

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.

SWC efforts highlighted by LCI

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.