5 Acre Woods, A Unique Urban Forest
As the population of Puget Sound continues to grow, many urban forests are disappearing due to increased development pressure. Within the heart of Lake Forest Park, a rare opportunity to save one of the last remnants of mature second-growth forest emerged in the late 2010s. The property, an old remnant forest and the largest remaining undeveloped site in the City of Lake Forest Park, had been acquired Seattle Public Utilities and held for ~45 years in a relatively untouched state. The Lake Forest Park Stewardship Foundation led an effort to preserve this area as an urban forest park and restore the property to its native state, with walking trails and interpretive signage. Thanks to the tremendous groundswell of community support and with commitments from the Lake Forest Park Stewardship Foundation (LFPSF), the City of Lake Forest Park purchased the property now called 5 Acre Woods in early December 2017.
The property includes steep slopes, riparian wetland, hillside seep wetlands, and a tributary of Lyon Creek, a salmon spawning and rearing stream. The property is habitat for a variety of animals including coyotes, foxes, deer, raccoons, mountain beavers, and many species of birds. You can keep up on the news about this park and find information about future volunteer work parties by visiting the Facebook page for 5 Acre Woods.
Partnerships and Restoration
The LFPSF and the city of Lake Forest Park have a written agreement that, in part, outlines how the property will be maintained. The LFPSF will provide ongoing volunteer labor for the bulk of the restoration efforts, which began in January 2018. Other partners supportive of this work include the Lake Forest Park Stream Keepers, Adopt a Stream and the Audubon Society, Plant Amnesty, Seattle Coalition for Green Spaces, Bastyr University, and the elementary schools of Lake Forest Park. The Shoreline High School has listed our restoration efforts as an opportunity for students to fulfil their mandated graduation requirement of 40 community service hours, and the school’s Environmental club has been involved in the project.
Monthly Work Parties
Join us from 9am -12pm on the first Saturday of the month (unless stated otherwise – check Upcoming Events) to remove ivy and restore forest health. Come dressed for all weather – rain or shine. Wear sturdy shoes and be prepared for uneven terrain/mountain beaver holes. We will have a limited number of tools available so please bring your garden shears, loppers, folding hand saws or metal rakes but leave your power tools at home. Don’t forget your gloves — some people are sensitive to ivy sap. More information can be found at the Facebook page for 5 Acre Woods.
References and Resources
Nature Deficit Disorder _comments Jean Robbins
James-2015-A Review of the Health Benefits of Greenness PUBLISHED copy