5 Acre Wood

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Saving this Unique Urban Forest

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Help us realize the vision of 5 Acre Woods as an urban forest conservation project with trails and a natural community classroom space for people of all ages.

Current Status

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; the sale was completed early December 2017.  This is a critical milestone – but not the finish line for saving this forest as a public park. Thank you to5AcreWoods soft focuseveryone who helped get us this far!

In order to make the purchase, the City took a loan from a restricted fund, which must be paid back.  We are roughly two thirds the way towards our goal of $1 million dollars, but unless we help the City of Lake Forest Park secure the rest by November, 2018, the City may be forced to sell a portion of the land to developers.  We need your help to make this final fundraising a success!    The City is working on grant money from the state of Washington.  The LFPSF is writing grants to private sources, and we are asking for donations from individual donors like you.

How you can help!

Donate to the cause by making an Individual/Family Donation or Pledge

Thanks to you, we surpassed our initial fundraising goal of $100,000 and have been awarded more than $500,000 in matching grants – but we still must raise more to prevent part of the land being sold for development.

If you previously made a pledge, Thank You!  The time to convert your pledge is now.  Please mail your check to the Lake Forest Park Stewardship Foundation PO Box 82861, Kenmore, WA 98028 and write Land Acquisition in the memo field.

Please make your check out to Lake Forest Park Stewardship Foundation, write Land Acquisition in the memo field, and mail to: PO Box 82861, Kenmore, WA 98028.

Online donations can also be made using our secure online donation form.  Click here to Donate to 5 Acre Wood

Consider hosting a ‘Friend-raising” or fundraising dinner or party at your house. We will help you in setting it up.

Our Grant writing team is looking for writers. 

If you have questions or you’d like to discuss how you can help, please  contact LFPSF Fundraising Chair for 5 Acre Woods Brad Keefe at 206-240-6912 or email keefeba@gmail.com.

Help Spread the Word:  There are many citizens of LFP who still haven’t heard of this amazing opportunity to create a forested park. Share your support with your neighbors, friends, bookclub, school group…

Stay informed!  Click here to receive 5AW Newsletters and updates.  Like our Facebook page 5 Acre Woods/Project of LFPSF.

Voice Your Support & Appreciation at City Council Meetings and with Council Members

Please voice your steady support of 5 Acre Woods, and take part in the City processes for park development, including the current “PROST” Plan (Parks, Recreation, Open Space & Trails).

Background

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 lies a rare opportunity to save one of the last remnants of mature second-growth forest. The Lake Forest Park Stewardship Foundation is leading the effort to preserve this area as an urban forest park and restore the property to its native state, with walking trails and interpretive signage. The property is an old remnant forest and the largest remaining undeveloped site in the City of Lake Forest Park. Seattle Public Utilities acquired the property 45 years ago and it has remained relatively untouched since.  The property includes steep slopes, a stream, riparian wetland, and hillside seep wetlands. Its stream is a tributary of Lyon Creek which is 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.

Our Vision

In its first ten years 5 Acre Woods will become a widely loved and often used public nature park. Elementary students will visit the park so regularly that they will view the park as part of their campus. Neighbors of the park will be advocates, protectors, and maintainers of “their” park. City residents will visit to enjoy a walk in the woods, appreciating the forest and the microenvironments of the park. Wildlife will find shelter and sustenance. The forest itself will smile with the weight of invasive ivy and other plants removed. The water flowing through the park will be clean and cool as it joins Lyon Creek downstream.

Already, numerous aspects of this vision are present. It has been a traditional playground for the children in the area for years. Springs and creek provide clean water, in a tributary to Lyon Creek. The tree canopy includes a large inventory of native trees, providing the well-known benefits of healthy trees. The project is large enough so that no additional land is needed to fulfill this vision. It creates a wild life habitat where eagles, deer, coyotes, owls, mountain beavers have been observed, and that connects and strengthens the wooded areas of its neighbors.

The growing community of friends of 5 Acre Woods is inspired by its environmental values and see its potential. These friends support a public nature park as the most appropriate future land use of this last largest undeveloped open green space in Lake Forest Park.

This has all been made possible  through strong partnerships. There exists a well-established, broad based coalition of residents who have worked together on this project and are enthusiastically committed to working with the City for this park.

The vision for this Park includes educational programs to introduce diverse populations to

  • the benefits of an urban forest, a watershed, and wetland,
  • the flora and fauna inhabiting the green corridor, water habitats and salmon, and
  • the historical use of native plants and tree and sustainability.

More than an esthetic amenity and educational resource, use of the park will contribute to public health. City dwellers, residents of Lake Forest Park and surrounding cities, can benefit from the effects of trees with just a visit to the park. Brief exposure to greenery can relieve stress levels, and experts have recommended “doses of nature” as part of treatment of attention disorders in children.

tree canopy_5AW_

The wetland is functioning well but the riparian zone is badly degraded with invasive plants.   Even some of the older trees are in jeopardy from heavy English Ivy infestations.  Invasive plant removal, modeled on LFPSF’s successful volunteer activities in Grace Cole Nature Park, is a part of long-term restoration plan.

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 and is currently focused on removing English Ivy).

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 now lists 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 is now actively involved in the project.

For the last year, the LFPSF has led Walk to 5AW events. In the same vein, we will continue to offer community events.  photo

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

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Don’t forget your gloves — some people are sensitive to ivy sap. Snacks and water will be provided. Refreshments served thank to Honey Bear Bakery.

References and Resources

Nature Deficit Disorder _comments Jean Robbins

James-2015-A Review of the Health Benefits of Greenness PUBLISHED copy

Photo Information.

  • Header: Wetland and Western Skunk Cabbage (Lysichiton americanum) in the Five Acre Wood.
  • Map showing part of Lake Forest Park. The Five Acre Wood is the area within the red box.
  • Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) in Lake Forest Park.  Pileated wood peckers are one of many species that depend on mature forests.