Grace Cole Nature Park

owl_aug2005thin

Vision:  To preserve the headwaters of Brookside Creek for public use and environmental quality by establishing Grace Cole Park

Background

Grace Cole Wetlands 2002After years of efforts by the Lake Forest Park Stewardship Foundation and citizens of Lake Forest Park to preserve the headwaters of Brookside Creek, the Grace Cole Nature Park officially opened on October 28, 2006. This park consists of over 14 acres of wetlands, woods, and ponds.

The Park is named in honor of the late Grace Cole, formerly our State Representative; she also served for many years on the Shoreline School Board. Ms. Cole was a very well-loved figure in our community, and she firmly believed in the principles of conservation. In fact she participated in the donation of one piece of land to the City which became part of the Park.

Olfpsffoundersne of the Stewardship Foundation’s primary initial goals, upon its founding in 1998, was to preserve this open space, which had been in imminent danger of development since before our incorporation. Our preservation efforts have included legal challenges to development, both in Lake Forest Park and in the Superior Court of King County; annual fundraising auctions; and writing the grant application which resulted in the first significant funding for the Cole Preserve. Perhaps most importantly, our efforts focused on helping the community – and hence City Hall – become aware of the critical importance of the wetlands on this property to the health and vitality of riparian habitat, to the salmon downstream in McAleer Creek, to flood control and water quality everywhere between the headwaters and Lake Washington, and to the community at large.

The Project

  • History – A timeline of the early days of Grace Cole Nature Park

 

Partnerships and Funding

This property has been purchased by the City of LFP using a variety of funding sources, none of which involve money from the city’s General Fund. Funding for the purchase came from three sources:

  • A King County Conservation Futures grant, the application for which was written by the by the Stewardship Foundation.
  • LFP’s revenues from Real Estate Excise Taxes, which can only be used for capital projects such as land acquisition.
  • Funds from the state Economic Stimulus Package (SB 6396), written by Sen. Darlene Fairley. Acquisition of both the Hill and Petrie properties would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, without Senator Fairley’s efforts to secure this funding.

Thanks to all of the members and friends of the Stewardship Foundation for your help and support in this effort. It would not have happened without you.We are looking forward to working with you in our continuing efforts to restore the Cole Nature Park to its natural state and in keeping it accessible and enjoyable for all residents of the City.

Current Status
The park regularly visited by the public, including school groups, and the Lake Forest Park Stewardship Foundation and community volunteers continue to monitor and help restore the site.  A new trail was opened in 2009, a new information kiosk was installed in 2013, and invasive plant removal is an ongoing activity made possible through the participation of volunteers (hint, hint!).  We encourage you to visit the park and let us know what you think!

How you can help!

  • Help with Ivy and other invasive plant removal!  Volunteers and the LFPSF regularly hold “Ivy Out” work parties, and native plant restoration continues.  Please consult the LFPSF calendar (LINK) for dates and information.

References

Additional Resources

More information pending

Photo Information.

  • Header: Barred Owl photographed in Grace Cole Park, 2005   Photo credit: ???
  • The wetlands in the northeast corner of the Park. Were it not for the establishment of the Grace Cole Nature Park, there would now be four houses standing in this area.These were taken in June 2002.   Photo credit ????
  • The Founders of the Stewardship Foundation celebrate Opening
    Day of the Grace Cole Nature Park, October 28, 2006. L-R: Jan Eisenman, Yuichi Shoda, Aki Eisenman-Shoda, Mamie Bolender, Jean Reid, Eric Alef, Ray Mitchell,
    Doug Mitchell, Carol Dahl, Liane Newman.  Not shown: Erik Aploks, Bill Bennett.  Photo credit ???