Urban Wildlife Habitat projects fund close-to-home places to play and explore nature. As our urban areas are increasingly expanding and densifying, these grants protect important fish and wildlife habitat within five miles of densely populated areas, creating green refuges that help keep our ecosystems healthy and provide places to enjoy nature right in our backyards.
The City of Federal Way will use this grant to buy up to 53 acres of the historic former Weyerhaeuser Campus. The 425-acre campus features second-growth forest, wetlands, East Hylebos Creek, and nearly three-quarter mile of North Lake shoreline, one of the longest undeveloped shorelines in urban south King County. The City will buy forest, wetland, and North Lake shoreline, in the headwaters of East Hylebos Creek. The forest provides significant surface water retention and natural filtration benefits, and offers unique wildlife habitat in an urban environment. The land to be purchased is next to a state boat launch and includes historic Weyerhaeuser innovations: a grove of the world’s first cloned trees and the “Glue House,” a demonstration residence constructed in 1971 originally using only adhesive as a fastener. Saving this property from development will preserve habitat and the quality of storm water entering North Lake, which feeds East Hylebos Creek and eventually Hylebos Creek. Federal Way will contribute more than $6.7 million in a state appropriation, cash, conservation futures, a state grant, and donations of cash.