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 Issaquah will use this grant to buy 33.53 acres to expand Harvey Manning Park, protecting Cougar Mountain from deforestation. The land contains a mature forest, 6 streams, 12 wetlands, and 31.5 acres of upland habitat. The forest contains a variety of tree species, varied understory plants, and many habitat structures, including snags and logs. The purchase will expand the park to 43.53 acres. The land is next to more than 5,000 acres of conserved land in the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, Squak Mountain State Park, and Cougar-Squak corridor. The land serves as a gateway to Cougar Mountain and connects to the regional transit station parking garage serving as a weekend trailhead. This project is widely supported by the Trust for Public Land, King County, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, Save Cougar Mountain, Issaquah Alps Trails Club, Save Lake Sammamish, and Washington Trails Association. Issaquah will contribute nearly $8 million in cash, Conservation Futures, and donated cash.