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 objective of City of Issaquah’s Harvey Manning Park Expansion project (Bergsma acquisition) is to protect 33.53 acres of forested Cougar Mountain open space from deforestation. 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. The City’s acquisition project site targets conservation of a mature mixed deciduous/conifer forest containing 0.2 acres of riparian habitat (including 6 streams); 1.8 acres of wetland habitat (including 12 wetlands); and 31.5 acres of upland habitat. Located in the Western Cascade Lowland (Level IV Ecoregion), the forest contains a variety of tree species, a varied understory vegetation and provides a high level of habitat structures, including snags and logs. The acquisition expands Harvey Manning Park to 43.53 acres and will be managed as City open space. The project site is uniquely positioned to also provide contiguous habitat within the greater landscape and is adjacent to the 5,000+ acre Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, Squak Mountain State Park, and Cougar/Squak Corridor. The project site serves as a regional “gateway” from Issaquah to Cougar Mountain providing a direct connection between the regional transit station parking garage serving as a weekend trailhead.