The State Lands Restoration and Enhancement category provides funding to two state agencies to help repair damaged plant and animal habitat. These grants focus on resource preservation and protection of public lands. Projects in this category help bring important natural areas and resources back to their original functions by improving the self sustaining and ecological functionality of sites.
State Parks will use this grant to control invasive plants, block unofficial trails, and restore damaged areas in the 326-acre Saint Edward State Park, on the northeastern shore of Lake Washington in King County. The park includes 306 acres of mature second-growth forest, streams, and undeveloped lake shoreline. Once common, these park features are increasingly rare in the surrounding big cities of Bellevue and Seattle. The park’s location makes it highly valuable for its habitat, recreational, and educational uses, with more than a half million visitors annually. However, the spread of non-native invasive plants and the development of unofficial trails have degraded the plant and animal communities in the park. The restoration work will control invading plants that are degrading the native habitats and threatening sustainability, process, and function of the forest, lake shore, and streams. The work also will restore damaged areas to reduce habitat fragmentation and degradation.