Seattle Foundation Blog

Seattle Foundation, Forterra and King County Join Forces to Conserve Rural Park Land

A philanthropist left an anonymous gift in their will of $392,000 to Seattle Foundation to secure park lands in King County.


August 16, 2016

Forterra, King County and Seattle Foundation announce a major bequest that will be used to conserve important lands and enhance recreation opportunities in south King County.

A philanthropist left an anonymous gift in their will of $392,000 to Seattle Foundation to secure park lands in King County. Seattle Foundation turned to Forterra, who in turn worked with King County, to help identify locations that would fulfill the philanthropist's wish of saving beautiful open spaces for the public to enjoy.

“Thanks to this generous donation, our unique partnership is able to preserve important south King County wildlife habitat for everyone to experience and enjoy,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine.

The County has been leading acquisition efforts on several south King County parcels which have been prioritized through the Conservation Futures and Parks Levy funding process.

The first parcel purchased is a five-acre addition to the 925-acre complex of public lands at Spring Lake-Lake Desire Park, located south of Renton and east of Kent. The parcel contains a portion of Peterson Creek, which flows to the Cedar River. The site is part of an effort to expand trail connections at Spring Lake-Lake Desire Park.

The bequest was formalized and celebrated at a King County Council meeting on Monday, Aug. 15.

“Investments in these properties not only protects important habitat and passive recreation, but embodies the spirit of the 100-year Cascade Agenda and Forterra’s mission as a sustainability organization and regional land trust,” said Gene Duvernoy, Forterra president.

“This is an ideal partnership that furthers Seattle Foundation’s focus on environmental equity and open space for all,” said Tony Mestres, president and CEO of Seattle Foundation. “We worked with Forterra to fulfill the philanthropist’s desire to create a long and lasting legacy in their hometown, at a time when preservation of greenspace is more critical than ever.”

More parkland conservation projects are currently in negotiations.

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