Lake Sammamish State Park has grown by more than 5 acres after land was donated to the park by a local company.
Lakeside Industries recently donated a 5.3-acre parcel of property adjacent to Lake Sammamish State Park which will let the state and city of Isssaquah expand habitat restoration along Issaquah Creek. The property is located on the east side of the creek between Alpine Animal Hospital and the Microsoft campus. It includes more than 1,100 linear feet of creekside, a critical habitat for young salmon.
Mountains to Sound Greenway stewardship program manager Mackenzie Dolstad said restoration work will include removing invasive weeds an planting native trees and shrubs along the creekside. That work will provide shade for young Chinook salmon that use the creek near Lake Sammamish as a safe haven as they grow before moving into Puget Sound. Issaquah creek is one of the highest priority creeks for Chinook salmon and houses the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery further upstream.
“This is a great connectivity piece,” Dolstad said. “It provides another link in that connectivity and is almost the last stretch in that lower creek.”
The other side of the creek is owned by the city of Issaquah. In addition to habitat restoration, a portion of one of the park’s trails runs through the property. Lakeside Industries has a history of donating to the park, including providing the rock and gravel for the base of the playground in 2016, as well as being a sponsor of the Parkadilly Kid’s Concert, Fair and Fun in July.
Lakeside Industries president Mike Lee said they were originally approached by the state asking if they were interested in selling the property. The plot was valued at $95,000 and had been owned by the company since the 1950s, but it had been unused for decades.
“When we started looking at doing that, honestly we just said well maybe we should just make this a donation because it could potentially do a lot of great things for the Issaquah community and for salmon habitats and green spaces and public access,” Lee said.
Lakeside Industries is a third-generation, family-owned pavement company that was started in the 1950s. The plot donated to the park was originally part of a much larger one which was sold off piecemeal to various groups, including the county and Fedex.
The plot of land also connects Pickering Park with Lake Sammamish State Park, increasing public access to both.