Issaquah City Hall. Photo courtesy of Joe Mabel

Issaquah City Hall. Photo courtesy of Joe Mabel

Issaquah partners with Forterra to create green space stewardship plan

The Green Issaquah Partnership aims to create a 20-year environmental management plan.

The future of green space in the city of Issaquah will be the focus of 2019’s Green Issaquah Partnership.

Formally announced at the April 26 Arbor Day event, the Green Issaquah Partnership is one part of Issaquah’s 2018 Parks Strategic Plan. The city is partnering with the nonprofit conservation and stewardship group Forterra. Together they will implement a two-phase project that will result in a 20-year maintenance plan.

Jennifer Fink, parks planner at the city of Issaquah, said the partnership will be broken into two parts. Phase 1 will start in 2019 with a forest assessment and the creation of a management plan. Forterra will look at elements that pose a risk or threat to the current condition of forested areas as part of the assessment. Phase 1 is funded through an $80,000 grant from the King Conservation District, she said.

Phase 2 will begin in 2020 and will bring in community member interest groups to help formulate a stewardship program.

With 1,500 acres of open space and critical areas, Fink said, the city needs to look out for those parts of the community that add up to a significant portion of its overall acreage.

“(The program will) make sure we are stewarding it properly, identifying areas critical for restoration and enhancement, and making sure we can do what we can to preserve and protect them,” she said.

The goal at the end of the program is to have an outline for preservation looking forward 20 years in a flexible framework that can be updated as time passes.

Forterra has also partnered with other Eastside cities — Kirkland, Redmond and Snoqualmie have similar programs. For more information on the Green Cities program go online to greencitypartnerships.wordpress.com/about.

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