Large, old Western red cedars dot the acreage now being protected just outside Enumclaw. PHOTO CREDIT ELI BROWNELL, KING COUNTY PARKS

Large, old Western red cedars dot the acreage now being protected just outside Enumclaw. PHOTO CREDIT ELI BROWNELL, KING COUNTY PARKS

Agreement will preserve 155 acres in Enumclaw

The land is expected to be bought by King County, which plans to protect the forest and lake from urban sprawl.

A forested parcel of land near Enumclaw has been purchased and will be preserved, protected from future development.

The announcement was made Feb. 21 that 155 acres have been secured for public use, thanks to a partnership between King County Parks and the nonprofit Forterra. The acreage has an interesting history, once used as a private wedding venue.

Featuring a healthy forest, large meadows and a small lake, the land is said to be home to black bears, cougars, bobcats, numerous bird species and other wildlife. The property sits just east, and a bit north, of the Enumclaw city limits.

The acreage doesn’t have great public access, but that’s something that could be remedied in the future, according to a spokesman for King County Parks. He said the acquisition fits with the county’s ongoing mission to protect vulnerable land from urban sprawl.

The acreage was purchased by Forterra, which will hold the property while King County Parks raises the $1.59 million that was needed to purchase the land. The county will eventually reimburse Forterra and take ownership. A portion of the county’s reimbursement will likely come from the voter-approved 2014-19 King County Parks levy, which is used to help fund open space acquisitions and maintenance. King County is also pursuing grant funding to cover a portion of the cost.

Public use of the property will not be allowed until the land is under county control.

“Securing this land provides a great connection to lowland forests, provides a habitat buffer between Enumclaw and working forestlands, and provides public access to a network of recreational trails in the 80,000-acre White River Forest,” Forterra president Gene Duvernoy noted in a press release.

The land sits east and north of Battersby Avenue, past the county-operated transfer station.

The 155 acres has a colorful and romantic history.

Once a farm, the land was converted to a wedding venue. According to regional history resources, the business boomed and, by the late 1960s or early ’70s, became known as Little Lake Ranch. The name later changed to Wedding Wonderland and a full line of wedding services were offered, from flowers and food to photographers and a minister.

A postcard issued at the time included this: “Have your outdoor wedding held in a jewel-like setting amidst tall firs, strutting peacocks, magnificent floral baskets. All this and more beside a shimmering 14-acre lake. Every Bride’s Dream.”

More in News

Sharing the love this Valentine’s Day

Crestwood Elementary student Kinzi Hansen organized a Valentines Box drive so every elementary student in her school district could celebrate the holiday.

Final work begins this week on Buckley traffic lights

Police will be guiding traffic on state Route 410 in Buckley Feb. 14, 20, and 21, so plan accordingly.

President’s emergency declaration sparks immediate legal backlash

Attorney General Bob Ferguson said his team will sue the White House if federal funds originally intended for Washington state are interrupted.

‘Activity backpacks’ for exploring state parks to be available at your local library

There are several guidelines to make checking out the backpacks a smooth process.

Four-story downtown project pitched to Enumclaw

The bottom floor would be retail, but the next three stories could be condos for aging Baby Boomers.

Bill targets sexual health curriculum in Washington schools

Senate Bill 5395 is co-sponsored by 17 Democratic representatives and introduced by Sen. Claire Wilson, D-Federal Way.

According to King County’s Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) annual report, Seattle had the highest rate of people using services at 36 percent of the total, followed by 31 percent from South King County, 18 percent from the greater Eastside, and 7 percent from north county including Shoreline.
Study shows King County’s treatment funding is making progress

A document on the county’s .1 percent health sales tax was accepted Wednesday by the county council.

Baby wouldn’t wait: Bonney Lake mom delivers son at spa

At 7 pounds, 8 ounces and stretching 21 inches, Brooks Edwin Christiansen entered the world at 2:50 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23.

Children’s play area at Seadrunar. Photo by Lauren Davis via Facebook
Seedy side of Seadrunar: Drug rehab center accused of neglect, exploitation

Public records reveal that Seattle facility was accused of neglecting children and clients in its care.

Most Read