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

Nelson honored as state Superintendent of the Year

The district’s Board of Directors was also given the honor of being named the 2018 Board of Distinction.

Bonney Lake City Council approves 5-year utility rate hikes

By 2023, residents will see a 50 percent rise in their water rates and a 40 percent in their sewer rates.

White River fish passage project under way

The old 1940s system was designed to haul 20,000 fish annually. Now the facility has to be upgraded to handle 20,000 a day.

Certain businesses banned from prime sites in Buckley

Entering Buckley from the west provides a highway panorama that may not… Continue reading

Holiday garbage schedules set

Find out how your garbage and recycling pickups will be affected by Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.

Extra DUI patrols on Black Friday | Washington State Patrol

The following is a press release by the Washington State Patrol: On… Continue reading

East Pierce Fire and Rescue, Pierce County Library System nearly ready to celebrate midterm results

As of Nov. 14, both property tax proposals have just inched past the finish line, but with ballots still to be counted, it may be too early to count those chickens.

Black Diamond driver kills Kent pedestrian

The victim was Frishta Noori, 25, a Kent mother of two.

Time to bring the heat on tuberculosis | Public Health Insider

A quarter of the world’s population is infected with tuberculosis bacteria, and it’s time to change that.

Most Read