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.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Council ponders allowing alcohol in downtown area

To keep the downtown economy rolling, Enumclaw is considering what other cities have already enacted.

I-5 to close overnight in Federal Way Aug. 28-30

5-mile shutdown for new bridge construction at 70th Avenue East in Fife

Enumclaw local charged with child molestation in Lewis County

Kenneth Ray Bishop, 58, was scheduled to be arraigned today, Aug. 6.

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference on Aug. 5, 2020.
Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

King County among high-risk counties; several school districts will have remote learning in the fall.

Black Diamond Community Center hosts garage sale; Ten Trails starts scavenger hunt

The garage sale is Aug. 6 through 9, but the scavenger hunt lasts all month, with weekly prizes.

Local businesses discuss strategies to stay open

Sundays on Cole and monthly cruises are a lifeline to restaurants and retailers — but how long will it last?

King County Election headquarters in Renton on Aug. 4 for the primary election. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Inslee and Culp lead governor race; incumbent Dems ahead for Congress | Statewide results

Early results for governor, state schools chief, attorney general and more.

Courtesy of Mountain View Fire and Rescue
Mountain View Fire and Rescue levy is passing

Service area includes unincorporated King County near the cities of Auburn, Enumclaw and Kent.

Democrats dominate King County legislative races | Election results

Here are the latest results for King County legislative candidates in the… Continue reading

Most Read