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

County planning to finish Enumclaw trail, build bridge over White River

$2.8 million was allotted in the state legislature’s capital budget this year to jumpstart the project, which is expected to be compete between 2020 and 2021.

Despite the threat of rain and wind, hundreds turned out at Allan Yorke Park and lit candles in memory of the deceased. Photo by Ray Still
Plateau community honors two who died in avalanche

Hundreds of friends and family members attended the police procession and candlelight vigil last week for James Larsen and Zach Roundtree.

Local skater gearing up for Worlds, next Winter Olympics

Corinne Stoddard is expected to make it big in the world inline speed skating championship games later this summer.

Double murder in Buckley leads to Tumwater shootout with police

The suspect has been arrested and is expected to be charged with murder in the first degree.

Podcast, scholarship created in memory of two sons

The Babst Memorial Scholarship, in memory of Garrett and J.T. Babst, will go to an Auburn Mountainview High School student to support their decision to go into trade school.

Dog park idea topic of open house

Enumclaw’s Park Board will host a public meeting March 14 at City Hall.

Kidnapping scam targets families of young kids

The suspects are a male with an accent and a younger-sounding female.

Black Diamond swears in new council member

Chris Wisnoski was nominated and confirmed unanimously to the Position No. 5 council seat.

Explores the Civil Rights Movement with Congressman John Lewis | Pierce County READS

Congressman Lewis of Georgia is one of the key figures of the Civil Rights Movement and the only remaining speaker alive from the Big Six Leaders that organized the 1963 March on Washington.

Most Read