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Approximately 30 volunteers and City staff joined Mayor Ken Hearing in planting trees on North Bend’s Arbor Day, November 1st. Volunteers from Cub Scout Pack 466, Boy Scout Troop 466, Girl Scout Troop 4094, Meadowbrook Farm Preservation Association, and Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust planted 230 native evergreen trees at Meadowbrook Farm property.
Mayor Hearing kicked off the tree planting event by thanking volunteers and explaining the history of Meadowbrook Farm.
During his speech, Mayor Hearing explained that in the late 1990s, Meadowbrook Farm, was proposed for various development proposals, including an office park and residential subdivisions. Much of the public became concerned about losing one of the few remaining farms and open space areas left in the upper Snoqualmie Valley.
In 1996, the City of North Bend and City of Snoqualmie jointly purchased the property through the Trust for Public Land, with funds from the King County Conservation Futures Program, for permanent protection as open space. The Cities established the Meadowbrook Farm Preservation Association as a non-profit organization to manage the property.
“Meadowbrook Farm today is enjoyed by the public for its beautiful open space, wildlife habitat, and large prairie-fields, that are often used for weddings and other events,” Mayor Hearing said. “We’re here today to help take care of Meadowbrook Farm by restoring a stream bank that has become overtaken by invasive Himalayan blackberries.”
The Arbor Day event was a part of a larger site rehabilitation project coordinated by the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust and funded by a Cooperative Watershed Management Grant from the King County Flood Control District, and a Million Trees grant from King County.
The Million Trees grant is part of an ordinance that King County Council passed in November 2018 authorizing an Urban Reforestation and Habitat Restoration fund be used to plant one million trees near rivers and streams by December 31st, 2020.
Gardiner Creek, which flows through Meadowbrook Farm, fits within the guidelines of the grant as it provides a wetland and stream habitat that is important for fish and wildlife.
“One of the most significant threats to fish habitat, and particularly for the downstream Chinook Salmon which is listed as a threatened species, is water temperature, which can increase significantly when there is inadequate shading of streams,” Mike McCarty, City of North Bend Senior Planner, said during the event. “We are here today to recognize the value and importance of trees in North Bend and help to restore native habitat and stream shading.”