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City of North Bend was recently awarded two grants totaling $69,875 for invasive weed removal, tree restoration and the planting of new native trees along the South Fork Snoqualmie River.
The funds will be used for removing invasive weeds that threaten the health of Tollgate Forest by crowding out native plants and degrading wildlife habitat and for planting 4,000 native trees on approximately 9 acres in North Bend.
During the November 5th Council Meeting, Councilmembers unanimously approved an agreement with Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust to perform the work. The Greenway Trust will recruit at least 100 volunteers who will contribute a minimum of 300 hours during volunteer events.
In November of 2018, King County launched a One Million Trees initiative. The goal is to plant one million trees near rivers and streams by December 31st, 2020. City staff applied for a Million Trees Grant from King County URHR and received $30,000.
The kick off for this project was North Bend’s Arbor Day event on November 1st. On this day, approximately 30 volunteers and City staff joined Mayor Ken Hearing in planting 230 native evergreen trees at Meadowbrook Farm property.
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 to recognize the value and importance of trees in North Bend and help to restore native habitat and stream shading.”
The second grant funding the project is a Cooperative Watershed Management Grant from the King County Flood Control District. The Snoqualmie Watershed Forum, which solicits for projects every year through the Cooperative Watershed Management (CWM) grant cycle, recommended a list of projects to the King County Flood District on behalf of the City of North Bend.
Through this grant, City of North Bend received $39,975. Council approved a partnership with the Greenway Trust to complete this project as well. Work will begin this winter and be completed during the summer of 2020.