Save the Wood Creek Forest

December Community Newsletter

On 12/4/20, we participated in a phone call with Deputy Mayor Nick Harper, Council Member Paul Roberts, and a Forterra representative.  The purpose of this call was to provide an update on the progress the city administration has made toward geotechnical analysis of the Wood Creek property.  This update leaves us cautiously optimistic about the long-term outcome for the forest because we learned that Forterra and city administration have been actively working together on a conservation strategy.

We learned:

  • The city and Forterra have been working on an agreement and detailed scope of work. Deputy Mayor Harper assured us that we would have access to the scope of work documents.
  • The City of Everett has applied for a $10K grant through Snohomish County to help compensate Forterra for their services. The Utility will match the $10K award.
  • The Utility has agreed to cover the costs of the geotechnical assessment and property appraisal. Please recall from our previous newsletter on this topic that these two assessments are aimed at fully understanding the unique nature of the local soil stability given knowledge of previous landslides and groundwater issues in Valley View. It would also determine the actual monetary value of the land as a result.  The previous appraisal related to the proposed surplus decision in April – May had only been based on a simple square-footage calculation of flat land.  This real estate appraisal is not for the purposes of any sale.  It is to allow a better understanding of the amount the Water Utility would need to be compensated when a final conservation plan is decided upon. The Public Works and Real Property departments are currently investigating firms to perform these tasks. The geotechnical analysis is still targeted to be completed in the first quarter of 2021. The costs of these assessments are not yet known.
  • The City of Everett plans to host a  “kick-off” meeting to discuss this evolving process in greater detail as early as mid-January.  More details will follow on the number of participants and who the various stakeholders are.
    Deputy Mayor Harper reiterated his desire to maintain transparency and build trust and rapport with the community. Similar to his last meeting with us, he emphasized that there is 'no rush' and 'time is on our side' because the Utility is not counting on monies gained from the property for any projects, revenue plans, or rate formulas.  He stated unequivocally that the city is committed to a “conservation solution” for Wood Creek and the surrounding forest.  The City is still in the data-gathering stage, which will be followed by working with Forterra to investigate a combination of options to compensate the Utility so the property can then be protected.

    Get Involved!  If you would like to join the efforts of Stewards of Wood Creek Everett, we welcome your participation!  Please email

This entry was posted on January 1, 2021 at 1:33 AM and has received 12 views.


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Thank you note to the community

Thank you to everyone who joined our community zoom meeting and contacted us about getting involved! We need volunteers to help with outreach, media production, and in the future, fundraising.

We look forward to working with you to save Wood Creek.

If you weren't able to attend, but would like to volunteer to support the effort, please email or call (346) 298-2080.

You can find information about our bi-weekly Zoom meetings on our website, Facebook, and Nextdoor. Please subscribe to the website so you don't miss an update. We welcome your participation!

This entry was posted on October 31, 2020 at 12:55 AM and has received 127 views.


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Reminder: Public Save Wood Creek meeting tonight at 6:30 PM

We are having a public community Save Wood Creek meeting tonight at 6 PM

If you are having any issues with connectivity, or can't attend but would like to volunteer, please email or call (346) 298-2080

Join us on Zoom
Zoom Meeting ID: 897 8759 1681
Passcode: 414553

Summary Agenda:

  1. Introductions of the Stewards of Wood Creek Everett (SWCE) Committee
  2. Public Introductions
  3. Recent developments
  4. Enlist public suggestions and feedback about out communication methods
  5. Questions and Answers
  6. Ask for volunteers

This entry was posted on October 21, 2020 at 3:48 PM and has received 68 views.


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Save Wood Creek Information and Volunteer Drive

Save Wood Creek!

Information & Volunteer Drive

Do you have skills to offer? Get involved in the effort to save Wood Creek!

Join the Stewards of Wood Creek Everett for a Zoom meeting to get updated on the latest Wood Creek news and find out how you can be involved!

Wednesday October 21 6 P.M.
Zoom Meeting ID: 897 8759 1681
Passcode: 414553

If you can't attend but would like to volunteer, please email or call (346) 298-2080

This entry was posted on October 14, 2020 at 11:57 PM and has received 99 views.


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A new batch of Save Wood Creek signs are available.

A new batch of Save Wood Creek Signs are available

These signs are an excellent way to promote our cause, which is to protect and preserve the Wood Creek forest for future generations through conservation and stewardship. These signs also informs our neighbors where to go to on the internet to provide most up-to-date Wood Creek Forest information. Please support our cause and contact Michael Wright at to pick up your own.

Michael is suggesting a $10 dollar donation for each sign, and he will personally deliver it to you locally.

This entry was posted on September 21, 2020 at 10:44 PM and has received 167 views.


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Meeting update with Nick Harper and Paul Roberts

We had some prominent visitors in our recent Stewards of Wood Creek Everett (SWCE) Zoom meeting on the 17th. Deputy Mayor Nick Harper and Council Member Paul Roberts provided an update on the City Administration's Wood Creek efforts. Council Member Paul Roberts also attended in his role as the City Council's lead on this effort. SWCE Team Member Jeff Mallahan pitched to both guests our strategy to investigate the idea of designating the Wood Creek forest as a mitigation land bank. The feedback that we heard from them was generally encouraging.

Deputy Mayor Nick Harper stated that the City of Everett has owned the Wood Creek property for nearly a hundred years. During the last 80 years, the property has been unproductive as it no longer served its purpose as Everett's original water source. The City had asked its staff to list all the surplus properties not being used for the purposes for which they had originally been acquired. After hearing the community's negative response to this proposal and realizing the important ecological nature of this site, the Mayor quickly retracted the proposal and shelved it for further review. With the benefit of hindsight, it was clear that Wood Creek should not have been treated the same, for surplus-decision purposes, as a small parcel in the middle of town.

Currently, the main goal for the City of Everett is to study the property in order to 'capture its value' to inform any future decision. Deputy Mayor Harper reiterated that the 'value' of the property can have numerous meanings: its value as a buffer for a protected stream corridor, its value in relation to stability of the critical slopes, its value for carbon sequestration, and air quality improvement. Informed by a broader understanding of value, the city could work in partnership with an ecological group, such as Forterra, to preserve the forest. Deputy Mayor Harper stated he had spoken to Snohomish County Council Member Dunn several times and in principle there is interest in a city-county partnership, though both entities are experiencing the same financial challenges, so it is unclear how that partnership would influence any final decision. He also conceded that a possible outcome could be that the Wood Creek could ultimately be left as is.

Probably most importantly, the Deputy Mayor reiterated the city is not going to make this decision 'privately'; they want this process to be transparent and as inclusive as possible.

The next step in the process supporting a decision on Wood Creek is a geo-technical analysis to be performed on behalf of the City of Everett. This significant analysis would include investigation of the soils, rock, and water conditions, slope stability, and seismic considerations among other assessments. Deputy Mayor Harper said this in-depth analysis would be used to better inform future discussions and the ultimate decision. The target timeframe for conducting this geotechnical analysis is the first quarter (Jan – Mar) of 2021, but the Deputy Mayor added there is no rush, deadline, or timeline for the overall decision. Council Member Roberts reiterated that there is no hard deadline for this study, and the City would be very transparent with the decision to bring geotechnical consultants on board. Council Member Roberts and Deputy Mayor Harper will have a future meeting(s) toward identifying credible firms to provide this intensive analysis and research.

The Everett City administration plans to be transparent and work the community to try to prevent any future surprise. Of note, Deputy Mayor Harper said in attempting to be transparent with the community, it is particularly challenging to answer every specific question posed by individuals given all the other demands facing the City. Having the ability to communicate consistently with an organized group like Stewards of Wood Creek Everett has been helpful. [This is why we welcome your participation in SWCE!]

Jeff Mallahan, a Senior Wetland Ecologist at Wetland Resources, Inc in Everett, is a former Eastmont resident where his parents continue to reside. He pitched his idea of creating a mitigation land bank to preserve Wood Creek. He was raised on the banks of Wood Creek and his ventures into the creek had inspired his career of the past 15 years.

Jeff and his company are working pro-bono for SWCE to determine the viability of consolidating Wood Creek with several other wetlands in Everett to create a larger mitigation land bank. This land bank would be used to preserve the forest and to restore wetland areas by offsetting other development sites. For example, a developer would be given permission to develop a smaller wetland or ecological site if they purchase credits to maintain and preserve the Wood Creek land bank which has more ecological importance. The City of Everett could potentially manage these identified 'service areas', many of which drain into Puget Sound. This mitigation land bank would theoretically both preserve Wood Creek and generate income for the city. Already familiar with mitigation banking, Council Member Paul Roberts thinks that this model should be on the table. However, Mr. Roberts stated that the City still needs to fund the geotechnical survey to better understand 'what we have' in Wood Creek.

Additionally, Deputy Mayor Harper stated that he had worked with the City of Mukilteo to preserve Japanese Gulch previously in his career when he was employed by Forterra (when it was known as the Cascade Land Conservancy). Council Member Mr. Roberts proposed future discussions with Deputy Harper and Jeff Mallahan on the mitigation bank option. Having Jeff Mallahan work closely with the city council as an advocate of Wood Creek is an encouraging possibility. While it must be acknowledged the study may conclude that a small portion of the site could be developed, Council Member Roberts highlighted there is a distinction between technically feasible and cost-effective.

Near the end of the meeting, SWCE Team Member Michael Mallahan emphasized to the Deputy Mayor and Council Member that we do not presume to represent all the varied views of the Valley View community. Council Member Roberts similarly stated that while he is the City Council's lead on the Wood Creek issue that he also was not speaking for all his colleagues at this meeting. SWCE Team Member Gregory Alexander stated our group is trying to be inclusive and as transparent as possible with the Valley View neighborhood and beyond, making sure that all of the SWCE meetings are announced. Finally, both Messrs. Roberts and Harper stated that they welcomed the opportunity to speak with the SWCE group and would make themselves available for future meetings.

Note: we have made a few corrections and additions to the original post.

This entry was posted on September 19, 2020 at 1:15 AM and has received 146 views.


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SWCE Zoom Meeting September 17th at 7 PST

Tim and Erika are hosting this Zoom meeting. Nick Harper and Paul Roberts will provide an update on progress with Forterra, and Michael Mallahan will provide an overview of our Mitigation Land Bank strategies.

We have a lot to cover, and Nick Harper and Paul Roberts are constrained on time, so we will be allowing comments and questions at the end of the meeting.

Save Wood Creek Forest Zoom Meeting

Time: Sep 17, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 549 236 1473
Passcode: 572411
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This entry was posted on September 17, 2020 at 1:58 PM and has received 70 views.


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New Snohomish Tribune Article about our efforts to preserve Wood Creek

The Snohomish Tribune posted an article yesterday about our preservation efforts.

The following is an excerpt of the article:

A nearly hundred-acre woody watershed once seen as at-risk to development could be protected for its long-term future.

The site in question is land on the edge of the Valley View neighborhood, nestled east of Interstate 5, known as Wood Creek. It's owned by the city utility system, and earlier this year by an order from Mayor Cassie Franklin, the city withdrew a plan to surplus the land on the open market after neighbors pleaded a case against the dangers of developing here. Since then, a group of residents has worked with government officials, including Deputy Mayor Nick Harper and City Councilman Paul Roberts, to pursue an agreeable gameplan. Keeping the forest as-is is what the homegrown group "Stewards of Wood Creek Everett" would love to see happen.

The full article can be found here:

This entry was posted on September 16, 2020 at 2:44 PM and has received 114 views.


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Town Square Meeting Summary

The community town square meeting was held on September 12th. There were approximately 35-40 people who attended, and there were around different 7 speakers. While initially had expected a higher turnout, the unhealthy levels of smoke in the air likely contributed to a lower turnout.

Michael Wright led the meeting stating that the intention of the meeting was to inform the general community and obtain more participation for our cause. Michael Wright also talked about promotion ideas- and asked if we should also design 'Save Wood Creek' themed masks and t-shirts. Most of the audience really liked the idea of having t-shirts and said that they would purchase on if they become available. 

Michael Mallahan discussing the mitigation Land Bank strategy

Michael Mallahan

Michael Mallahan spoke and provided information on the mitigation land bank that Jeff Mallahan is researching for us. Jeffrey Mallahan, a senior Wetland Ecologist, is working with his own company, Wetland Resources, to research the potential of using Wood Creek as a land bank. Michael explained that a mitigation land bank allows a developer to build on a small wetland site by purchasing credits to maintain a larger wetland area that has more ecological value. For example, for a developer to build on a small wetland, he can purchase credits to maintain a larger site- such as our Wood Creek forest. This is the same model that was used to protect the Japanese Gulch, another wetland in Mukilteo. This is one of the Save Wood Creek Everett's main strategic prongs to in order save our forest in perpetuity. 

I spoke to the group asking them to subscribe to our website to receive news and updates. We are posting all of our meetings and announcements on the website in order to be as transparent as possible regarding our communications. If anyone is experiencing any issues with the site, I asked them to contact me directly using my email address. We also have Facebook and NextDoor groups that can be leveraged for increased community participation.

Discussion about the technology SWCE Zoom meetings took place. Of import we need to make it clear that you don't need a computer to join the Zoom meetings, you can access it with your phone.

Jay Himmelman and Tanya Roost making a presentation about Jay's trials with 'Armageddon Creek'

Jay Himmelman and Tanya Roost

Jay Himmelman spoke at the meeting and provided large 3x2 pictures of Armageddon Creek and summarized all of his trials that he had to go through. I found Jay's presentation to be quite appealing. He presented his story quite well!

Finally, Christian Roost came up and shared his experiences with conservation issues that he experienced during his childhood in Europe. He emphasized the need to find a permanent solution to preserve Wood Creek and that we should not rest on our heals.

To end the meeting, Michael Wright strongly recommended the community to attend our meetings and get involved. 

This entry was posted on September 14, 2020 at 12:03 AM and has received 124 views.


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Community Townsquare, September 12 @ 1 PM

Hi all,

Michael Wright is organizing an in person community outside townsquare event on September 12th at 1 PM.

The location will be held in Valley View at 8108 24th Dr. SE. The location is the same spot that our original kickoff meeting was held in May.

This is an outdoor event so there should be plenty of room for social distancing, but masks are still required by state mandate.

Some of the people in attendance will be Michael Wright, of course, and Babby Skowyra and the energetic door-to-door communicator Karen.

They will be providing updates regarding the recent question and answer interview with Mayor Cassie Franklin (Q&A with Cassie), and emphasize the need to continue contacting our council members to keep this issue on our radar.

Michael Wright will provide further details on other issues such as personal outreach and Save Wood Creek signage.

Gregory Alexander and Michael Mallahan will provide updates on Stewards of Wood Creek Everett (SWCE) activities and assist and ask for the community to subscribe to the website.

All are welcome, no matter where you live.

For more information or questions, please contact contact Michael Wright at

Hope to see you there!

Note: if you want to attend from the Eastmont side, but don't have a ride, contact Gregory Alexander at I may be able to give you a ride.

This entry was posted on September 9, 2020 at 2:00 AM and has received 110 views.


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Stewards of Wood Creek Everett Mission

To protect and preserve the Wood Creek forest for future generations through conservation and stewardship.

Footer Logo The City of Everett has proposed the sale of about 92.5 acres of undeveloped green belt property. Wood Creek lies in the valley between the Valley View and Eastmont neighborhoods. Wood Creek was the main source of drinking water for the city of Everett between 1898 and 1916, until the Sultan River water project was completed. The land and the creek is a critical habitat for a variety of animals and wildlife. Additionally, the land is unstable and many parts of the land are critically sloped. This group is for anyone opposing this proposal and for trying to preserve this critical land.

Everett's Original Watersource: Main Wood Creek Reservoir in June of 1909.

Everett's Original Watersource

Galaxie Blog Version 1.50 November 22 2019 © Gregory Alexander