Save the Wood Creek Forest

City of Everett Park Survey

The City of Everett is asking for input on your ideas to guide its park systems to meet community needs and to tailor the new Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) plan. This plan will contain the vision and objectives for capital investment and park operation guidelines. If you have time, please let them know that our open spaces are important to us.

Thank you again!

The new parks survey URL is found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EverettParksViz

This entry was posted on May 3, 2021 at 8:37 PM and has received 77 views.

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City of Everett Housing Action Plan Community Survey

The City of Everett has posted a survey asking its citizens for input regarding housing issues as part of the housing action plan.  We encourage everyone to participate by taking a few minutes to fill out the survey with their thoughts.  Save Wood Creek Everett is sharing this survey because as part of the work to preserve Wood Creek and the surrounding forest, we have been challenged with inquiries about our stance on low-income and supplemented housing.  As a group we are simply focused on the preservation of Wood Creek and the surrounding wild space, so we want to be sure that you are all encouraged to speak for yourselves regarding housing in Everett.

The deadline is tomorrow afternoon, so if you have thoughts and opinions on housing in Everett, please let them know!

Thanks folks!

The survey URL is found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FF7BC9M

More information about the survey can be found on the City of Everetts webpage: https://everettwa.gov/2536/Rethink-Housing

This entry was posted on April 29, 2021 at 4:25 PM and has received 107 views.

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Our partnership with Forterra explained by the Everett Herald

From the Everett Herald:

EVERETT -- Wood Creek's forested ravine is set for further evaluation and study this year by the city and an environmental nonprofit.

No decisions about its future have been made, but people across the city and beyond can have a say in it.

Everett is working with Forterra to re-evaluate the land's soil stability and potential uses. Once that is determined, the city intends to get an appraisal of the acreage -- which could remain an unmanaged urban forest, become a passive recreation area like the unofficial trails already there, or have small sections sold and developed for housing.

The city and Snohomish County are paying Forterra to lead community engagement starting this summer. That will include conversations with neighbors; residents across Everett; Snohomish County, which owns about 10 acres of adjacent forest; and the Tulalip Tribes. The feedback will help determine funding and long-term land use options for Wood Creek.

The partnership was a hopeful sign for Valley View residents who asked the city to keep the property undeveloped.

"It's moving in the right direction, but it isn't a promise. I'm aware of that," said Lois Bell, a Valley View resident since 2015 and committee member for Stewards of Wood Creek Everett, a group that formed in response to the city's consideration of the property as surplus land. "Ideally we'd like it to be preserved. In what context, that's to be decided."

The full article can be found at https://www.heraldnet.com/news/everett-environmental-group-to-study-wood-creek-future-uses/

This entry was posted on April 7, 2021 at 2:59 PM and has received 120 views.

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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 info@savewoodcreek.org

This entry was posted on January 1, 2021 at 1:33 AM and has received 69 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 info@savewoodcreek.org 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 207 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 info@savewoodcreek.org 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 123 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 info@savewoodcreek.org or call (346) 298-2080

This entry was posted on October 14, 2020 at 11:57 PM and has received 158 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 michael@savewoodcreek.org 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 241 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 200 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
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5492361473?pwd=dEJDVHZvcW9VLzVyN0VvNklRMm5odz09

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 121 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