Saving the Juanita Woodlands

Saving the Juanita Woodlands

In 2001, DCNA turned to another important challenge: Saving what became known as the “Juanita Woodlands,” a 40-acre island of forest amid the rapidly expanding residential and commercial development of Kirkland’s Juanita area. The state had made known its possible intention to sell this parcel of woodlands along Juanita Drive. Held as School Trust Land by the State of Washington as a potential revenue source for the construction of public schools, the land was at risk of being sold to private developers, who would likely clear cut the forest for new housing. DCNA led an effort to convince King County to help fund public purchase of the land.

To help fund the land acquisition, DCNA supporters pledged to contribute half a million dollars of their own funds. Impressed by this grassroots commitment, the County Council bought the property and dedicated it as permanent open space. In 2008, at the end of a five-year pledge campaign, DCNA presented King County with a check for $500,000 dollars. It also secured additional funding from the state legislature. The King County Council responded by recognizing DCNA and its supporters for having come through in saving the Juanita Woodlands.

Since then, DCNA (and now, FHNA) has worked with the County and forestry experts on a multi-year program to [link to Woodlands Project] restore the Woodlands to health, by identifying diseased trees and clearing them. Volunteers gather several times each year to plant new seedlings, in so doing diversifying the species in the woods and enhancing both its health and its long-term aesthetics. So far, nearly 7000 new trees have been planted.

The Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance is an independent, community-based nonprofit, which started out as a grassroots volunteer organization called the Denny Creek Neighborhood Alliance (DCNA), formed in 1994. Organized to protect the quality of the community’s rich woodlands and waterways, it also raised public awareness of these natural backyard treasures over many years’ time.

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