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.
Below you can read a series of articles about the history of the FHNA and DCNA. If you have a story to share, please let me know!
With the first day of April came the end of the decade-long management of Finn Hill parks by elected commissioners using funding generated by a tax local residents voted to place upon themselves. The Finn Hill Park and Recreation District was approved on November 20, 2002 following passage of ballot Proposition No. 1. The proposition was spurred by King County funding shortfalls that closed O.O. Denny Park in 2001 for lack of maintenance. Park neighbors rallied Finn Hill residents to create a taxing district, which received voter approval...read more
You’re invited! FHNA History Committee Forming Let’s take a journey through time together. Are you interested in local history? Would you like to discover our past and explore the roots of this amazing community? We’re looking for people who would like to join us in forming a history committee. There’s something wonderful about learning more about each other and where we’ve come from that brings us closer together and enriches our connection to one another. Learning about our history helps to deepen our knowledge of who we are as a...read more
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...read more
Having witnessed windstorms and landslides, as well as eroding streams, over the years, members of DCNA dedicated themselves first to two big challenges: soil and salmon restoration. After studying the terrain, and learning about the fragile soil structure deposited long ago by the movements of glaciers, and recognizing the role of tree roots in helping stabilize the soil, DCNA worked with King County staff to create laws that would protect mature trees and native vegetation. The Significant District Overlay (SDO) zoning rules was adopted by...read more
In 2007, a team of DCNA volunteers–George Ploudre, Kurt Seiffert, and Jim Sproull–completed a three-year study of Denny Creek and the 860-acre watershed surrounding it to assess the creek’s health and identify reasons why salmon and cutthroat trout were absent from it. Through extensive scientific testing and observation, the team concluded that housing developments above the creek were impeding the watershed’s ability to supply a controlled flow of water to Denny Creek, and also that King County drainage plans were moving water to...read more
Today’s FHNA is a little like the chili cook-off and pie bakeoff contests it sponsors ever year at its annual Denny Fest festival—all homemade, using natural ingredients made from scratch. The same grassroots spirit that pervades Denny Fenny started years before with DCNA’s Community Pride day, later renamed to Woodlands and Waterways Day. Then, as now, the festival stages local musicians, art shows, and exhibits, a barbeque picnic, and arts and crafts activities for kids and their parents and friends. View the DennyFest2012...read more
When Kirkland annexed Finn Hill in June 2011, DCNA had the chance to expand its horizons and be recognized by the City as a neighborhood association for all of Finn Hill. It is now Kirkland’s largest neighborhood with a population of over 15,000. At a public meeting on November 30, 2011, DCNA members amended the organization’s bylaws changed its name to Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance. At the same meeting, Finn Hill residents in attendance voted to adopt the newly named FHNA as the area’s neighborhood organization, approving a mission...read more
DCNA has carried out many more initiatives, among them parks litter cleanup, backyard wildlife sanctuaries, garden tours, and others. Here’s a list of DCNA projects over the years: Erosion control. Planting and armoring banks to control erosion of the lower O. O. Denny Creek. Trails. Maintaining and improving trails in O.O. Denny Park Beach restoration. Undertaking various activities to improve the beach areas at O.O.Denny Park, volunteers added their support to regular parks maintenance crews Erosion protection. Intervening when the...read more
In the beginning was the Woods. And the woods were with dogs. In the woods were trail walkers, and children, hikers and joggers. While it’s hard to pinpoint any specific Genesis story, friends and neighbors of Finn Hill and Holmes Point, walking in the forests and parks, and bumping frequently into each other, started talking in the early 1990s about forming an organization to care for the plants, animals, birds, and the natural landscape of the area. In 1994, a county grant for “Exploring Your Backyard Waterways” gathered Finn Hill...read more
When it looked like one of our beloved, local neighborhood parks, O.O. Denny Park, could be at risk of development, citizens throughout the neighborhood, with help from DCNA, wasted no time—banding together to save it. The county nearly closed the park for want of funds to maintain it, so DCNA organized and led a community effort to propose that a local park and recreation district be funded to maintain and operate the park. As a result of DCNA’s campaign, voters a small levy on local property taxes, to fund a new parks commission, the...read more