Denny Creek Preservation

When you think of the term “watershed,” you may imagine a river or creek winding through a remote wilderness. In fact, you don’t need hiking boots to visit a watershed – you’ve got one in your own backyard.

As a city like Seattle expands, more and more residential and business areas become a part of a local watershed — an area of land that channels surface water downhill into a larger waterbody, such as a river, lake or ocean. Residents of the Finn Hill/Kenmore/Holmes Point neighborhoods live in the Denny Creek watershed.

And just like in other urban watersheds, our actions have had a profound effect on the groundwater and natural habitat areas right outside our doors.

A Unique Urban Watershed

The Denny Creek watershed encompasses 860-acres of residential, commercial and natural areas between Kenmore and Kirkland. Rainwater channels into a series of tributaries that merge into O.O. Denny Creek, which flows into Lake Washington at O.O. Denny Park. The stream and its tributaries cross through a series of parklands: the 47-acre O.O. Denny Park, an adjacent 7.5. acre parcel called the Susan MacDonald Memorial Forest, and the adjoining 218-acre Big Finn Hill Park.

These parklands, revered by local residents and recreationists, support native plants and trees, such as Douglas fir, big leaf maple, and salmonberry; and an array of wildlife, including eagle, heron, owls, pileated woodpecker, coyote and a host of other species.

The Effects of Human Activity

As water flows over the ground in an urban watershed, it can pick up nutrients, sediment and pollutants, such as fertilizer and pesticides. Like many urban watersheds, human activity has had a profound effect on Denny Creek and adjoining natural areas. Development has increasingly encroached on Denny Creek as neighboring steep slopes are cleared and drainage patterns altered.

A study conducted by King County in 1987 revealed a growing threat to property from erosion and the damage to fish habitat due to barriers to fish migration and degradation of water quality. One of the visible effects of erosion was a build-up of silt at the mouth of Denny Creek, which blocked migrating fish from entering the stream.  In the years to follow, additional research noted an absence of adult Coho Salmon and resident cutthroat trout in the upper part of the stream, further raising concern for the health of the stream and its watershed.

“…to Preserve, Protect, and Restore…”

Despite the alarming results from impact studies, the county had no over-arching plan to protect the stream and its adjoining habitat. Neighborhood discussions turned to calls for action. In 1994, the Denny Creek Neighborhood Alliance (DCNA) was born. DCNA’s charter program set an ambitious goal to restore the natural habitat of Denny Creek and its watershed–including protecting the neighboring Juanita Woodlands from residential development.

Over the years, DCNA has made significant progress towards our initial goals; however, our work is never complete. That’s why we continue to appreciate the efforts of volunteers, local residents, and supportive businesses and government agencies. Together, we are helping to maintain a healthy environment for everyone who lives, works, and plays within the Denny Creek watershed.

Progress Report

Survey and Assessment of the Denny Creek Watershed

In 2008, members of DCNA completed an exhaustive survey of the watershed topography and an analysis of the natural areas’ capability to sustain a healthy habitat for native species, including salmon and trout in Denny Creek. The 2007 Denny Creek Watershed Survey provided the community and government agencies with an invaluable assessment of the impact of development and drainage engineering on Denny Creek and its 860-acre watershed.

Read the report

Denny Creek Salmon Restoration Project

From its inception, DCNA has resolved to restore the health of Denny Creek to support native fish species. In 2006, we completed a fish ladder, making the entire 1.3 miles of creek in these two parks accessible to salmon. The efforts of dozens engineers, biologists and volunteers like you have had a profoundly positive effect: salmon fry have returned to the creek, either from incubated Coho salmon eggs or from other active salmon runs.

You Can Help!

Through generous donations and on-site efforts by local residents and professionals, we continue to reach critical milestones in our effort to restore and preserve the Denny Creek watershed, and mitigate the effects of urban development. Please consider sharing your time or a tax-deductible gift–learn how you can help!

Climate Change Tip Sheet from Kirkland Citizens Climate Lobby

Posted by on Jul 6, 2017 in Blog, Climate Action, Featured | 0 comments

Climate change is affecting real people right now and the problem gets worse and the solutions harder the longer we put off doing something about it. Most of you are concerned and want to take action but are often somewhat overwhelmed. We have been asked to provide a series of monthly tips on personal actions that can have an effect. Obviously not every action will be equally possible for everyone: putting up solar panels is out if you rent or live in a house that is heavily tree-shaded and using public transportation to get to work doesn’t...

read more

Volunteer at the Farmer Markets

Posted by on Jun 26, 2017 in Blog, Community Committee, Volunteer | 0 comments

Volunteer at the Farmer Markets

Love your neighborhood? Love conversation? Then an ideal volunteer opportunity has come your way! FHNA hosts an information booth every year at local farmer’s markets as part of our non-profit program. Duties may include set-up or take-down of booth, handing out brochures, answering questions, and sharing what FHNA is all about. Volunteers need only commit to a 1-3-hour shift on the following dates: Juanita Beach Friday Market, 3pm – 7pm August 4 September 8 *Setup 1pm – 3pm Kirkland Wednesday Market, 2pm – 7pm July 19...

read more

Take the Kirkland Housing Survey

Posted by on Jun 26, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Take the Kirkland Housing Survey

As part of the update to the City’s Housing Strategy, the Housing Strategy Advisory Group has released a Housing Strategy Survey. The survey will be online until July 15. Its purpose is to gauge community sentiment around local housing issues in Kirkland for the advisory group’s report back to the City Council.

read more

Hike Finn Hill parks this summer

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017 in Blog, Featured, Parks, Trails, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Hike Finn Hill parks this summer

Big Finn Hill Park This is a King County park located on Finn Hill.  It has 220 acres and 9.5 miles of trails to explore Douglas Fir, Madrona, Cedars, ferns and spotting deer, owls and owls. King County description:  This 220-acre park has a range of recreation options, as well as being a wooded urban oasis along Juanita Drive. To the east of the road, the park offers ballfields, a play area, a picnic shelter and natural surface trails; to the west of the road, trails loop through the forest. The trails are frequented by mountain bikers, dog...

read more

Bulletin: Bothell Council to vote on preserving Wayne Golf Course on June 20 (Tuesday)

Posted by on Jun 18, 2017 in Blog, Parks, Policy Committee | 1 comment

Bulletin: Bothell Council to vote on preserving Wayne Golf Course on June 20 (Tuesday)

Dear Finn Hill Neighbors: Wayne Golf Course, which straddles the Sammamish Slough at Bothell Way and the north end of 100th, was slated for development a few years ago, until a group of neighbors — OneBothell — stepped up. With Forterra’s help, they bought time to gather funding for a terrific 89 acre park. Millions have already been raised, but now OneBothell needs support from Bothell’s City Council, plus additional financial resources from the state. The Council meets on Tuesday, June 20. If you like the idea of...

read more

Finn Hill June Meetings – St. Edwards, Park Board, Planning Commission

Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 in Blog, Community Meetings, Neighborhood Plan | 0 comments

Finn Hill June Meetings – St. Edwards, Park Board, Planning Commission

Dear Finn Hill Neighbors:  Here’s a quick run down on upcoming meetings that concern our neighborhood: Monday, June 12 – Kenmore City Council: The Kenmore City Council will hear a status report on its plan to enter into a 20 year lease for the ball fields at St. Edward State Park. Kenmore plans to install artificial turf and lighting for evening games. FHNA has taken no position on St. Edward development plans because the park is outside of our neighborhood boundaries, but many Finn Hill residents use the park and have strong...

read more

A 10 Minute Guide to Zoning

Posted by on Jun 11, 2017 in Blog, Neighborhood Plan, Policy Committee | 0 comments

A 10 Minute Guide to Zoning

A 10 Minute Guide to Zoning If you want some control over the look and feel of where you live, you need to understand a bit about zoning ordinances. They tell your neighboring property owners (or developers) what they can build on a piece of land – how many homes, how big they can be, how many trees can be cut down.  And once a property owner files an application to develop a parcel in accordance with existing zoning, there’s really not much you can do to stop him or her so long as what’s being proposed meets the zoning criteria. In short, if...

read more

Climate Change Tip Sheet

Posted by on Jun 10, 2017 in Blog, Climate Action, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Climate Change Tip Sheet

Climate change is affecting real people right now and the problem gets worse and the solutions harder the longer we put off doing something about it. Most of you are concerned and want to take action but are often somewhat overwhelmed.  We have been asked to provide a series of monthly tips on personal actions that can have an effect.  Obviously not every action will be equally possible for everyone: putting up solar panels is out if you rent or live in a house that is heavily tree-shaded and using public transportation to get to work doesn’t...

read more

Forest Bathing on Finn Hill?

Posted by on Jun 3, 2017 in Blog, Parks | 0 comments

Forest Bathing on Finn Hill?

In recent weeks, I’ve had conversations where people have mentioned reading or hearing about the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing.” The general idea is that spending time in the forest has been shown to reduce stress and improve health. Even though the term may be new to us and suddenly popular in certain circles (you can read more about it in this Washington Post article), it’s certainly not a new idea or specific to the Japanese. Many cultures—hundreds of years before our urbanized lifestyle—prescribed time among the...

read more

Finn Hill Plan and Re-Zoning review on Thurs, May 25

Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Blog, Neighborhood Plan | 0 comments

Finn Hill Plan and Re-Zoning review on Thurs, May 25

Dear Finn Hill Neighbors: This is a quick follow up to my previous email about the Finn Hill neighborhood plan, which the Planning Commission wil review on Thursday (tomorrow) at 7pm in the Council meeting room at City Hall, 123 Fifth Avenue in downtown Kirkland. We hope you’ll be able to attend the meeting but if that won’t be possible, you can always submit questions and comments to the Planning Commissioners by letter (addressed to the Planning Commission at the City Hall address above) or by email to...

read more