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!

City Mtg Sept 14 Finn Hill Proposed Street Connections

Posted by on Sep 11, 2017 in Blog, Featured, Neighborhood Plan, Transportation | 2 comments

City Mtg Sept 14 Finn Hill Proposed Street Connections

The next Planning Commission meeting will be a held on Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 7:00pm in the Kirkland City Hall Council Chambers.  The agenda item is  Finn Hill Neighborhood Plan – Proposed Street Connections, File No. CAM15-01754 Staff Contact: Janice Coogan, 425-587-3257 or jcoogan@kirklandwa.gov The meeting agenda and packet is now available to view online. Or here is the pdf: Finn Hill Neighborhood Plan Proposed Street Connections_CAM15-01754_0914  Excerpt from the packet: The July 27, 2017 Planning Commission study session packet...

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Climate Change Tip Sheet for September

Posted by on Sep 11, 2017 in Blog, Climate Action, Featured | 0 comments

Climate Change Tip Sheet for September

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 make sense if you work from home.  However we hope to inspire all of you to take the actions that are personally feasible and have an impact. If you...

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Crossing Kirkland Sept 9 from 12 to 3PM

Posted by on Sep 6, 2017 in Blog, Events Committee | 0 comments

Crossing Kirkland Sept 9 from 12 to 3PM

City-Wide Block Party “Crossing Kirkland” Walk, Bike, Eat and Meet on the Cross Kirkland Corridor on September 9, 2017, from 12 to 3 p.m. The event, designed and put on by Kirkland’s neighborhood associations, is family-friendly. The event features six stations along the Cross Kirkland Corridor (CKC) interim trail with food truck vendors, games, crafts and exploration activities. Each station is hosted by a different neighborhood. Consult the station map on the Crossing Kirkland website for exact locations. A shuttle will also be available...

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Special bulletin for Holmes Point residents: Come to today’s Council meeting & support better rules to protect trees!

Posted by on Sep 5, 2017 in Blog, Communication Committee, Holmes Point Overlay, Neighborhood Plan | 0 comments

Special bulletin for Holmes Point residents: Come to today’s Council meeting & support better rules to protect trees!

Dear Holmes Point neighbors and friends, FHNA is writing to urge you to attend tonight’s City Council meeting on emergency legislation to help protect trees in the Holmes Point area. The Council will decide whether to keep or cancel a recent ordinance that should give you more say on tree preservation in Holmes Point housing developments. The Council meeting starts at 7:30pm – Tuesday, September 5 – and will be held in City Hall at 123 Fifth Avenue in downtown Kirkland. As you may recall from earlier emails, the Kirkland...

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Household Items Fixed Free at LWTech Repair Cafes

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Household Items Fixed Free at LWTech Repair Cafes

Bring your small household items and clothing to the Repair Café and King County’s repair experts will fix them.  Sept 6 at Kingsgate Library and October 21 at Lake Washington Institute of Technology.  Go out to the Kirkland Reporter page for an eligible item list. Walk-in or sign up to be sure your item can be repaired.

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Neighborhood Plan Meeting on Sept 7 Postponed

Posted by on Aug 29, 2017 in Blog, Community Meetings, Holmes Point Overlay, Neighborhood Plan | 0 comments

Neighborhood Plan Meeting on Sept 7 Postponed

The calendar of meetings relating to the Finn Hill neighborhood plan has changed. In brief, the City is postponing the open house on the neighborhood plan that was scheduled for September 7 at St John Vianney Church. The Planning Commission will also delay a public hearing on the plan that it had scheduled for September 14. These changes were made by the Planning Commission at its meeting on August 24. The Commission has asked City staff to return on September 14th with more information about proposed street connections on Finn Hill. The...

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One last summer hike on Finn Hill

Posted by on Aug 26, 2017 in Blog, Parks, Trails | 0 comments

One last summer hike on Finn Hill

Big Finn Hill Park 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...

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Holmes Point residents: Tell the Planning Commission what you think about preserving trees and downzoning parts of the neighborhood

Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in Blog, Holmes Point Overlay, Neighborhood Plan, Policy Committee | 0 comments

Holmes Point residents: Tell the Planning Commission what you think about preserving trees and downzoning parts of the neighborhood

Dear Holmes Point neighbors: Following up on yesterday’s message about the Planning Commission meeting on Thursday night, we’re posting a copy of FHNA’s letter to the Commission regarding the Holmes Point Overlay ordinance (HPO). Click here to read it. To help you get up to speed, we’re providing a quick summary of the ordinance in the following paragraphs. And we have an important message about downzoning (i.e. reducing housing densities) in parts of Holmes Point. FHNA urges you to read on and then tell the Planning Commission what you...

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Holmes Point tree ordinance: important meeting at Planning Commission on Thursday Aug 24

Posted by on Aug 22, 2017 in Blog, Communication Committee, Community Meetings, Holmes Point Overlay, Neighborhood Plan, Policy Committee | 0 comments

Holmes Point tree ordinance: important meeting at Planning Commission on Thursday Aug 24

Dear Finn Hill Neighbors: For all of you who came to DennyFest on Sunday, thanks for joining us at O.O. Denny Park — and if you stood in line waiting for food, thank you for your patience! Looking forward, we’re alerting you to several important meetings about the neighborhood plan and Holmes Point Overlay ordinance coming up in the next few days and weeks. We urge you take advantage of these opportunities to participate in the City’s process for finalizing recommendations on the neighborhood plan and the HPO. The Planning...

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Meeting on Holmes Point Overly (HPO) Aug 24 Thursday at 7pm

Posted by on Aug 21, 2017 in Blog, Holmes Point Overlay, Neighborhood Plan | 0 comments

Meeting on Holmes Point Overly (HPO) Aug 24 Thursday at 7pm

The next Planning Commission meeting will be a held on Thursday, August 24, 2017 at 7:00pm in the Kirkland City Hall Council Chambers. The Planning Commission will discuss the tree retention and code enforcement in the Holmes Point Overlay zone. The Planning Commission will provide direction to City Planning  staff on the following items in preparation for the September 14th public hearing related to the Finn Hill Neighborhood Plan: 1. Draft code amendments to KZC Chapter 15, 70, 95, KMC 1.12.00 related to zoning, tree retention and code...

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