Bill Craig Matt Phelps
Communications Specialist Communications Supervisor
County restored 17 acres in Woodinville area to natural condition
EVERETT, Wash., July 7, 2023 – Snohomish County Public Works will celebrate its work of returning 17 acres of land near Woodinville to its natural state with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Little Bear Creek Advance Mitigation Site (LBCAMS) on July 12, 2023. The event will be held from 2-3 p.m. with free parking and shuttles from Woodinville High School starting at 1 p.m. There is no on-site parking.
The county strategically purchased properties, located at 24063 58th Ave. S.E., for $755,000 in 2017 to save millions of dollars on future unavoidable wetland mitigation costs incurred to meet regulatory requirements for the construction of upcoming county road projects.
Prior to acquisition, portions of the parcels were cleared, filled, drained, over-grazed, and developed causing extensive alterations to wetlands, streams, and adjacent riparian habitats. The county removed 17 structures and associated utilities, decommissioned wells, removed more than 4.25 acres of wetland fill, removed extensive fencing, culverts, storm basins, underground drainpipe and electrical conduit, back-filled ditches that were draining wetlands, restored two perennial tributary streams, and enhanced soil with compost and wood chip mulch. More than 21,000 trees and shrubs were planted and over 100 woody and boulder habitat features were installed as part of the work. The project cost is approximately $4 million.
LBCAMS creates wetland credits for a projected 11 future construction projects. As the site matures over the next 10 years, approximately 100 credits will be available for upcoming projects such as improvements to Alderwood Mall Parkway and 43rd Ave SE. The value of the mitigation will increase to offset the impacts of needed improvements. Early projections estimate that savings could be up to $30 million dollars in wetland mitigation costs overall.
Snohomish County coordinated with multiple agencies and tribal governments, such as the Tulalip and Muckleshoot tribes, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Ecology and Department of Fish and Wildlife, and consulting design engineers at ESA Associates to rehabilitate the site. The Stillaguamish Tribe donated six large logs to enhance fish refuge habitat during flood events.
Public Works staff will continue to monitor the site during the next decade to ensure that the vegetation matures, and other habitat features meet performance standards. The site is now protected in perpetuity and left in its natural state as a conservation area.
For more information about the Little Bear Creek Advance Mitigation Site, visit www.snohomishcountywa.gov/4032.
What: Little Bear Creek Advance Mitigation Site Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
When: 2-3 p.m., July 12, 2023
Where: Mitigation site location, 24063 58th Ave. SE, Woodinville, Wash. There is no on-site parking.
Parking and Shuttle Location:
Shuttles will begin taking ceremony attendees from the Woodinville High School lower parking lot to the site at 1 p.m. Woodinville High School is located at 19819 136th Ave NE, Woodinville, WA 98072.
About Snohomish County Public Works
Snohomish County Public Works is responsible for approximately 1,600 miles of county roads, more than 200 bridges and manages about 200 traffic control signals. The department also processes nearly 600,000 tons of garbage per year. Its mission is to focus on safety and mobility while practicing fiscal responsibility and preserving the environment. Public Works has won numerous state and national honors for its work and is the largest department within Snohomish County government with approximately 500 employees plus seasonal staff. Its main office is located at 3000 Rockefeller Ave, Everett, WA 98201. Visit www.snohomishcountywa.gov/PublicWorks or follow the department on Facebook and Twitter for more information about Snohomish County Public Works