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Natural resource lands

Working and ecological lands in King County, Washington

Find plans, maps and other reference information related to natural lands in King County, Washington.

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Natural Resource Lands in King County, Washington

Green River Natural Area

Green River Location mapThe 922-acre Green River Natural Area extends slightly north from the edge of the Enumclaw Plateau. It is about seven miles east of Auburn along State Route 164 and roughly six miles northwest of Enumclaw. The natural area is comprised of the former Metzler, O'Grady and Green River Waterway Parks all adjacent to the Green River. The King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (DNRP) acquired the parcels between 1973 and 2003 with funds from a variety of sources.

Steep valley walls and a broad valley floor combine to create rich mosaics of plant communities that characterize the natural area. Mixed forest and deciduous upland forests cover much of the valley wall, with several forested and scrub-shrub wetlands nestled in the benches. Gallery cottonwood forests, deciduous forests, meadows (old pasture/agricultural fields), and forested, scrub-shrub, and emergent wetlands are common on the valley bottom. Native plant installation and invasive plant control enhancement efforts have occurred along with streambed restoration projects focused on improving salmonid habitat. Several of these wetlands form the headwaters of short tributaries to the Green River. The lower reaches of the wall-based streams in this area are utilized for spawning by coho and chum, and rearing by chinook, coho, chum and winter steelhead. Cutthroat trout have also been reported.

Green River Natural Area pictureVisitors to Green River Natural Area engage in activities such as walking, bicycling, nature observation and horseback riding, as well as fishing and river running activities such as rafting, tubing and kayaking. The O'Grady public access point is 500 ft. N. of the intersection of SE 373rd ST and 188th Ave. SE, Auburn, and the Metzler public access point is via a gravel road on the south side of SE Green Valley Rd. 2mi. west of its intersection with 218th Ave. The other sections of the natural area have little use due to limited access. The site is managed for the protection of its ecological value. Public access that does not harm the ecological value of the site is accommodated.

The Green River Natural Area Site Management Guidelines are available in Adobe Acrobat format. For help using Acrobat files, please visit our Acrobat help page.

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Green River Natural Area Site Management Guidelines