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Welcome to KingStat 2015

June 2016

Christie True Our commitments to environmental stewardship and to providing the very best customer service set the tone for the work we do at the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks

There are so many ways that we positively in uence our residents’ quality of life, including providing regional parks and trails, protecting the region’s water, air, land, natural habitats and historic properties, and reducing, safely disposing of and creating resources from wastewater and solid waste

Here are a few highlights from 2015:

We had a critical role in updating the County’s 2015 Strategic Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollu- tion and prepare our region for climate change impacts Actions included leading a Smart Buildings pilot project using new software to track and reduce energy use and carbon emissions at several county buildings

Our commitment to equity intensi ed, not only by looking at our decisions, programs and practices through an equity lens, but by engaging the community in more meaningful ways Our Spanish-language outdoor movie sponsorship in White Center was a great chance to share information about County programs and services

We responded aggressively to the drought Water and Land Resources Division (WLRD) Firewise program employees helped forestland owners stay safe, while WLRD scientists tracked low river levels and high water temperatures – conditions potentially lethal to sh Our Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) continued pro- viding drought-proof recycled water for sports elds and golf courses, saving water in the Sammamish River

The Director’s Of ce and WLRD supported creation of the Local Food Initiative “Kitchen Cabinet Report,” outlining Executive Constantine’s priorities to expand access to healthy foods and get more locally grown food into kitchens and restaurants Progress in 2015 included selling Snoqualmie Valley’s Tall Chief property to farmers

The County’s Transfer of Development Rights agree- ment with the City of Seattle is steering development away from farms and forests and into cities In two years, the WLRD-led program has sold $2 million in develop- ment rights to Seattle developers and protected 900 acres of farmland

Nearly six acres of land along the Duwamish River was acquired for habitat restoration Because of its location where fresh river water mixes with Puget Sound’s saltwa- ter, the Chinook Wind site is a high priority for resto- ration in the Green-Duwamish River Watershed The restored site will include public access

King County’s rst local food and sustainable living festival, CHOMP!, took place at Marymoor Park, and featured hands-on activities and demonstrations from local farmers and sustainable businesses, local cuisine and live entertainment

Our Historic Preservation Program and 4Culture gave $2 5 million in grant awards for 30 historic preservation projects, and established a $2 million fund for acquisi- tion and redevelopment of historic properties Another $500,000 went to the County’s “Barn Again” grant program to preserve heritage barns

King County’s Solid Waste Division (SWD) recovered and diverted record levels of cardboard, scrap metal, and clean wood through its resource recovery pilot program In 10 months, the program diverted 2,861 tons out of the waste stream and back into the economy

SWD and nonpro t Zero Waste Vashon partnered in a yard and food waste pilot program at Vashon Recycling and Transfer Station, where residents and businesses can deliver yard and food waste to a designated area of the station for a reduced rate WTD leveraged favorable nancial conditions by re nancing $728 million in bonds to save $160 mil- lion over 30 years The state Court of Appeals af rmed a jury verdict awarding the County $144 million after nding a Brightwater tunneling contractor defaulted on contractual obligations

WTD made progress on four projects to control com- bined sewer over ows (CSOs), which are polluted runoff mixed with small amounts of sewage, including the Barton CSO Project, WTD’s rst green infrastruc- ture project, where roadside raingardens will capture and control runoff

The Parks Division completed construction on the 2 6-mile North Segment of the East Lake Sammamish Trail This is the third segment of the 11-mile-long trail converted from an interim soft-surface to a nished master-planned trail Two more segments remain

Parks acquired 345 acres of land that connect to or close gaps in existing public open space corridors and provide recreation access, including a missing link on the Foothills Trail between Enumclaw and Buckley, and Squak Mountain acreage in the Issaquah Alps

I’m extremely proud of this department and its employ- ees, and I hope you are equally proud of yourselves Wishing you a full year of happiness and success in 2016,

Sincerely,
Christie True, Director
King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks