Agreement Permanently Protects All 90 Acres for Public Use
StoryCurrent and former King County leaders joined with citizen group OneBothell, conservation non-profit Forterra, and local Bothell City Councilmembers at Wayne Golf Course today to announce an agreement with the owners of the 90-acre golf course that straddles the Sammamish River to acquire it for conservation purposes.
“Today is the culmination of more than twenty years of work to forever preserve the Wayne Golf Course for conservation purposes,” said Councilmember Rod Dembowski, who represents Bothell on the County Council. “Following news of a proposed development for the site early January of last year, I began meeting and working with local residents to protect this special land from developers. King County has prioritized protection of the land since the early 1990’s and I felt strongly that we should finish the vision to protect all of the property, including its more than 4,500 feet of shoreline along the Sammamish River.
“In the past year, we have been able to secure $1 million in King County Conservation Futures dollars and supported the successful efforts of Senator Rosemary McAuliffe and Representative Derek Stanford to appropriate an additional $1 million in state funding,” added Dembowski. “I am thrilled about the funding acquired to date and am confident that there is more to come.”
The public funding is expected to gradually reimburse Forterra for the acquisition moneys being advanced upfront to acquire the land today.
Councilmember Dembowski’s office has partnered with OneBothell for the past 13 months, as they have worked to grow community support to permanently protect Wayne Golf Course.
“I thank and commend the local residents who took the lead to protect this land forever. Together we built a strong coalition of partners, and today’s announcement is the result of this hard work,” said Dembowski.
“As we move into the next phase of this process, purchasing the land from Forterra and planning long term use, I know we will continue to need community involvement and support,” said Dembowski. “I want to give special thanks to Garrett Holbrook on my staff and Bob Burns, Deputy Director of King County’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks, for their tireless work on this project and their ongoing efforts to help develop the vision for the long-term uses on this property.”
King County started its protection of the Wayne land more than 20 years ago. Through the Conservation Futures bond measure passed by King County voters in 1993, King County provided the city of Bothell with nearly $1 million to acquire a robust conservation easement that has to-date protected roughly half the course from development.
These early efforts were led by former County Councilmembers Larry Phillips and Louise Miller, who both attended the press conference announcing today’s agreement.
Former King County Council Chair Larry Phillips authored the 1993 Conservation Futures Bond package at the King County Council that included funding to protect 26 acres of the front-nine of Wayne Golf Course.
”Often, really good things are worth working toward and waiting for, even if they seem impossible to obtain and take a long time. This is one of those moments, when all the efforts of the community come together and create a truly lasting legacy. Now, ALL of the Wayne Golf Course will be public open space for generations to come. It's time to celebrate!”
Former King County Councilmember Louise Miller represented the city of Bothell in 1995 when she authored legislation authorizing the preservation of an additional nearly 20 acres of the front-nine of the Wayne Golf Course.
“The vision of the community has always been the complete preservation of Wayne Golf Course. Our initial work to purchase a conservation easement in 1996 laid out a path to do just that, giving the city the first right to purchase the entire course for community use. I am proud that the citizens of Bothell took the initiative to fulfill that vision so that future generations can enjoy this beautiful piece of King County.”