Natural resource lands
Managing King County's working and ecological lands
The King County Natural Resource Lands (NRL) Program manages more than 14,000 acres of natural and working resource lands owned by King County. These lands comprise a diversity of landscapes ranging from historic farm lands in the Lower Green River Valley and working forest lands near the I-90 corridor, to riparian ecosystems along the Cedar River.
Lands managed by the Natural Resource Lands Program are divided into two management categories: ecological lands and working resource lands. Ecological lands are managed to protect valuable ecological systems such as riparian corridors and wetlands, and to preserve native habitat and biodiversity. Working resource lands are farms and forests that are managed to meet several objectives, including the production of food and wood products. Ecological and working resource lands provide low-impact passive recreational opportunities where appropriate.
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Ecological and working resource lands are just one part of King County's 28,000 acre open space system. The King County Parks and Recreation Division manages an additional 16,000 acres of sites in two management categories: active recreation (supporting ballfields, organized recreation activity, and regional trail systems) and multi-use sites (supporting active and passive recreation, with less intensely developed facilities and natural areas.) The King County Open Space System plan describes policies for Parks and Natural Resource Lands sites.
» Read the Natural Areas Rules Sign
In addition to planning for and managing ecological and working resource lands, the Natural Resource Lands Program helps coordinate the acquisition of future King County working resource and ecological properties that further implement the goals of the Natural Lands Program. The acquisition process is guided by programmatic plans for ecological and working resource sites, the King County Open Space System plan, and the Land Conservation Work Plan.
Stewardship and volunteer opportunities
Many of the working resource and ecological properties need your help! You can help care for these properties in many ways:
- Volunteer for a King County park volunteer event, such as planting trees or removing litter and/or invasive vegetation from an ecological or working resource property. You can also help as part of the Adopt-a-Park or Park Ambassador program. To find out more about future volunteer events, please contact Tina Miller .
- Please be mindful that King County working resource and ecological properties are sensitive areas and help ensure that low-impact passive recreation does not damage the ecological conditions on these sites.
- Pass on your awareness of King County's working resource and ecological properties to others!
Natural resource lands staff
NRL Program Manager
- Department of Natural Resources and Parks
- Parks and Recreation Division
- Water and Land Resources Division
News and announcements
Sept. 7, 2018
External article, Pacific Standard
More evidence that green space helps develop young brains
Hike with a purpose – become a weed watcher!
Training classes May 7 and June 3, 2018
Apr. 10, 2017
External article, ScienceDaily
Why green spaces are good for grey matter
July 25, 2016
External article, KCTS9/ earthFIX
An Urban Refuge Where Humans And Wildlife Coexist