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The importance of this property not only to nature and the animals, but to the community and youth, their education, and their future as well.  HOW appreciates all the support from our neighbors and newly found friends and businesses.



HOW Animals gallery

There are many animals in the HOW property, and  the development of the property  would impact not only their welfare but even the survival of the wide variety of species that call “The Boy Scout Property” home.


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The North Creek Forest is 63.8 acres on the side of Maywood Hill in Bothell, Washington. This second growth, mature forest has nine wetlands and seven streams connecting to North Creek, the Sammamish Slough and the Puget Sound.


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A non-profit group of residents and businesses defending the natural refuge in the heart of Bothell, WA

The North Creek Forest is 63.8 acres on the side of Maywood Hill in Bothell, Washington. This second growth, mature forest has nine wetlands and seven streams connecting to North Creek, the Sammamish Slough and the Puget Sound. The importance of the fresh water feeding these waterways is shown in the salmon habitat provided supporting the Sound’s Orca population. There has been increased development allowed in this area because it is within the Urban Growth Boundary line set to control urban sprawl. The life of North Creek and the surrounding wetlands has received attention from various agencies, conservancy groups and governances.


A unique aspect of the North Creek Forest is its size. Complete forests usually require over 100 acres to be functional. The North Creek Forest is remarkable in its compactness of size. It is a stable, mature, complete forest sustaining numerous species of wildlife, many usually only sustainable in large, mature forests. This forest still exists because this side of Maywood Hill is very steep and difficult to build on. Added to that difficulty is the fact that this hill’s original name was “Spring Hill” as is clearly evidenced by the amount of wetlands and streams occurring on its side. This forest is directly adjacent to the I-405 corridor, which adds a favorable impact to the larger area of commuters. King and Snohomish Counties appreciate the pleasant visual statement entering and leaving their boundaries provided by the North Creek Forest.


The forest is home to animals frequenting the UW/Cascadia wetlands and the North Creek business park. The UW/Cascadia wetland is an extensive reclamation project that includes a wetland interpretive center. There are 58 acres reclaimed from farmland and development zoning in this project. The wide variety of wildlife (link) frequenting the wetlands resides in the North Creek Forest. The forest provides a wildlife corridor for surrounding areas whose fragile balance is dependent on the forest. This jewel of a mature forest feeding wetlands and streams is literally located within a city, easily accessible for educational and relaxation purposes. It is a complex, self-sustaining eco-system in compact form.


While other coniferous forests are threatened with low regeneration (4% in a 2009 study ), this 63.8-acre forest is providing protection for a suite of birds. It is indicative of a high quality coniferous forest. The trees are “vertical water towers” providing amazing erosion control and air quality. Nature is providing an unparalleled opportunity for benefit to a much larger area than the 63.8 acres.


Currently, the 63.8 acres are divided into 6 parcels, 5 of which are in King County and the last in Snohomish County. Two of the parcels are owned by a developer, two others by The Boy Scouts and currently for sale, and the remaining 2 parcels are privately owned whom are interested in selling.  It is HOW’s (Help Our Woods) mission to continue pursuing opportunities to preserve the remaining forest. HOW believes we have a window of opportunity during the economic downturn to purchase the remaining properties and preserve this forest for a greater good that affects more than just Bothell residents.


Wetlands Conservation –

On December 12, 1989 Governor Booth Gardner announced that half the states wetlands were gone, and 2000 more were vanishing each year. So he issued an order:

For each marshy piece of ground paved, another would be created to replace it.


A single acre of wetland can store a million gallons of water. In dry times, the water is released to nurture hundreds of species of insects, amphibians, wildlife and fish as well as replenish ground water. Wetlands are the kidneys of our ecosystem, providing filtration and protection from flooding. Everything has to move through wetlands from the Cascades to the Puget Sound. Wetlands should only be destroyed as a last resort.


Tree Conservation-

Trees are absolutely vital. Trees can be called the lungs of an ecosystem. An average tree absorbs 10 pounds of pollutants from the air each year, including four pounds of ozone and three pounds of particulates. Trees also help absorb CO2. A single acre of trees can remove 2.6 tons of CO2 each year. The entire world needs Washington State forests.


Forested areas provide a home for a wide variety of wildlife and can provide buffers between developed areas. Forests do the added job of counteracting pollution. Nothing has the same worldwide impact as a forest.


The North Creek Forest on the side of Maywood Hill in Bothell has different names. It is frequently referred to as the North Creek Reach, or the Boy Scout Property or the Boy Scout Assemblage, but the forest benefits North Creek which flows into the Sammamish Slough and eventually wends it’s way to the Puget Sound. This is an example of a compact, complete forest carrying an enormous impact.


Surrounding areas in Bothell have been developed losing trees, vegetation, wetlands, and streams. With this development noise and air pollution from I-405 has increased and the threat of losing many more acres of mature forest to development has fostered increased community concern.

About the “Boy Scout” Property