Skykomish Valley to the Salish Sea: A Corridor of Sustainability

Securing lands and communities that interlock and reinforce each other in what we call a Corridor of Sustainability

Photo by Kristi Dranginis

Thanks to support from people like you, Forterra is securing the places—urban rural and wild—that are keystones of a Pacific Northwest that thrives even as it changes and grows.

The Skykomish River originates in the Cascades and flows west, navigating tight canyons and steep drops and widening into shallows. South of Monroe, it joins the Snoqualmie River to form the Snohomish, which heads northwest, skirting fast-growing Everett and emptying into Puget Sound. The rivers travel the ancestral home of the Coast Salish people. Today the Tulalip Tribes hunt, fish, and gather on these lands, according to tradition and with treaty protection.

Settlers shaped the land, laying roads, rails, and trails, logging, plowing, and building. Today a rapidly growing population is encroaching on farmland and forests. Forterra is helping to retain these natural spaces and rural livelihoods. There is important work to be done — vulnerable lands to protect, rivers to restore, small towns whose economies are evolving, and urban centers whose growth calls for sound policy.

Background

By 2040, it’s estimated our region’s population will grow 27%.

The Pacific Northwest is booming.

People love the breathtaking beauty and recreational opportunities in our mountains, forests and rivers, as well as the character of rural towns, farms and timberlands.

What will happen to the spirit, beauty and communities of this unique place as we grow? The farms, trails and old growth that we love are at risk of being lost to sprawl and logging.

From the Skykomish Valley to the Salish Sea, roughly along the path of Highway 2, Forterra is securing lands and communities that interlock and reinforce each other in what we call a Corridor of Sustainability. In work dating back more than a decade, we are progressively conserving wildlands and recreational trails, conserving land for farms and working forests, spurring economic development in struggling rural towns, and incentivizing smart growth in fast-growing Everett.

Forterra, Windy Ridge, trees, mountains

Vision

Along the Corridor running through the Skykomish Valley to the Salish Sea is a collection of keystone places that make our Pacific Northwest great.

Forterra recognizes that no parcel of land, stretch of river, or community exists in isolation. Working closely with partners, we have embarked on an initiative that addresses the needs of communities and landscapes along the Skykomish and Snohomish Rivers to support livability and prosperity in cities and towns; support responsible recreation; encourage growth within our existing footprint; strengthen food systems; and conserve wild and working rural lands. These dozen-plus programs create a powerful synergy, advancing environmental and economic sustainability throughout the corridor.

Forterra is working with communities throughout the Corridor on keystone projects that will stop sprawl, protect farmland and link economic revitalization to outdoor recreation.

Projects

At the eastern end, Forterra secured 640 ecologically rich acres at Windy Ridge, home to ancient trees and habitat for a variety of wildlife that are endangered or threatened. At the western end is Everett where hundreds of volunteers engage in hands-on care of parks through Forterra’s Green City Partnership and where we’re working with the community to reimagine the Everett Station District as a neighborhood of public transit, affordable homes, healthy parks, and small businesses.

Since 1993, Forterra has conserved 11,100 acres along the corridor. We have also begun a long-term plan to manage invasive plants and restore salmon habitat throughout the river system. Working with a coalition of  municipalities, businesses, tribes, government agencies, and conservation groups, we are supporting responsible river recreation. These are just a few of many projects that fill out a plan of action to address environmental health, economic need, and community wellbeing in concert.

MALONEY CREEK & FOREST

Protect critical habitat and save 50 acres of old growth forest from the imminent risk of logging.

Learn more about Maloney Creek.

Maloney Creek by Charlie Raines

HEALTHY CITIES

Everett is preparing for upward of 75,000 new residents by 2040.

Forterra is keeping our cities great places to live by working to prepare for and welcome growth. We’re helping to reimagine Everett Station District—with the transit center and a future light rail stop at its heart—and are working to secure the land needed to realize the community vision of creating a vibrant place with affordable homes, healthy parks and successful small businesses as the neighborhood transforms.

Help us work with the community to ensure Everett grows gracefully and stays a great place to live.

Learn more about Green City Partnerships.

Everett Station District

FARMS & FORESTS

Farms and forests are essential to our human and natural ecosystems—but they’re first in line to absorb our rapid growth if we don’t take action.

Our farmlands and timberlands are vital to our way of life and to the livelihood of rural communities in our Pacific Northwest. These working lands provide local food, wood supply and jobs. They also provide habitat connectivity, recreation and a protective buffer for our cherished wildlands.

Help us conserve these essential places before they’re lost forever.

Learn more about working farms.

Ninety Farms Arlington Washington

RECREATION

The Skykomish Valley to Salish Sea Corridor is a recreation paradise for hikers, cyclists, mountain bikers, climbers, paddlers and more.

As our region grows, these cherished places to recreate are becoming over-crowded. Following the successful effort to save the beloved Lake Serene Trail, Forterra is joining with partners to consider new hiking and mountain-biking trails amid the area’s spectacular beauty. Respect for the area’s Native American heritage and its sensitive environment will be key.

Learn more about Lake Serene.

VIBRANT TOWNS

The hiking, mountain biking and water trails along the Corridor support hundreds of thousands of users annually—a number that continues to grow each year. Marysville, Snohomish, Monroe, Sultan, Gold Bar, Index and Skykomish are poised to benefit from nearby hiking trails and river access.

Help revitalize local economies through improved access and increased safety of outdoor recreation.

Forterra is helping these rural towns capture the opportunity of recreation-based economic development through planning and revitalization.

Learn more about historic Skykomish.

Skykomish Community Garden

WILDLIFE & OLD GROWTH

With your help we have saved 640 acres filled with towering, moss-covered old growth, meadows and lakes on Windy Ridge, near Stevens Pass. The land offers habitat for endangered species such as northern spotted owl, lynx, wolverine, wolf and grizzly bear.

Learn more about Windy Ridge.

Forterra, Windy Ridge, trees, mountains

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