Lisa Parsons originally had the idea to preserve the area because she would ride her bike from Covington to Maple Valley through the park. After exploring the area she realized what a gem it was to have an area of mature forest, intact wetlands, and critical wildlife habitat.
Mature forest with a multi-storied canopy and trees that were as much as 80 years old mark this unique area. Steep hillsides are abundant with small seeps and springs. Wetlands fill a bench at the northern edge of the property that then feeds into one of the largest wetland systems left in King County along Jenkins creek. The forest serves as healthy habitat for a wide variety of wildlife including deer, mt. beaver, flying squirrels, raccoons, coyote, and occasionally elk and black bear. Additionally the wetlands are visited by Heron, Red tailed Hawk, eagles, and Osprey.
The main property has approximately 1.5 miles of old road bed that serves as a connection between Covington and Maple Valley. It has the potential to become a connecter trail between the Soos Creek trail to the west and the Cedar River trail to the east in the future.
There are also unimproved foot trails that cross the property. An additional 35 acres to the north of the 84 acres was added in 2005. The city of Covington purchased two properties with a grant from King County Conservation Futures money and a special city fund for park acquisition. The property was sold to the city of Covington by two land owners, the Gardners and Moe Munch. Both landowners wanted to see their property added to the park and waited until funding could be secured to do so. Covington set up a life estate for the Gardners aging parents who wanted to remain on the property until they could no longer live there. They recently moved from the property. Their love of the property and their legacy will not be forgotten.
The 35 acres is an amazing acquisition. It consists of two branches of Jenkins creek, a salmon bearing creek. An open water pond that river otters and other wildlife frequent. An old house along an open grassy area that could serve as an event center, retreat, or educational space. Also there is over 300 species of rhododendrons that the Burgess planted over the years along with many other species of plants. Mo Munch’s property and the backside of the Burgess property have mature forest and a steeper ravine that one of the branches of Jenkins Creek flows through. The front part of the Burgess property is part of the extensive wetland complex along Jenkins creek.
In 2016 King County acquired an additional 8 acres of land to the north of the lower 35 that protects wetlands associated with Jenkin's creek.
This is such a unique area to have in public ownership and it is a lasting legacy of natural space for the two communities of Covington and Maple Valley to enjoy. The founders of Middle Green River Coalition spearheaded the effort to save this property because they realized that there were very few places like this left in southeast King County and it protects an important wetland system vital to salmon recovery. Today community members are continuing the effort by working with King County, Covington, and surrounding homeowners to develop the trails and promote stewardship.
About Cedar Creek Park
Leia Duckworth is the past King County Park Ambassador 2013-15 for the park.
King County Parks
King County manages the 84 acres referred to as the Cedar Downs site. They are working with the community to improve existing trails, add trail linkages, and put up signs. They awarded a grant to MGRC to build new trail in the park.
Cedar Downs H.O.A.
Cedar Downs HOA has supported improving existing trails and recruited volunteers to help with trail maintenance. The also purchased a memorial bench for Gary Patrick, a Cedar Downs homeowner and past Maple Valley city council member, who was instrumental in getting the park conserved.
Join Our Team
PARK SUMMARY: Cedar Creek Park is between Covington and Maple Valley. The 127 acre park is located between Tall Timbers / Timberlane Housing developments to the west and Cedar Downs and SE 248th to the east.
The main park site consists of 84 acres of mature forest that was originally owned by Department of Natural Resources and was part of the school trust lands. The last time the property was logged was in the 1930s. Mature forest is unusual in Southeast King County since most lands were tree farms and have been logged numerous times.
Courtney Feeney is the past King County Park Ambassador 2013 for the park.
The city of Covington has supported the efforts of FCCP with the acquisition of the additional 35 acres of property to add to the King County property. They currently are working on a trail plan that will connect Covington to Maple Valley through the park.
I have lived in Cedar Downs since late 1992. My husband Kurt, daughter Carley and I (and our dogs - there have been 5 over the years) have spent much time in "the woods"...now called Cedar Creek Park. We love to watch the changing of the seasons down there. The dogs LOVE running the trails and swimming in the ponds and laying in the mud. We love watching them! Our daughter was carried in a front pack down on those trails when she was just a tiny baby. Now she is an 18 year old and it's hard to get her down there!
I grew up in Edmonds - north of Seattle - and attended the U of W. I have a B.S. in Botany and master's coursework in Invertebrate Zoology. I have taught forms of HS Biology since 1988 at Hoquiam High School, all three Auburn High Schools and, currently, Tahoma High School. I advise the Environmental Club at Tahoma High.
In my free time I like to garden and cook. I run for pleasure (sometimes not!) and love to read when I have time.
Clare Vila Nance
Science Teacher/Global Academy
Environmental Club Advisor
Tahoma Senior High School