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News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Council Roundup: Habitat restoration approved

Master plan for new Surrey Downs park also presented

Native salmon populations are expected to reap immediate benefits from a major Kelsey Creek habitat restoration project approved Monday by theChinook salmon spawning in Kelsey Creek. Bellevue City Council.

The $1 million project on the west tributary of Kelsey Creek at Kelsey Creek Community Park calls for the restoration of 760 feet of historic stream channel, the replacement of three bridges to improve stream flow and various wetlands improvements.

When completed, the project is expected to provide better fish passage conditions, spawning habitat and cooler water temperatures that will help juvenile fish survive and develop. Flooding in the park also is expected to be reduced as a result of the project.

The Kelsey Creek work comes at a time when a number of environmental stewardship activities are underway or being planned throughout the city. The activities are part of a broader initiative approved last year by the City Council.

Historically, significant numbers of coho, chinook and sockeye salmon returned to spawn in the west tributary at Kelsey Creek Park and various points upstream.

However, over the past two decades or so, sediment deposits caused by development upstream raised and narrowed the channel to levels detrimental to healthy fish populations.

Ohno Construction Co. is expected to complete the Kelsey Creek project by late fall.

Proposed master plan for new Surrey Downs park unveiled
Hiking trails, a large open area, improved athletic fields and picnic facilities would all become part of a new park in the Surry Downs area under a proposed master plan unveiled before City Council members on Monday.

The Surrey Downs site as it currently looks.After extensive input from the community, the proposed plan was recommended for approval by the Parks & Community Services Board. Council is expected to approve the plan in July following an environmental review.

The city has long envisioned a first-class park in Surrey Downs on 112th Avenue Southeast, near Sixth Street. The city has operated a small park on the site since 1986 when an elementary school there was closed, and in 2005 acquired the entire 11.46-acrea parcel from the county. The county still operates a district court and offices on the site under a lease with the city.

The proposed master plan separates the property into two areas -- the largest portion for general park amenities and a smaller site along 112th where a community center or some other structure could be built in future years. A separate plan will be developed with community input once the general park master plan is approved.

Funding to begin work on the general park has been preliminarily endorsed by Council members as part of a new parks funding measure the Council is considering putting on the ballot this fall.

The measure is designed to replace parks bonds that will expire this year, and provide additional investments citywide in Bellevue's nationally acclaimed park system. The Council is expected to decide by summer whether to put a measure on the ballot.

The Council Agendas and Council Minutes pages offer complete information regarding Council meetings.

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