Protection of natural lands not only retains habitat for Washington’s native plants and wildlife, but also offers humans benefits through ecological services like carbon storage, groundwater recharge, flood and drought mitigation, and stormwater filtration.
To date, SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve has placed 109 acres under preservation. Join us in protecting green spaces in a rapidly urbanizing corner of King County, today!
SHADOW’s Wetland Complex
Shadow Lake Bog
The famous Shadow Lake Bog is the jewel and founding inspiration of the Nature Preserve. This 5,000-year-old, peat-moss bog is a remnant of the Puget Lobe Glacier, which once covered the majority of Western Washington. SHADOW Lake Bog is the only spaghnum-hemlock peat bog known to be under protection in Washington state. The bog’s unique soil and water qualities mean that it is home to plants found nowhere else in Washington.
Lakefront and Scrub/shrub Wetland
Along the banks of Shadow Lake, shrubby vegetation lines the shore. This low-growing vegetation shades the banks of the lake, cools the water, and supports invertebrates and other life. Look for salmonberry, Douglas spirea, willows, and red osier dogwood growing along the sides of the bank. Scrub/shrub wetlands are ideal locations to spot local birds, as they nest and fish in this area. This area is great for seeing mammal tracks as well, as the wetlands are a source of drinking water. The soil in this area of the Nature Preserve is flooded during the growing season with still, standing water.
SHADOW’s Upland Forests
The Woods property is one of the largest habitats stewarded by SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve, representing approximately 42 acres of land, perched above the scrub/shrub wetlands of the lakefront property. This habitat is composed of a mixture of second-growth forest and a few old-growth trees. A walk along the Woods Trail offers views of mature western red cedar trees, sword ferns, and salmonberry growing along the side of seasonal streams. The headwaters of Jenkins Creek also originates in this area, carrying cool clean water into through Soos Creek and the Green River, out to the Puget Sound through Elliott Bay.
The Alder Grove
The Alder Grove site represents approximately 10 acres and experienced a complex history before coming under SHADOW’s stewardship. The area was clear-cut for logging in the 1990s. Volunteer alders grew up amongst the weeds, overcrowded and in high competition for the limited-resources. After this, replanting of conifer trees largely failed and invasive Himalayan Blackberry and English Holly thrived in the disturbed site. Since SHADOW acquired the property in 2005, volunteers have slowly chipped away at the invasive plants.Throughout the next several years, the Nature Preserve has a large-scale restoration project in progressthat aids natural forest succession to return this land to its potential.