Mayor Mike McGinn and a beaver dam, in the renamed park.
So long, Thornton Creek Park No. 6. Hello, Beaver Pond Natural Area!
The city on Thursday renamed a number of parks, including several on Thornton Creek.
The one with the beaver dam got the obvious name. Here’s the local list:
Kingfisher Natural Area on Thornton Creek is a large assemblage of properties that follows the South Branch of Thornton Creek southeasterly from approximately 15th Ave. NE and NE 105th St. to NE 98th St. west of 20th Ave. NE. There are formal access points at NE 102nd St. and 17th Ave. NE and at NE 104th St. and 17th Ave. NE, as well as two areas along NE 100th St. The park features viewpoints, wetlands, and an abundant wildlife habitat. Kingfishers used to be spotted nesting in this area and are now passing through. This name helps to highlight the importance that preserving and protecting these areas has on wildlife habitat.
Beaver Pond Natural Area on Thornton Creek consists of several contiguous parcels located near the Northgate Community Center and continues northeasterly into the Maple Leaf neighborhood. It is bordered by NE 103rd St. and NE 107th St. to the south and north and by 5th Ave. NE to the west and Roosevelt Way NE to the east. The park includes the South Branch of Thornton Creek, wooded areas, wetlands, and several trails. Visitors will see a wide variety of wildlife including an active beaver pond. There are several major access points located at the south end of the park, on NE 105th St. and at the corner of NE 106th St. and 9th Ave. NE. The Beaver Pond is a unique feature that brings many visitors to this site. The beavers have completely changed the configuration and vegetation of the site in a way that will be there for years to come. This is a very distinct and unique feature for this part of Thornton Creek.
LaVilla Meadows Natural Area on Thornton Creek is just east of Lake City Way between Fischer Pl. NE and Ravenna Ave. NE, north of NE 100th St. to approximately NE 103rd St. Access to the park is from Fischer Pl. NE, at the north side of the Shutter Shop parking lot, along the fence. This site was once a dairy operated by the Blindheim family and is now a natural area that includes the confluence of Willow Creek and the South Branch of Thornton Creek. There has been a focus on restoration and stewardship of the creek and the native vegetation in this area. This name reflects the history of the site and is a familiar reference for those who live and work near and visit this neighborhood jewel.