The City of Redmond purchased the 83-acre Keller Farm property in 2015 from the Keller family to create a large environmental restoration project, known as a wetland mitigation bank. A wetland mitigation bank is a site where wetlands are restored, created and enhanced for the purpose of providing compensatory mitigation in advance of unavoidable impacts to wetlands or other aquatic resources. The Keller Property was identified as a potential wetland mitigation bank in the WRIA 8 Chinook Recovery plan over 15 years ago. Throughout the last 135 years, the property was a dairy farm, and before the city’s purchase, was used to grow flowers and vegetables.
Grading work for the Keller Farm Wetland Mitigation Bank was completed this summer (2020) and site planting will occur late fall/early winter. In coordination with the wetland bank, the City installed log jams in Bear Creek to improve salmon habitat and plant three acres of stream buffer - learn more about this project here. The 83-acres of restored wetland bank habitat will add to the existing publicly held properties, such as the adjacent 30-acre WSDOT wetland mitigation, and the future relocation of Evans Creek in the Bear and Evans Creek corridor. This will provide a permanent, meaningful restored corridor, unique within the urban growth boundary.
The City contracted with Habitat Bank, LLC to design, permit and construct the wetland bank. The Wetland Mitigation Bank was certified under the State Mitigation Banking Rule by the Corps of Engineers and Department of Ecology in December 2019. There is a recorded conservation easement on the bank property, held by Forterra, for long term management. Credits will be sold from the wetland mitigation bank to offset impacts to wetlands in the Sammamish River Watershed. The first mitigation credit purchase was by Sound Transit for impacts to the wetlands from Sound Transit 3 and their Downtown Redmond Link Extension.