On March 31, 2000, groundbreaking ceremonies are held for the Cedar River Watershed Education Center on the shores of Rattlesnake Lake in eastern King County. After opening comments from Dr. Leon Leeds, Landmarks and Heritage Commission chair, and an invocation by Snoqualmie Tribe Chairman Andy De Los Angeles, Seattle Mayor Paul Schell joins with members of the Friends of the Cedar River to dig the first spadeful of earth. The Center will be completed and dedicated in October 2001.
A First-Class Center
The Cedar River Watershed Education Center is intended to be a cultural and environmental education center for all residents and visitors to King County. Located just outside the boundaries of the watershed, overlooking Rattlesnake Lake, the Center provides information about King County’s drinking water, forests, and salmon. It houses artifacts relating to the 9,400-year history of human activity in the watershed.
The Center comprises five buildings, linked by covered walkways and roofs of sod.
- The Interpretive Hall houses the main exhibits.
- The Learning Laboratory provides hands-on, interactive exhibits for students, teachers, and families.
- The Conference Center hosts school groups and research scientists.
- The Heritage Research Library organizes and makes available the artifacts and documents pertaining to the watershed’s cultural and natural history.
- The Forest Court contains native plants and a flowing stream.
A Public/Private Partnership
The Cedar River Watershed Education Center was constructed through a partnership between Seattle Public Utilities and the Friends of the Cedar River Watershed, a private, non-profit organization incorporated in 1996 and dedicated to the protection and enhancement of the Cedar River Watershed.