Have you ever seen these four letters, NGPA, on a property? Anyone know what it actually means? National Grade Point Average? Never Go Picking Apples? NGPA actually stands for National Growth Protection Areas. These critical areas perform many important biological and physical functions that benefit the citizens of the community. These critical areas are often referred to as wetlands, fish and wildlife habitats, stream corridors and Native Growth Protection Areas (NGPA’s).
Wetlands and Fish & Wildlife Habitat Conservation specifically states that no clearing, grading, or construction of any kind can occur in Native Growth Protection Areas (NGPA’s). Passive recreational activities that don’t disturb vegetation or soils are not a problem, although there are exceptions to these restrictions. Sometimes these Native Growth Protection areas are also called open space reserves.
There are several purposes of an open space reserve in any location. Some of these include: the preservation or conservation of a community or region’s natural or historic character, the conservation or preservation of a land area for the recreational ecological environmental aesthetic or agricultural interests. Open space reserves may be urban suburban or rural; they may be actual areas of land or designated places.
The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value. —Theodore Roosevelt, 1907
If you have a property that is near one of these NGPA’s, you have access to a multitude of recreational opportunities such as:
- Hike, motorcycle, horseback ride, mountain bike, or explore miles of trails.
- Enjoy hunting, fishing, camping, picnicking or boating from recreation sites.
- Experience low impact activities, such as hiking and classroom visits, within native ecosystems at Natural Resource Conservation areas.
- Harvest wild edibles for your personal use on some.
- Hunt for fossils, minerals and gems on some lands.
For example, a property by Lake Desire that is currently on the market, is located near the McGarvey Park Open Space. Cedar Mountain trail is now part of McGarvey Park, a large reserve of open lands. The park is a result of King Countys “4 to 1” SmartGrowth Program. The program allows urban housing densities to cross into the rural area if the development occurs adjacent to the urban-rural line and provides four acres of permanent open space for every acre that is developed. The trail system is also linked to Petrovitsky Park and the Spring Lake/Lake Desire Park. Currently there is a view of Mount Rainier from the summit!