Mountlake Terrace is proud of its environmental features, such as Lake Ballinger, Hall Creek, McAleer Creek, and various wetlands, ravines, and terraces. This area is part of Water Resource Inventory (WRIA) 8, which is associated with Lake Washington. Trees contribute to the environment too, offering weather protection and air quality improvement.
Environmental protection is carried out, in part, through the use of standards, including critical area, shoreline, and SEPA regulations under Title 16 of the municipal code, to guide development.
The community's long term interest in a conservation strategy was the catalyst for the preparation and adoption of a Sustainability Strategy. The plan, adopted in August 2008, goes beyond just planning for natural or green spaces. It promotes an interdisciplinary systems approach by integrating environmental quality, climate change, community liability and economic health elements.