Lake Ballinger-McAleer Creek Watershed Forum

Next Ballinger Forum meeting

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

 2:00 - 3:30 PM 

Location:  Virtual meeting on Zoom (link will be updated closer to the meeting date)

What is the purpose of the Forum?

The cities of Edmonds, Lake Forest Park, Shoreline, and Mountlake Terrace coordinate efforts under an interlocal agreement to address problems relating to water quality, habitat enhancement and flooding in the Lake Ballinger/McAleer Creek Watershed.

How can I be involved?

All are encouraged to join Forum meetings (held quarterly!)  People can also get involved in a number of ways by volunteering to remove invasive species, collect data, encourage behavior changes, and more.  

When does the forum meet?

The forum meets quarterly.  The date, time, and location of the next forum meeting will be posted at the top of this page.  If you have questions or suggestions please reach out to Laura Reed at City of Mountlake Terrace. 

What has been accomplished so far?

In 2008, a Lake Ballinger lake level study was completed.  In 2009, a Strategic Action Plan was developed and approved by the forum's five local jurisdictions in the watershed. The Strategic Action Plan prompted the development of a Capital Improvement Program for the watershed in 2010.  In 2013 and 2014, the City of Mountlake Terrace replaced three culverts on McAleer Creek and one culvert on Hall Creek.  Lake Forest Park completed significant flood abatement projects between 2012 and 2017. Since 2017, aquatic invasive species surveys and management efforts have been conducted on Lake Ballinger with improvement observed in 2020 and 2021. 

What are the forum's goals for the future?

The City of Edmonds will construct a regional stormwater infiltration facility in Mathay-Ballinger Park which will improve the water quality reaching Lake Ballinger from Edmonds.

The City of Mountlake Terrace will improve habitat quality for birds, reptiles, amphibians, and some mammals along Hall Creek through the Ballinger Park Hall Creek Restoration project.  This project will also develop a park space for passive enjoyment, increase stream channel capacity, improve water quality in Lake Ballinger, and provide educational signage for visitors. 

The Cities of Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace will continue improving habitat and water quality in Lake Ballinger by managing aquatic invasive plant species.  A herbicide treatment was carried out in 2019, volunteers have removed some invasive plants, and a bottom barrier installation is being completed in 2020.  There has already been a notable increase in native aquatic vegetation in 2020. 

The City of Lake Forest Park plans to enhance and replace a culvert at Perkins Way on McAleer Creek in order to reduce localized flooding. 

What is the history of the forum?

In 1972, 34 lakes in the region were sampled and Lake Ballinger was discovered to have the worst water quality.  Lake Ballinger flooded in 1997, 2004, and 2007, which prompted conversations between the Cities of Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace to develop and implement solutions. 

In 2006, the Cities of Mountlake Terrace, Shoreline, and Edmonds combined resources to hire Clear Creek Solutions to complete a Lake Level Analysis (PDF) project that includes computer models for stormwater flow.

In December 2007, the Cities of Edmonds, Lake Forest Park, Lynwood, Mountlake Terrace, and Shoreline along with Snohomish County began discussions related to support of a joint Watershed Basin Action Plan. After adoption of resolutions by each of the 5 cities and Snohomish County, an interlocal agreement was drafted and adopted by the 6 jurisdictions to develop a Strategic Action Plan to outline specific goals to protect the Watershed. The Action Plan was completed in June 2009.

The Forum continues to meet and address water quality, habitat issues, and flooding in the watershed. 

Check water levels

The Lake Ballinger monitoring system shows current lake levels. 

Historic flooding on Hall Creek

Flooding on Hall Creek

Hall Creek Flooding 12.02.2007

Conceptual Methods to Address Downstream Flooding

Ballinger Conceptual Drawing

McAleer Creek Weir

McAleer Creek Weir

Girl Scout Troop 44253 Removing Invasive Lilies

Girl Scout Lily Removal

Lake Ballinger 2007 Flood

Lake Ballinger Dock December 2007

Aquatic Plant Sampling

Ballinger Big Leaf Pondweed

Ballinger Common Elodea

Ballinger Eel Grass Pondweed (2)
Ballinger Forum Timeline
Forum Map No Boundaries 2
Lake Ballinger Panoramic

Further Information

For more information on the Lake Ballinger/McAleer Creek Forum process please contact Laura Reed, Stormwater Program Manager via email, or call 425-744-6226.