YMCA Appeals Mineral Lake Property Rezone Decision

Last updated: December 30, 2022, at 9:41 a.m. PT

Originally published: December 17, 2022, at 12:41 p.m. PT

A landscape photo of Mineral Lake

YMCA of Greater Seattle & Outdoor Education Experiences to Mineral Lake 

On November 8, 2022, the Lewis County Commissioners unanimously voted against the rezoning of Mineral Lake. We are disappointed with the land use decision and have filed an appeal to seek an appropriate judicial review of Lewis County's decision per the process provided by state law. The current zoning as forest land allows the Y to proceed with its original plans to offer rustic camping at Mineral Lake in 2023. But the Commissioners' decision does delay our plans to build camping structures at Mineral Lake.  

With a new rezoning designation, the Y would be able to move to the next step in the process, which is a master site binding plan and review for the development of a camp and outdoor education center at Mineral Lake. This development will create opportunities for new generations of youth and families to engage with their natural environment through Y and community programming focused on our three pillars – youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.   

The Y continues to be committed to collaborating with community leaders, local officials, and residents of Lewis County to move this project forward for the benefit of community. The Y remains committed to engaging with community about the project, learning, seeking out questions and concerns, and engaging in productive, community-centric dialogue. We will continue to find opportunities to engage with our neighbors and leaders of Lewis County. 

Creating an Outdoor Education Experience for All 

The proposed camp would help address the growing need for outdoor education opportunities for local students and those from around the state.  

Building on our historical strength, the new Mineral Lake Camp and Outdoor Environmental and Education Center will enable the Y to expand our impact to youth and families in communities furthest from opportunities by focusing on creating sustainable, affordable, accessible, and inclusive programming. This center includes overnight camping experiences, outdoor education in partnership with schools, family weekends, and local community events.  

“We are unwavering in our commitment to fostering opportunities for all youth to experience the outdoors that support their healthy development in spirit, mind, and body, including those in the town of Mineral, in Lewis County, and across our region. This commitment is our north star.” – Loria Yeadon, President & CEO of YMCA of Greater Seattle. 

Y's Commitment to Community & Environmental Stewardship 

Using the land as a camp and outdoor environmental education center will offer one of the lowest development impacts to the surrounding community while providing both economic and educational benefits. The Y plans to develop only a fraction of the 2,100 acres being purchased, leaving a significant portion of the land for sustainable forestry, a plan that aligns with and honors the area's history and will also generate timber tax revenues for the benefit of Lewis County. 

We look forward to working with Lewis County to co-create a sustainable path forward benefiting the youth and families in Lewis County, especially those who need us most.   

For more information or any additional questions, contact Tara Jones, Chief Experience and Philanthropy Officer 206.382.5016, or tarajones@seattleymca.org.