Here are events such as opening ceremonies, dedications, and ribbon cuttings for facilities funded through the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board and the Salmon Recovery Funding Board.
Bud Blancher Trail Ribbon Cutting Celebration
Date: Friday, November 7, 2014
Location: Eatonville - From State Route 161, between Center Street East and Weyerhaeuser Road South.
Grant Description: The Town of Eatonville used a $700,000 grant from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program to build a 2.3-mile, non-motorized, multi-use trail between Eatonville and the University of Washington’s Pack Forest. The 10-foot-wide trail begins at the Eatonville School District playfields near the town center and ends at Pack Forest, providing access to the hundreds of miles of trails within the forest. The town’s long-term goals would extend the trail to Rim Rocks County Park, the planned Nisqually Mashel State Park, the Cascade Foothills Trail, and the Yelm Tenino Trail. The Bud Blancher Trail was identified as the backbone of a local trails system and momentum for the proposed trail has been growing. Eatonville received about $500,000 in donations from the Bud Blancher Estate, the Rails to Trails Conservancy, and Peter and Christine Koch. This trail is the first paved, multi-use trail in south Pierce County. The Town contributed $702,546 in cash and cash donations.
See more details about this project.
Mailbox Peak Trail Grand Opening
Date: September 27, National Public Lands Day
Location: Ceremony at Mailbox Peak Trailhead at 9 a.m., tour of Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Valley from 9:30 a.m.-noon
RSVP and for details, contact the Mountains to Sound Greenway’s Margaret Ullmanhess
Grant Description: The Washington Department of Natural Resources used an $89,300 grant from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program to build 1 mile of a 5-mile trail to the summit of Mailbox Peak, which is in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area in eastern King County. The trail will improve public safety, reduce natural resource damage, and meet increasing public demand. It will provide an alternative to the direct trail to the peak, which was "boot-built" many years ago, is unsuitable for most hikers, and cannot sustain its current high level of use. The existing route is extremely steep and gains 4,000 feet of elevation in less than 2.5 miles. King County Search and Rescue is called weekly during the spring and summer to rescue lost or injured hikers. In addition, increased use is causing severe erosion. The new trailhead will serve as an entrance portal for the public lands in the valley surrounding the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River. The department contributed $52,068 toward the project.
Mount Vernon’s Downtown Revitalization and Flood Control Project Ribbon Cutting
Date: September 20, 10 a.m.
Location: Mount Vernon’s Skagit Riverwalk, between Gates Street and Montgomery Street.
Grant Description: Mount Vernon used three RCO grants, totaling more than $1.7 million to turn a parking lot into a scenic park along the Skagit River, the third largest river on the West Coast. The park includes a lowered plaza area with seating steps and viewpoints of the river, native landscaping, a children’s play sculpture, a restroom and a large open area for events. The City also built a 24-foot wide, decorative concrete walkway with expansive views of the Skagit River and downtown.
Seahurst Park Shoreline Restored for Salmon
Date: September 12, 1:30 p.m. for tours, ceremony at 2:30 p.m.
Location: Seahurst Park, 1600 S.W. Seahurst Park Rd., Burien.
Grant Description: Congratulations to the City of Burien, which is celebrating the restoration of the beach shoreline at Seahurst Park with a ribbon cutting Sept. 12. Tours of restoration site will begin at 1:30 p.m. followed by the ceremony at 2:30 p.m. at the park. The Burien Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department used three RCO grants totaling more than $4.3 million to restore the northern portion of the park and shoreline to a more natural condition. Crews removed a seawall, rock riprap, groins, paving, and fill. Since being armored in the 1970s, the beach height has dropped 3 to 4 feet because of waves and being disconnected from sources of new sand and gravel. The changes in the beach have significantly degraded the quality of habitat for salmon and the organisms they eat. Burien used grants from the Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program and the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration fund. Burien also contributed $133,000 from a federal grant and the Army Corps of Engineers contributed $1.8 million through the American Recovery Reinvestment Act. To see more details on the project, visit RCO’s project search.
"So That All May Play” Bremerton Opens New Playground for Kids with Disabilities
Join Bremerton as it celebrates the opening of Kitsap County’s first fully accessible playground at 10 a.m. September 13 in Evergreen Rotary Park, 1500 Park Avenue. This unique, all-access playground provides opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. The playground was built in conjunction with a local non-profit, Bremerton Beyond Accessible Play, which helped design and raise money to help make this project a reality. Bremerton used a $100 grant from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund to create the playground and City contributed another $100,000. The event includes a resource fair starting at 10 a.m., with the ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. Food will be provided by C.J.’s Catering and open play on the playground will follow the opening ceremony. See more details about the project. See more details about the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Cornet Bay Shoreline Restoration Celebration
Date: Sept. 18, 11 a.m.
Cornet Bay, Deception Pass State Park
RSVP: Heidi Lehman, 360-733-1725
Grant Description: Northwest Straits Foundation, Island County Marine Resources Committee, Deception Pass State Park invite you to help celebrate the completion of the initial phase of a three-phase beach restoration project.
In the first phase, the Northwest Straits Foundation, in partnership with the Island Marine Resources Committee and the State Parks and Recreation Commission, used a $268,875 salmon recovery grant to remove a creosote wood bulkhead and fill, and restore 820 feet of Cornet Bay beach. The land, which stretches from just southwest of the marine maintenance facility dock to just north of the boat launch in Deception Pass State Park in Cornet Bay, was restored to a natural beach. Crews planted the shoreline and placed tree root wads and logs to increase habitat for forage fish and salmon. The logs slow beach erosion and create places for salmon to hide from predators and eat. The foundation contributed $75,229 in donated labor and a federal grant.
The foundation has a second grant (nearly $260,000 from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration program) to restore .7 acre, southwest of the marine maintenance facility dock, to a more natural condition. The Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Foundation will finalize the design, get permits, complete an archaeological assessment, and remove about 30 creosote wood fence posts, lawn, and associated fill. The foundation will lay gravel on the beach, restoring the beach’s natural grade and composition. It also will plant plants along the beach and nearby, and place logs and tree root wads in the water to create more habitat for fish. The project is expected to fix the damage caused by erosion, shoreline destruction, and loss of plants along the shoreline.
Cornet Bay is used by multiple species of salmon including Chinook, which are listed as threatened with the risk of extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act, as well as coho and pink salmon, and surf smelt.
With the second grant, the foundation will contribute $31,764 in cash donations.
Jacobs Point Dedication
Date: July 19, 2014, 11 a.m.
A short ceremony and tour, followed by a sack lunch
Grant Description: The Anderson Island Park and Recreation District used a $1 million grant from the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account program to buy 82 acres on Jacob's Point on Anderson Island in south Puget Sound. The land is on a peninsula separating East Oro Bay from Oro Bay and includes about .6 mile of pristine beach. The site, which includes tidelands, wetlands, and forests, will be open to the public and includes 1.5 miles of trail, which the park commissioners cleared by hand, picnic areas, and access to the beach for non-motorized boats. The shoreline of Jacob's Point supports a diverse array of fish, birds, and mammals. Oro Bay is one of the closest pocket estuaries to the Nisqually River and provides significant rearing potential for Chinook salmon. The park district contributed nearly $1.3 million in conservation futures, a state grant, and nearly $720,000 in donated land value from the landowner.
Ohop Groundbreaking: Continuing the Restoration
Date: July 12, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Ohop Valley near Eatonville
10 a.m.: Tours of the restoration
11 a.m.: Groundbreaking
11:30 a.m.: Salmon bake
Grant Description: The Nisqually Land Trust, the Nisqually Indian Tribe, and the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group will break ground on the next phase of the Ohop Creek Restoration Project - construction of 1.5 miles of new salmon-friendly creek and restoration of 80 acres of floodplain forest.
The Nisqually Land Trust is using two grants for nearly $2 million to re-align 1.5 miles of Ohop Creek in Pierce County. The land trust also will place log and tree root wads in the creek and plant the creek banks. This is the third phase of a large, ecosystem recovery project for the Ohop Creek Valley. Ohop Creek is a primary tributary to the Nisqually River, a major producer of Chinook salmon, which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act. This restoration work will connect with earlier upstream work to provide 2 miles of restored habitat for salmon and improved functions for the stream, its floodplain, and wetlands. The Nisqually Land Trust will contribute $311,000 from state and federal grants.
Gig Harbor's Maritime PlayZone Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Date: June 27, 2014 at 3 p.m.
Location: City Park at Crescent Creek
3303 Vernhardson St., Gig Harbor
Grant Description: The City of Gig Harbor will unveil its new maritime-themed inclusive playground, complete with a fishing boat, this month. The playground has accessible paths and play equipment for children of all abilities, as well as provides easy access for grown-ups. The maritime theme reflects the fishing heritage of Gig Harbor.
The city used a $180,000 grant from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program to replace the old play equipment at City Park. The new structures promote youth physical activity as part of the Harbor Health initiative and allow children of all abilities to experience the benefits of outdoor play.
This project is a result of strong city-citizen partnerships. With the help of citizen advocates, the City was the finalist in an essay contest awarded by the non-profit Shane's Inspiration. The non-profit led a broad public input process resulting in the final playground design. Local environmental group, Harbor WildWatch, helped with the maritime-themed design by highlighting species found in the harbor and Puget Sound. The Gig Harbor Maritime Committee raised 80 percent of the local match for the grant.
Once the playground opens, Shane's Inspiration will lead an innovative program with local residents and the Peninsula School District using the playground as an outdoor “learn to play together” classroom that is expected to have a regional impact.
The City will contribute $181,200 from another grant, cash, and donations of cash, labor, and materials.
Learn more about this community project.
Port of Edmonds Sling Launch Renovation Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Date: June 14, 2014 at 11:30 a.m.
Location: 458 Admiral Way, Edmonds
Grant Description: The Port of Edmonds cut a ribbon on its new sling launch in the Port of Edmonds marina in June. The Port used a $150,000 grant from the Boating Facilities Program to renovate the launch, which is used to lift boats up to 32 feet long and weighing up to 10,000 pounds into the water. The renovations extended the life of the launch and created additional access to Puget Sound for larger boats. The sling launch is used by about 3,000 boats annually. Without the renovations, the Port would have to restrict heavier boats from using the launch, which would eliminate access for about 40 percent of the users, forcing the Port to close the launch. The launch provides public access to Puget Sound for sport fishing and boating and is the only practical access to Puget Sound in a 21-mile stretch between Shilshole Bay and Everett. The Port of Edmonds contributed $50,000 in cash and staff labor.
Odlin County Park Renovation Ceremony
Date: June 11, 2014, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: 148 Odlin Park Drive, Lopez Island
Grant Description: The San Juan County Parks and Fair Department celebrated the completion of the renovation of the 80-acre Odlin County Park on Lopez Island in June. Using a $155,331 grant from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, San Juan County renovated 11 campsites, including two for recreational vehicles; developed a new group camp with a restroom, picnic shelter, and masonry fire ring; upgraded and expanded the park’s water system; moved the campground entrance road to reduce congestion and improve safety; expanded picnic and beach access; installed site fixtures and signs; built trails, and improved site layout. Odlin County Park is popular for access to the beach, picnicking, boating, and camping. The San Juan Islands, with their spectacular natural beauty and abundant wildlife, are a significant tourist destination. Odlin's facilities were dilapidated and inadequate to meet today's demand for beach access, camping, accessible picnicking facilities, and visitor information. San Juan County contributed $155,331.
Port Gamble Celebration
Date: April 18, 2014 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Location: Hood Canal Pavilion, Port Gamble
Grant Description: Kitsap County celebrated the purchase and conservation of 535 acres and 1.5 miles of undeveloped shoreline along the west side of Port Gamble Bay in April. Kitsap County used two grants totaling $2.25 million to buy the shoreline and tidelands. The purchase will protect 1.78 miles of shoreline and provide access to the beach for the public. The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe, Suquamish Tribe, Forterra, Great Peninsula Conservancy, and a coalition of business and community groups are working with Kitsap County to conserve 6,690 acres surrounding Port Gamble Bay. The overall objective is to protect the land, preserve wildlife habitat, and create opportunities for education and recreation on the bay. The creation of more public places on the bay will decrease the pressure on the few existing public waterfront areas. The County contributed $250,000. The grants came from the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account and the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.
Vashon Elementary School Ball Fields Grand Opening
Date: April 26, 2014 at 11 a.m.
Location: 15920 Vashon Highway S.W., Vashon
Grant Description: The Vashon Park District celebrated the beginning of baseball season with the grand opening of its refurbished ball fields at Vashon Elementary School. The festivities included food, a parade, music, and more. The Vashon Park District used a $500,000 grant from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program to renovate 3.5 acres of field, providing one ball field and one multipurpose field on the south side of the former Vashon Elementary School. Development included rough grading, installation of drainage and irrigation systems, new top soil, hydro seeding, accessible pathway, backstops, fencing, dug outs, and spectator benches. The city's fields are used by youth baseball, soccer, lacrosse, and football leagues. The park district contributed $628,876. This was the second grant used to renovate these fields. In 2007, Vashon Youth Baseball used a $75,000 grant from the Youth Athletic Facilities program to reorient, renovate, and expand the size of one baseball field to allow more teams to use the field as well as extend use into the spring and fall.