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Shoring Up the Neighborhood Trails that Provide Everyday Escapes

Posted by Erika Haugen-Goodman at Feb 24, 2021 03:11 PM |

WTA is hard at work making sure urban parks all over Washington are getting the love they deserve, including a recent project in Tacoma.

Urban parks can provide a diversity of experiences harder to find in the backcountry. It's what makes them so unique and necessary. Point Defiance Park in Tacoma is one example which offers trails that run through forest, down to the beach, or even to historical Fort Nisqually. It offers vistas that overlook the water and distant mountains. It gives cyclists, runners and hikers a chance to escape the city, all within a short distance from their homes.

A park like Point Defiance might be the last place you'd expect to find a trail maintenance crewwhich more frequently calls to mind pristine backcountry vistas and rugged peaks. But just as important as those wild, removed places are to maintain, so too are the trails that are right next door within easy access and typically available year-round.

Photo by Laura Baron
The beach at Point Defiance is one place that can be accessed by trails in the park. Photo by trip reporter Laura Baron.

A park like Point Defiance is just one example of where WTA is working across the state. These projects ensure that your local park is there when you need it most, whether its for a quick outing when you want to breath in fresh air, have a picnic, or if you're looking to get a good workout. Urban parks offer a variety of ways to recreate, and enable all of us to enjoy the benefits of time spent in nature.

Our Trail Next Door work aims to make sure that your local park is there for you when you need it most; a sentiment that many hikers can relate to in the last year. Even in "normal" times, local parks offer a way to escape into nature that further afield options often can't. Their close proximity to home makes them ideal destinations for after work outings, or a day spent outside without the need of a lengthy driveand many can be accessed by bus or walking.

Photo by Jeremy Tarife
Volunteers and crew lead Jeremy Tarife perform maintenance in Point Defiance Park in partnership with Tacoma Parks. Photo by Jeremy Tarife.

In making sure that all areas of Washington have access to these spaces, we're working in partnership with local land managers across the state and finding opportunities to both build new trails and maintain existing ones. One of our recent projects at Point Defiance Park in partnership with Tacoma Parks allowed our volunteers to help repair trails damaged by fallen trees and erosion as well as ensure further erosion and damage was halted by building a split rail fence along the cliff side.

Photo by Jeremy Tarife
Volunteers at Point Defiance Park helped construct this stretch of fence to prevent future erosion. Photo by Jeremy Tarife.

So keep an eye out for where we're headed next and consider joining us on a work party in your neighborhood. We might show up next door!


Posted by:

RWHB on Apr 20, 2021 10:20 PM