City to break ground on boardwalk
Watch the wetlands, let the birds and beasts below bewitch, bother, even bewilder you, all while keeping your feet dry, strolling along a 1,100-foot-long, elevated wooden boardwalk.
Sound like a good time? City officials certainly think so, or they wouldn't be building it. The City breaks ground on the boardwalk at 3 p.m., Tuesday, July 26 at the north end of Western Ave. Actual construction starts in August and finishes this fall.
The City recently approved an agreement between it and the builder, the Washington State Department of Ecology Washington Conservation Corps. The cost of construction cannot top $45,000. Project funding comes in part from a Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program Urban Wildlife grant from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office.
Plans call for the boardwalk to run along most of the 1,200-foot-long pedestrian trail connecting West Main Street with the bird and wildlife viewing tower on Western Avenue. It will be a six-foot wide, wooden structure atop pin pile foundations, with curbing on both sides, and guard rails in places where it rises more than 30 inches above the ground, or where there are areas of seasonal standing water.
Volunteers this fall will plant 2,500 native trees and shrubs in seven planting zones covering 93,000 square feet, along parts of the park bordering the east side of State Route 167 and the north side of West Main Street.
The City is developing the 120-acre, Auburn Environmental Park to provide an open space that offers opportunities for wetland ecosystem restoration, fish and wildlife enhancement, water quality improvement, ecosystem-oriented and sustainable economic development, stormwater detention and flood control, public education, and recreation.
The state legislature set up the Washington Conservation Corps in 1983 to conserve, rehabilitate and enhance the state's natural and environmental resources, while providing educational opportunities and meaningful work experiences for young adults between 18 and 25 years of age. It has worked with local, state and federal agencies to finish numerous restoration, recreation, and stewardship projects across the state, among them elevated wooden bridges and boardwalks.The WCC, with 180 members working throughout the state all year, is funded by sponsor organizations, state money and an AmeriCorps grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service.