Local parks get $2 million boost
The Vancouver Columbian
BY TOM VOGT
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation has received more than $2 million in state grant money for seven parks and greenway projects in the city of Vancouver and unincorporated Clark County.
The grant from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program will supplement money from local sources in three county and four city projects.
"Seven out of nine projects we submitted this year were selected to receive funding, which is really fantastic," said Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation Director David Judd.
Over the next 30 to 60 days, parks officials will start presenting development and acquisition agreements to county commissioners and the city council for approval, said Jeroen Kok, manager of acquisition, planning and resources.
The local funding came from park impact fees and real estate taxes.
In 2005, local voters approved a levy to support the maintenance of 35 future parks. One of those projects, the county's Fairgrounds Community Park, is among the seven sites included in the state grant.
Clark County projects
Local funds: $391,695
The funding will be used to acquire 67.5 acres of high-quality shoreline, riparian and wetland habitat on Lacamas Lake. The site borders Lacamas Lake Regional Park, and will join the 800 acres of public land that already is part of the county's Conservation Futures program.
Fairgrounds Community Park
Local funds: $4.8 million
This funding will go toward the final design, permitting and construction of Phase 1 of the park project on Northwest 164th Street and 11th Avenue. Phase 1 is in final design and permitting, with construction scheduled to start in 2008.
East Fork Lewis River Greenway
Local funds: $509,115
This funding will go toward acquiring 52 acres of shoreline, riparian habitat and floodplain habitat on the East Fork of the Lewis River, approximately 2 miles downstream from the Daybreak Bridge, northwest of Battle Ground. A stream in the area supports steelhead, and coho, Chinook and chum salmon runs. It is also one of the county's Conservation Futures projects.
South Fisher's Landing Neighborhood Park
Local funds: $468,304
This funding will be used to acquire a 4.42-acre parcel on the south side of Southeast 39th Street, just west of 170th Court, for use as a future neighborhood park.
East Image Neighborhood Park
Local funds: $220,200
This funding will be used to acquire a 2.4-acre parcel of land on Northeast 134th Avenue at 36th Street in east Vancouver for use as a future neighborhood park.
Marine Park Water Access
Local funds: $312,848
This funding will be used to develop a trail, formal beach access, picnic sites and a viewpoint at Marine Park at Southeast Marine Park Way and Columbia Way on the Columbia River. Marine Park was originally developed in the 1970s and 80s.
David Douglas Community Park Redevelopment
Local funds: $1.1 million
This funding will be used to redevelop and renovate approximately 10 acres at the 68-acre David Douglas Community Park in central Vancouver. Development plans are not complete, but could include improving access by realigning existing driveways and trails; restructuring existing parking; or adding new playground equipment, a new basketball court or new picnic areas.
Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation actually has been able to get a rolling start on several of these projects. With state permission, "we can go out and buy a piece of property before a final grant agreement," Kok said. "With the grant, we're getting reimbursement."
Val Ogden, a Vancouver resident and former legislator, chairs the state's Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation, which administers the grant.
The state legislature appropriated a total of $100 million for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, double the amount appropriated in 2005-07.
Park impact fees and real estate taxes financed development of several local recreational projects.
State officials awarded a $2 million grant to support seven local projects.
The city council and county commissioners will approve development and acquisition agreements within the next two months. Lacamas Lake Shoreline
Tom Vogt can be reached at 360-759-8008 or at email@example.com.