Olympia generous to Peninsula for recreation projects
By Jim Casey
Peninsula Daily News
June 18, 2007
OLYMPIA - The North Olympic Peninsula made out like, well, a bandit in the 2007 distribution of state funds for recreation and protection of wildlife and farmland.
Jefferson County scored a whopping $83 per resident in grants from a variety of state programs administered by the Interagency Commission on Recreation.
That's more than five times the state average of about $16 per person and nine times the $9 per person received in King County, the state's most populous county.
Clallam County received about $33 per resident, more than double the state average and more than three times received per person in King County.
The statistics are drawn from the interagency committee and from the Washington Office of Financial Management.
Jefferson County received nearly $1.57 million, of which more than $216,000 was awarded to build a third ball field at H.J. Carroll Park in Chimacum.
The work also will improve wheelchair accessibility, upgrade the bicycle track and provide a skateboard area.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife will get more than $352,000 to renovate the Pleasant Harbor boat launch on Hood Canal.
Jefferson County's biggest recipient, though, was the state parks department.
It got almost $1 million to develop Right Smart Cove, a pocket estuary on Hood Canal just north of Brinnon.
According to the state Wildlife and Recreation Program, the state parks department owns two acres of salt marsh on the cove and hopes to acquire 26 acres more.
It would restore the estuary with the help of Washington Trout, the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group and the Hood Canal Coordinating Group.
The project also is supported by the plan for Water Resource Inventory Area 17, the Hood Canal Summer Chum Recovery Plan, and the Hood Canal Coordinating Council Salmon Habitat Recovery Strategy.
Besides restoring habitat, the project would provide low-impact recreation opportunities such as walking, bird watching and kayaking.
Clallam County received a $2.3 million slice of the $103.5 million in grants that Gov. Chris Gregoire announced on Thursday.
The projects include:
- Clallam County Public Works: Nearly $1.1 million to add a pedestrian bridge beneath vehicle lanes in the Elwha Bridge replacement. The walkway would carry the Olympic Discovery Trail.
- City of Sequim: $750,000 for preserving 40 acres of farmland.
- Clallam County commissioners: Almost $350,000 to preserve 32 acres of an organic farm in the Dungeness River Delta
- Department of Fish & Wildlife: $200,000 to remove 1,100 feet of dike and restore Morse Creek to its 1939 channel
Across Washington, the grants support 159 projects in 30 of the state's 39 counties.
They must be matched by local cash or in-kind contributions.
They range from just less than $100,000 for Asotin County to nearly $16.6 million for King County.
They represent the largest award in the Interagency Committee on Recreation's 43 years.
It was created by a voter initiative in 1964.
On July 1, it will change its name to the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board.
Reporter Jim Casey can be reached at 360-417-3538 or at email@example.com.