State awards $4 million for local projects
OLYMPIA - Chelan and Entiat will use a nearly $4.4 million state grant to improve access to Lake Chelan at Don Morse park and build a marina on Lake Entiat, among other projects.
The state Recreation and Conservation Funding Board awarded more than $67.5 million in grants to 234 recreation and conservation projects in 35 of the state's 39 counties, according to a press release.
Chelan County agencies received a total of $4,398,255 to improve water access, and maintain and improve trails and shorelines. The cities of Entiat and Chelan must contribute some of their own money to help fund the projects.
"These grants feed right into local communities that have applied for funds to complete long-sought local projects," said Bill Chapman, chair of the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board. "They create jobs both in the construction of new parks and trails, and through tourism. They help ensure that Washington remains a top-notch destination for Washington taxpayers and other visitors who want to hike, hunt, bike, fish and just enjoy the great outdoors."
The board received grant applications for more than 400 projects requesting about $200 million. The grants were reviewed and ranked during the past year. Panels of experts evaluated projects against dozens of different criteria, ranging from the need for a project, to its cost-effectiveness, to how well it was designed, to the level of demonstrated community support.
"The grants are competitive," Chapman said. "There's a tremendous need out there and we're only able to fund about half of the projects requested each year. So the competitive process helps make sure we are funding only the best of the best projects."
Grant recipients must provide their own matching funds, donated labor and other costs. Grant applicants are investing more than $48 million in matching resources, stretching the state's limited dollars even further.
"It means the Legislature and local communities are making a significant contribution to ensuring Washington remains a great place for people, families and businesses," Chapman said.
The funding sources are the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account; the Nonhighway and Off-Road Vehicle Activities; the Boating Facilities Program; the Recreational Trails Program; the Boating Infrastructure Grant; the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program; and the Firearms and Archery Range Recreation, according to a summary from Chelan County Natural Resource Director Mike Kaputa.
The individual grants that directly affect Chelan and Entiat are:
• Improving Access to the Water at Don Morse Park Chelan Grant Awarded: $500,000 Chelan Parks and Recreation Department will use this grant to restore about 2.5 acres and 175 feet of natural beach at Don Morse Park, the first phase of a multi-phase project to restore about a quarter mile of natural beach. The City will provide erosion protection by building a drift sill, restore the swimming beach, create a pea gravel beach that will be more stable and require minimal maintenance, and plant native plantings at the top of the sill to provide habitat for wildlife. The City also will add a crushed rock path from the parking area to the water, build an accessible swim ramp into the water, and add a launch for hand-carried boats. Chelan's population swells from 4,000 to more than 20,000 in summer. Residents and visitors are cut off from much of Lake Chelan by private development and a lack of beaches. The City will contribute $500,000. This grant is from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.
• Renovating the Don Morse Park Boat Launch and Marina Chelan Grant Awarded: $1,000,000 The Chelan Parks and Recreation Department will use this grant to renovate the marina in Don Morse Park on Lake Chelan. The marina turns away boats each summer day and the existing boat launch is too short to ensure year-round use. The marina serves as a gateway to 55 miles of boating on Lake Chelan. The City will replace a failing breakwater with a new, larger, relocated breakwater and expand the marina by 43 moorage slips. The City also will add new fire, water, and electrical utilities; lengthen the boat launch to allow for year-round use; build a new bulkhead; and use dredged sand from the new breakwater and moorage slips to restore a swimming beach. With the renovation, moorage capacity will increase from 65 boats to 108 boats and the boat launch becomes accessible year-round. This marina is the only public marina in the Wapato basin of Lake Chelan. The City will contribute $1.2 million. This grant is from the Boating Facilities Program.
• Building a Marina on Lake Entiat Entiat Grant Awarded: $200,000 The City of Entiat will use this grant to plan, design, and get permits to build a 40-slip marina on Lake Entiat, a reservoir of the Columbia River. This project is part of a larger waterfront redevelopment effort of the city's in partnership with the Port of Chelan County and the Chelan County Public Utility District. The marina will include a fueling area and pump-out station, and will be the only public marina on the lake. The City will contribute $100,000 from a local grant. This grant is from the Boating Facilities Program.
• Building the Entiat Waterfront Trail Entiat Grant Awarded: $400,000 Entiat will use this grant to redevelop part of about 6 acres along the Columbia River and Lake Entiat. The City will develop a 1-mile waterfront trail; restore habitat along the shoreline; install trail lights, benches, and trash cans; and build a parking area, road, and restroom. The project will establish habitat along this shoreline of statewide significance, provide the public with access and views to the water, and create environmental and historical educational opportunities at viewing areas and with interpretive signs. The trail is part of a larger, planned project that ultimately will connect to form about 6 miles of continuous trail. The City will contribute $500,000 from local and state grants. The City received only part of the $500,000 it requested, and may receive additional funds if money from other projects is unused. This grant is from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.
• Re-developing the Lake Entiat Shoreline Entiat Grant Awarded: $500,000 Entiat will use this grant to re-develop about 6 acres along the Columbia River and Lake Entiat. This project will include design, permitting, and construction of 1 mile of trail along the shoreline as well as restoration of habitat along the shoreline. The trail will connect to others to create a network of 6 miles of trails. Crews also will install trail lighting, benches, and trash cans, and build a parking lot, access road, and a restroom. The City will contribute $500,000 from local and state grants. This grant is from the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account grant program. U.S. Forest Service, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Funding a Stewardship Crew Grant Awarded: $15,667 The Wenatchee River Ranger District will use this grant to fund a wilderness stewardship crew and crew leader to help maintain trails in the Alpine Lakes, Glacier Peak, and the Henry Jackson Wilderness Areas. This crew will do more targeted maintenance work. In the heavily used Enchantment Lakes area, the crew will maintain toilets, repair trail surfaces, and build rock cairns across areas of talus. In Glacier Peak Wilderness, the crew will remove noxious weeds at several infested trail heads. As portals to our nearly weed-free wilderness areas, hand pulling weeds at these sites is critical to the long-term ecological integrity of a vast area. The crew also will deal with a serious infestation of noxious weeds near Eight Mile Lake and at Trout Lake, where weed control has been ongoing for more than a dozen years. The ranger district will contribute $17,273 in cash and staff and donated labor. This grant is from the Recreational Trails Program.
• U.S. Forest Service, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Maintaining Campsites along the Entiat River Grant Awarded: $67,953 The Entiat Ranger District will use this grant to maintain its campsites for two years. Crews daily will clean restrooms, pick up trash, and pump toilets. They also will repair campground facilities, such as picnic tables, bulletin boards, and sign, as well as clean fire rings and maintain hand water wells. The Entiat Ranger District provides eight campgrounds, more than 100 campsites dispersed throughout the district, and 350 miles of non-highway Forest Service roads. The Forest Service will contribute $50,000 in cash and donated labor. This grant is from the Nonhighway and Off-Road Vehicle Activities program.
• U.S. Forest Service, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Maintaining Chelan Uplake Trails Grant Awarded: $75,000
The Chelan Ranger District will use this grant to maintain 195 miles of trail in Glacier Peak and Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness areas, Sawtooth and Domke Lake Roadless areas, and Lucerne-Holden Village Scenic Corridor. Crews will remove fallen trees, clean drainage structures, and remove loose rock. These trails are open for backpacking and stock packing, day hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, and motorcycling. The district also will do more heavy maintenance, such as cut overgrown brush, repair drainage structures and bridges, fix trail surfaces, repair signs, and remove fallen trees from burned areas on 20 miles of the Company Creek, Devore Creek, Horton Butte, 10 Mile Falls, Holden, and Summit Trails. The ranger district will contribute $66,000 in staff labor, materials, and donations of labor and materials. This grant is from the Recreational Trails Program.
• U.S. Forest Service, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Maintaining Entiat and Chelan Multiple Use Trails Grant Awarded: $192,500 The Entiat Ranger District will use this grant to fund a three-person trail crew along with a seven-person AmeriCorps crew devoted solely to maintaining more than 195 miles of multiple-use trails and 11 trail heads, primarily used by motorcyclists and mountain bikers. Over two years, this grant will maintain more than 390 miles of trail in the Entiat and Chelan Ranger Districts. These trails serve as the heart of an interconnected trail network of more than 220 miles running from Lake Wenatchee to Lake Chelan. The crews will remove fallen trees, maintain water drainage structures to prevent erosion and excess trail damage, correct safety items, trim overgrown brush, clean and repair culverts, and maintain trail signs and bulletin boards. The Forest Service will contribute $74,000 in labor and donated labor. This grant is from the Nonhighway and Off-Road Vehicle Activities program.
For the rest of the grants, visit www.lakechelanmirror.com