Des Moines community hike was part of an ongoing conversation on how we can increase accessibility to the outdoors.
The Coalition recently teamed up with Washington Environmental Council and the TOTAGO app (Turn off the App, Go Outside!) to host a community hike and discussion along the WWRP-funded Des Moines Creek Trail. TOTAGO is an online and mobile app designed to reduce barriers for urban and low-income residents to get outdoors by mapping public transit routes to nearby parks and trails.
The event was part of an ongoing discussion on how we can increase accessibility to the outdoors, and ways in which the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program (WWRP) can help achieve this vision through upcoming waived or reduced match requirements in underserved communities. Attendees included local legislators Sen. Karen Keiser and Rep. Mia Gregerson, as well as Mayor Matt Pina of Des Moines and the city’s Parks and Recreation Director, Patrice Thorell.
“Many low-income and minority communities are not engaged in all of the outdoor recreation our state has to offer. This is a missed opportunity to improve the health and relationships of our communities” said Rep. Mia Gregerson (D-SeaTac).
Attendees also discussed the Lake to Sound Trail that is being developed in South King County with help from WWRP. “The Lake to Sound trail will help connect communities and highlight some of the wonderful parks and trails South King County has to offer. Even more importantly, the trail and WWRP’s efforts to bring people together will help introduce the great outdoors to disenfranchised communities who might otherwise feel like outdoor recreation is meant for someone else” said Rep. Gregerson.
“I was very happy to see the WWRC outreach to our communities in S. King County for this lovely walk in the woods on a beautiful spring day,” said Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Kent), “I hope this becomes a repeat performance and that the word gets out about the opportunity to meet new neighbors walking together on this great trail.”