This Saturday, Kirkland will celebrate the groundbreaking of the Cross Kirkland Corridor interim trail. State Senator Andy Hill and other elected officials will be in attendance.
The trail was funded last year by a grant from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program along with more than 90 other projects across the state. The grants come from the state’s capital construction budget. More than 200 WWRP projects are proposed this year.
“The Cross Kirkland Corridor is a shining example of how relatively small investments in the WWRP can have huge benefits to communities,” said Joanna Grist, executive director of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition. “We thank Senator Hill for championing funding for close-to-home outdoor recreation opportunities that create a high quality of life for our families while attracting top businesses to the region.”
In 1989, the Wildlife and Recreation Coalition founded the WWRP and remains the program’s primary advocate and watchdog. Though WWRP grants are awarded by the state, the execution of projects is directed by community vision.
“The desire to develop this 5.75 mile abandoned railroad corridor into a multimodal corridor has been the City’s goal for decades,” said City Manager Kurt Triplett in a press release. “The City was presented with once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure an unparalleled facility for economic development, transportation and recreation and it is immensely satisfying seeing this vision become a reality.”
Once completed, this trail will connect eight of Kirkland’s 13 neighborhoods. Last year, the trail was ranked No. 2 out of all proposed WWRP trail projects by the state-run Recreation and Conservation Office.
What is the WWRP?
The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (RCW 79A.15) is a state grant program funded from the capital construction budget that provides funding to protect habitat, preserve working farms and creates new local and state parks. Independent experts rank the applications based on criteria such as the benefits to the public, level of threat to the property, or presence of threatened or endangered species.
About the Coalition
The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition is a non-profit citizens group founded in a historic bipartisan effort by former Governors Dan Evans and Mike Lowry. The Coalition promotes public funding for Washington’s outdoors through the state Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. Members consist of a diverse group of over 280 organizations representing conservation, business, recreation, hunting, fishing, farming and community interests. The breadth and diversity of the Coalition is the key to its success — no one member could secure such a high level of funding for parks and habitat on its own.