Foothills Coalition Courtesy Patrol Leader
By Bill Hilton, Editor of Foothills Rails-To-Trails Coalition Newsletter
The Rails-to-Trails Foothills Coalition is looking for a Courtesy Patrol Leader.
The Foothills Coalition would like to re-establish the Courtesy Patrol with the purpose of
providing information and assistance to users of the Foothills Trail while walking, cycling,
rollerblading, running or riding horseback on the trail.
The Courtesy Patrol was created in 2002 to encourage trail courtesy and provide trail information
to users. Members also assist with special events such as the Foothills Dash, Daffodil Classic
bike ride, the Rainier to Ruston Relay, and the Buckley to Orting Half Marathon. Patrol hours
and locations are optional. Members wear bright, yellow vests which identify them as Courtesy
Courtesy Patrol members previously met the 3rd Saturday of each month at High Cedars Golf
Course, 149th St. Ct. E., Orting. A no-host breakfast starts at 8 AM and the casual meeting at 9
AM with a free-for-all discussion about the past, present and future of the Courtesy Patrol. Guest
speakers and training sessions are often included.
If you are interested or would like more information please contact John Selby at (253) 841-1767
This should not affect the Foothills trail itself.
The Foothills Trail is a hot commodity these days, with still-new pavement in Pierce County, active plans for improvements on the King County side and – after years of waiting – the promise of a bridge connecting Enumclaw and Buckley.
…READ MORE… at link below
A great article (if we do say so ourselves) in The News Tribune about the new section of trail in Buckley. It will connect South Prairie trail with Buckley. The aim is to complete it by the end of 2017.
A recent store in the Tacoma News Tribune showcased the coalition’s president, Buzz Grant!
Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/outdoors/article80634072.html
Puyallup’s Ernie Bay was Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition’s first president
Bay was founding member of Friends of the Puyallup River Walk
Inspired others to become trail advocates”
The Foothills Trail lost one of its most ardent champions March 18 with the death of Ernie Bay at age 86.
No one called him Dr. Ernest Clayton Bay, even though he was a former Cornell University entomology professor. He was “Ernie” to everyone. The first part of his email address was “bugtrail,” reflecting two of his life’s great passions.
Ernie, who died in palliative care following a stroke he suffered at home, was the first president of the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition. He was part of a core group of trail visionaries who helped persuade the Pierce County Council to approve the Foothills Trail project.
Ernie was a founding member of the coalition’s Courtesy Patrol, a group of volunteers who rode the trail in daffodil-colored jackets to assist people using the trail and keep an eye out for problems. He wore his yellow jacket almost everywhere to help promote the trail.
Ernie was a member of the coalition’s board since its conception. In recent years he was honored with lifetime achievement awards for his contributions to environmental causes and community service in Puyallup.
“Ernie was one of a kind,” noted coalition President Buzz Grant. “No one was more devoted to making the Foothills Trail a success. We’ll miss him, but the trail will definitely be part of his legacy.”
A celebration of Ernie’s life will be held at 10 a.m. May14 at Almendinger Hall at the WSU Extension Service Center in Puyallup, at the intersection of Fruitland Avenue and East 72nd Avenue.
-Written in memory of Ernie by Dave Seago
Rainier to Ruston and the B & O Half-Marathon have a new race director! Here is a great story in The News Tribune about the new race director, Sabrina Seher. Both of these races are the main fundraisers for the Foothills Rails to Trails Coalition.
The onslaught of rain these past few days caused damage on a section of the levee between Voight Creek Bridge and 197th Ave. E. in front of Zirkel Access Road. Pierce County Public Works will shut down this section of trail. The project will start next week and take 2-3 days to repair. The trail will be open after working hours and over the weekend if deemed safe.
Tony Tipton, Director of Pierce County Parks and Recreation Services announced that Pierce County had acquired a “Possession and Use Agreement” for the remaining landowners in the section of the Foothills Trail from Buckley to South Prairie. This means that Pierce County can use the land for planning, construction and use as a part of the Foothills Trail.
This construction will be the end of a major push by the Foothills Rails-To-Trails Coalition to complete this section of the Foothills Trail, we started almost 5 years ago.
At some point in the near future the Foothills Rails-To-Trails Coalition will give Pierce County $50,000, being our share of the partial match for the WWRP grant of $2.75 million, along with a match from Pierce County of $2.75 million which will be the money required to build this section of the Trail. Your Coalition will gladly hand over our promised $50,000 partial match for the grant. This $50,000 was a great help to the grant committee of WWRP showing public support for the Foothills Trail project as far as the RCO and WWRP was concerned and a part of giving extra points in the grant process.
Mr. Tipton also informed us that the former FEMA bridge that was destroyed in November of 2014, will be replaced as part of this Buckley to South Prairie project. This culvert and the above grants will give us a continuous Foothills Trail from Buckley and the White River to the East Puyallup Trail head, now we need a connection to the Puyallup Riverwalk Trail and across the White River to Enumclaw and then on to Mt. Rainier.
We would hope to have this project completed by the end of 2017
“Veterans Park and those involved with its creation are preparing to celebrate another milestone with the dedication of a new picnic shelter.
The park, located at 802 5th St NE, will host a ceremony at 4:30 p.m. July 31.
Tom Shriver Sr., past commander and judge advocate for American Legion Post 67, is looking forward to the event.
“When we first got Veterans Park established through the (Puyallup) City Council and got the sign put in, then we sat down and figured OK — let’s do a 10-year plan for things we would like to see in the park,” he said.
Near the top of that list was the construction of a picnic shelter….”
Many friends of the Foothills Trail remember Doug Tait, or “Doc” as he was better known, as the “Father of the Foothills Trail.”
More than anyone else in Pierce County, Doc, who was also Buckley’s beloved town doctor for nearly 35 years before he died in 2003, saw the enormous potential in turning abandoned railroad right-of-way into a public recreational trail.
Today’s Foothills Trail is the result of Tait’s vision, dedication and relentless enthusiasm. The trail has grown from a mile-long paved path in Buckley to a popular multi-use, county-owned trail stretching 17 miles from east Puyallup to South Prairie. Chances are good the trail’s “missing link” between South Prairie and Buckley will be completed in the next two to three years, adding several more miles.
On pleasant sunny days, the trail is busy with joggers, walkers, roller-bladders, fast cyclists, slow cyclists, moms pushing strollers, and dads shepherding small children on their first bikes. Fishermen use the trail to reach choice fishing spots. The trail is now treasured as one of the county’s top public recreational assets.
Many of those who worked with Doc Tait to help realize his dream, however, are beginning to pass from the scene. To keep Tait’s memory alive and permanently honor Tait’s role in founding the trail, a decade-old effort to build a memorial in Buckley is now being renewed with a web-based crowdfunding initiative.
The goal is to use the power of the Internet and social media to raise $18,400 to complete an already-designed memorial plaza in Buckley, to be located on public property near the intersection of Main Street and the present trail. Coincidentally, the memorial will be only a few blocks from the Main Street office where Doc Tait treated generations of Buckley residents.
Those who wish to contribute can visit GoFundMe.com, enter the search term “Buckley Dr. Tait Memorial” and easily charge their gifts to a credit card. The website will provide a running total for the fund campaign.
If the drive is successful, organizers Don Partington and Chuck Morrison said, construction of the memorial could be completed by the end of this year.
The plaza will include a 1920’s-era railroad baggage cart, restored by Enumclaw Eagle Scout Tristan Lewis, and a vintage railroad crossing signal, called a wigwag, restored by trail volunteers. Both elements will recall the railroad heritage associated with today’s trail, which follows the rail line built in 1885 by the Northern Pacific Railroad as part of the nation’s second transcontinental rail route.
A plaque will recount both Tait’s service as a physician – equipped with a fire radio, he was the town’s reliable but unofficial emergency medic – and his work as a tireless champion of saving the abandoned rail corridor for recreational use, not only in Buckley but also throughout Pierce County. Tait relentlessly lobbied local and congressional officials and turned an examining room in his office into a repository for maps, letters and promotional material.
His efforts led to the creation of the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition and culminated in voter approval of the county trail project in 1991.
“He gave his whole being to that town and to his vision for the trail,” said Partington, a coalition board member and longtime leader of volunteer work parties on the trail. “What he did should never be forgotten.”
By Dave Seago
Check out a recent News Tribune Article talking about the recent win for the Foothills Trail:
Check out this great article on the Foothills Trail!
The following is a selection from the Spring/Summer 2015 magazine:
Link to the full publication here:
Recent article in the Puyallup Herald discussing the adopt-a-trail program coming…
Bad news for the connections from Buckley to South Prairie.
Another great story that talks about the new sections throughout South Sound!