News from the Forevergreen Trails Conference

Oct.14, 2015:

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

 

Picnic Shelter Construction Aided by Grant from Puyallup Tribe!

“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….”

Story continued here: http://www.puyallupherald.com/2015/07/15/3916342_grant-from-puyallup-tribe-aids.html?rh=1

Doug “Doc” Tait Memorial Campaign

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http://www.gofundme.com/ve86xn8

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

http://www.gofundme.com/ve86xn8

Happy trails to us!

Check out a recent News Tribune Article talking about the recent win for the Foothills Trail:

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2015/05/30/3814777_trail-movement-gathering-steam.html?rh=1

Foothills Trail article in Rails-To-Trail Conservancy Spring/Summer 2015 Magazine

Check out this great article on the Foothills Trail!

The following is a selection from the Spring/Summer 2015 magazine:

Spring-Summer 2015 Rails to Trails Magazine, Foothills article

Link to the full publication here:

http://magazine.railstotrails.org/resources/magflipbooks/2015_spring/index.html

Puyallup to unveil new adopt-a-trail program in 2015

Recent article in the Puyallup Herald discussing the adopt-a-trail program coming…

http://www.puyallupherald.com/2014/12/23/3556345/puyallup-to-unveil-new-adopt-a.html

Foothills Trail bridge destroyed during windstorm

Bad news for the connections from Buckley to South Prairie.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/11/15/3489658/foothills-trail-bridge-destroyed.html

“Some welcome movement on South Sound trails”

Another great story that talks about the new sections throughout South Sound!

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2014/10/29/3939434/some-welcome-movement-on-south.html?sp=/99/122/

“South Sound trails need their next generation of heroes”

This is something I’ve noticed as the new Foothills Coalition webmaster. I think I might be the only one in the room under 40 at monthly meetings. But I sure she a lot more age ranges ON the trail!

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/11/08/3469272/south-sound-trails-need-their.html?sp=/99/1683/

A lot of news going around about the trail extension!!

“Those who dream of expanding trails in the South Sound have cause to celebrate – especially those who envision a regional rails-to-trails system…”

Full article from the The News Tribune:

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/10/29/3456883/some-welcome-movement-on-south.html?sp=/99/447/#storylink=cpy

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/10/29/3456883/some-welcome-movement-on-south.html?sp=/99/447/

King 5 story:

http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/seattle/2014/10/28/pierce-county-wants-private-property-to-finish-path/18043079/