Washington Trails Association
705 Second Ave, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98104 * 206.625.1367 * wta.org
Serving hikers since 1966
May 13, 2015
To the Seattle Park Board of Commissioners:
Washington Trails Association writes to express our support for the restoration and trail enhancements of the Cheasty Greenspace.
Founded in 1966, Washington Trails Association (WTA) is the country’s largest state-based trail maintenance and hiking advocacy non-profit organization with more than 13,000 members and more than 3.3 million unique annual website visitors. WTA’s mission is to “preserve, enhance, and promote hiking opportunities in Washington state through collaboration, education, advocacy and volunteer trail maintenance.” We support the comprehensive trails plan for Cheasty Greenspace due to the positive impact these trails can make within the community. These trails can not only provide an alternative transit option between neighborhoods, they can also serve as a vital connection to our natural heritage. We agree with the Seattle Park Board which states that the plan:
…effectively balances two goals creating a healthy, sustainable, ecologically-diverse, wildlife-friendly urban forest and providing new opportunities to access the urban forest with a safe, ecologically sensitive, inclusive and maintainable physical trails plan for the forest.
For nearly 50 years, WTA has focused on helping Washingtonians get out on trails to experience the great outdoors in our state and national parks, national forests and other public lands. But for many families, it is not feasible to drive an hour or more to a trailhead in the woods. Neighborhood trails, like those proposed for Cheasty Greenspace, are essential to getting city residents outside and ensuring a high quality of life as the Puget Sound region continues to see an urban population boom.
WTA is pleased to support the Cheasty Greenspace trails plan, which incorporates walking and bike paths within Cheasty Greenspace while also protecting the natural character of this urban forest. We believe it is possible to offer a safe and vibrant outdoor space for all trail users.
We are grateful to the board for acknowledging the important role trails play within the city’s parks and greenspaces and look forward to collaborating with you on urban trail issues in the future.