Friends of Cheasty Greenspace/Mt.View (FCGMV) Move Forward with the Design Process for the Cheasty Mountain Bike/Pedestrian Trail Pilot (01/28/16)

The Friends of Cheasty Greenspace/Mt. View (FCGMV), the community organization behind the Cheasty Mountain Bike/Pedestrian Trail Pilot Project, continue to move forward with the trail design process by gathering necessary environmental data.  The recent SEPA DNS (Designation of Non-Significance) reversal has made it clear that further evaluation of the impacts on wetlands and wildlife must occur before the project can be constructed.

FCGMV is committed to ensuring that all necessary environmental review is completed prior to the implementation of pedestrian and mountain bike trails in the greenspace.

“In preparation for permitting, we had already planned to obtain more detailed wetland information post-SEPA.  The reversal decision has clarified the details we should focus on during the next stage of wetland reconnaissance, with the goal of upholding and enhancing the environmental integrity of this wooded parkland,” said Joel DeJong from FCGMV.

FCGMV was founded in 2008 with a mission to Reclaim, Restore, Reimagine, and Reconnect Cheasty Greenspace, a 43+ acre forest in the Rainier Valley.  FCGMV hosts bi-monthly work parties where community members join together to restore the greenspace to a healthy native habitat.  The environmental health of the forest is a primary focus of the the group’s effort who were recipients of the 2013 Denny Award for environmental stewardship. 

FCGMV, along with its supporting volunteers, is committed to making Cheasty Greenspace accessible to the diverse communities that live in Southeast Seattle while improving the environmental condition of the greenspace.

“The Cheasty Trails pilot presents an opportunity to design a trail system that allows mountain biking and pedestrian activity to co-occur with minimal impact to either user experience.  FCGMV is deeply committed to getting this mixed-use area right and has engaged a strong group of partners to coordinate the design to this end,” said DeJong.

It is FCGMV’s experience with Cheasty Mt. View (the southern 10 acres of Cheasty Greenspace) that limiting access to the greenspace enables humans to damage the environment through illicit behaviors, illegal dumping, and unlicensed excavation and plant removal.  However, creating safe, welcoming access to the greenspace changes that dynamic in a positive way by empowering the surrounding communities to engage in environmental stewardship.  The community has rallied around FCGMV’s efforts and now enjoys access to and through the restored natural area in Cheasty Mt. View via a forested trail system.

“Cheasty Mt. View is a 10-acre template of a successful trail system that we hope to expand throughout the greenbelt with the addition of sustainably built pedestrian and mountain bike trails,” said DeJong.

The design process for the Cheasty Mountain Bike/Pedestrian Trail Pilot Project is currently at approximately 65% completion.  More environmental review and specific data related to trail alignment near environmental critical areas will move the design process to 90% completion.

FCGMV deeply appreciates  its community of volunteers and organizational supporters for continuing to partner in the endeavor as the project moves forward through the design process towards fruition.

For more information about the project, visit Cheasty.org or email info@cheasty.org.
Press Inquiries may be directed via email or to Joel DeJong at (206) 910-6543.