State awards $1.6 million in grants for parks, trails

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board last week announced the award of 21 grants to improve area parks and trails.

The grants, which total nearly $1.6 million, give cities, counties and others needed cash to improve their recreational facilities.

The projects include a $70,900 grant to the Pacific Northwest Trail Association Grant to be used to hire an Olympic youth crew to maintain 120 miles of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail on the Olympic Peninsula through Jefferson and Clallam counties.

Crews will work from Snow Creek/Mount Zion through Gold Creek, the Upper Dungeness and the Buckhorn Wilderness, to the Olympic National Park boundary; the High and Low Divide trails on the Upper Sol Duc; and the upper and lower Bogachiel River.

The trail crews include the SKY Program for at-risk youth. This project is supported by the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Chimacum, Port Townsend, Port Angeles and Forks school districts; Jefferson and Clallam county commissioners; and the Backcountry Horsemen of Washington. The trail association will contribute $72,000 in donations of equipment and labor. This grant is from the federal Recreational Trails Program.

A grant also distributes $39,627 to Port Angeles to build a new playground at Shane Park.

The City of Port Angeles, the Shane Park Committee and the local Kiwanis Club are teaming together to build the playground.

City staff will assemble the structure and improve the sidewalks so they are accessible to people with disabilities. Volunteers will clear overgrown landscaping around the park to improve visibility and will prepare the playground site. Port Angeles will contribute $100,546 in donations of cash, equipment and labor. This grant is from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.

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