Last Monday (September 17th), the WCC’s Parks Committee submitted its final proposal under the Parks and Green Space Levy 2012/2013 Opportunity Fund. As we previously shared, the proposal would (if approved) construct a trail system through Inverness Ravine Park and undeveloped SDOT right-of-way. The Opportunity Fund has about $8 million available for park acquisition and development throughout the City. Those projects that can be funded must range from $250,000 – $750,000.
You might ask “Why does the WCC’s Parks Committee think this proposal is important?” Not only has part of Wedgwood already been identified within their GAP Analysis as deficient in open space, but currently accessible non-park open space may be impacted in the coming years. Not to mention that the Wedgwood Vision Plan specifically identifies the pursuit of “creat(ing) a creekside nature trail within the Wedgwood neighborhood” as an important goal. Furthermore, it is the WCC Park’s Committee’s belief that this new trail would provide a variety of benefits to NE Seattle more broadly through creating a connection between the Inverness/Inverness Park communities with Wedgwood; allow improved access to Matthews Beach Park, the Burke-Gilman Trail, and Magnuson Park; and providing outdoor learning opportunities and passive recreation for residents and nearby students among other important benefits.
For the purpose of providing a complete proposal and developing a cost estimate, the proposal included a conceptual trail alignment as shown in the sketch below. Based on our conceptual trail alignment, we’ve estimated that the project will cost just over $300,000. The conceptual trail alignment provides a great starting point, although should this project be awarded we understand that the Parks Department would initiate a public engagement process to modify the proposal as necessary to minimize impacts to surrounding neighbors and important ecological resources within the park.
It will take some time before we find out whether our proposal is successful. Then, it will take even more time for it to be approved by City Council. Then, it’ll take even more time for the Parks Department to get to design and construction of the project. So, our best case scenario is that we could have a trail system built by sometime in 2014. Nevertheless, we’re super excited. If you’d like more information on the Inverness Ravine Park Trail Project, you can review our final application (at least the text) that was submitted to the Parks Department. You can also read the letters of support written on behalf of the project from the Northeast District Council and Feet First.
On another note, we hope to have an update on the ongoing park acquisition at the former Morningside Substation soon. Stay tuned!