Bidwell Park

by Tina Wynecoop In late July enough heavy equipment was brought in to build a city, let alone a twenty acre regional park bounded by and situated within 130+ single homes and duplexes called “Estates.” Construction of ball fields, roads, parking lots, trails, play areas, and modification of the pool site are happening full bore. The map and letter provided by Spokane County Parks are provided in this newsletter update to help our community comprehend what is happening alongside the FLSRV trail on N. Hatch Road. Community meetings were held last year. One gets the sense that there has been much progress in listening, design and planning since the first stage of park design in the early 2000’s. Community input appears to be taken into account. One hopes Mt. Spokane will still be visible over the many new rooftops, that the sledding will be enhanced, that play areas will not be overshadowed by organized sports, that the community will enjoy walking the trails with their dogs on leash (and the poop responsibly dealt with). Right now the south end of vast Half Moon Prairie is undergoing irreversible alteration. Its open space once provided habitation for bands of Indians who camped […]

NEW TRAIL SECTION: MIDWAY RD. TO COLBERT RD.

Please consider contributing money to the construction of a trail along Little Spokane Drive that will connect the trail that now ends at Midway Road north to a segment on Colbert Road.  Mark Case, a FLSRV board member, has spent hours of volunteer time producing maps that detail this proposed construction and then submitting them to Spokane County for a permit. Other board members, Kirk Neumann, Michael Kennedy and Dave Maccini along with FLSRV member, Greg Heline, have also given hours to assist Mark in this project.

Changes May Be Coming to WDFW Waikiki Springs Property

by Landon Eaton Crecelius Changes may be coming to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Waikiki Springs property below the Fairwood neighborhood, often referred to as the “switchbacks.” This 115-plus acre property has long been popular with the north Spokane community for walking, jogging, bicycling, wildlife viewing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and other activity along the old switchback road down to the Little Spokane River. In the last few years WDFW staff have met with neighbors, county officials, and Washington State Parks managers about future management of the property. State Parks has been reviewing properties near Riverside State Park with an eye to increasing land stewardship and public recreational opportunities, including connecting the “switchbacks” property to the park.  This July the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission adopted a long- term boundary for Riverside State Park that includes the Waikiki Springs property. The intent of parks including this property is in recognition of the impacts and opportunities the management of these types of neighboring properties have on current State Parks properties. In some cases, Parks may seek to own or manage these lands in conjunction with their recreational objectives in mind. In other cases, management and or ownership may […]

How to Be a Hero Along The Middle of The Little Spokane

by Rob Allen, Fairwood Farmers Market Director Heroes are needed to help preserve public access to the Middle of the Little Spokane behind Bozarth Retreat Center near Mill Road and Fairwood Drive. You can be a trails hero by joining a trails maintenance project there Saturday October 20 at 9 a.m.  About 120 acres along the Little Spokane there are currently owned and managed by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The department, which basically develops fish hatcheries and wildlife habitat, has expressed a willingness to transfer management to Washington State Parks Department. Parks has agreed, with a proviso. Subject to the surrounding North Spokane neighborhoods participating in active management of the WDFW property, they are adding the WDFW land to their long-term plan for Riverside State Park. Now we must prove our commitment to the area.  WDFW Access Manager Daniel Dziekan will be our guide on Saturday the 20th, laying out the most current work to be accomplished. He’ll be assembling teams at the trailhead, rain or shine, who will (1) transplant new native plants along the trail; (2) spread new bark mulch at designated spots along the trail; (3) help move dead tree parts into place across […]

Proposed Little Spokane Drive Trail from Midway to Colbert Rd

by Mark Case, Trails Chairman FLSRV trails committee is in the planning process of a new trail connecting the Midway Road trail to the Colbert Road trail. It will be 1 mile long and because it varies in terrain, hills, valleys and tight S-curves, it gives us some challenges. We lost our previous go-to person at the county but recently we were fortunate to get connected with Barry Greene, P.E. Transportation/Development Services Engineer. Barry will assist by getting us through all the correct checks and balances to get approval and permits.  The next big hurdle is the expense of trail construction. The cost of sixfoot-wide gravel surfacing alone will be around $12k, and construction will be at least 3 times that. A committee is looking into grants. There is a fund raising committee being established and they will be presenting more details on this new section of the trail and introducing a plan to raise the funds for its completion. Their plan will be presented in the next FLSRV newsletter that comes out in September.  Be thinking of how you might want to contribute to this cause or if you have suggestions they might use to help achieve this objective.

Jack Nisbet’s and FLSRV’s Sixth Annual Walking Tour: Lower Hangman/Latah Creek April 29, 2018

by Tina Wynecoop Near Peaceful Valley, below Spokane Falls, a tributary joins the Spokane River. And thirty-three humans and one very polite dog named ‘Dug’ joined on this cool spring morning to follow our favorite naturalist/historian guide, Jack Nisbet, on yet another wonderful excursion to explore in depth our region’s varied wonders.  Overheard while waiting for the group to assemble, one octogenarian-minus mentioned to another octogenarianplus that his parents had kept a trailer at this very spot by Sandifur Bridge fifty years ago. The other elder, a Spokan Indian, countered, ‘Well, 150 years ago, my people lived here.’ (And they had for uncountable generations.)  After a brisk uphill walk we looked down at the confluence of Hangman Creek and the Spokane River. Coolish weather earlier in the week had slowed the creek’s meltwater considerably (from 20,000cfs the previous Monday to 8,000cfs on this day.) This is a spectacular drone photo (courtesy of Cutboard Studio) of the confluence was published by The Inlander in mid-April showing a vast stream of mud flowing from Latah Creek and running parallel with and infringing on the green flow of the big river. One could be dismayed at the enormous sediment being dumped by Latah into […]

Trail System Section Completions

by Mark Case The Colbert Road trail was completed last fall. We now have 900 feet of trail along the north side of Colbert Road, intending to connect Little Spokane Drive to Meadowbrook Road that loops back around to Golden Road. 2017 was a very busy year with the economy back in full swing, I called about a dozen contractors, only ended up with one bid from Brownscape. They did a great job, clearing and grubbing, placing base material and a 6 foot wide gravel walking surface. The trail comes up short of Little Spokane Drive due to limited right-of-way width, a hillside and the need to drain the wetland overflow.  You may have noticed that over the summer the county tore up the connector road on the north side of the triangle (approximately 300 feet), they replaced the base gravel under the road, added a drainpipe down the middle that drains water getting under the road from the wetland on the corner, and added a roadside ditch to help divert the wetland overflow. With that new ditch in place there wasn’t room left for trail. A future trail is being discussed to connect the Midway Trail to the Colbert […]

Middle of Little Spokane River

by Daniel Collins Waikiki Springs received another dose of community spirit on the Switchbacks trail in late October. Waikiki Springs is 114 acres of second-growth Douglas fir forest and river floodplain managed by State Department of Fish and Wildlife – DFW.  Ten volunteers with pitchforks, pickup trucks, and shovels planted 50 trees and shrubs to mask damaging social trails along the steep slopes down to the Little Spokane River floodplain. We were supported by the DFW’s: Area Manager Daniel Dziekan with deliveries of mulch, Large Woody Debris, plants and tools-we have an outstanding steward in Mr. Dziekan!  We’ve termed these events Save Our Switchbacks (SOS) to raise awareness to the needs of this unique area for conservation and recreation. SOS is sponsored by the Fairwood Farmers Market and is the brainchild of Chris Zeller Fairwood II president and Rob Allen, Fairwood I president. To this point, stewardship has included, litter pickup, repairing trails, and tree planting to restore damaged slopes. The basic methods we used for closing trail are borrowed from the US Forest Service.  In 2018 and beyond, we hope to engage more community in stewardship of these public lands so that we can begin to address the bigger […]

Yearly Walking Tour With Jack Nisbet

Lower Hangman Creek Mark Your Calendar Sunday, April 29, 2018  9:00 am – Noon  Come explore the human and natural history of Lower Hangman Creek from its confluence with the Spokane River to the beginning of its spectacular high bluffs. This mostly flat walk will begin at Sandifur Bridge in People’s Park and move upstream along the proposed connecting trail through Vinegar Flats.

Trail System Section Completions

by Mark Case The Colbert Road trail was completed last fall. We now have 900 feet of trail along the north side of Colbert Road, intending to connect Little Spokane Drive to Meadowbrook Road that loops back around to Golden Road. 2017 was a very busy year with the economy back in full swing, I called about a dozen contractors, only ended up with one bid from Brownscape. They did a great job, clearing and grubbing, placing base material and a 6 foot wide gravel walking surface. The trail comes up short of Little Spokane Drive due to limited right-of-way width, a hillside and the need to drain the wetland overflow.  You may have noticed that over the summer the county tore up the connector road on the north side of the triangle (approximately 300 feet), they replaced the base gravel under the road, added a drainpipe down the middle that drains water getting under the road from the wetland on the corner, and added a roadside ditch to help divert the wetland overflow. With that new ditch in place there wasn’t room left for trail. A future trail is being discussed to connect the Midway Trail to the Colbert […]