NPS/WASLA Charrettes Spokane’s Latah-Hangman Creek Valley in October                                     

Following quickly on the success of the recent “Sky to Sound Water Trail” charrette in Sultan, the NPS/WASLA partnership* is making preparations for a second charrette this year, this time in eastern Washington. In October, NPS and WASLA volunteers will work with stakeholders, resource experts and community members on concepts for a nine-mile nature trail in Spokane’s Latah-Hangman Creek Valley.

This initiative, of local trail advocates organized by the Inland Northwest Trails and Conservation Coalition (INTC), proposes a wildlife conservation corridor and walking trail to connect six city neighborhoods and a number of public parks along Latah-Hangman Creek, in the southwest quadrant of the City of Spokane. The trail, including water access points, will stretch south from the mouth of Latah-Hangman Creek where it flows into the Spokane River, in Spokane’s historic Peoples Park, to the Hatch Road intersection with US-195.

A prime objective is to demonstrate the enduring value of the natural and historic elements in an area that is experiencing increased development pressures. Over time, habitat conservation and a trail can protect and showcase the valley’s rich history, from the Ice Age Floods geology and the 19th century finding of a “Palouse” mammoth fossil far upstream, to Vinegar Flats, the longest inhabited area, and the campground set up in Peoples Park during Expo ’74.

This trail project connecting people-nature-history is twenty-first century, but the landscape and ecology are millennia old, the place has been peopled for thousands of years, but it also bears many marks of twentieth-century land use, transportation and stream control interventions. It's time to pay better attention. WASLA members can help chart a more beneficial future.

The trail is identified in the Spokane County Trail Plan and a concept plan will prepare the coalition and partners to seek funding for conservation and trail work. Local partners with INTC include the six adjacent neighborhood councils, Spokane’s parks and public works departments, Spokane County’s parks department, the Spokane Regional Health District, and the Lands Council, among others.

In coming newsletters we'll supply more detail, and in the meantime, learn about "historic" Peoples Park on the Spokane River—see this from Spokane's Out There Monthly publication from March of 2016.

If you are interested in participating and/or have any questions, please contact Don Benson or call at 206-297-1259.

*Background: NPS/WASLA Partnership
The community assistance partnership between the National Park Service (NPS) and WASLA was established through a formal agreement in 1998 to help communities “plan, design, and manage their natural, cultural, and recreational resources.” This partnership became the model for the 2000 national NPS/ASLA agreement, which provides landscape architects with opportunities to work with communities and raise awareness about the profession through pro bono technical assistance on conservation and outdoor recreation projects with the NPS Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program. In turn, RTCA is able to sponsor professional design expertise otherwise unavailable or unaffordable n these community-based efforts. Over the last 19 years, the NPS/ASLA partnership has assisted more than 70 community projects across the country, 14 of them in Washington State.

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