Loop trail is group’s vision for gulch | Letter
Editor, The Beacon:
I think the residents of Mukilteo have been adequately informed about the recent purchase of the final 98 acres on the west side of Japanese Gulch.
This completes the acquisition of 123 acres over the past six years and creates a forested park and open space area of about 145 acres total for this and future generations to enjoy.
Even though it was purchased with public money from the city, county and state, no one's taxes were raised to pay for it.
When the purchase is concluded in a few weeks, there will be continuous public paths from the Community Garden to the waterfront, and with the ferry development, along the shore to Lighthouse Park.
If the vision is complete, why is the Japanese Gulch Group still having an auction this Saturday?
The president of the group, Arnie Hammerman, answered that very well in last weeks' guest editorial [“Our forest forever,” The Beacon, Gulch View, page 4, Jan. 22]. If you have not seen that, please look it up.
But it is important to emphasize a few things.
The gulch will need our help to develop and maintain trails. Some areas will need to be changed to adequately protect wetlands and other sensitive areas.
The city has not allocated very much for trail maintenance in the gulch in the 2014 budget and has been clear it will be relying on volunteers and the JGG to help with this.
Here are two other visions that I hope the community will embrace.
There is a trail that runs north from the Community Garden that is broad and relatively flat that could be developed to ADA standards. This would make the beauty and serenity of the gulch accessible to everyone.
Another longer term project is to create a loop trail that would run from the Community Garden, to the waterfront, along the shore to Lighthouse Park (this is already part of the ferry development plan), but then to find a way to extend a trail south along the water to connect to existing trails through Big Gulch/92nd Street Park and the Staybridge to the path along Paine Field Boulevard and back to the Community Garden.
JGG can be an advocate for either or both of these visions, as well as the liaison between the city and trail users regarding alterations to the existing trail system in Japanese Gulch (and other trails).
Please come join us this Saturday evening and help us continue the work of expanding access and preserving trails not just in Japanese Gulch for all of our citizens.
Japanese Gulch Group