State awards $1 million in recreation grants for county

Projects in 24 counties will receive funding totaling more than $6 million to improve trails, boating facilities and firearm and...

Projects in 24 counties will receive funding totaling more than $6 million to improve trails, boating facilities and firearm and archery ranges in Washington, the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation announced today.

In Pierce County, $1,045,816 was awarded to four agencies.

The Interagency Committee is responsible for evaluating proposals and distributing funding for nine grant programs. In all, the agency received 100 proposals requesting more than $12 million in funding under three grant programs. The committee was able to meet only about half that demand because of limited funding.

“Washington has a great variety of places to recreate, whether you like to go boating, hike a trail, or practice archery,” said Laura Johnson, director of the Office of the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation. “These grants play a vital role in keeping those opportunities available. They do everything from building new trails to adding lanes at a boat launch. They help us maintain what we have and add new elements to accommodate increased use.”     

The following Pierce County agencies were awarded state grants:

City of Lakewood – $595,000 — Rebuilding the American Lake Boat Launch

The City of Lakewood will use this Boating Facilities Program grant to develop three boat launches at American Lake Park, a popular, 5-acre, day-use park on the north shore of American Lake.  The 1,125-acre American Lake provides year-round fishing, recreational boating and access to a variety of water sports.  The City will use the grant to redevelop the boat launch area by demolishing existing airplane hangers, an office, and a house; building a new entrance to the boat launch; doubling the number of vehicle-trailer parking stalls; adding stacking lanes to improve boat launch function; rebuilding three boat launch ramps with turnaround space; installing 400 linear feet of transient floats with new gangways; and adding site amenities including a picnic area and landscaping.  Lakewood will contribute $205,000 in funding, labor, a state grant and donations.  The project ranked third of 17 competing for funding. 
 
Pierce County Parks & Recreation — $332,650 — Renovating the Spanaway Park Boat Launch

Pierce County will use this Boating Facilities Program grant to make improvements to the boat launch in 135-acre Spanaway Park.  The County plans to renovate the existing concrete motorized boat launch, renovate the concrete bulkhead, widen the existing boat ramp access road, and add two accessible restrooms at the boathouse.   Pierce County.  The County will contribute $332,651 in funding.
 
U.S. Forest Service, Mount Baker National Forest, Snoqualmie Ranger District — $53,166 — Providing Law Enforcement at Evans Creek Off-Road Vehicle Area         
      
The Forest Service will use this grant to help fund law enforcement patrols at Evans Creek Off Road Vehicle area.  The Forest Service will hire Pierce County Sheriff Department and Forest Service law enforcement officers to patrol in the evening and early morning hours, the time when most illegal activity occurs.  This grant is from the Nonhighway and Off-Road Vehicle Activities program.  It ranked third of 31 competing for funding in the education and enforcement category.  The Forest Service will contribute $66,942 in funding, equipment, labor and donated equipment.
 
U.S. Forest Service, Mount Baker National Forest, Snoqualmie Ranger District — $65,000 — Planning for Improvements at Evans Creek Off-Road Vehicle Area        
         
The Forest Service will use this grant to develop a restoration and capital improvement plan for the Evans Creek Off Road Vehicle Area.  With an increase in use, many of the trails have become heavily eroded.  Campground facilities and roads are not adequate to accommodate the increased number of users.  This grant will help fund the needed survey and design work to develop an improvement plan to ensure Evans Creek is in compliance with state and federal environmental and land management standards.  The plan will provide management direction to future capital improvements and restoration work that will help boost Evans Creek into a top quality area.  The Forest Service will contribute $65,000 in equipment and labor.  This grant is from the Nonhighway and Off-Road Vehicle Activities program.  The project was the top ranked project of 15 competing for funding in the off-road vehicle category.

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