The citizen group backing creation of a Methow Valley recreation district has filed a petition with the Okanogan County Auditor’s office, seeking the certification of enough voter signatures to put formation of the district on the April 2014 ballot.

Fred Wert of Friends of the Recreation District said that the group has gathered more than 800 petition signatures in the past seven weeks. About 550 valid signatures will be needed to put the proposal on the ballot, he said.

The petition calls for creation of a “metropolitan park district” called the Methow Valley Recreation District, and election of a five-member board of commissioners to oversee the district. Wert said a filing period for commission candidates will open after enough signatures are verified.

The proposed recreation district would have the same boundaries as the Methow Valley School District. It would be a special taxing district under state law, with the ability to raise money through a property tax levy to maintain and expand recreational opportunities in the valley.