By Ann McCreary
The dream of creating a community trail through Twisp has moved closer to reality with the recent announcement of $199,504 in state funding for the project.
The funding was awarded by the state’s Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) to help the town acquire and develop land for the community trail, which is proposed to traverse the town north to south for about three miles, along the Methow River where possible.
Twisp’s Community Trail Project was one of 100 projects statewide recommended by RCO for funding. To the delight of town officials, Twisp’s proposal was ranked third among all the requests, which means it is likely to receive the recommended funding.
The funding will assist the town in acquiring rights of way for the trail. The town has already received rights of way on property owned by Bill and Diana Hottell and Sara Bennett on the north end of the proposed trail route, along the west side of the Methow River, south of the Twisp Town Park.
Recently the Lloyd family donated a right of way for the trail on the southern end of the route along the east side of the river paralleling the East County Road.
The Town of Twisp is required to provide matching funds for the state grant. That match will come in the form of donated rights of way, labor, materials and staff time, said Twisp Town Council member Traci Day, who has been a driving force behind the trail development.
The state funding will be used to develop the trail and view points. The town is working with a Seattle-based urban planner, Connie Reckord, to design the trail.
“Right now we have a preliminary plan. We will be working with Connie Reckord [on] an engineering plan. Then we’ll go for permitting,” Day said.
The trail is intended to connect neighborhoods, parks, commercial districts, town facilities, the airport and sports complex, and provide safe pedestrian and bicycle routes as well as access to the Methow River shoreline.
The RCO funding will be granted in July 2015, and groundbreaking for the trail will likely take place in 2016, Day said.