Trails & Pathways

New Olympia Walking Paths website

A local Olympian neighbor has set up a fabulous website detailing interesting walks and simple hikes in our area. This link will take you to one of his most recent entries–our very own most wonderful Mission Creek Nature Park: http://walkolympia.wordpress.com/2012/09/01/mission-creek-nature-park/

Transforming our neighborhood into a safe and beautiful place to get active and get connected

For more than 15 years, NENA has been working on projects to transform our neighborhood into a safer and more beautiful place for folks to get active and get connected. Some of these projects include Friendly Grove Park, the Mission Creek Nature Park, the sidewalks on Miller, San Francisco, and Quince Streets, the traffic safety improvements at Roosevelt School, the Joy Avenue Pathway and Edible Forest Garden, our Welcome Mural @ Puget and SF streets, our Graffiti Busters program, and much more. Our most recent project is the Puget Pathway and Food Bank Garden Project. We also have a number of other projects in various stages of development that you can learn about at the end of this page.

The Puget Pathway and Food Bank Garden project: An opportunity to put public land to public use to build a better connected neighborhood – NENA has applied through the City’s Neighborhood Pathways program for funding to build a pedestrian and bike path in the Puget Street ROW connecting Miller and Jasper streets. As part of this project, we’ve asked for support to landscape the corridor with fruit and nut trees and to install raised beds to grow food for the Thurston County Food Bank. NENA’s basic proposal for this project can be found here, along with some earlier versions we submitted for the same project back in 2013.

To design and build the garden, we’ve been in discussions with the Grub Victory Farmers, the Touchstone Community Facility for Boys which is adjacent to the corridor, and a group called Edible Forest Gardens. We are particularly excited about the opportunity to partner with the Victory Farmers. The mission of this group is “to empower veterans, active-duty service members, and their families to grow food, communities, and each other.” Their first garden project in Olympia is in our neighborhood at 718 Milas Avenue NE near Arbutus Street. There was a great profile of the group in the Olympian earlier this year.

What’s next in the process…

* September & October, 2015 – City staff will review NENA’s proposal and work with us and our partners to develop a project plan and budget.

* October 28, 2015 – The proposal will be presented to the City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) for their consideration and they will make a recommendation on whether or not it should be funded.

* December 2015 – January 2016 – If the BPAC supports the project, the City and NENA will finalize an agreement to construct the path and landscape the property which would include installation of the community garden.

* Spring, 2016 – If the project moves forward, construction would likely begin sometime in April or May next year.

We want to hear from you!

If you’d like to learn more about or help with this project, please send me a note at pguttchen@gmail.com. We’ve already reached out to and heard back from some of the people who live near the proposed pathway and garden and will be considering their feedback and will continue to solicit their ideas and help as we work with the City to develop a final plan for the project. If you have any comments, concerns, or questions about the project, please send them to me and/or Michelle Swanson with the City of Olympia – mswanson@ci.olympia.wa.us – 360-753-8575. Michelle will make sure your comments are shared with the BPAC and are considered by City staff as they review NENA’s proposal.

History of NENA’s work on pathways projects
In 2011, based on the success of the Joy Avenue Pathway pilot project, the City Council decided to budget $125,000 from the City’s Parks and Pathways fund to pay for this program. In November 2012, seventeen projects were submitted to be considered for funding. The City chose eight projects to move onto a second round of review. Three of those projects were within NENA’s boundaries.
* The Puget Pathway and Garden – This was originally proposed in 2012 – and we have now reapplied in 2015. The project is summarized above.
* Bethel Street to Priest Point Park along 26th Avenue – We proposed to build a pathway along the south side of 26th Avenue to link Bethel Street to Gull Harbor Road and the east entrance to Priest Point Park. This pathway will make it safer and easier to walk to Priest Point Park from our neighborhood. The proposed path is along a stretch of 26th Avenue with no shoulder and fast-moving traffic. – Design work for this path may begin in 2016.
* Mission Creek Nature Park Extension Trail– We are proposing to build trails and a small bridge across Mission Creek in a large beautiful wooded area owned by the City of Olympia.The trails would begin at the east end of Marion Street just 1/2 block north of the Ethridge entrance to the Mission Creek Nature Park and would end at Central Street. – City staff and neighborhood representatives are continuing to explore options for the future.

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