Mitigation work brings boardwalk to McKinley Park

Staff reportJanuary 12, 2014 

Visitors to McKinley Park in Tacoma can now use a new boardwalk that offers access to the wetlands as part of a nearly 3-mile loop trail.

The boardwalk was part of a project to mitigate work done to extend the Sounder rail line south to Lakewood. That work filled in 0.46 acres of wetlands, streams and buffers, the result of excavation required to build retaining walls and utilities in and near the wetlands.

To mitigate those impacts, Sound Transit partnered with Metro Parks Tacoma to build a new project in McKinley Park that excavated fill material to re-create 0.45 acre of wetland adjacent to an existing wetland, created a new stream channel, removed invasive species and planted native trees and shrubs .

The work also included building a trail segment and the boardwalk to complete the loop trail around the site and an interpretive sign.

The $1.5 million project was funded by Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority.

One of Tacoma’s first parks, the 26-acre park is at 907 Upper Park St.

LEARN ABOUT EAGLES

The Deep Forest and Eagle Habitat Experience is being offered at Rockport State Park from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays-Sundays through Jan. 26. The park is at 51905 state Route 20, Rockport.

The event offers guided interpretive walks geared to families. Hikers will explore eagle habitat on the park’s lower trails along the Skagit River under a tree canopy so dense that minimal sunlight penetrates to the ground.

Visitors also can visit the park office for indoor features and activities, including displays of forest animals and an eagle slide show. Children and family activities will be offered throughout the day. These include building an eagle from yarn pom-poms and feathers, making a watercolor painting, and making tree cookie necklaces and wooden postcards.

The park event was created in conjunction with the Skagit Eagle Festival, a monthlong celebration during eagle-watching season on the upper Skagit River. Festival activities take place every Saturday and Sunday in January in and around the communities of Concrete, Rockport and Marblemount.

For more festival information, go to skagiteaglefestival.com.

Participants are urged to dress for winter hiking. A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to the park. Information about the event is available online at parks.wa.gov/events.

FORT NISQUALLY

The Fort Nisqually Foundation has received a $5,000 grant from the Nisqually Tribe of Indians. The funds will allow the summer “Crafts of the Past” program to continue in 2014.

Meanwhile, the staff Fort Nisqually Living History Museum is taking another step into the social media world. They have added a Twitter feed to the existing Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter pages.

The new feed provides updates from 1851. Using the Fort Nisqually “Journal of Occurrences,” followers receive daily tweets, providing a snapshot of life at Fort Nisqually more than 160 years ago.

Why 1851? First, the calendar year matches up, Jan. 1 was on a Wednesday in both 1851 and 2014, and secondly, because going through the year 1851 provides an opportunity to learn about life during an average year at the fort.

Museum staffers interpret and talk a lot about the big events in the fort’s history, said a Metro Parks Tacoma news release, but by following the day-to-day journal entries, readers might get new insights into what it would have been like to live at this outpost and hub of Puget Sound commerce.

You can find the journal feed at https://twitter. com/JOccurrences.

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