State gives millions to local parks

Grants to four projects will buy land, preserve habitat, develop facilities in county

By Sue Vorenberg, Columbian features reporter

Published:

 

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office has given Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation a grant of more than $2 million to fund four Clark County projects.

The money will go toward land acquisition, habitat preservation and park development.

Parks and Recreation applied for the funding through the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, which provides grants to more than 85 programs throughout the state.

"Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation has been really good about going out for grants, so this is really exciting," said city spokeswoman Barbara Ayers.

The four projects

• Flume Creek Habitat Area will get $1.1 million to purchase 160 acres of shoreline, wetlands and mature upland forest south of Ridgefield.

• Cougar Creek Woods Community Park will get a reimbursement of $558,391, half the cost of 10 acres for a future community park. The money will also preserve habitat for the western wahoo, a threatened shrub that grows along Cougar Creek.

• John Ball Neighborhood Park will get a reimbursement of $224,853, half the acquisition cost of the existing 2.4-acre park at West 23rd Street and Kauffman Avenue.

• Chinook Neighborhood Park will get a reimbursement of $160,583, half the cost of land to develop a 5.4-acre park near Skyview High School in Salmon Creek.

Ralph Dannenberg, interim director of Parks and Recreation, said the additional money will be a big help.

"This is great news," Dannenberg said. "These grants will allow us to continue to support our park system and environmental treasures."

Sue Vorenberg: 360-735-4457; http://twitter.com/col_suevo; sue.vorenberg@columbian.com