Seventeen years ago a group of community members had a vision. On Saturday May 11th that vision moved forward with the opening of a new trail in Cedar Creek Park, a park located between Covington and Maple Valley. The park connects the two communities via a future connector trail but more than that it is a testament of what community involvement and stewardship can accomplish.
Over sixty people came to honor the past and look to the future. A bench was dedicated in honor of Maple Valley city council member Gary Patrick who played an important role in conserving the park. The bench will serve as a resting spot beneath a giant Cedar tree.
In looking forward we are excited about the new 1.5 miles of new trail where visitors can wander through a towering forest. The trail winds through eighty to one hundred year old Cedar, Douglas Fir, and Hemlock and teaches us about what our forests used to look like.
The Friends of Cedar Creek Park in cooperation with King County Parks, and Middle Green River Coalition is looking for people who visit or live around the park that are interested in being part of the vision to develop a long term plan for the park and be a part of it’s stewardship. Honestly being a part of a community around a shared area like a park creates community and a connection with where you live.
As one of the founders, the highlight of seeing the new trail become a reality was watching the sixty-six Tahoma high school Outdoor Academy students enthusiastically clearing trail. They were having fun. Many of the students said they felt a connection with the park because they lived close by and because they helped build this trail. Most of those kids were not even born when I started working to preserve the area. That makes it all worth it.
If you are interested please visit our website at: friendsofcedarcreekpark.org.
A special thanks to REI, King County Parks, Washington Trails Coalition, Tahoma high school Outdoor Academy, Ian Johnson and his Eagle Scout crew, Institute for Community Leadership, Maple Valley Parks Commissioner, Pat Weiler, Black Diamond Trails Coalition, and the Cedar Downs Homeowners Association.
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The Grand Opening of the new Cedar Creek Park trail loop