Traveling to your favorite Greenway trails can sometimes be a challenge, whether you don’t have access to a vehicle or have trouble finding parking at the trailhead. Starting April 20th, there will be another mode of getting to and from the trails called Trailhead Direct. This transit-to-trails shuttle service is an affordable, equitable, environmentally friendly transportation option to get you to numerous recreation destinations, including Cougar Mountain, Issaquah Alps, Mailbox Peak, Mount Si, and Little Si. Trailhead Direct was first launched in August 2017 as a pilot project sponsored by King County Metro and King County Parks with the mission to connect more people to the regions great outdoors while additionally reducing dangerous vehicle congestion at trailheads. How can you support this service? By catching a lift on your next backcountry outing! Find 2019 service routes and schedules here
King County Parks Levy
On August 6th 2019, King County voters strongly approved a levy renewal to fund County parks and trails! This is essential funding that will help King County Parks continue to conserve critical natural lands and build and maintain spectacular parks such as Marymoor Park on the shores of Lake Sammamish, Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, the biggest urban wildland park in the country with remnants of coal mining days, scenic Tolt MacDonald Park on the Snoqualmie River, and so many more. Funding will also build and connect regional trails including important connections that will transform the Eastside Rail Corridor for active transportation from Renton to Woodinville. The King County Parks levy is a high return investment in our communities to ensure that our parks are cared for and that the outdoors are accessible for everyone. Learn more about the King County Parks Levy here.
Washington State Priorities
2019-2021 Agency Budget Requests
Many treasured places in the Greenway are managed by state agencies including the Department of Natural Resources and Washington State Parks. It is essential that land management agencies receive adequate funding in order to maintain wildlife habitat, forests, parks and recreational facilities that we all enjoy. Every two years, Washington legislators set state budget, and we have the opportunity to share stories with our senators and representatives about the importance of conservation and recreation access for all. For the 2019 session, Greenway Trust State Legislative Priorities such as the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program and the Teanaway Community Forest received strong support in the budget. While we are excited for these essential grants and programs, some priorities didn’t fare so well that leave us concerned for agencies’ ability to maintain their lands. Learn more about the 2019 Legislative wrap up.
Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act
Congress has introduced S.1081 and H.R. 3195 that proposes full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million per year. This program is funded from offshore oil revenues at no cost to taxpayers and has been used to conserve America’s great outdoor spaces, parks, and playgrounds. In March 2019, the Land and Water Conservation Fund was permanently reauthorized in the major public lands package. However, that legislation did not allocate funding. Now is the time for Congress to ensure funding for this critical conservation and recreation program that has protected many wonderful places in the Mountains to Sound Greenway and across the country. Learn more about the Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act here.
John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act
On March 12, 2019, the President signed the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, a monumental bipartisan effort from both the Senate and the House of Representatives. A hallmark of the Act was permanent reauthorization of the Land & Water Conservation Fund, an important funding source that has conserved more than 85,000 acres in the Greenway and contributed to many recreation access projects. The Act also designated the Mountains to Sound Greenway as a National Heritage Area and provided support to the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project Phase III Act, which authorizes an integrative and collaborative approach to addressing water challenges in the Yakima Valley. Washington Senator Maria Cantwell, a champion for Greenway NHA designation, was instrumental in negotiating the Act, the largest conservation legislation in many years.