A groundbreaking ceremony for additional trail improvements to the Buckley to South Prairie section of the Foothills National Recreation Trail will take place on June 7, 2016, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Fitzer Mill Site, along Highway 165.
This unimproved section of the Foothills Trail opened in 2008, but has remained unpaved. Construction work includes paving and installing pin-pile bridge sections over wet portions of the trail alignment. Once construction is completed, trail users will have a much improved trail experience, replacing the current muddy conditions along the trail with a solid surface suitable for pedestrians, bicycles, equestrians, and other non-motorized trail users.
“We are excited to move one step closer to completing this beautiful place for fun, fitness and a connection with nature,” said Pat McCarthy, Pierce County Executive. “We invite the community to join us as we come together and celebrate the people and organizations that have made this milestone possible.”
Because there is limited parking and this site is also a driveway for local residents, Parks will have shuttles starting at 11:15 a.m. continually leaving from the Buckley Veterans Memorial Park, located north of the Buckley Foothills Trailhead on River Ave., where there is ample parking. Light refreshments will be provided courtesy of the Foothills Rails to Trails Coalition. At the end of the groundbreaking ceremony, shuttles will return riders to the Veterans Memorial Park.
The construction project is funded by Pierce County; a grant from Federal Highways Administration/Washington State Department of Transportation, Puget Sound Regional Council, Rural Town Centers and Corridor; Washington Recreation and Conservation Office WWRP trail grant; and the Foothills Rails to Trails Coalition.
About the ceremony
Speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony include Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy; Buckley Mayor Pat Johnson; Pierce County Councilmember Dan Roach; Parks and Recreation Director, Tony Tipton; and Foothills Rails to Trails President, Buzz Grant.
About the Foothills Buckley to South Prairie section
The main section of the Foothills Trail begins in East Puyallup and travels 19 miles to the City of Buckley. There are two gaps in the trail between South Prairie and Buckley, both of which will be completed by the end of 2017. The section beginning construction this summer is approximately 1.3 miles and involves the paving of the existing trail alignment and using pin pile bridges over wetland areas, which minimizes potential impacts to the environment.
Tony Tipton, Pierce County Parks and Recreation Services Director
Kimberly Freeman, Resource Stewardship Superintendent
Theresa Turpin, Capital Projects Manager
(253) 798–4083 or (253) 278-8007 (cell)