Want more mountain biking in Washington State Parks? How about a mountain bike trail on Beacon Hill?
Well, you have two chances coming up to get involved.
Beacon Bike Park
Cheasty Greenspace is the only natural area in the city accessible by light rail. Some people who have been helping to restore the area have a bold vision for the area: A mountain bike park.
The Friends of Cheasty Greenspace and the folks behind the Beacon Bike Park are organizing a trail work party June 2 from 10 a.m. to noon. They need lots of help from people to form a bucket brigade to surface the River Trail with gravel, Beacon Hill Blog reports. While it’s not specifically a mountain bike trail (which are usually not gravel), it’s a chance to get involved with the area and meet some of the people behind the idea.
Help State Parks create a tight budget
The Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance is urging people to go to public meetings around the state to help the State Parks Department transform their programs under a tightened budget. Their Seattle-area meeting is June 6 in Renton:
Seattle area: 7 – 8:30 p.m. June 6
King County Department of Development and Environmental Services
900 Oakdale Ave. S.W.
Renton, WA 98057
Washington State Parks is in the midst of an extraordinary transformation of programs and finance. As they enter their second century of service, they find themselves mightily challenged by the task of stewarding an amazing legacy of natural, cultural and recreational resources turned over to our care by previous generations.
During the past five years, State Parks has shrunk the system from 121 to 116 parks, has reduced staff by approximately 200 FTE and has reduced its operating budget by 25%. In the same five years, their funding has decreased from a decades-long funding level of about 70 percent general fund support, to 42 percent last biennium and about 12 percent currently. General fund for State Parks is expected to be at zero in the next biennium.
The 2011 budget proviso passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Gregoire, gave clear direction to the agency:
By August 1, 2012, State Parks must submit a report to the Office of Financial Management detailing its progress toward the goal of making the parks system self-supporting and outlining any additional statutory changes needed for successful implementation.
With their “Centennial 2013 Plan” set for a strategic update, and their 2013-15 budget submittal needed on the heels of the above proviso report, State Parks is going to reach out to the public to help them chart our course forward.