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Money trail leads to Enumclaw, Green River Gorge

The state House of Representatives announced last week at its hearing for the state capital construction budget that the Enumclaw area could be in line to receive almost $841,000 in funding for field improvements and the Green River Gorge-Icy Creek trail easement.

The projects are part of a proposed $50 million appropriation to the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, which funds high-priority wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation projects across the state.

The city of Enumclaw would use a $300,000 field improvement grant to improve drainage on its sports field so it doesn’t become a muddy swamp by midseason. Efforts are currently under way to significantly rehabilitate the existing field at the Expo Center.  The $540,828 Green River Gorge-Icy Creek trail easement grant would ensure that the Green River Gorge trails remain open to the public and that houses are not built on the edge of the gorge.

The WWRP noted both local grants could be put at risk if the Senate cuts funding for the program or alters the selection criteria for which projects receive funding.

“We are thrilled to see that the House of Representatives understands the critical role that preservation projects like (this one) play in local communities across the state,” said Joanna Grist, executive director of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition.  “WWRP projects help maintain critical habitat for wildlife, protect our waterways and ensure that outdoor recreation can continue to be major source of income in rural communities across the state.”

The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition is a nonprofit citizens group founded in a historic bipartisan effort by former governors Dan Evans and Mike Lowry. Members consist of a diverse group of more than 250 organizations representing conservation, business, recreation, hunting, fishing, farming, and community interests.

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