State proposal outlines upgrades for Issaquah trails

April 7, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. April 7, 2011

Outdoor recreation and wildlife-protection projects in the Issaquah area received a boost in the proposed budget from the state House of Representatives.

The proposed budget includes a $500,000 Cougar Mountain Park-Precipice Trail grant, for King County to expand Cougar Mountain Park and to create a buffer to prevent pending development and create a gateway from Issaquah to the park.

(King County acquired additional land for the park late last year.)

Funds from the $500,000 East Lake Sammamish Trail grant could help King County expand and pave the trail along the lake from Redmond to Issaquah.

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County seeks proposals for youth sports facilities

March 20, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. March 20, 2011

Youth sports organizations can apply for King County grants to build or upgrade recreation facilities.

The county Parks and Recreation Division is accepting applications from qualified groups for Youth Sports Facilities Grants. Applicants must partner with a public agency, such as a school district or municipal parks department, to develop or renovate sports facilities.

The fund has helped organizers build or renovate hundreds of public sports amenities in neighborhoods throughout the county.

Past grant recipients in the Issaquah area include city-run Central Park in the Issaquah Highlands and county-run Duthie Hill Park in Sammamish.

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Off the Press

March 1, 2011

Issaquah attractions are worthy of bucket list

I’ve worked here at The Issaquah Press for over a decade now, covering different aspects of one of the state’s fastest growing towns.

David Hayes Press Reporter

I’ve patrolled the schools beat, sat in on City Council meetings when the city reporter was out of town, and roamed the sidelines at sporting events when Bob Taylor, our sports editor, couldn’t be everywhere at once.

Seeing so many sides of Issaquah, it has really grown on me over the years. How could it not, with so much to do and see, and with such interesting people waiting to tell their tale?

And that’s the problem. As I move further into my second decade covering Issaquah, I’ve realized there is still so much I haven’t done.

As “bucket lists” — where you make up a list of things to do before you die — have become all the rage, consider this my list of righting all the missed opportunities I’ve incurred since living and working in Issaquah.

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King County Parks offers ‘green’ holiday gift ideas

December 18, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 18, 2010

Forget the mall.

King County Parks has “green” holiday gifts galore. Holiday shoppers can support the regional parks system by shopping at the King County Parks Store.

The sales benefit 26,000 acres of public land, including Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park and Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park near Issaquah.

Shoppers can create custom holiday cards, purchase parks-themed stamps or donate to the King County Parks Legacy Fund.

Zazzle, the online retailer behind the parks store, donates up to 27 percent of the net sales from purchased items to King County Parks.

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County, trails association to dedicate trail bridge

October 5, 2010

Trees felled during a fierce windstorm in December 2006 found another use as material for a bridge across a coho salmon-bearing stream in Grand Ridge Park north of the Issaquah Highlands.

Now, hikers, runners, mountain bikers and other trail users no longer need to risk life, limb or shoe to cross Canyon Creek.

The organizations plan to dedicate the bridge at noon Oct. 7. Enjoy trail snacks and prizes at the ceremony. Find a map of the park here.

King County Parks and the Washington Trails Association partnered to build a 40-foot bridge across the creek. Before the bridge spanned the creek, trail users had to scramble down a steep slope, slog through the creek and then climb back up the other side. Now, trail users can stay dry and help preserve and protect fish and wildlife. The bridge helps complete the seven-mile trail from the High Point area to Duthie Hill Park.

The trails association received a King Conservation District grant through the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum to help fund the bridge construction.

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County, Washington Trails Association to dedicate Grand Ridge bridge

October 4, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Oct. 4, 2010

Trees felled during a fierce windstorm in December 2006 found another use as material for a bridge across a coho salmon-bearing stream in Grand Ridge Park north of the Issaquah Highlands.

Now, hikers, runners, mountain bikers and other trail users no longer need to risk life, limb or shoe to cross Canyon Creek.

King County Parks and the Washington Trails Association partnered to build a 40-foot bridge across the creek. The organizations plan to dedicate the bridge at noon Thursday. Enjoy trail snacks and prizes at the ceremony. Find a map of the park here.

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New club aims to connect bicyclists

September 7, 2010

Paul Winterstein bicycles up 12th Avenue Northwest, by Tibbetts Valley Park, on his commute home from work in Redmond. By Laura Geggel

Almost every day, Paul Winterstein commutes the 12.5 miles from his house on Squak Mountain to his workplace in Redmond.

He began biking to work in 2008, after two of his four children got their drivers’ licenses. Instead of buying another car, he decided to bicycle to work, rain or shine. Bicycling helps keep him fit and be a good role model for his children, he said.

The more he used local roads to bike to work, the more he noticed how road construction affected his safety and route.

With road changes happening frequently, Winterstein decided to start an Issaquah Bicycle Club that would unite the area’s bicyclists, helping give them a voice at Issaquah City Council meetings and a presence in the community.

The group could also organize rides, share bicycling tips and bring people together, giving bicyclists a stronger unified identity, much like hikers who belong to the Issaquah Alps Trails Club.

Kent Peterson, an Issaquah bicyclist who works as a bike technician at the Bicycle Center of Issaquah, said he enjoyed mountain biking and that he looked forward to joining the club.

“There are certain roads that are better riding on than others,” Peterson said. “It’s nice to have a place where you can share that knowledge with other people.” Read more

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Program encourages residents to explore the outdoors

July 6, 2010

Go kayaking on Lake Sammamish, biking at Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park or do yoga in a city park as Issaquah businesses encourage resident to get outdoors in July.

Several businesses have partnered to offer Issaquah Outdoors, a monthlong series of outdoor events and classes.

Facilitated by the city, the program brings together bicyclists, kayakers, fly-fishing aficionados and other outdoor enthusiasts to explore opportunities for recreation in and near Issaquah. The city announced the program July 1.

The group has launched a Facebook page with a schedule of activities. Members can also share experiences and ideas, and post photos of outdoors activities at the site.

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Summer program encourages Issaquah residents to explore the outdoors

July 2, 2010

NEW — 7 a.m. July 2, 2010

Go kayaking on Lake Sammamish, biking at Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park or do yoga in a city park as Issaquah businesses encourage resident to get outdoors during July.

Several businesses have partnered to offer Issaquah Outdoors, a monthlong series of outdoor events and classes.

Facilitated by the city, the program brings together bicyclists, kayakers, fly fishing aficionados and other outdoors enthusiasts to explore opportunities for recreation in and near Issaquah. The city announced the program Thursday.

Download the activities schedule as a PDF document here. The group has also launched a Facebook page where members can share experiences and ideas, and post photos of outdoors activities.

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Leap of faith

June 29, 2010

Mountain bikers knew if they built a course, others would come

Dan Veitch, of Klahanie, gets a little closer to heaven as he takes a jump at one of the new BMX trails built at Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park. By Greg Farrar

Klahanie resident Dan Veitch has a new place to practice his faith. You’ll just have to excuse the fact his altar tends to get a little muddy; for the congregation Veitch belongs to receives its sermon atop a BMX bike. And his chapel is the new mountain bike trails built at Duthie Hill Park.

“It’s like our church,” Veitch said. “On Sundays, you’ll see a bunch of guys getting their religion.”

So, it was only appropriate one of the flock of true believers headed the construction. Project manager Mike Westra, a self-described former tech nerd, said the Duthie Hill trail was built by bikers for bikers, through the help of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance.

The park debuted to a grand dedication ceremony May 22, featuring jumping demonstrations and more than 20 vendors offering gear, much of it best suited for the BMX course.

Westra said over the years, no one had built trails designed specifically for mountain biking.

“We’ve actually been kicked off a lot of hiking trails, from Cascade to Tiger mountains,” he admitted.

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