REI’s grant for bank restoration on the Spokane River continues to move the Mirabeau Point project forward. I would like to personally thank the Paddle Board for approving a $2000 contribution from the SCKC Access Fund. The money will fund a hydro-seeding application in the spring at the Mirabeau Point hillside adjacent to the parking lot. The gravel pathway and boulders were put in place by Pointwest Landscape – a big thank you to Chris Briner and his crew for a well job done! This is the second project Pointwest has worked on with us; the Barker Bridge project last year was the other. If you get a chance, swing or paddle by to see the new look at Mirabeau. I hope to have pictures next month. If you’re out shopping at REI this season, please extend our gratitude to Carol Christensen. Last, but not least, thanks go to Andy Dunau from the Spokane River Forum for applying for the grant in the first place and for all the behind-the-scenes work that needs to take place for a project like this to succeed.
SCKC has been invited to a meeting involving the Dept. of Ecology’s recapping project at Barker Bridge. Fellow Paddle Board member Dennis Johnson and I are planning to attend. We are hoping for an opportunity to formalize this access in the future and perhaps make it more accommodating for rafters.
One final thought: with the Spokane river trail providing momentum like we have not seen in the last few decades, there is a real opportunity for SCKC to be a partner in improving access to the river. The money we are spending now comes from a fund dedicated to access issues, developed from the proceeds of an annual auction that the club put on for several years back in the early 90′s. The success of those auctions was due in large part to Linda White, who chaired the events, and other club volunteers who lent a hand with the many hours of work such an event requires. So I’d like to extend a word of appreciation to those SCKC members who had the foresight to designate money for access needs before the actual opportunities were realized. It has enabled us to partner with other organizations when our contributions can make a positive difference.