CONSERVATION -- The Dream Trail through the Dishman Hills from Appleway south past Tower Mountain and Big Rock is one step closer to being a dream come true.
On Friday, the land transactions were completed with the Dishman Hills Natural Area Association selling the 80 acre Big Rock property and 10 additional acres for parking to Spokane County Parks and Recreation Department.
Parks had agreed to purchase and manage the property as part of its Conservation Futures lands along with the adjoining Iller Creek Conservation Area.
The transaction marks the beginning of the end of hassles -- and tickets -- Big Rock visitors have had with parking at the end of Stevens Creek Road. But the parking area isn't scheduled to be built until next year.
"We will not be constructing that parking area until next construction season (probably late-spring/early-summer)," said John Bottelli, County Parks assistant director.
He said the roadway improvements that were completed by DHNAA within the Stevens Creek right of way provide a bit more room near the end of the road, but the county's official position is that the public should access Big Rock from the Iller Creek trailhead on Holman Road until crews are able to complete the trailhead improvements on Stevens Creek Road.
The Dishman Hills group now plans to focus on linking public access through land purchases or easements to provide a right of way for wildlife and recreationists through this great resource area in Spokane Valley.
Get the scoop and find out how you can help by attending the DHNAA 45th anniversary of land conservation celebration, Nov. 12, at the Moran Prairie Grange, 6106 S. Palouse Highway.
Sign up on the DHNAA website.