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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Little Spokane River shuttle service starts July 5

WATERSPORTS — The Little Spokane River shuttle service for paddlers will resume this summer with an expanded season starting on July 4 and running Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., through Sept. 5. The shuttle is operated by Spokane Parks and Recreation Department.

The van will run between the Nine Mile take-out and the St. George’s put-in. Cost: $8 per person. Vehicles parked at either of the access points must have a Discover Pass.

Register for shuttles at spokaneparks.org.

Info: 363-5418.

Little Spokane River shuttle starts July 5

WATERSPORTS — No more worrying about getting a lift back to your car at the put-in on Saturdays in July and August.

Give a gift that keeps on giving

Tis' the season.

But for the person who has absolutely, positively everything you might as well give the gift of a tree. Now's the chance to have a tree planted in a City of Spokane Park in honor of a person, family, group or business. For $350, Spokane Urban Forestry’s Team Lorax will plant a tree in a Spokane city park. It’s a pretty unique gift that will keep on giving.

Click HERE to purchase a tree. 

The money will go to the Urban Branches fund, a collaborative effort with The Lands Council

Here's some background:

The goals of TLC's Urban Forestry program are to enhance Spokane's tree canopy, restore degraded lands, and build knowledge, awareness, and an appreciation of the urban forest on the part of the community. To this end, TLC works closely with Spokane Urban Forestry. In 2011, we signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and created a new program called "Urban Branches." Urban Branches represents a collective effort to maximize our two organizations' mutual goals and objectives in enhancing Spokane's urban forest canopy.

Lawsuit filed in 2012 student kayaking death on Rock Lake

WATER SPORTS — A city parks instructor manual appears to ban city-sponsored kayak trips in the kind of weather that led to a chaotic and deadly excursion organized by Gonzaga University and sponsored by the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department, according to a lawsuit filed Monday. 

Christopher Gormley, 18, died from hypothermia after his kayak tipped in the frigid waters of Rock Lake on a notably windy day during the spring break trip on April 1, 2012.

Bat biologists offer hands-on learning in Spokane

CRITTERS – “Bats of the Inland Northwest,” is a hands-on opportunity to learn about some of the the marvelous abilities and essential services of bats that fly our skies at night.

Ella Rowan, a Washington Fish and Wildlife Department biologist who specializes in bats, is teaming with biologists from other agencies to offer the class twice this summer, on July 14 and Aug. 25.

Because of the subject matter – nocturnal creatures — timing is a  little later than most classes in the region. Both classes go 7 p.m.-11 p.m.

Cost: Adults $17 or $11 for youth ages 7-17 (no children under seven.) 

The classes include outings in Riverside State Park where bats will be captured.

Pre-registration required online through Spokane Parks and Recreation, or call 625-6200.

 

 

 

Meetings address Spokane Parks Department budget cuts

PARKS — Every division of the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department will be facing a 5.5% budget reduction in 2013 as the city seeks to trim the department's budget by $1 million.

Park departments include Riverfront Park, Park Operations, Planning, Administration, Budget/Finance, Marketing, Youth Centers, Youth Camps, Outdoor Programs, Corbin Art Center, General Recreation, Therapeutic Recreation, Aquatics, Sports and Sports Facilities.

Officials have scheduled three meetings to gather public input on how to maintain services while budget shortfalls are addressed.

The public meetings are 6 p.m.-8 p.m. as follows:

  • Thursday (June 21), West Central Community Center, 1603 N. Belt.
  • June 26, Southside Community Center, 3151 E. 27th.
  • June 28, Northeast Community Center, 4001 N. Cook.

Comments also can be emailed to Parks@spokanecity.org.

Spokane Parks looking for outdoor trip assistants

OUTDOOR RECREATION —  The Spokane Parks & Recreation Department's Outdoors Program is looking for outdoors lovers who would make good outdoor trip assistants for the great outings featured in the Outdoor program guide.

The main benefit:  Cool group outdoor trips at no cost.   Here's the job description:

In this volunteer position, you will learn to facilitate a safe and fun outdoor adventure such as snowshoeing, cross country skiing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, hiking, mountain biking, and bike tours.
 
Trip Assistants receive free training and discount outdoor merchandise!
 
To get started on this adventure, contact volunteer coordinator Catherine Lyle, 625-6216 or email clyle@spokanecity.org.
 
  • See more info on the Outdoors Program volunteer website.
  • See the Outdoor Trip Assistant description here.

City recruiting helpers to build trails in NW Spokane park

TRAILSSpokane Parks and Recreation Department is planning two volunteer trail building days at Wyakin Park. This undeveloped park is in the northwest part of Spokane at the corner of Assembly and Francis. 

"This area is about 20 acres and will make a great small trail area that is close to Riverside State Park, and the Merkel Trail system," said Mike Aho, the city's outdoor program director. "It makes a great hiking, trail running, dog walking and Mountain Biking park for the northwest residents."

"To make this happen we are relying on volunteer labor to help create another close to home nature area. Your help continues to make Spokane a great place to live and recreate by helping out."

The work days are:

  • Friday (Nov. 11-Veterans Day), noon-3 p.m.
  • Saturday (Nov. 12), 9 a.m.-noon.

Sign up: Contact volunteer coordinator Ted Moon at  lunarover@comcast.net or 991-5166

Bring Trail tools (shovels, racks, litter bag, loppers), Gloves, Sturdy Shoes, water bottle and dress for weather.

Meet at the park just North of Francis Avenue on Assembly Street.

New event gives kids a shot at the good kind of paddling

PADDLING — A boat-load of fun is awaiting youngsters during a new free event that will let them paddle canoes, whiewater kayaks, sea kayaks, invlatable kayaks — as well as the latest rage: stand-up paddle boards.

Paddle, Splash and Play is set for on July 30, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Nine Mile Recreation Area in Riverside State Park downstream from Nine Mile Dam.

The equipment and assistance in using the boats will be provided by the Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club, Mountain Gear and Spokane Parks and Recreation.

Visitors who have their own life jackets are encouraged to bring them, as there could be a shortage at times on site.

CURIOUS about Stand Up Paddling?

The photo above shows Rob Casey, author of " Stand Up Paddling: Flatwater to Surf and Rivers," recently published by Mountaineers Books.
  

Ben Burr trail temporarily closed after rock slide

CITY PARKS — A small rock slide has caused Spokane City Parks officials to temporarily close the rail trail  between the new Ben Burr Trailhead at West Liberty Park and the Liberty Aquatic Center entrance off Pittsburg Street.

The rock slide occurred earlier this week near the western end of the Ben Burr trail.  Park staff cleared the trail, but the city Risk Management Department advised that a portion of the trail should be temporarily closed, said parks spokeswoman Nancy Goodspeed.

Barricades and caution tape have been set up at each end the closure and near the slide itself. 

Snowshoe into the moonlight at Mount Spokane

WINTER SPORTS — A guided full-moon snowshoe hike at Mount Spokane is set for Saturday, 6 p.m.-9 p.m.

The trip, sponsored by REI and Spokane Parks and Recreation, includes transportation and all snowshoeing equipment for $31 ($27 for REI members).

Generous snowfall in the past two weeks has made the region's mountains a winter paradise.

Cost: $31, $27 REI member – includes equipment and transportation

Pre-register by Friday. Info: 625-6200.

City Parks offers nordic skiing, snowshoeing activities

WINTER SPORTS — The Spokane Parks and Recreation department offers a full slate of reasonably priced winter nordic skiing and snowshoeing clinics plus outings.

A Feb. 12 guided snowshoe hike at Liberty Lake catches my eye, but there's much more.

Check them out at the Spokane Parks website or call (509) 625-6200.

Get nordic ski lessons in progression

NORDIC SKIING —  In addition to the normal offerings of one-day cross-country skiing and snowshoeing clinics, a new cross-country skiing progressive series course for novice skiers is being offered at Mount Spokane by Spokane Parks and Recreation.

In three separate sessions, participants learned proper beginner techniques and advance to intermediate techniques and then an intro to skate skiing. 

The sessions are scheduled for Jan. 12 and 15 and Feb. 6.  The $99 cost includes all equipment if needed.

Sign-up: (509) 625-6200 or online.

Money, tips sought after fundraiser robbed

The city of Spokane’s Parks and Recreation Department is urging the public to donate to the Northeast Youth Center after a fundraiser was robbed on Saturday. 

The benefit car wash at the Yoke’s parking lot on North Foothills Drive aimed to raise money to send low-income kids to camp this summer, but a man stole the cash box about 2 p.m. and fled in a waiting car, described as a burgundy Chevy Lumina.

The cash box was later found, empty.

“Saturday’s fundraiser was the only one scheduled to raise the needed funds to send kids to camp,” the Parks and Recreation Department said in a news release.

“The need remains.”

To help the Northeast Youth Center, mail or bring donations to the Parks and Recreation reception desk on the 5th floor of City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. An account also has been set up at Banner Bank. For more information, click here.

Anyone with information on the robber, described as white, 5-foot-9 to 5-foot-11, 170 to 185 pounds, with dark hair, should call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233. He was wearing a blue shirt and dark pants. The driver was a black woman, and there was another woman in the car.

Local news briefs

It’s busy around the ‘ol DTE “office” this time of year.  Here are some news briefs we left out of our Another Green Monday.

Spokane - meet Summer Parkways.  You’ve been hearing about, you’re probably a fan of it on Facebook, and now the cat is officially out of the bag.  On two different Sundays this summer, two miles of Howard Street from Riverfront Park to Corbin Park will be closed off to cars for an all-day funfest of street activity, vendors, and most of all, a lively demonstration of alternative transportation from bikes to skateboards to the ‘ol heel to toe express.  Mark your calendars for July 11th and August 22nd, and start making plans to be there or to volunteer.  According to the S-R article from Sunday, “the idea comes from the popular Ciclovia event in Bogota, Colombia, where thousands of residents turn out every Sunday for bicycling, skating, walking, dancing and other fitness activities on car-free streets.”  Read more about it HERE.  “It’s been a huge hit everywhere it’s done,” said Rick Bender, president of the SpokFest Association, which organizes and promotes bicycling events.


Improvements to Finch Arboretum.  New trees and shrubs have been planted alongside the Garden Springs Creek in Finch Arboretum to provide more shade at the same time that invasive and non-native plants are being removed, so says a recent article in the S-R.  The work began last summer with a $6,300 grant, and will continue this year with the planting of more new trees along the creek.  You can read more about this HERE.  In other Parks news, last Thursday the Spokane Park Board unanimously voted to endorse Mayor Mary Verner’s nomination of interim Park Director Leroy Eadie to take the position full time.  Read more about this HERE.  And if you’d like more information about the Parks and how you can voice your opinion on the future of the Parks, take a few minutes to fill out the Community Issues questionnaire which will be used to help the department develop a master plan by identifying services Parks and Recreation can influence and affect.

Dry Fly - not just environmentally sustainable, but economically as well.  Kudos to Don and Kent and all of their success with Dry Fly Distilling.  It was pretty cool to see their business profiled in the USA Today.