Attention, all Spokane recreationists with a knack for names: Six trails on High Drive Bluff need your talents.
Friends of the Bluff has partnered with the Spokane Parks & Recreation Department to map and name six trails. The naming period will end Feb. 26, at which point the Parks Department will review and decide on names.
The naming effort will feed into two major city efforts, said Angel Spell, assistant director of natural resources for Spokane Parks & Recreation.
The first is a new parks and open space plan which will inform city priorities for the next six to 10 years.
“Trails and open space are always at the top of the list for the community about what they care about the most,” she said. “We know that those spaces, those natural spaces, those undeveloped parks … are incredibly important to the community, users, citizens and visitors.”
More immediately, the naming effort will help the city complete a hiking and biking trails map.
Phil Larkin, a Friends of the Bluff board member and a professional cartographer and programer, called the entire effort exciting, saying that it could help publicize the network of trails just minutes from downtown.
“Long-term Spokanites don’t have any idea that there are 500 acres to play in,” he said. “Or they go down there and they have no idea where they are. … I’d like to see it open up to people who are new to hiking who are new to the area.”
The six trails run mostly north to south, although there is one loop trail in the southern end. Standardizing trail names and developing a formal trail plan will give people a common name to refer to them by, in addition to making access easier. More than 20 miles of trails wind through the 50-acre High Drive Bluff Park.
“I just think it would definitely help,” he said. “Just help the area get more attention.”
In addition to asking for potential names, Larkin said which trails are included and where they go is also open to input. Users can and should submit alternate trail ideas, he said.
As part of that effort, Friends of the Bluff will have a booth at the Great Outdoors & Bike Expo this weekend, where they hope to receive feedback and ideas in person.
Once the city has received name ideas, Parks & Recreation staff and the Park Board will review options and make a final decision on trail names, Spell said.
As for the city trail map, she hopes that will be complete sometime mid-to-late summer. The plan is to publish the maps online and make them compatible and available on mobile trail applications. There is no plan to create a printed map, she said. Area hiking maps may be released one at a time, or the city may wait to release them all together; she said that hasn’t been decided.
There are about 2,000 acres of undeveloped parks, natural areas and open space citywide, she said.
“We’d like to know what the community would like those trail names to be,” Spell said.
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