A Year of Achievements in Glendale Park
WTA, partners and the local community have made incredible headway in bringing access to this local park.
Glendale Forest in unincorporated North Highline was an inaccessible patch of forest tucked away between houses and apartments when I first visited it. The overgrowth, filled with non-native plants, made it difficult to imagine what it might look like with trails to navigate its terrain. At the time, the land wasn't even owned by King County Parks, its future uncertain but hopeful.
Fast forward to today and, with the help of WTA's partners like King County Parks and the local residents, that vision can be more fully realized. In 2021, WTA and King County Parks engaged the community with a webinar to give details on the project and offer ways to get involved in the process. From there, WTA worked closely with King County Parks to get work underway, and this year we were able to begin work on the ground.
Not only were invasive plant cleared in 2021, but a number of WTA youth and family work parties have already taken place (with more to come!). Trails have begun to take shape, and this once unused corner of North Highline will soon be a destination for people to immerse themselves in nature that was previously unable to be enjoyed.
My work on the Trail Next Door campaign has allowed me to watch this park take shape from its humble beginnings, and it's seeing this come to fruition that encourages me to continue this kind of work all across the state. It's incredible to witness a project like this go from concept to reality. As more WTA work parties take place in Glendale Forest, we step closer to cutting the ribbon on a brand new park that wouldn't have existed without a vision to put nature in reach for everyone; a vision that our partners agree is important in ensuring that everyone has access to these spaces near them.
Access to parks and trails is important for our health, both mental and physical, and parks like Glendale Forest offer a chance for everyone to enjoy the benefits that come from time spent outdoors. I know this personally from my own hiking journey. The parks near me have been a constant and steady presence in my life, allowing me to escape for an hour at a time to rekindle my interest in the natural world.
As we look forward to 2022 and the work to be done, I'm proud of what we've accomplished, and eager to see Glendale Forest become accessible to the community. But even more than that, I'm encouraged by the prospect of projects just like this one taking place across Washington, bringing access to the outdoors where it's needed most.
Want to support our Trails Next Door work in 2022? Consider making a donation today.