Mukilteo Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

Group working hard on Japanese Gulch plans | Letter

 

August 12, 2015



Editor, The Beacon:

This open letter is to the supporters of the Japanese Gulch Group and community members to thank them for their continued support and to share a brief status report.

In 2007, a small group of people undertook the focused task of saving as much wilderness as possible along the Everett-Mukilteo border from commercial development. Mountain bikers, hikers, nature enthusiasts and more truly valued the Japanese Gulch and cared about keeping it healthy and green for generations.

As developers showed interest in the property, Japanese Gulch Group members rallied to hold all agencies accountable to strict environmental standards by hiring a lawyer. Our members attended city and county meetings to keep our cause at the forefront of politician’s agendas.

We have traveled to Olympia to petition for state funding, which was successful two times!

We have fundraised to support further environmental surveys, restore habitat, remove invasive species, coordinate work parties, purchase tools to maintain trails, improve parking, support the installation of a dog park, and host community events.

Over the years, we have logged thousands of volunteer hours to see our mission to the end. Though the levy we pushed for in 2012 failed to reach the supermajority of 60 percent approval, we did reach a very positive 59 percent yes vote.

This strong show of community support encouraged the state, county and city to make the final push to purchase 98 acres and, in early 2014, about 144 acres of the gulch was finally preserved. No longer zoned for light industrial use, it is now a park for all to enjoy!

We aren’t done yet! We continue to meet monthly, and several members of the Japanese Gulch Group have been working with the city of Mukilteo to design a master plan for the new park. Please see http://www.ci.mukilteo.wa.us for more details.

We have worked hard to be the voice of Japanese Gulch users in the planning process, advocating for minimal changes, while understanding some changes need to happen for the benefit of the park and its users.

The group has donated thousands of dollars to the city for this park, and thousands more are pledged for future improvements.

We encourage you to visit our Facebook page and http://www.japanesegulch.org, and join in our monthly meetings and Trailblazers work parties!

Thank you for your continued support, and we hope to see you on the trails!

Sincerely,

Kristin Kohorst,

on behalf of the

Japanese Gulch Group

 

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