On Tuesday, September 18, the City of Sumner received a recognition award at the ForeverGreen Council’s annual trails conference. The award, presented by Mount Rainier Park Superintendent Randy King, recognized Sumner’s contributions toward the nonprofit council’s goal of creating a countywide system of multi-use recreational trails.
The City of Sumner was honored for city trail-building efforts that include construction a bridge that will eventually link the Foothills Trail with Puyallup’s River Walk Trail and King County’s Interurban Trail.
“The City of Sumner's work on its centrally-located Urban to Mountain Trail is really the keystone for the countywide system of multi-use trails that ForeverGreen hopes to see," said ForeverGreen Council president David Seago. "Sumner's city leaders and citizens really ‘get it’ in understanding the importance of trails. Safe and pleasant places to walk, bike, skateboard and roller-skate make communities healthier and more livable. Sumner could not be more deserving of our gratitude and recognition.”
In addition to Sumner’s award, Pierce County and Terry Lee also received recognition. Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy accepted an award honoring federal designation of the county’s Foothills Regional Trail as a national recreation trail.
The National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior announced the official designation last month, adding the local trail to 53 other similarly designated trails in 23 states. The trail will now be known as the Foothills National Recreation Trail.
Lee, the former two-term Pierce County Council member now leading the two-year-old Peninsula Metropolitan Park District, received a lifetime achievement award for his longstanding efforts to build and expand local trail. He was instrumental in creating the popular Cushman Trail in Gig Harbor and in winning state funding to further extend the trail.
Sumner has divided its main trail into sections and continues to seek opportunities, including grants, to complete each section for a continuous trail system.
This summer, two more sections are currently being constructed. The section from the existing Confluence Trail to the Bridge Street bridge is underway with completion anticipated by end of October. The second section, from 16th Street across the White River to Stewart Road, is also underway. The bridge across the river has been set, and approach spans are currently being poured with completion also anticipated by the end of October. Once these are completed, the city has three more sections to finish plus three sections that private developers need to finish for a complete trail system.
These “sections” are relatively small, meaning that Sumner is very close to a complete trail, a milestone that was recognized by the award.
“These trails are important on so many levels,” said Mayor Dave Enslow. “Sumner needs complete trails so that our young people can reconnect with nature and our older people can stay active. On a larger scale, Sumner is the missing link between over 30 miles of trails that go from Seattle to Mt. Rainier. That’s incredibly important not only for recreation and health but also for a safe, non-motorized commuting option that helps reduce traffic congestion.”
For more information about the ForeverGreen Council, visit www.forevergreen.org.
Information provided by the City of Sumner