REI donates $20,000 for Metro Parks' Swan Creek mountain bike trail expansion
July 7, 2015
Outdoor gear retailer REI has given the Greater Metro Parks Foundation $20,000 to help build the second phase of the mountain bike trail system in Metro Parks Tacoma’s Swan Creek Park.
“All of us here at REI are very excited to invest in the Greater Metro Parks Foundation project at Swan Creek,” said Wendy Miller, outdoor programs and outreach market manager for Puget Sound. “The new mountain biking access created from this project will allow local adventurers more opportunities to get outside and explore the phenomenal places in their community. We look forward to getting out on the trails and having fun at Swan Creek.”
“REI has been a huge supporter of Swan Creek by contributing employee volunteer time, but this is the first contribution of money,” said Joe Brady, Metro Parks natural resources division manager, who said he is extremely grateful. “I believe this a critical relationship for Swan Creek moving forward.”
Metro Parks will use the grant for the construction of about 2 ½ miles of additional trails in the park’s 50-acre woodland area, where a 2-mile trail system opened in March 2014. The system is a magnet for local riders, who have logged an estimated 7,800 visits. With the expansion, Metro Parks plans to create a regional attraction that will lure mountain bike enthusiasts with the opportunity for hourlong rides through progressively challenging Swan Creek terrain.
The trail system is being designed, built and maintained through a relationship with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, a nonprofit which is the state’s largest mountain bike organization. Plans for the second phase of the project are now complete and construction is expected to begin in the fall, Brady said. The funding from REI will pay the alliance for construction materials, oversight, and recruitment and management of volunteer trail builders. Other capital expenses related to the second phase of construction will come from the $198 million bond issue approved by Metro Parks voters in April 2014.
Swan Creek Park consists of 373 acres along Swan Creek, a salmon-bearing Puyallup River tributary running north-south near Tacoma’s East Side city limits. Besides the woodland trail system, the park features a wooded canyon, pedestrian trails, the city’s largest community garden and a 1-acre permaculture plot or food forest. Ownership of the land is divided. Metro Parks manages 290 acres east of Portland and Roosevelt avenues, while Pierce County owns 83 acres on the north end, south of Pioneer Way.