Barnes Creek trail in Des Moines may get makeover

The Barnes Creek trail may get a makeover worth more than $1 million if the City of Des Moines’ grant application is approved.

The City Council will reapply for a grant through the Washington Recreation and Conservation Funding Board. The grant has been denied in previous years.

The request is for $650,000. The city currently has $850,000 secured from the Des Moines Urban Trails Fund and the King County Conservation Futures.

The money requested will help with the purchase of 25 acres of land in the SR-509 corridor, currently owned by the Department of Transportation. The land spans in a narrow area from Kent-Des Moines Rd. to South 220th Street.

The Barnes Creek Trail, which heads off at Kent-Des Moines Road (near South 216th Street), meanders through the woods northward to 15th Avenue South. The improvements will provide access to several other area trails, and also connect with Des Moines Creek Park, Des Moines Beach Park National Historic District and the marina.

There will also be continuous trails connecting to places such as the Mt. Rainier Pool, the Des Moines Activity Center and Highline Community College.

Although the application was previously denied because of budget shortfalls and state prioritization the City Council is continuing their effort to meet their goals for the Des Moines City Comprehensive Plan and the 2012-2017 Capital Improvement Plan, which includes improving the city’s trails and promoting healthy lifestyles through physical activity.

There is also a conservation aspect to the project, considering Barnes Creek and Massey Creek are Coho and Cutthroat salmon breeding grounds. Once purchased, the land will be designated as a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Priority Habitat Species Area.

The work the city has accomplished is already being recognized.

The City was also recently awarded three Spotlight Awards from the Washington Recreation and Park Association (WRPA). Spotlight Awards are given to cities and parks and recreation officials and/or facilities for outstanding work and community service.

On May 3 the City of Des Moines received an award for each of the following categories and accomplishments: Events, Fairs & Festivals – Celebrate Des Moines Festival, Best Interpretive Signage or Map – Des Moines Beach Park Heritage Trail, Best Trails – includes all Des Moines Trails.

Councilwoman Carmen Scott was also recognized by the city for her work on the Heritage Trail signage. Her historic knowledge of the city is displayed along the trail with photographs and information for past eras of Des Moines.

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