Trail Clean-Up

George Johnson, a member of the Rainier City Council, participates in a work party to clean up brush and grass around the Yelm-Tenino Trail last June.

Thurston County is asking residents, visitors and other stakeholders to provide input on the future of county-owned parks, trails and open spaces in a new online survey.

Submitted comments will be used to inform a new Parks, Open Space and Trails Plan for Thurston County.

“Answers provided in the survey are anonymous and will help us serve Thurston County communities better,” Thurston County Parks and Trails Division Manager Kerry Hibdon said in a press release.

About 25,000 new residents have moved into Thurston County since the previous parks and trails plan was released in 2013. The county plans to address changes in service needs, “including the roles of corridors and buffer zones providing wildlife movement between areas, changes in technology, environmental health, social equity and changing demographics and related needs,” according to the press release.

“An inclusive planning process is vital to the success of any effort to provide recreational opportunities and outdoor amenities within our community,” Hibdon said. “Planning that engages people, supporters and opponents alike will help ensure that the right actions are taken for the right reasons at the right time.”

The survey, which can be accessed at www.co.thurston.wa.us/parks, will be available through Sept. 30, 2019.

“Parks, trails, and open spaces are an essential part of Thurston County,” the county wrote in its press release. “They help provide opportunities for recreation, transportation, connecting with nature, and help maintain a healthy environment. Access to parks and recreation is an important right of every citizen in the community. Proximity to these resources is also an important factor in increasing physical activity, which results in a healthier population. In addition, the natural resources conserved by open lands help provide clean air and clean water in the region, as well as wildlife habitat and agricultural land that enrich our county.”

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