Citizen commission has big plans for North Bend parks

Trails, trees, parking, clean-up and exercise are all part of the North Bend Parks Commission's plans for city parks in the near future. Yvonne Dalke, chairperson of the group, reported on the commission's recent and coming accomplishments at the Feb. 1 North Bend City Council meeting.

In addition to getting some work done on trails, and the creation of more parking spaces off Thrasher Avenue for EJ Roberts Park, Dalke said the commission has created an Adopt-a-Park program, and become the first participants.

"We have adopted a park as the parks commission," she told the council, and their first clean-up event has been scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 26, from 9 a.m. to noon, at EJ Roperts Park. Dalke encouraged anyone who was interested to come and help with the project. The city will provide some supplies, she said, but everyone who wants to help should bring their own tools.

Also in the commission's future parks plans is a fitness trail, with a variety of exercise stations placed along the trail. Citizens will be able to work out as they walk or jog along the trail. Council members were very enthusiastic about the fitness trail. Dee Williamson called the plan "Outstanding. That's a fantastic idea."

Chris Garcia agreed, then said "and maybe one of these days we can put lights around it so people can use it after 4 p.m. in the winter."

Mike McCarty, a senior planner with the city, continued Dalke's report with a status update on the commission's work program. With the goal of eventually earning Tree City USA-status for North Bend, he said, "The Parks commission wants to become the tree board for the city."

Tree City USA, a program of the National Arbor Day Foundation, recognizes cities with sound urban forestry programs. To receive the Tree City designation, a city must have a Tree Board, he explained.

There are three other requirements for cities that want to become a Tree City USA city. They must have a tree care ordinance; a community forestry program with an annual budget of $2 per capita; and an annual celebration of Arbor Day.

Asked about the benefits to the city of receiving this designation, McCarty explained that North Bend could receive preference from granting organizations for being a Tree City USA city, and that Puget Sound Energy generally provides trees at no cost to Tree Cities.

For more information about Tree City USA, visit

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