North Bend, DNR, and King County get grant funding for river access improvements

North Bend, King County, and the Department of Natural Resources get funding for river access plan.

With the help of a State Outdoor Recreation Grant, the city of North Bend along with King County and the Department of Natural Resources have received funding for the the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River access project.

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office has granted the project $634,460 in state funds.

The access project will make improvements to commonly used access points of the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River. Laura Cooper, parks planner with the Department of Natural Resources, said the project will improve river access for recreation along the river in land from all three organizations in the partnership.

“Also the reason why we are teaming up is that the river will run through multiple jurisdictions,” she said. “So instead of each of us doing it in isolation, we are thinking of it as a system… there are opportunities for standardized signage and things like that.”

The project addresses the points of access to the river both in and out of runs commonly used by kayak and rafting communities. They are also working on developing another access point in King County’s Tanner Landing Park.

DNR wants to make improvements to the existing footprints of river access points and the capacity for parking that currently serves the people coming to the river. Trails along the Middle Fork will also be expanded to reach between access points and additional signage will be added.

Cooper wrote and submitted the grant to the state. Additional matching funds brought by both the city of North Bend and King County come in at more than $1 million for a total project cost of about $1.7 million.

Cooper said the work will take about two construction seasons, with the completion target date is spring 2022.

“We are a great example of partnerships between agencies trying to coordinate how we view the landscape and make something more connected,” she said.