Recreation & Environment
Community & Youth Center: Support the City's effort to develop a community and youth center for sports, indoor recreation, and community activities, to make physical activity accessible to residents regardless of their income or the weather. Parks Inventory: Inventory for renewal and/or replacement of parks. Trails: Improve and expand on existing trails and open spaces. Improve bike and pedestrian safety.
CAP Trail: Develop the Pullman to Colfax (CAP) Trail.
Spotlight: Pullman's Parks
Residents and visitors alike appreciate Pullman’s diversity of green spaces. Our parks, paths, and playfields enhance the special quality of life we enjoy here.
Pullman’s first city park was established in 1903, on a tract of land on Pioneer Hill donated by William Kruegel. The following year, the City purchased a parcel of land formerly owned by Albert and Phoebe Reaney. Today Reaney Park boasts a swimming pool complex with recently installed spray features for youngsters, as well as an attractive tree-shaded venue for the Pullman Parks and Recreation Department’s free summertime concerts and movies. It also plays host to the National Lentil Festival.
As Pullman has grown, so has the number of its community-supported green spaces, including some 15 parks and playgrounds currently open or under development. Pullman’s expansive Sunnyside Park, completed in 1974, with its playground, ball field, disc golf course, tennis courts, large shelter, picnic areas, and iconic ponds, attracts visitors year-round. It is home to Pullman’s annual Community Fourth of July Celebration. Mary’s Park, currently under development on a five-acre tract of donated land, will offer a number of interactive and ADA-compliant amenities. Thanks to the passage of two bond issues, Propositions 1 and 2 earlier this year, Lawson Gardens will be able to realize its namesake benefactor’s wishes to build an attractive onsite event center in the midst of the gardens.
Over the past two decades the Bill Chipman Trail has been expanded into a system of paved pedestrian and bicycle paths within the city itself, linking our four hills and the downtown core, and providing numerous opportunities for all to enjoy the outdoors. Bicyclists and pedestrians, including parents strolling with babies in buggies, can share these walkways safely, without having to dodge vehicular traffic.
In 2012, dozens of “Pet Waste Stations” were installed by the City along paths and in our parks, to provide those walking their canine companions with convenient access to recycled plastic shopping bags, supplied by thoughtful citizens in an effort to help keep these areas clean and attractive.
Over the past several months, volunteers with the Pullman 2040 Parks Committee have spent considerable time personally visiting and evaluating Pullman’s parks, with a view toward identifying improvements that will make them even more attractive and useful to community members. They have also been tasked with scouting potential locations for future neighborhood “pocket” parks.
Spotlight: Colfax-Albion-Pullman Trail
The 19-mile rail corridor connecting Colfax, Albion, and Pullman has been idle since a range fire destroyed a trestle in 2006 making it eligible to become a rails-to-trails amenity for our community. The corridor right-of-way (ROW) is owned by the State of Washington and is currently in “active railroad status” so the first step to turning it into a trail is for the State Legislature to direct the Washington State Department of Transportation to railbank it. Once railbanked, a trail can be created.
Railbanking is a federal program to “bank” unused rail ROWs to preserve them for future use. Maintenance responsibilities are transferred to a 3rd party such as a non-profit “friends of the trail” group. In return, the corridor can be used as a trail until it is needed for rail again. Pullman 2040, with leadership by the Pullman Civic Trust, is working to make the dream for a rail-trail between Colfax and Pullman a reality.
Why is this a top priority for Pullman Residents? Trails are unique opportunities for rural communities. They have positive impacts on … Quality of Life – trails give rural communities expanded recreation opportunities. Unlike many other recreational offerings, trails are used by people of all incomes, all ages, and all abilities. Health and Recreation – trails promote health and wellness by giving residents a safe place to exercise and integrate healthy habits into their daily lives and recreational activities. Transportation options – many people live in Albion and work or attend school in Pullman. The CAP segment between these towns would encourage bicycle commuting since it would be a safe and pleasant option.
Economic stimulus: - Recruitment and retention – Trails have been cited as desirable amenities by potential employees and can be a deciding factor when choosing where to settle, stay, and raise families. - Fuel new business start-ups – trail users add support for a variety of businesses, from clothing to equipment, to restaurants, hotels, and specialty stores. - Attract money from outside the region - adding the CAP’s 19-miles to the regional trail system creates a 50+-mile linear trail connecting five communities, two universities, two counties (and two states) traversing a beautiful and diverse landscape from the Palouse farm fields to Troy Idaho’s forests. Trails of this size can become tourist destinations, boosting the local economy. This regional trail will enhance existing tourism draws of photography and WSU events and complement existing tourism associated with the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, the Centennial Trail, the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, and other regional trails. - Length of Trail – Research has shown that 50+ mile rides attract riders from around the world. When the landscape is spectacular and the grade fairly flat, it is particularly attractive to families and seniors.