With your donation we can enhance public access to two much-loved destinations in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Valley: the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Trail and the Pratt Bar, a sunny Middle Fork beach with spectacular mountain views. The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust needs your help to raise $25,000 by May 1st for two trail construction projects - so everyone can enjoy these wilderness jewels, tucked away in a wild valley just beyond the Seattle metro area.Once plagued by illegal dumping, shooting and widespread trashing of the river corridor, the Middle Fork Valley today is an amazing story of a regional treasure reclaimed. For nearly 20 years, the Greenway Trust has worked with land managers and other community partners to improve public access and restore the natural habitat and ecosystems of the Middle Fork. The Valley is now a haven for our outdoor-loving Puget Sound community, but existing trails and recreational infrastructure are insufficient, unable to handle this surging attention. Valley trails are deteriorating and riverbanks are once again taking a beating.
We need to turn this around, and make sure the Valley has the recreational amenities to handle all this love. In 2014 the Greenway Trust is teaming up with the US Forest Service and other long-time partners on these two high-priority projects – and we need your help!
Every donation, no matter how small, carries us closer to our goal of $25,000. We have something incredibly special here, with towering mountains, lush forests, clean rivers, and hundreds of wilderness adventures reachable within minutes of our cities. To sustain such natural splendor in harmony with a growing metropolis is a major community achievement and a continuing challenge. Your donation will help maintain this precious balance. Please take part in continuing this legacy.
2014 Project ... Middle Fork Trail Reroute
For hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians the Middle Fork Trail is the primary route into the wilds of the Upper Middle Fork Valley. This 15-mile-long path features big views of Mt Garfield and the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. However, severe washouts only three miles from the Middle Fork Trailhead have made the trail impassable for horses. Further deterioration will impact access for all users. Funds raised through this campaign will enable us to reroute this endangered section of the trail and restore native vegetation along the way.
2014 Project ... New Pratt Bar Trail
In this valley of wetlands and streams, there are surprisingly few areas that can provide river access year after year without damage. The Pratt Bar is such a place, a sunny Middle Fork gravel bar big enough to accommodate lots of visitors while maintaining the feel of a remote mountain stream. Today, access to the Pratt Bar is difficult: you must ford a creek and negotiate a confusing tangle of unofficial trails. Follow the wrong trail and you’ll end up bushwhacking or straying into a wetland. With funds raised through this campaign, we will install a footbridge and build a well-defined trail to the Pratt Bar, creating dependable four-season access for visitors to enjoy this amazing spot.
2014 Project Funding ... Your donation will make a difference
Campaign donations will pay for construction supplies, equipment like a mini-excavator (looks like an overgrown Tonka Toy, but is the best tool for roughing-out new trail), but most importantly, the people-power that is the main story behind every trail – the folks who excavate tread with shovels and grub hoes, build rock retaining walls, fabricate turnpikes through wet areas, and lay bridges across streams. You would be amazed how much work can be accomplished with $25,000, thanks to resources like Washington Conservation Corps crews, and legions of passionate volunteers.
A National Forest Foundation grant will account for almost 50 percent of our budget. To boost the impact of their grants, this federal program requires a dollar-for-dollar match from local sources. Donations qualify, so your donation is central to our fund-raising effort.
Shrinking land management budgets mean that projects like ours rarely get funded. How to fund recreation and resource protection is part of a national debate about public lands, one that won’t end soon. In the meantime, the work must continue. By leveraging public funds with private donations, non-profit expertise, and volunteer energy, we can still move ahead. Please make your donation today!
Other ways you can help Ask your friends and networks
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on our community.
We welcome volunteers. If you would like to join us in the field or have campaign questions, please contact Mackenzie Dolstad, Greenway Trust Stewardship Program Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org. Or contact one of our community partners: Washington Trails Association, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, American Whitewater, The Mountaineers, Issaquah Alps Trails Club, or Backcountry Horsemen of Washington.
What happens if we don't meet our campaign goal? If our funding falls short, we'll reschedule both projects for 2015 and continue fundraising. Your donation will support the Pratt Bar and Middle Fork Trail projects; we are committed to seeing both projects to completion.
Beyond 2014 ... What's next for the Middle Fork?The Pratt Bar and Middle Fork Trail projects are elements of a multi-year effort to prepare the Middle Fork for growing public use. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources, the major land manager in the lower Middle Fork Valley, completed the Granite Creek Road-to-Trail project in 2013 and, in partnership with the Greenway Trust, will soon complete a new, family-friendly trail up Mailbox Peak. In the pipeline are additional trails, improved river-access areas, and much-needed facilities like bathrooms.
The need for these facilities is rapidly growing. Parking areas often fill early and overflow onto the narrow Middle Fork Road. We see restoration gains reversed as more campsites are hacked from riverbanks and more unsanctioned trails cut through wetlands and fragile soils. In heavily used areas with no toilets, campsites are dotted with piles of human waste and toilet paper that extend like little cairns into adjacent forests.
In 2016, a newly paved Middle Fork Road will reopen to the Middle Fork campground, a $20 million upgrade managed by the Federal Highway Administration. Surprisingly to some, a paved surface will greatly enhance water quality in the Valley: rainstorms will no longer flush road gravel and sediment into wetlands and creeks, and summer dust clouds will no longer coat vegetation and campers. New drainage structures will reopen coastal cutthroat trout migration routes that have been blocked for decades. And the notorious Middle Fork Road potholes will no long deter visitors.
This beautiful, wild place with so many recreational opportunities is a perfect place for people to make a personal connection with the natural wonders that surround us in this region. Every person who makes that connection is another advocate for preserving this fragile, precious resource. To properly welcome a new generation to outdoor recreation in the Middle Fork, we need to get ready!