Wednesday, April 18, 2012
After a couple years in the works, Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District is making visible progress on the Westside Community Trail. When completed, the trail will provide off-street travel from Fairview Drive near Westside Elementary School down to the Rotary Skate Park on Wasco Ave. Although some sections of the trail will be on sidewalk, most of it will stray from roads, taking advantage of the patchwork of open green spaces between the school and the skate park.
Work this month has focused largely on constructing elevated boardwalks on soggy ground at the upper section of trail, which links Fairview to the south end of Rocky Road. A foot path has cut through the large open field for years on private property, and with the help of an Oregon Lottery grant and surrounding property owners Jeff Blackman, Erin Burnham and Jackie Skakel, HRVPRD was able to purchase an easement to construct an official trail around the perimeter of the field.
HRVPRD is working on a similar easement with Hood River County School District, for the central section of trail that will pass through a large piece of property the district owns on May Street, west of 30th. The trail will cut through the lot and head northeast, where it will tie into Sherman Avenue. From there, HRVPRD is still working on exactly where the trail will cut north and east, but the goal is to tie it into sidewalks that will lead to downtown neighborhoods and the skate park.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge