It's been a while but I found time this past Sunday to volunteer at the Colonnade site. I wrote about this back in the fall, but for those who don't remember, here's a refresher: The Seattle Parks Dept and the Backcountry Bicycle Trails Club (BBTC) have joined together to convert several unused acres of land underneath Interstate 5 into a park. The city used a portion of the acreage to construct an off-leash dogs park and added several paved trails, whereas the hillier portion of the land is being used to construct a mountain bike skills park.
The trails were designed to switchback down the side of a hill and are being built to last for decades to come. To do so, loads of gravel, cobbles, and boulders are being placed ever so carefully so to make the trails hold up. Each section of trail is supported by thousands of hand-placed boulders and I can assure you that an average of 5 to 10 minutes goes into placing each and every one of them to ensure a tight fit and a proper angle. This is certainly not some backwoods hack job.
A dozen or more people were out there this past Sunday helping out on what was, I believe, the 35th work party since the groundbreaking ceremony. Having not been there since November, I couldn't believe how much progress was made--and how much still needs to be done. Fortunately, the project has received several corporate sponsorships and, in addition to providing coffee and snacks for many of the work parties, the Starbucks coffee company is going to donate $10 to the BBTC for every hour worked by volunteers next weekend. With the work party scheduled to last for at least 4 hours and over 25 people currently signed up to help out, the club can expect at least $1,000 donation from Starbucks.
One of the BBTC members who is also a photographer posted some photos from this past Sunday's work party online. Click this link to view them.
To learn more about the Colonnade project, its origins, plans, and status, follow this link. The project still needs an additional $110,000 in donations and materials to be completed so if you feel like making a donation, it would be greatly appreciated.