Trustland Trails may get additions

South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District is seeking public input on new trails.

The South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District is now accepting public comment on a proposed trail plan and is seeking volunteers for a new trail steward program.

The Trustland Trails, located near the intersection of State Highway 525 and Craw Road, is a network of multiple trails. Doug Coutts, the parks and rec district’s executive director, estimated that the combined length of the existing trails is about two and a half miles.

Now the South Whidbey organization’s board of commissioners is looking to approve a new plan for the complex, which includes proposed trails that could be built as soon as the end of this month.

The first proposed trail consists of two loops, one of which is brand new and one of which continues from an existing trail.

The next trail is an accessible loop compliant with ADA requirements, located near the parking lot. Individuals with disabilities can more easily traverse this loop.

The third trail would most likely not be completed until fall 2021.

The trail runs parallel to an existing length of trail.

Coutts said the plan has been approved by the Island County Planning Department. Because it does not encroach on any critical areas — such as wetlands or slopes — it does not require any permits.

“We follow the path of least impact,” Coutts said. “We found a specific tree when we did one of the [past] trails that was a rare natural tree, and we avoided that area because of that.”

The trail-building project comes at a low cost to the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District. Coutts explained that the district already has the equipment and staff to build the trails.

The biggest cost is staff wages for the time worked on constructing the trails.

A full map of the trail plan is available by signing up for the park district’s newsletter on its website, swparks.org.

Public comments will be reviewed at the next board meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

The plan is on the agenda, meaning the park district might move forward with it, or there might be a need for more discussion.

Comments can be submitted to Coutts via email, dirswprd@whidbey.com, or mailed to 5475 Maxwelton Road, Langley, WA, 98260.

The park district is also seeking people interested in volunteering for a trail steward program.

Volunteers would pick a trail and do minor maintenance, such as picking up litter or removing fallen branches.

On a trail steward work day, volunteers could help create single track trails, which are skinnier than the main Trustland Trails.

Those who are interested can email Coutts at dirswprd@whidbey.com.

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