Thursday, October 22, 2020

NEW PARK: 5-run grand slam

| October 18, 2020 1:00 AM

How can you score five runs with a grand slam? Technically it is not possible. But then, miraculously, the city of Coeur d’Alene did it.

You all are about to see nearly 4,000 linear feet of the Spokane River waterfront become accessible to the public with a bounty of activities, trails, park amenities and beautiful scenery.

Coeur d’Alene took a risk a few years ago, and purchased the old Atlas Mill site that is located between Seltice Way and the Spokane River, just west of the Riverstone complex. The city leaders believed they could convert some of the property into park land, and sell some of the property to recoup their expenses. A mix of open space, residential and commercial use.

Those decisions are working well for the progressive city. Too frequently leadership gets stuck in the here and now, neglecting to envision the future, and cannot get past the initial expense of acquiring land, coupled with the planning and developing. That indecision almost always results in a missed opportunity, lost forever.

Not so in this case. Coeur d’Alene stepped up to the plate and hit a long ball that will benefit all of us for generations to come. Their decision regarding this project was executed so well (like a grand slam) that they deserve more than the typical four runs earned for their spectacular hit. I’m giving them an extra run.

Thank the Mayor and Council for their decision when you get the chance. Everyone involved in this project, the engineers, contractor, Ignite, city park staff, everyone should stand and take a bow, you made a difference, a big difference, to our community. Congratulations.


Retired Cd’A Parks Director

Currently serving on the N.I. Cent. Trail Board and Idaho State Parks Board