Achieving the Vision of Connecting Rimrock to Riverside
Palisades Park is a near-urban wildlife and recreation oasis perched on the Rimrock bluff west of downtown Spokane. The park’s 700 acres of protected lands host miles of trails, provide habitat to a wide array of unique, native plants and animals, and the park provides some of the best views to be had eastward toward downtown Spokane and beyond. The Park’s northern edge is tantalizingly close to the southern terminus of Riverside State Park.
Responding to interest and years of advocacy from members of the Palisades neighborhood, INLC has been asked to take an active role in working towards the goal of acquiring the lands necessary to connect Palisades Park northward to the southern boundary of Riverside State Park. Such a connection of these two parks will serve habitat preservation goals by conserving a key wildlife corridor, as well as expand recreation access as part of a proposed “Downtown to Dirt” trail connectivity campaign.
Currently, there are ten pieces of undeveloped private land involved in securing this corridor, four of which have recently been purchased by conservation buyers. Our goal is that the City Parks Department will help facilitate the acquisition of these parcels and add the land to Palisades Park management. If necessary INLC could serve as an interim landowner with eventual transfer to City Parks.
INLC will help build community awareness and support for this project while helping to develop a funding strategy for the land acquisition. Excellent funding sources include State RCO grants or The Conservation Fund’s low-interest loan program. Spokane County Parks staff as well as Riverside State Park staff have enthusiastically supported the idea of making this connection, and the corridor is identified in the County’s Comprehensive Trail Plan.