A number of years ago, when my husband John was County Executive, he came home and said, "You are not going to believe this!"
He went on to tell me about the County's property on the west bluff of University Place that was under a long term lease to a gravel mine. There was also a 50 year Master Plan that did not include any near term improvements. The land would have continued to be fenced off and not be accessible to the public and John was astounded that very little would have been happening on this land for that long. He took me out to the property and said that this land has to be returned to the people.
With that statement the process started, first with the termination of the lease and then with the planning for the next master plan. A joint effort that would include the cities of Lakewood, University Place and Pierce County. Developed from that partnership and planning effort would be the Chambers Bay properties with parks, trails, playground, a pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks to the beach and a world class golf course.
It has been about ten years since that plan was initiated and now it is time for the next planning stage. This past year there have been a number of community meetings to get public input for the future of these 900 acres. The plan being discussed includes concepts for the southern piece of the property (South Meadow), the final buildout of the pedestrian bridge and completion of a dock, a better site for a dog park, a lodge with restaurant and conference/event center and more trails!
Last week I went to a public meeting that was focused on Chambers Creek and the trail system through the canyon. When walking along this creek, one would think that you have escaped into Mt. Rainier Park. The trail will go from Kobiashi trailhead to Chambers Bay. The buildout will include use of natural materials for trail establishment, a boardwalk over marshy areas and four bridges that cross from one side of the creek to the other. It will provide a much needed peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. John's vision to bring this land back to the resident is carrying on. This is truly the people's park.