ILWACO, Wash. — The city of Ilwaco Parks and Recreation Commission will host a Parks, Trails and Natural Area Plan Open House Thursday at the Ilwaco Community Building, 158 First Ave. N. in Ilwaco. The event will begin at 4:30 p.m., with a short talk starting at 5 p.m. The public is welcome and encouraged to drop by anytime between 4:30 and 7 p.m.

The open house will kick off the city’s first parks, trails and natural area planning effort. The plan will inventory the city’s current parks, trails and natural areas; collect and prioritize community ideas for future parks, trails and natural areas for improvements and additions; and analyze how to strategically develop some of those ideas.

With the completion of the plan by March, the city will be eligible for state funding for parks. The National Park Service’s Recreation and Conservation Assistance program and Columbia Land Trust are supporting the effort at no cost to the city.

Parks, trails and natural areas are instrumental in promoting a community that is healthy and economically sound, organizers say. They increase community livability, facilitate new and improved recreational opportunities and encourage exercise; protect natural resources (clean water, air) and wildlife habitat; bring tourists into Ilwaco; and provide a public place for activities and events.

For information, contact Nick Haldeman, Ilwaco Parks and Recreation chairman, at 360-607-6371 or parks1@ilwaco-wa.gov

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