By Dawn Feldhaus
A project to improve water access at the Hathaway Park Boat Launch in Washougal is recommended to receive $64,795 in Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program grant funding to replace the old boat launch with a new one.
No major improvements or repairs have been made since the launch was built more than 30 years ago.
Washougal Parks, Cemetery and Building Facilities Manager Suzanne Bachelder has said the boat launch at Hathaway Park is often used by owners of drift boats from October to June. In warm weather, people also use it to access the beach located adjacent to the boat launch, and kayakers and users of other small floating crafts use the launch year round.
Mayor Sean Guard has mentioned how popular the Washougal River is, especially during fishing season.
Steelhead and salmon runs through the river bring fishing enthusiasts from throughout the area.
There are times you cant get to the riverbank sometimes, Guard said. That ramp has been high on the list of things for us to take care of.
The State Recreation and Conservation Office has formally approved the final rankings for projects in Clark County. The go-ahead to proceed with the projects will depend on the legislature approving the Wildlife and Recreation Coalitions request for funding during its regular session, which begins Jan. 11.
Restoration of the Washougal Oaks Natural Area is also on the list for potential receipt of $151,000.
The Department of Natural Resources would use the grant to restore wildlife habitat in the natural area next to the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The land contains the largest, high quality, native, oak woodland remaining in western Washington.
The department would restore 15 acres of horse pasture to native oak habitat by planting Oregon white oaks and other native plants. Invasive plants, such as Himalayan blackberry, would be removed. The project is also designed to improve fish habitat by building an off-channel pond and placing Douglas fir trees in Lawton and Walton creeks.
Additional projects on the list for recommended funding include East Minnehaha Neighborhood Park ($337,301), Columbia Springs Neighborhood Park ($171,400), Rose Village Neighborhood Park acquisition ($292,300) and Shaffer Community Park acquisition ($1 million), all in Vancouver; as well as Abrams Park improvements ($730,134) and the Whipple Creek riparian area ($376,125), in Ridgefield.
If the legislature approves the coalitions 2011-13 capital budget request, 124 projects across the state will be funded. For more information, visit WildlifeRecreation.org/wwrp-projects/counties/Clark_county.