Freeland trail plans 90 percent complete

Nearly complete plans for a Freeland trail linking the downtown with the beach may soon send the project out to bid and into becoming reality.

On Jan. 14, Thomas Cleverdon, a consultant from Fakkema and Kingma Inc., told commissioners representing the Port of South Whidbey that plans for the trail are 90 percent complete. Also nearing completion are plans for a drainage line which will run beneath the trail as it makes its way down Myrtle Avenue to Freeland Park.

Port Manager Ed Field said he is looking forward to seeing the 5-foot-wide, 2,000-foot-long trail completed.

“We’re eager to see the project through to construction,” he said Tuesday.

The trail will be the first truly walkable path between Freeland’s business district and its housing and recreation areas. At present, the area has no paths or sidewalks outside of those built in the Maple Ridge housing development south of town.

When the trail gets built later this year, it will interfere with work done by the South Whidbey Lions at Freeland Park. The current plans designed by Fakkema and Kingma show the drainage plan going right through an existing plant landscaped area. Lions member Roy Benson said his club will begin moving the plants — which were installed about three years ago — from that area as soon as possible.

“We don’t want to lose them, so we’re hoping to relocate them to another area,” he said.

Since 2000, over $15,000 in private and public money has been spent on sprucing up the Freeland Park. About $6,600 was donated by the South Whidbey Garden Tour and the Lions Club. Another came from the $9,000 donated from the Island County Parks Department. In addition, about $92,000 was spent renovating the park’s restroom, which was finished in 2003 by the Port of South Whidbey.

The Lions also donated over 1,620 hours labor to the project.

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