Walk along Hangman Creek and you can be with ghosts of the Columbia Mammoth, giant salmon, red band trout, and the Native Americans, immigrants, and settlers who once called the valley home. Today the nine stream-mile stretch of the creek from its mouth at the Spokane River to Hatch Road at 195 is frequented by eagles, blue heron, deer and other wildlife and is bordered by park and agriculture land, neighborhoods and trails. It’s also the focus of multiple projects in a corridor that may include a nature path, restoring native vegetation, and interpretive sites to view unique geology. Hangman Creek is also a priority waterway to improve habitat for fish and wildlife.
The project has been made possible by a group of local residents who are working on the second year of a technical assistance grant from the National Parks Service. The ultimate goal is to preserve and improve the natural qualities of the creek corridor, allow for both people and wildlife to thrive, and provide better trail connections between seven neighborhoods (West Hills, West Central, Grandview Thorpe, Vinegar Flats/Eagle Ridge, Peaceful Valley, Browne’s Addition, and Cliff Cannon). Ultimately the project may allow for additional trail connections between the Hangman Creek corridor and the South Hill Bluff trails.
There are several opportunities to get involved with and support the project this fall. Help clean up the Spokane River and Hangman Creek shorelines at the Spokane River Clean Up September 16. Sign up to volunteer as an individual, group, or team leader at Spokanerivercleanup.org. People who recreate along or live near the Hangman Creek corridor are also being urged to take a public survey at Surveymonkey.com/r/HMDKZDC. And finally there is an open house scheduled for October 28, 2017, at St. John’s Lutheran Church (5810 S. Meadowlane Road in Spokane) to show off concept plans that were generated through a public workshop that is part of a collaborative effort with the NPS, the City of Spokane, and the Washington State Landscape Architects. Find more information about the open house at Outtheremonthly.com/category/trail-conservation-news. Next steps for the Hangman Creek project include a habitat management plan, permits, property owner permissions, and finally path and trail building and sign creation. //