The announcement in 1957 by the Washington State Dept. of Transportation that Interstate 82 would be built through the Yakima Valley moved the Yakima Metro District and the citizens of Yakima to begin creating a park along the Yakima River.
Through the 1960s and 1970s citizens, various local committees and public officials worked to lay the groundwork. Lead to believe that the State Park Commission would endorse the concept of the Greenway, work continued to create the Yakima Greenway Master Plan. Once the Master Plan for the park was submitted to the State of Washington Legislature the state withdrew its support leaving the project up to Yakima County. Due to funding being unavailable the Greenway Task Force was formed in 1979 and led to formation of the Yakima Greenway Foundation in 1980. This private, non-profit land trust now oversees the planning, public relations, funding operations and maintenance of a park that stretches from Selah gap to Union Gap and west along the Naches River. Local matching money along with State and Federal Grants have been used for many of the improvements in the park. Parks, river access, fishing, family play areas and natural areas are connected with over ten miles of paved pathway that can provide hours of walking, jogging or cycling enjoyment.
Some of the features of the Greenway are: 1. Over ten miles of paved pathway 2. Fishing Lakes 3. Boat Ramps 4. Picnic/BBQ Facilities 5. Off Leash Dog Park 6. Children's Play Area 7. Natural Areas 8. Amphitheater 9. Picnic Shelter 10. Bocci Ball Court 11. Wildlife Viewing Platforms 12. Playground and restrooms.
Wildlife is abundant along the Greenway areas. Along with some of the other animals that you may see birds that frequent the area are Great Blue Herons, Canadian Geese, Bald Eagles and The Belted Kingfisher.
This gem of the Northwest is an excellent example of how a dream which began back in the 1950s was brought to life and continues to grow through the hard work of many in the community. The Yakima Greenway coupled with the Yakima weather creates an ultimate family recreational area.
Access to the Yakima Greenway is easy off of I-82 throughout the Yakima Valley.