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Map quest: Federal Way will launch guide for parks and trails

It's been a long time coming, but a map and guide to Federal Way's recreational spaces is expected in early 2011.

The guide will list the names, locations and features of the city's parks, trails and recreation facilities. It will come in the form of a three-fold brochure. The guide is being created with direction from the city's Parks and Recreation Commission, a group of local citizens that advises the city council and staff on matters pertaining to Federal Way's parks and recreation areas.

"I'm thrilled to death we're going to have a product we'll be able to get into the public's hands that highlights our parks," Parks Commission chair Fred Konkell said.

Mapping it

The guide is expected to include a map of Federal Way that identifies the city's 34 parks, recreation facilities and established trails. The locations will be marked with a number. The map key will give the name of the park or trail and indicate whether the area has walking trails, wheelchair access, parking, restrooms and areas for play, pets and picnics. The key may also include the length of standalone trails and those found in the parks.

The guide will highlight some of Federal Way's best-known and most comprehensive attractions. Maps of the West Hylebos Wetlands Park, Celebration Park, BPA Trail and West Campus Trail will be featured.

Dream becomes reality

Members of the Parks Commission have come and gone over the years, but a constant desire to create a parks and trails guide has carried on since the first group of commissioners.

"We talked about this in 1991," former commissioner H. David Kaplan said.

Konkell moved here 11 years ago. He was surprised that, given Federal Way's size, the city did not have a product that told residents or visitors where its recreation areas could be found. Konkell and his peers, with assistance from the Parks and Recreation director Cary Roe, set out to fix the problem.

There was a desire to create the guide in the past, but it did not materialize, due mostly to the funding it was expected to consume, Konkell said. The commission always thought it would need help from a consultant to make the guide come to fruition, he said. The money to hire a consultant was not available.

"It never got brought to the forefront because it was a funding issue," Konkell said.

However, Roe was recently able to identify in-house sources with graphic design skills. This gave the commission the assistance it needed to move ahead with its project. Now, the graphic designer and the Parks Commission are putting the final touches on their product.

The commission will decide later how to distribute it. It will not be mailed, due to costs associated with that, but will likely be placed in Federal Way's hotels, City Hall and other places that attract locals and tourists.

Did you know?

• 22 of Federal Way's recreation areas have walking trails.

• 22 of the city's recreation spaces have a picnic area.

• 14 of the locations have a natural area.

• 19 of the recreational attractions have a play area.

• 7 of the locations have off-street parking.

• 3 have beach access.

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