Crews add next mile of Greenway expansion near Naches - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Crews add next mile of Greenway expansion near Naches

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NEAR NACHES, Wash. – Crews were paying the way for the next mile of the Yakima Greenway on Friday off of Highway 12 in time to complete the current phase of the expansion before winter.

Executive Director Al Brown says the project will help develop the region and keep it more environmentally conscious.

"The Naches Valley here is growing and we need to get more people here off the highway and out of their cars and out into nature," he said.

This phase is estimated to cost $190,000, a small portion of the $4 million needed to complete the entire project.

Sheri Brockway is an avid user of the greenway. She has also donated to the expansion and is a member of the foundation's board.

"When I travel I look at cities and I think what can I do there and I look at their pathway systems," said Brockway. "So I think when visitors come to Yakima they look at that as an asset."

Crews are working by Naches because that city helped to complete the first portion of the expansion. The plan is to keep working south of that location and connect with the current Greenway path in Yakima. 

"The existing greenway, it took 10 to 15 years to get it built and it's 30 years old now," said Brown. "It's gonna take a few more years but if you don't start, you'll never finish."

The foundation still needs to raise $3 million. It plans to keep building as it receives more money.

Brockway thinks some of that funding can come from the public. She says many people don't realize the pathway is supported completely by grants and donations.

"You see the folks using the greenway everyday," she said. "You know that lots of folks don't think about that and don't realize that a greenway membership for really a fairly small amount of money would help support that."

The next phase of the expansion will add another 1.5 miles to the pathway. Crews will start on that portion next spring.