Sarg Hubbard Park

111 S Eighteenth Street
Yakima WA 98901
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The Yakima Metro District was formed in 1946-47 as an entity to acquire, own, operate, and maintain parks, playgrounds, and other recreational facilities. A park board was elected which functioned as Yakima's parks department until 1969. This board was in favor of cleaning up the Yakima River within its jurisdiction, while other local citizens advocated a gap-to-gap approach to solving the river's problems. However, lacking financial support, the board did not take any action on improving the river area. In 1957, the Washington State Department of Transportation announced Interstate 82 would be built through the Yakima Valley. This meant the river from Union Gap to Selah Gap would suddenly be in public view again. Talk about annexing the river area began, with the dream of a park and golf course. In 1959, after Sportsman Park was built along the east bank of the river, S.I. Anthon advocated a project called "The Beautification of the Sumac Area." She stated, "The Sumac wilderness can be made beautiful. It's a challenge, but Yakima has solved more difficult problems. Given time, it will solve this one." Shortly afterward, the Metro District purchased the land now occupied by Sherman Park and the Yakima Area Arboretum. Discussion continued about the purchase of 270 more acres between the proposed freeway and the river. Throughout the 1960s and '70s, the citizens of Yakima continued to move toward the creation of a park along the river. The Chamber of Commerce Beautification Committee proposed using state funds to acquire the property bounded by Terrace Heights Drive, Moxee Road ( now Nob Hill Boulevard ), the river, and the freeway. Local supporters met with the State Parks Commission, and it appeared the commissioners would endorse the concept of the Greenway. State legislators Ed Seeberger and Jim Whiteside co-sponsored a request in the state budget for a study of the river area, which became the Yakima Greenway Master Plan. Unfortunately, once the Master Plan was prepared and accepted, the state withdrew from planning, acquisition, and operation of the Greenway project. Yakima County Commissioners, instead, were given responsibility for the project. The County did not have room in their budget for development of the Greenway. The Yakima City Park Commission recommended a group be formed to implement the Master Plan. The Greenway Task Force came together in 1979. Committees were formed for planning, public relations, funding, boundary review, and operations and maintenance. The Yakima Greenway Foundation was formed in 1980 as a private, nonprofit land trust. Its mission was and is to conserve, enhance and maintain the Yakima Greenway as a continuing living resource for future generations. With many years of hard work by Foundation directors, individual citizens, businesses, service clubs, and other philanthropic organizations, the Greenway dream of the 1940s has become a reality and continues to grow. The Greenway now stretches from Selah Gap to Union Gap, and west along the Naches River. Over ten miles of paved pathway connect parks, river access landings, nature trails, fishing lakes, and protected natural areas. State and federal grants, along with local matching money, helped build many of the parks and pathways. The citizens of Yakima have generously given time, money, energy, and ideas to bring the vision of the Greenway to life.