The Yakima River Canyon is this area’s backyard playground and — to some extent — our family secret. Many visitors from out of the area, especially Western Washington, breeze through the Kittitas and Yakima valleys on interstates 90 and 82, unaware of this easily accessible getaway that offers activities like rafting and other water sports, hiking, bicycling, lessons in natural history and more.
An influx of federal funding could help change that in a good way.
A group of Kittitas County residents has secured a $796,000 grant through the National Scenic Byway Program, which is part of the Federal Highway Administration. Supporters say the money will help build a 3,000-square-foot interpretive center near the north end of the canyon, just south of Ellensburg, on State Route 821. The center will be placed in 64-acre Helen McCabe Park, named for a late recreation professor at Central Washington University. (READ MORE…)