Tenino to expand park by 60 acres


Tenino City Park is a staple of South Thurston County, featuring the historic Tenino Quarry Pool, the Quarry House Community Center, the Tenino Depot Museum, sports fields, a new playground and more, all along the Yelm-Rainier-Tenino Trail.

Along with all of that, Tenino City Park also added a newly opened set of pump tracks on its 68 acres of land last June. Now, the City of Tenino is purchasing an additional 60-acre parcel of woodlands to add to its park’s space, according to a news release from the city.

These woodlands will be used to extend the park’s existing trails and will allow visitors to hike and ride on horseback and non-motorized bikes, while preserving natural habitat.

“The imminent purchase of this property from Norseman Timber Company is made possible by a generous donation from the Angela J. Bowen Conservancy Foundation for the purposes of preservation and outdoor recreation,” Tenino Mayor Dave Watterson said in the release.

A resolution is on the agenda for the next Tenino City Council meeting allowing Watterson to sign the land’s purchase and sale agreement and accept a $440,000 grant from the Angela J. Bowen Conservancy Foundation.

“The grant, at $440,000, is enough to cover the purchase price plus closing costs,” said Watterson.

Tenino City Park currently has 13 acres of woodlands featuring hiking trails for park visitors to use. Those 13 acres were saved after a grassroots “Save our Park” campaign in 2011 when Weyerhaeuser announced it would be logging behind the park where trails existed, leading residents to realize the city didn’t actually own that land yet.

The campaign was successful in raising enough money to save 13 acres as a buffer of preserved forest between the park and logging areas.

“We are very excited to now bring that additional 60 acres into public use, as there is no doubt Tenino Residents love their park and this space will be enjoyed by the community for generations,” Watterson said.

Those 60 acres were purchased from Weyerhaeuser by Norseman Timber in 2012 as replanted timberland. Since then, Norseman Timber Manager Georges Yates has visited Tenino many times over the years and, “fell in love with the city park and Tenino. Without Mr. Yates' support, this project never would have taken off.”

The city also thanked Tenino Parks, Arts, Recreation, Culture (PARC) Specialist Jessica Reeves-Rush for her help in securing this land acquisition.

“The success of this acquisition is very much the result of her hard work and dedication,” Watterson added.

Along with this 60-acre woodland purchase for the Tenino City Park, Park Avenue West in Tenino is set to be repaved later this year, according to the city’s website, which announced the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board selected the Tenino Park Avenue project to complete in Summer of 2024.

Potholes will be repaired and covered with an asphalt overlay on Park Avenue West between West Sixth Avenue and Howard Street Southeast.

Additionally, a Yelm-Rainier-Tenino Trail extension is also in the works to extend the trail past Tenino City Park down to the intersection of Park Avenue West and Crowder Road Southeast according to the city’s website.

A contract for this project has already been awarded and construction is expected to begin in early March.

For more information, visit https://www.cityoftenino.us/ or call the City of Tenino at 360-264-2368.