Two trails, the North Idaho Centennial Trail and the Prairie Trail, need to be seal coated. The resources exist to get the job done, but calls have to be made, meetings have to be scheduled, and staff reports have to be written. Parks Director Doug Eastwood knew he could rely upon decades of partnerships to complete the maintenance.
Let’s start with one of the first partners, the Joint Powers Board, established not long after the Centennial Trail was built in the early 1990s. Three entities make up the Joint Powers Board: the cities of Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls, and Kootenai County.
The Joint Powers Board oversees the Capital Improvement budget. In addition, each entity contributes $7,500 annually for trail improvements. These funds are allowed to accrue in order to cover large expenses. Kootenai County holds and manages the funds through their finance department. The Joint Powers Board funds will be used as part of the match for the state and federal grant. County staff offered to prepare and apply for a grant for this project if they could get assistance from Coeur d’Alene to administer the grant and the contract work. Kootenai County Parks and Waterways successfully secured that grant and the Coeur d’Alene Parks Department (CdAPD) is prepared to administer the grant and the contract, and will monitor the work and forward payment requests on to the Joint Powers Board for progress payments.
Operation and maintenance of the North Idaho Centennial Trail is a cooperative effort of Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls, Kootenai County, and two additional partners, the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, and the North Idaho Centennial Trail Foundation. The North Idaho Centennial Trail Foundation was formed around 1990 to also assist with the long term maintenance and capital improvements of the trail.
The combined effort of these agencies and the trail foundation is to protect and preserve the trails by combining their collective resources to accomplish the task. The other key element is the cooperation among agencies’ staff. Additionally, the staff of each group meets monthly to review maintenance items on the trails. This monthly meeting also includes the State Parks Department (five miles of the trail travels into its jurisdiction).
The Centennial Trail was built between 1990 and 1995. The Prairie Trail is a spur of the Centennial Trail and was constructed in July 2008, linking parks, schools, neighborhoods, and businesses. The Prairie Trail starts at Beebe Boulevard and runs northwest 4 miles across town ending at Huetter Road. Eastwood said, “I would eventually someday like to see the Prairie Trail connect Coeur d’Alene to Post Falls.”
For more information, please contact the Parks Department at 769-2252.