ARCHIVESLand donated for greenbelt

Published on Thu, Jun 28, 2001
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Land donated for greenbelt

Retired United Church of Christ pastor Don Walter and his previous wife Lila Young have given the city a small triangle of land that at one time was intended to be the beginning of a greenbelt along Cain Creek.

In the 1970s Walter had been a member of the Interagency Group for the Improvement of Blaine, which brought together representatives from the chamber of commerce, the city, the Alaska Packers Association and other groups interested in Blaine’s development. “We had a particular interest in the gully creek,” Walter said. “We thought it should be maintained as a greenbelt and we saw it being walled in.”

Walter bought the small triangle of land where Martin Street dead-ends into I-5 for $200 in the late 1970s, hoping to bring together other creek-side property owners to preserve and rebuild the little waterway. “We were never able to generate enough interest,” he said.

Thirty years later, the city is pursuing some of the goals Walter had in mind in purchasing the property: protecting the creek and restoring local greenways. “Anytime we can get property near our creeks it’s a good chance to protect riparian areas,” Galvin said. “It can be converted to native vegetation over time.”

City council voted unanimously on June 18 to accept the parcel as part of Blaine’s park system. The assessed valuation on the parcel is still $200. “This is not an ideal park property,” community development director Terry Galvin said. “We don’t really want to make it attractive as a place to hang out. Its value is its proximity to Cain Creek. It represents some good riparian habitat.”

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