Save Peshastin Mill Waterfront

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This website was created to save a beautiful section of Wenatchee River waterfront that was once part of the old Peshastin Mill. This effort succeeded in July 2016! The property was purchased entirely through private donations and turned over to Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife for public enjoyment and recreation.

How to get to the property:

Turn east off of Hwy 2 to cross the Wenatchee River at the Peshastin Bridge. Follow Main Street through town and turn left on Peshastin Mill Road just before going under the BNSF Railroad trestle. The paved road runs between the railroad embankment on the right, and HiUp Growers buildings on the left. The Mill site property begins at the end of the pavement on the gravel road. Park at the gate and walk the gravel road about 1/4 mile until coming to the new waterfront trail on the left , which runs between the gravel road and the Wenatchee River. This path is about 3/4 mile long.

September 23, 2017.
Volunteers built a public waterfront trail on the Peshastin Mill Site property!
See the Wenatchee World article and slideshow below.
 

   Trail along Wenatchee River takes shape
by K.C. Mehaffey  Sept. 23, 2017, 4:59 p.m.

 
Photo provided
Tony Hol, at left, and his son Aiden, 13, work to build a bridge on the 3/4 mile long trail being built along the Wenatchee River on the old Peshastin Mill property, just west of Peshastin. The Central Washington chapter of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance put together the work party to honor the work of Bob Parlette for his years working to create non-motorized recreational opportunities through the Complete the Loop Coalition.

 
PESHASTIN — Volunteers came by the dozens on Saturday to build a riverfront trail on the old Peshastin Mill property, just west of Peshastin.  Many were members or friends of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, and the Complete the Loop Coalition.

They came to be part of the first physical improvements on the 14-acre site, which the Coalition purchased last summer after raising $453,255 in donations.  And, they came to honor Bob Parlette, for spearheading the fundraising effort, and for his decades of work to promote recreation and preserve public access across the Wenatchee Valley.

“It’s time to honor him,” said Mike Sorensen, a board member of Complete the Loop Coalition. “There are about 20 of us who have worked closely with him, and we unanimously felt that if it hadn’t been for Bob Parlette, we wouldn’t have the things we have today.”

Things like the Coalition’s original mission, creating the Apple Capital Loop Trail, a recreational trail connecting Wenatchee and its parks with East Wenatchee and Douglas County’s Columbia River shoreline. Or the Rocky Reach Trail, which extends north to Lincoln Rock State Park. Now, after a three-year effort, the Coalition partnered with the Mountain Bike Alliance to finish work on a ¾-mile trail that meanders along the Wenatchee River throught one of the last wild stretches of riverfront property between Leavenworth and Wenatchee.

“Our entire goal was to save this piece, which has had very little disturbance. To keep it as it is, with beautiful big pine trees, but also to open it up to allow public access,” Sorensen said.

More than 50 volunteers spent Saturday morning hauling and spreading gravel on the new path that winds along the Wenatchee River shoreline.

“At this point, it’s the preservation of almost a mile of riverfront for public access. And when you look at it, there’s not much of that anymore,” Sorensen said. “Almost all of it is privately-owned, and restricted.”

Previously owned by the Port of Chelan County, the former 65-acre lumber mill site in Peshastin was declared surplus more than 10 years ago. Developers eyed the site as a potential campus for high-tech research and development, and later for a housing development.  In 2015, Leavenworth residents Bill and Jenny Goebel purchased the 50-acre adjacent site, and worked with the Port to sell the 14 acres of riverfront property to the Coalition, and Trout Unlimited. The Goebels own the remaining property, and have said they envision putting in a complementary mix of vineyards, recreational trails, artisan studios and wineries.

Sorensen noted that raising the money was no easy task, and required a two-month extension. But it happened last summer, with the financial support of more than 350 donors, including major gifts from Drs. Tina and Eliot Scull, the Goebels and a last-minute donation from Peter Bevis, a Chelan Falls resident and grandson of the man who built the mill in 1928.

“What’s telling to me is, we had no federal money, and no grant money. Every single dollar was a donation from a private person,” Sorensen said. “We’ve had support from Plain, from Wenatchee; people from all over the valley have stepped up.”
  
He said after Parlette, Rollie Schmitten and Bob Stroup successfully raised money for the purchase, ownership of the property was turned over to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife in February, with an obligation to survey and install the riverfront path.

That’s when the Central Washington Chapter of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance stepped up to offer its expertise in trail building experience, and in soliciting the help to get the work done. Along with Alliance members, about a dozen students with the Eastmont Mountain Bike Club showed up for Saturday’s work party.

“Travis Hornby, Al Murphy and Charity Duffy are real high on the list of making this happen,” Sorensen said.  Hornby, the Alliance’s chapter president, said his group was happy to help, and to come together to honor Parlette. “It’s a gorgeous piece of property, right on the river,” he said. “We’re just excited to bring another trail to our community.”

Sorensen added that even before the trail was built on Saturday, the property was already open to the public. Once people discover it, he said, they’ll understand the effort these groups put in to purchase it.

“We anticipate a lot of local use — dog walkers, people going out to walk, fishermen, bird watchers and the like,” he said.
  
Reach K.C. Mehaffey at 509-997-2512 or mehaffey@wenatcheeworld.com. Read her blog An Apple a Day. follow her on Twitter at @KCMehaffeyWW.


PRESS RELEASE - JULY 20, 2016

WE DID IT!

Community Effort to Preserve the Peshastin Mill Waterfront Succeeds

The community campaign to Save the Peshastin Mill Waterfront has succeeded, thanks to the financial support of over 350 donors, organizations supporting the effort (shown on our web page), and a last-minute major gift from the grandson of Cy Sawyer who built the mill in 1928.

The campaign was about $35,000 short on June 30th, the deadline to fulfill its real estate contract. Sellers Bill and Jenny Goebel of Leavenworth offered a 60 day extension, and less than two weeks later Peter Bevis of Chelan Falls – the grandson of Cy Sawyer – made a major gift to close the gap.

“It’s been an wonderful community effort,” said Bob Parlette of the trail advocacy group Complete the Loop Coalition, who over two years ago put down the earnest money to purchase the 14-acre Peshastin Mill riverfront from the Port of Chelan County. “When I signed that earnest money agreement tying up the property, I had no idea how we would raise the $453,000 purchase price, but I had confidence we could do it. It has been an amazing joining of diverse interest groups. Had we not purchased the waterfront, public access would have been lost forever.” Parlette said.

Major contributions to the campaign came from: retired Drs. Tina & Eliot Scull; the Goebels (who are also purchasing the upland 50 acres), and most recently from Bevis, who wanted to ensure that families could always use the property as he did as a child, floating the waterfront on an inner tube. An anonymous donor also made a significant gift.

“A huge thank you is owed to the ‘fish folks’ that took this project really seriously,” noted Rollie Schmitten of Lake Wenatchee, a leader in the campaign. “The Icicle Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Plain Fly Tyers, the Wenatchee Valley Fly Fishers, the Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board, the Wenatchee Sportsmen’s Association, the Washington Fly Fishing Club Foundation, the Washington State Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers, the International Federation of Fly Fishers itself, and of course, Trout Unlimited’s local and national teams – the collective support was incredible.”

The volunteer campaign team will now proceed to transfer the property to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife for management and maintenance and reserve an easement for a trail.

“As a community we’ve just done something incredible for our children, grandchildren and their children,” said Bob Stroup of Leavenworth, Past President of the Icicle Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited and also a campaign leader. “I’m so proud to be a part of this community.”

14 ACRES NOW SAVED

This was the last section of Wenatchee River waterfront left for public access. Now, thanks to the success of this regional fund raising effort, 14 acres (more than 3/4 mile) of pristine Wenatchee River shoreline at the former Peshastin Mill site, just west of the town of Peshastin, can be enjoyed by the public.

Once purchased, it will be owned by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, which will manage the acreage as a primitively developed, non-motorized access site for public fishing, hiking, and other low impact recreational use.

Our Supporters:


PAST PRESS RELEASES BELOW

NEWS RELEASE:
PESHASTIN MILL SITE UPDATE


By: Bill and Jenny Goebel, the Complete the Loop Coalition,
and the Icicle Chapter of Trout Unlimited

February 2, 2016

Bill and Jenny Goebel, Leavenworth residents, have announced the acceptance of their offer to purchase the seller's interests in that certain Real Estate contract between the Port of Chelan County and the Complete the Loop Coalition whereby the 14 acres of waterfront on the old peshastin Mill Site was sold to the Coalition for $453,255. The balance of the Contract is due on June 30, 2016. Last year the Goebels entered into a separate earnest money agreement to purchase the upland 50 acres of the Mill site for $1.6 million dollars. That agreement to sell the upland will close in April of 2016.

At the same time, the Goebels have disclosed their plans to develop the upland property in a way that would be compatible with the Coalition's intent to gift the 14 acres of waterfront to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, so that it would remain open to the public for fishing, picnicking, and non motorized use . The Goebel's plans include a section of the property to be dedicated to wine growing and production; a portion dedicated to community interest and history with the intent to enhance tourism opportunities; and a portion devoted to recreation and the environment. The Goebels intend to further amplify and disclose more details of their plans and ask for feedback from the Peshastin Community Council at the regularly scheduled meeting of the council on February 11th.

The Goebels also announced their intent to pass on to the Coalition the discount in the purchase price that they negotiated with the Port. The Goebels stated they are very pleased to support and reinforce the Coalition's goal to have the waterfront remain in public ownership and open to the public in perpetuity. The Complete the Loop Coalition has partnered with the Leavenworth Chapter of Trout Unlimited in an effort to raise the $453,255 purchase price of the Real Estate purchase Agreement. The Coalition and Trout Unlimited still have about $195,000 remaining before they reach their the goal to raise the full purchase price prior to June 30, 2016. Leaders of the fund drive (Bob Parlette, Rollie Schmitten and Bob Stroup) stated when they heard of the Goebel's purchase of the Port's position: "We can't think of a more desirable outcome. To have the Goebels as owners of the upland, with compatible goals of achieving open space that could become a great tourist attraction is a dream come true. Now we just need to wrap up the fund drive and hope that this puts to rest any uncertainty as to the future of the Mill Site."


In the News.  WENATCHEE WORLD, April 2, 2015.

Preserving a Peshastin Treasure
by Robert Parlette, Rollie Schmitten and Robert Stroup



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