Pine Street Woods are set to open

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(Photo courtesy FIONA HICKS PHOTOGRAPHY) The final two Walk in the Woods hikes will be taking place this weekend and next, giving area residents a chance to discover all the Pine Street Woods has to offer.

Pine Street Woods grand opening schedule

• 7 a.m. — Sunrise

yoga in Meadow

• 8 a.m. — Up and At

‘Em Trail Run; Coffee

& Conservation Chat

• 9 a.m. — Walk the

wide trails with

Sandpoint Nordic

Club; “What’s Growing

Up Here?” (native

plant walk)

• 10 a.m. — PSW Hike

with Monday Hikers;

Kids Program with

KLT education director

Dave Kretzschmar

• 11 a.m. — Mountain

bike tour with Pend

Oreille Pedalers

(all levels)

• 12 p.m. — Mid-day

yoga in the meadow

with We Yoga

• 1 p.m. — Doc Walk on

the ADA Trail; Sas-

quatch scavenger hunt

• 2 p.m. — Mountain

bike tour with Pend

Oreille Pedalers

(all levels); educa-

tion program with KLT

education director

Dave Kretzschmar

• 3 p.m. — Walk the

wide trails, Sandpoint

Nordic Club; tree talk

with Pine Street

Woods foresters

• 4 p.m. — grand

opening ceremony

• 5 p.m. — Community

picnic; music

• 6 p.m. — Ice cream

social; music

• 7 p.m. — Sunset yoga

with We Yoga; dark sky star gazing

* Please note this schedule is subject to change. All events will take place at Pine Street Woods on Saturday, Sept. 21.

SANDPOINT – It’s time to play.

With the Pine Street Woods set to officially open to the public on Sept. 21, Kaniksu Land Trust is celebrating with a full slate of activities. From mountain bike rides with Pend Oreille Pedalers to walks and hikes on new trails with doctors, forestry experts and local naturalists, there is something for everyone. Other activities include yoga with teachers from We Yoga, tours of the cross country trails with Sandpoint Nordic Club, and children’s crafts and games. In addition, The Burger Dock will also be around for those looking to enjoy lunch at Pine Street Woods.

Activities begin at 7 a.m. with sunrise yoga in the meadow and continue throughout the day. A ribbon cutting will take place at 4:30 p.m.

“We are so excited to be opening Pine Street Woods to our community, KLT Executive Director Katie Egland Cox said in an email to The Daily Bee. “This is a landmark project that is being nationally recognized for its significance in supporting community conservation. The partnerships that have come together to make this special landscape possible, and the volunteer hours already invested in this property are humbling. The grand opening will be a day of showcasing these partnerships and programs that will now call Pine Street Woods home.

“We are so excited to be opening this community forest to everyone … forever. What an amazing day for all of us to remember.”

In the release, land trust officials said that the purchase of the “beautiful, forested property ensures its rolling meadows, wooded glades, and scenic views will forever be preserved as open space for the quiet enjoyment of the community.” Making the purchase possible were a myriad of groups and organizations, from the Equinox and LOR foundations to the U.S. Forest Service Community Forest Program and Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation to Idaho Forest Group and Middle Fork River Tours as well as hundreds of individuals.

Pine Street Woods is unique in that it will be used for year-round recreation and education, but is also a working forest. The forest resources will continue to be carefully stewarded, while also serving as an ideal outdoor classroom for teaching forestry concepts to students of all ages.

Kaniksu Land Trust is a not-for-profit organization that promotes healthy communities and healthy lands in north Idaho and northwest Montana by supporting voluntary land conservation and connecting communities with nature, land trust official said.

As part of its programs, the land trust provides over 3,000 participant days of free and low-cost outdoor education programming annually for community members, and 2,700 participant days annually for local youth. The programs, which include both in-school and out-of-school, create a connection between local youth and nature to improve their physical and mental health, as well as exposing them to potential resource management related careers, KLT officials said..

“There is a special spot at Pine Street Woods that has been adopted by the kids, and you can see how they have made it their own,” Egland Cox said. “Having a home for our kids to be in nature, run barefoot through the woods, and connect to the land is so important. And now we have a place for our children, their children and for generations to come.”

Work on the Pine Street Woods bgan in earnest after Camp Kaniksu ended in mid-August with crews and volunteers beginning work on trails and the planned recreation center — roughly 1,900 square feet between the center, storage area and space to house equipment and grooming equipment for planned Nordic trails.

When complete, the facility will serve as a gathering space for community members to enjoy the many outdoor recreation opportunities at Pine Street Woods, particularly during the winter, and is expected to be in place by the time snow flies, KLT officials said this summer.

Located at approximately 500 feet above Sandpoint, the property is expected to retain snow for 6-8 weeks longer than SNC’s current trail system on Boyer Avenue, thus significantly extending the season for cross country skiing and snow shoeing.

With the eventual addition of mountain bike rentals, the center’s use will be expanded to encompass year-round activities, creating an all-season hub for community recreation at Pine Street Woods.

Since purchasing the 160-acre Pine Street Woods property in March, KLT has been working with a broad network of community stakeholders and volunteers to develop and implement plans for forest management, trail construction and use, road improvements, and site planning. The goal is to create an inspiring, safe, and thoughtfully managed natural space where community members can learn and play in the forest, land trust officials said in a press release.

“Members of Sandpoint Nordic Club, Pend Oreille Pedalers, and Monday Hikers, as well as KLT volunteers, deserve special recognition for hundreds of hours dedicated to the construction of new multi-use trails at Pine Street Woods,” KLT officials said.

KLT officials said they were proud to have so many amazing partners joining in what will be a day of celebration and fun as they encouraged the community to take part in what promises to be “a terrific opportunity to become acquainted with your new community forest.”

Information: Kaniksu Land Trust, online, kaniksu.org; in person, 1215 Michigan, or by phone at 208-263-9471

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