New Chelan County PUD Park named: Coyote Dunes Natural Area

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Coyote Dunes Natural Area

A new park in Douglas County received its name after residents cast their votes with the Chelan County PUD, officially naming the PUD park Coyote Dunes Natural Area.

Commissioners learned the new name of the 26-acre area Monday. The area is just south of the Odabashian Bridge between shoreline managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail, containing popular sand dunes.

The property was owned by Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), which acquired the property years ago for a then-proposed highway, but was declared surplus to state needs.

Private parties help fund park purchase for preservation

Key financial support for the Land Trust’s involvement came from retired Chelan PUD employee Cliff Bates and his wife, Mary. The Bates live near Quincy. He served for 25 years as a system operator and chief operator at Rock Island and Rocky Reach dams and retired from the PUD in 2002. The couple was among the original supporters of the proposal to keep the riverfront open for recreation rather than building a highway. Now the property will be publicly held as a recreation/conservation area in perpetuity.

The PUD says it plans to keep the land preserved, but will add features like a gravel trail and restrooms for the beach area.