It’s official!

The Sandpoint City Council voted Tuesday to approve  the purchase of a waterfront parcel that promises to be the cornerstone of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail.

The property is the first of four parcels to be purchased over four years from the Hall family. The city of Sandpoint has agreed to buy two parcels within the city of Sandpoint, and the city of  Ponderay plans to purchase the third parcel in Ponderay.

The Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail have committed to raising the funds to purchase the fourth parcel, also in Ponderay, making the landmark real estate deal truly a community-wide effort.

All told, and with Sandpoint’s Humbird Mill  park site adjacent to the southern-most parcel, the deal will create nearly a mile of new public waterfront  connecting the two cities along Lake Pend Oreille.

The deal includes a lease of the unpurchased lands and use of leased railroad right of way, making the much-used trail a public asset for the first time-though it won’t be public until the closing date of Oct. 9th.

Idaho Conservation League will be working closely with the Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail on its fundraising campaign for the trail.

While the trail itself is easy and fun for nearly everyone, the path to realizing the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail is not. The Sandpoint City Council  should be applauded for taking this crucial and visionary step toward making this trail a reality.