Olmsted 2.0: A Bold Vision for the Future of the Inland Northwest

This planning document, developed in partnership with SCJ Alliance, helps to define areas of opportunity throughout our community to preserve and protect parks and open space for the future. The research involved in this project helps to identify key corridors for wildlife, plant life, and human enjoyment of the outdoors and can be used for agencies, non-profits, developers, and funders to guide conservation work for the future of Spokane County.

About This Project

With 175 sunny days per year and 87 city parks, and thousands of acres of green space, Spokane, Washington is an ideal destination for outdoor exploration. Thanks to strategic planning of city leaders in the early 1900s, and collaboration with the Olmsted Brothers, one of the most reputable landscape architect firms of the early 20th century, more than 80% of Spokane residents are within walking distance of a park or greenspace.

When it comes to city planning, the Olmsted Brothers believed that every household should have access to a green space, that these spaces should remain mostly undeveloped, and that more is more when it comes to city parks. Under these tenets, the leadership of the burgeoning city of Spokane were able to secure the acreage and funding to create the protected spaces that we know today, including Manito Park, the Finch Arboretum and Downriver Park.

As the region continues to expand beyond the city limits of Spokane county, access to green space becomes harder to maintain without intervention. By implementing “Olmsted 2.0,” Inland Northwest Land Conservancy will identify opportunities for future park development and conservation, ensuring that 100 years from now, our great-grandkids will enjoy ten-minute walks to their  local park or green space, and all the individual and community health benefits associated with it, throughout Spokane county.

The Future of Conservation Futures

Why Conservation Futures?

Washington has a growing population, critical equity gaps, and urgent environmental concerns. We can do more to protect our farms, forests, parks and natural areas – and we already have an important tool that can help.

For 50 years, Washington’s landmark Conservation Futures program has helped permanently protect these precious, finite resources. We need this tool to keep pace with the rising costs of preserving and expanding access to nature and open space for everyone in Washington.  Let’s restore the Conservation Futures promise to ensure today’s opportunities preserve tomorrow’s Washington.

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Olmsted 2.0 Project Areas

Waikiki Springs Nature Preserve

Waikiki (or “spouting water”) Springs rests on the banks of the Little Spokane River.  The 95-acre Nature Preserve is adjacent to Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife property of the same name. Under Inland Northwest Land Conservancy’s ownership and management, this property will be open for the enjoyment of the community.

Waikiki Springs Nature Preserve

Connecting Public Land

Rimrock to Riverside

Join Inland Northwest Land Conservancy in this exciting project to expand Palisades Park and connect it to Riverside State Park, creating an 11-mile habitat and trail corridor that connects downtown Spokane northward to Long Lake.

Rimrock to Riverside

Make Beacon Public

The Beacon Hill/Camp Sekani/Shields Park area along Upriver Drive is a pivotal recreation destination for the Inland Northwest. Learn about local partnerships to ensure the public can enjoy it for years to come!

More Space for Adventure

Saltese Uplands Expansion

In 2021, thanks to the generous support of our community, we were able to purchase 55 acres adjacent to the Saltese Uplands Conservation Area. In the fall, this property was ranked number two on the Spokane County Conservation Futures list and is likely to be purchased by the County and added to the Uplands as early as this year (2022). Once that purchase is completed, all the money raised through donations and support for the purchase of this land will return to our Conservation Opportunity Fund, allowing us to continue to protect special places throughout the region in which the public can discover their own love of nature and the outdoors. Thank you for your support!

Saltese Expansion

Get to Know Local Lands and Waters

River to Ridges Trail Map

Perhaps what the Inland Northwest is best known for is immediate access to outdoor recreation. By encouraging exploration of our green spaces, we hope to cultivate a community of nature enthusiasts that are equally passionate about maintaining the conservation efforts of the Inland Northwest Land Conservancy.

Trail Maps

Project Sponsors

Olmsted 2.0 is a complex and bold vision for the future of our region. Inland Northwest Land Conservancy is grateful for the partnership of these two community-minded organizations who have invested in bringing this vision to reality. To learn more about partnering with the Conservancy on Olmsted 2.0 projects, email communications@inlandnwland.org.