Pasco is a can-do kind of place.
That's why we're so confident the city will find a way to close Chiawana Park in the off-season without shutting off access to the Sacagawea Heritage Trail.
The can-do attitude was evident when Pasco stepped in to manage Chiawana Park a few years back, taking over the upkeep after Franklin County decided after 30 years it could no longer afford to take care of the riverside gem.
The city now leases the park from the Army Corps of Engineers, but can't afford to keep it open year-round.
When the riverfront park closed for the season this fall, some patrons suddenly found their access to the Sacagawea Heritage Trail cut off.
The paved 23-mile trail has become popular with recreationists and strollers since its completion a few years back.
A portion of the trail runs through Chiawana Park, and when the gate was closed for the season at Road 96, so was the only Americans with Disabilities Act access in the vicinity.
That created a challenge for folks with disabilities. People who don't need ADA access can use dirt trails to get to the Heritage Trail. But the unofficial routes are not so easy for people with wheelchairs to navigate.
City officials say leaving the gate open could increase the possibility of vandalism.
But the park is not locked down, even though it's officially closed. Anyone who is ambulatory can still walk right into the park from the boat launch parking lot, from the Heritage Trail or a multitude of other points.
There's no chainlink fence or concertina wire around Chiawana Park, and we're thankful for that.
Pasco's city council has asked the parks commission to review the need for ADA access to the trail. And while that issue is debated, the gate will remain open.
A sign will make it clear that the park is closed with the gate open only to allow a route to the Sacagawea Heritage Trail.
A formal decision on the gate and access is expected in about six weeks. The trail was developed to create a recreational and educational route along the waterfront for folks to enjoy year-round.
Access shouldn't be seasonal. This is the Tri-Cities after all, a place of mild weather where people golf 12 months a year.
We understand the city's budget constraints and appreciate Pasco's efforts to keep the park open during the busy summer months.
Close down the bathrooms and forget about maintaining the landscaping during the fall and winter if that cuts operational costs.
But now that the Sacagawea Heritage Trail is in place, some permanent way needs to be found to provide continuous access for all at Chiawana Park, no matter the season.
And Pasco is just the city to do it.