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Change in Columbia Park fishing parking irks disabled anglers

New rules change parking at Columbia Park Pond

Devoted angler Helen Pierce, 63, who is disabled with severe spinal problems, sits on her walker Monday while fishing from the pier at the Columbia Park Pond in Kennewick. She says it's the only local spot she can go fishing by herself.
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Devoted angler Helen Pierce, 63, who is disabled with severe spinal problems, sits on her walker Monday while fishing from the pier at the Columbia Park Pond in Kennewick. She says it's the only local spot she can go fishing by herself.

Helen Pierce, 63, of Kennewick, loves fishing from the pier on the south side of the Columbia Park Pond in Kennewick.

Pierce, who is disabled with severe spinal problems, said she cherishes fishing and the Columbia Park location is about the only place she can get to by herself.

A surge in visitors who have been parking on the grass near the fishing pier in Columbia Park damaged grass and sprinkler systems, prompting the city to post “No Parking” notices this spring.

The change prompted protests from disabled and elderly anglers. The nearest parking lot is about 1,200 feet away, 800 feet farther than the informal on-grass area.

The city, which manages the park but leases the property from the Army Corps, said the parking problem worsened after the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife changed the rules to allow people with disabilities to fish at what had been reserved for kids, ages 14 and younger.

Watch a video at: tricityherald.com/video

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Recent parking changes near the Columbia Park Pond in Kennewick has added extra distance for disabled and elderly anglers to acces the popular fishing spot. Watch a video at: tricityherald.com/video Bob Brawdy Tri-City Herald

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