The Amon Creek Natural Preserve is a publicly owned natural open space of shrub steppe and wetland habitat, home to multiple plants and animal species, including black-tailed jack rabbit, beaver, deer and a variety of birds.
Adjacent privately owned land, east of the preserve, is the future site of family housing and a new elementary school, to help serve the rapidly growing region.
The City of Richland is faced with the question: How does the community maintain and potentially enhance the natural benefits of the preserve while providing roadway connectivity and sufficient emergency access to the new school and surrounding neighborhoods?
This is a question the city cannot answer alone and looks to the public to help identify potential solutions. The hope is, through a collaborative public process, a preferred solution will be identified that meets the needs and interests of all stakeholders.
The City of Richland’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan identifies the extension of Rachel Road as a needed improvement to support connectivity between Steptoe Street and Leslie Road as an important link in the regional transportation system and for the Clearwater Creek development, currently under construction east of the Amon Creek Natural Preserve.
The Amon Creek Natural Preserve became publicly owned in 2007 when the City of Richland, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Washington State Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) and the Tapteal Greenway Association signed an agreement to acquire and maintain the property as natural open space, with the potential for a future roadway connecting neighborhoods to the east and west. The WSDOT and EFSEC investments satisfied obligations for environmental mitigation related to other projects.