Kent riding a good thing with tour | Klaas

It was much more than a leisurely bicycle ride under unpredictable skies last weekend.

A group of riders led by the Cascade Bicycle Club stop and pose for a photo at the Robert Morris Earthwork Park last Saturday in SeaTac during the Earthworks Tour Inaugural Bike Ride. The Morris Earthwork is the highest point of the bike tour.

It was much more than a leisurely bicycle ride under unpredictable skies last weekend.

Kent’s innovative Earthworks Tour Inaugural Ride last Saturday took more than 200 participants on a scenic trip of discovery through four iconic landscapes in the Green River Valley. Stops included the restored Herbert Bayer Earthwork, a Kent landmark and influential environmental artwork.

Bicyclists – accessing the Earthworks Tour by way of the Interurban Trail or via transit at Kent Station – also took in the beauty and wonders of the Robert Morris Earthwork in SeaTac, the Green River Natural Resources Area in Kent, and Lorna Jordan’s Waterworks Garden in Renton.

The recreational ride is only the beginning to bigger and better things for enthusiasts. The Earthworks Tour will become a permanent bicycle route and remain open to the public for self-guided tours. The ride will expand as new routes become available to bicyclists. For instance, the Green River Trail, once cleared of sandbags, soon will allow riders more room to roam.

The reviews from the free tour ride were good. Organizers considered the event – part exploration, part celebration – a success.

“We were very excited to have people who hadn’t visited Kent before … come to Kent … and be charmed,” said Cheryl dos Remedios, event coordinator with the city of Kent Arts Commission, which sponsored the half-day adventure. “It is something people wanted. It is something positive, supported by businesses.”

The Cascade Bicycle Club, 4Culture and the City of Renton helped co-produce the Earthworks Tour, which was supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Art’s Mayors Institute on City Design 25th Anniversary Initiative.

Kent made the most of the opportunity.

From public feedback, organizers are looking into the possibility of bringing it back next year. Such a ride brought together riders, artists and historic preservationists – people wishing to experience extraordinary land art and reclamation projects in their own backyard.

“In addition to providing a bicycle route, it connected four sites because they are in such close proximity,” dos Remedios said. “We were able to raise public awareness about them.”

The family friendly event presented theater, music and site specific installations along the route. It offered three routes for different riding abilities. It featured a dignitary-led dedication ceremony of the restored Herbert Bayer Earthwork. Park renovation brought a double-ring pond, drainage improvements in the surrounding bowl and a reshaping of the cone atop the main berm. New interpretive signage explains the functionality of the park’s water detention dam.

The restoration project was made possible by funding from Partners in Preservation, a partnership between American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A 4Culture Historic Preservation Challenge Grant provided additional funding.

The ride accomplished what it set out to do, a “desire to create some cultural tourism to the Green River Valley that we haven’t experienced in the past,” dos Remedios said.

The event coincidentally ran just as Washington was recognized as the nation’s leader as the most Bicycle Friendly State for the fifth straight year, according to the League of American Bicyclists rankings.

Strong and active bicycle advocacy at the state and local levels contributed to Washington’s top ranking, the league said.

Kent – with its latest efforts – certainly is doing its part.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Opinion

Opinion: Public deserves honest information on sex education

The Washington comprehensive sex education bill passed in the Senate on March 7.

Grocery store staff are working hard to keep the shelves stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic. File photo
Thank you grocery store clerks

Recognizing the sacrifices of our unsung essential workforce.

To our elected officials: Be bold, be consistent, be honest, be helpful

By Patrick Grubb, Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Governor Jay Inslee has been… Continue reading

Coronavirus testing telecommuting effectiveness

Employers offering a work from home option has grown by 40 percent in the past 5 years

Legislative session ends with plenty of hits and misses

OLYMPIA — The 2020 regular legislative session is coming to a close.… Continue reading

As the deadline nears, state lawmakers face a few challenges

As state lawmakers in Olympia enter the final turn of the 2020… Continue reading

Brunell’s treatise on Lower Snake River dams is flooded with falsehoods

Don Brunell’s recent column, “Dams are the Northwest’s Flood Busters” (Jan. 24,… Continue reading

This Boeing deal could have ‘clawbacks’ in the ‘snap-back’

The company wants a tax break temporarily repealed. Some don’t want to give it back without new conditions.

The state has too much money and it’s a problem

With revenues rising, budget writers are going to get lots of requests on how to spend it

Recognition and thanks – not abuse – needed for high school officials

By Karissa L. Niehoff, NFHS executive director While the behavior of parents… Continue reading

Marilyn Lauderdale. COURTESY PHOTO
Let’s protect jobs and tend to our environment

Working together is the way we are going to find solutions that benefit the climate and companies

A tribute to Libby Seidel: a dedicated Kent volunteer

Kent lost a kind, generous soul last month with the passing of… Continue reading