Former Washington Governor Christine Gregoire said, “It is up to us to live up to the legacy that was left for us, and to leave a legacy that is worthy of our children and of future generations.” Today we mourn the passing of Clyde Anderson, a legacy leader who helped locate the Spokane River Centennial Trail along the Spokane River to allow countless visitors the ability to recreate, commute, and commune with nature in the heart of our region. Clyde passed away late last week at age 96. We will miss his enthusiasm, kind words, unwavering support, and visits that always ended with, “Keep up the good work and know I love you!”

Throughout the 30+ year history of the Centennial Trail, Clyde Anderson was in step with its creation and coordination. Many generous deals were cut in the 1980’s to make the Centennial Trail a reality. Clyde’s volunteer work as state parks commissioner and role as general manager and president of Inland Empire Paper was central to building the trail along the Spokane River from the Washington/Idaho state line to Donkey Islands Trailhead. As a Friends of the Centennial Trail Board member, he was instrumental in widening Upriver Drive near Boulder Beach to Islands Trailhead and constructing Sandifur Bridge over the Spokane River between Kendall Yards and People’s Park.  

In a letter Clyde wrote in 1992 to Robbi Castleberry, Chair of the Friends, he said, “My years of involvement on this great project have been rewarding and a special pleasure to me personally. I trust my involvement has helped this Trail to become a reality.” 

Mile 23-24 from Riverfront Park to Kendall Yards was dedicated in Clyde’s honor in 2015 as Washington State Parks and Recreation “Commissioner for Life.” Smile and think of Clyde as you walk, run, or bike on his Centennial Trail mile, and perhaps consider the legacy you, too, can leave.