SPOKANE, Wash. - Centennial Trail officials are considering a new way to incorporate hundreds of medallions that were for a long time featured along the trail, but were recently stolen.
Loreen McFaul, Executive Director for Friends of the Centennial Trail, said in a news release that they are currently exploring the option of including the "Miracle Mile" medallions replacements as part of the Don Kardong Bridge renovation on Miracle Mile 22 between Gonzaga University and the Riverpoint Campus.
Each unique medallion inscription would become a part of the bridge, with construction expected to begin in early 2020. Medallions have been gathered and stored by Coordinating Council partners in order to minimize damage prior to returning to donors. Design details will be finalized by Spokane Parks & Recreation.
The medallions represent those who helped pave the way for construction of the trail 30 years ago. Each medallion represents a sponsor who donated $100 toward the construction of the trail. Those medallions have engravings on them, many of which are in memory of someone.
The medallions celebrate lives, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, jobs, class reunions and more.
There have been two different theft sprees involving the medallions, as over 400 were stolen in 2005 and later replaced and re-installed. Back in May, nearly 400 more medallions had been taken, with several being scrapped at local recycling centers.
"It's like defacing a tombstone and then stealing it so you can go peddle it," a victim told KHQ after his father's medallion was stolen earlier this year.
Since the theft and vandalism sprees, Friends of the Centennial Trail have collaborated with council partners to study options on the best response.
“I have received dozens of calls and emails from upset citizens and visitors who have cherished medallions that no longer exist on the Centennial Trail,” McFaul said. “The Miracle Mile is our ‘donor wall’ and we remain committed to honoring the memories these medallions represent. However, it is impossible to properly maintain and secure them in the Centennial Trail; we simply cannot guarantee they will not continue to be vandalized and stolen.”