A top priority for the City of Bonney Lake and its residents is open space and park development, so it's not hard to imagine a veteran's memorial in a future plan.
The idea of a peaceful outdoor memorial dedicated to U.S. servicemembers has brought together veterans and supporters from all over the city, and together they formed the Greater Bonney Lake Veterans Memorial Committee (GBLVM) in 2008.
Due to the struggling economy, however, funding for the memorial has stalled and no space has been aquired. Until the Parks Department is able to move forward on the development for a specific piece of land, it is impossible to allocate any space for a park or memorial of any kind.
"We were approached by the city's parks department [to develop a park] in 2005," said David Colbeth, president of GBLVM and an area realtor and veteran. "But economic issues have slowed the progress."
Colbeth has been working with the Bonney Lake Park Board to select a location through land acquisition. They have to do this before they can move forward with a memorial design. Progress has been a challenge, as the committee has yet to acquire land or amass the funds to secure it. Without a plot of land, there can be no movement on the memorial itself.
Bonney Lake Parks and Recreation Director and GBLVM member Gary Leaf identified several prospective areas for monument development, including the planned Civic Center at Main Street and Sumner-Buckley Highway, the now defunct storm pond at the corner of Hwy 410 and Main Street, as well as possible land at Kelley Farm, if Bonney Lake were ever able to purchase the $10 million property.
This last summer, Leaf and the Parks and Recreation Board conducted a park survey on what kind of open space residents in their town. They distributed a one-page survey through the city website, email and by hand at community events, and recieved 450 answers. The top three park needs, according to Bonney Lake residents, are the need for a sports complex, a recreation facility like the YMCA and trails.
To get people involved and raise awareness for the park, the Memorial Committee attends local veterans events and hosts fundraising dinners. Supporters dined at at Claim Jumpers Restaurant in Tukwila this last Tuesday and at Bonney Lake this past August, with 15 percent of their dining bills dedicated to the charity.
The GBLVM committee has hopes that the land space will come from a donation, either from the city or privately.
"Any kind of monetary donation, to help with development and building is necessary," says Colbeth, though it is clear the emphasis is on a much-needed land donation. "If people have land, either for land swap, for sale or for a memorial location, we'd love it."
Those looking to get involved with the project or become a member of the committee are invited to visit the website or attend a meeting, held at the Bonney Lake City Hall on the third Thursday every month at 5pm.
More information regarding the plan and progress of Bonney Lake parks can be found on the city's website.