Parks in Bonney Lake Part 1:
This is the first of a multiple part blog on Parks in Bonney Lake and why it’s time to provide a different approach to growth, operation and maintenance of the parks in the future by approving the Metropolitan Park District (MPD) that will be on the April 23, 2013 ballot. The MPD may allow us to finally construct trails through the City, a community center to give us the ability to keep active when the weather goes bad, and more and better draining ball fields for baseball, soccer, rugby, etc.
Today the city has the following parks:
- Allan Yorke Park (AYP), a 43.31 acre regional park (including the Moriarty addition) that provides: picnic facilities; a children’s play area; a double boat ramp; swimming area and dock, 4 baseball/soccer fields; 2 tennis courts; a basketball court; a skate park, and a short forested trail. Allan Yorke is the City’s primary park and is where most of the major event activity occurs. This park is being well maintained, however, the work is now being handled by Public Works. Before June 1, 2011, all functions, including operations and maintenance for parks and recreation were handled by the Community Services Department. On June 1st, 2011 the Community Services Department was reorganized with park operations and maintenance moving to Public Works and functions and planning moving to the Executive Department. Bonney Lake has never had a Parks Department.
The Moriarty addition is a 12.42 acre extension to Allan Yorke Park that was condemned and purchased in 2004. Costs on this addition run about $5.75 million dollars and are still being paid off. To date the City has approved no Park plans for this land. While waiting for funding for planning and development the city has utilized space at the Moriarty site for storage and Public Works equipment, which is supposed to end soon. There has also been some clearing and grading to allow for overflow parking for AYP. The only improvement that’s been undertaken thus far has been by a small garden enhancing the City’s first Heritage Tree. The garden was created under the auspices of Beautify Bonney Lake (a non-profit all volunteer group that holds their annual event on the 3rd Saturday in September and a smaller event associated with Arbor Day in the spring).
- Cedarview Park, a 2.73 acre neighborhood park in the Midtown area of the City. Cedarview Park was deeded to the City by the Cedarview Homeowners Association (HOA) about 2004. It has gone through some upgrading and remodeling at a cost of about $300,000 to provide us with the park that consists of: a play area, ball field, ½ basket ball court, and picnic facilities. This was an excellent addition to the City and the Park Board and HOA are to be commended for their great work in bringing this park into the City.
- Viking Park, a 3.7 acre neighborhood park adjacent to Bonney Lake Elementary School was purchased from the Sumner School District in 2004 and has cost about $310,000. The park is equipped with: picnic tables and a 1.0 acre free run Dog Park. Most of the improvements for creation of the Dog Park have been undertaken by volunteers and donations.
- Ken Simmons Park, a 1.7 acre neighborhood park, equipped with: picnic tables, children’s play area, and a boat ramp (on adjacent State of Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife land). The City has spent about $90,000 on Ken Simmons park. The park has been taken under the wing of the Lake Bonney Conservation Association (comprised of homeowners living around Lake Bonney), with much of the work in park improvements, along with some maintenance being pushed by this group with help from the City, Pierce County Stream Team and from Beautify Bonney Lake.
- Madrona Park, a .37 acre pocket park on the site of a former water tower on water utility land, is equipped with: a ½ basketball court, a children’s play area, and a picnic table. Cost to create this park was about $30,000. Beautify Bonney Lake and neighborhood volunteers have provided much of the installation and maintenance on this park over the past couple of years.
- Ascent Gateway, is on private land adjacent to SR410 that is leased on a long term basis from Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to provide a “Welcome to Bonney Lake” gateway sign and a beautiful sculpture (designed by Bonney Lake resident artist Larry Anderson and placed at the site in 1992). Although listed as a mini-park, it is merely a gateway and is not open to the public. During 2007 the City did a major redesign and added a new “Welcome to Bonney Lake” sign, rock wall, lighting, plants and a waterfall. The overall site design was undertaken and managed by Carol Wells-Reed, former board member of Beautify Bonney Lake, Bonney Lake Branch Manager at Columbia Bank and founder of Lions4Kids House. It is now maintained on an annual basis by a team from Beautify Bonney Lake with the City mowing and providing general cleanup throughout the year.
As you look through this list of parks you’ll notice that most major purchases or work were completed in 2004 when we had surplus funds and a Council that was interested in developing and expanding the park system. There have been no, or very limited, purchases of land for park expansion since 2004 and development has been almost nil with exception of work done by volunteers. Since that time, we have experienced an economic downturn which caused funds to be channeled into other projects. Park development by the City was minimal, and work that was done by Beautify Bonney Lake volunteers was geared more at maintaining rather than creating any capital improvements. How much of this is due to the fact that Bonney Lake doesn’t have a Park Department and therefore no specific budget for our parks? It’s my belief that until such time as we have a dedicated Park District we will have no monies set aside for park growth and development. This is why I urge all of you to vote YES for a Metropolitan Park District on April 23, 2013.
Following is a link to the City web site that also talks about the current parks: http://www.citybonneylake.org/section_community/parks_recreation/city_parks.shtml#cedarview
I’m also attaching a link to the City website talking about the Metropolitan Park District in case you’d like more information on that: http://www.ci.bonney-lake.wa.us/section_government/park_district.shtml
In the next blog I’ll talk about other City maintained properties that are discussed in the Park Element of the Comprehensive Plan.