Get active, stay active and enjoy your parks | City Corner

By Carrie Hite, City of Edmonds Parks & Recreation and Cultural Services director | Jan 21, 2016

The National Recreation and Park Association recently completed a study measuring the impact of local parks on the economy.

Nationwide, local and regional parks created nearly $140 billion in economic activity per year and supported almost one million jobs in the United States.

In the state of Washington, local parks created almost $2.4 billion in economic activity, or $341 per person.

Investments made to local and regional parks not only raise the standard of living in our neighborhoods, towns and cities, but they also spark activity that can ripple throughout the economy.

In the City of Edmonds, our elected officials get this. Each year they understand this importance, and hold steady the capital investments in the city’s park system.

What’s on deck for 2016? Plenty.

One of the most notable events will be the closing on the purchase of Civic field, an eight-acre park downtown.

The city is in the process of purchasing this key downtown assets from the Edmonds School District, something that has been in the comprehensive plan for 40 years.

Once purchased, the city will engage the citizenry to complete a master plan for this park this year.

Another capital investment to our parks this year is the addition of outdoor fitness areas. The city plans to install three outdoor fitness zones in three different parks, geographically dispersed, to provide access for all citizens of Edmonds.

Each fitness zone will have eight to 12 pieces of durable, easy-to-use equipment for use by teenagers to seniors, from the ambulatory to those in wheelchairs. These will be located in Mathay Ballinger, Seaview and City parks.

The city is partnering with Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife to complete a rehabilitation of the fishing pier at Olympic Beach.

This is something that has been deferred the past five to six years, but with successful grants this past year, it affords us the opportunity to complete the capital repairs.

Citizens should note that in order to complete this project, we will need to close the pier for approximately three months, beginning in March.

Families and kids, young and old, can look forward to the ribbon cutting on the new 5000 square foot Hazel Miller Spray Park at City Park in May.

This project was completed in October, and we are excited to have the grand opening in May.

The city completed a very robust public process to create a master plan for Marina Beach park. This was prompted by the goal of daylighting Willow Creek through the Edmonds Marsh, and its outfall on Marina Beach park.

The City Council will be asked to formally adopt the plan this year. In addition, some may have noticed the demolition of the play area at Marina Beach park.

The city is in the bidding process to install a new play area, consistent with the pending master plan, before this summer.

The city has been working with a community group to design, install and complete a new Veteran’s Plaza, which should be completed this year.

It will be located in the area outside the public safety building. In addition, the city is working on the installation of a new downtown restroom, adjacent to City Hall.

Other various projects include upgrades to the restrooms at Brackett’s Landing North and Olympic Beach, the replacement of the Frances Anderson Center stage, the replacement of the Yost pool spa, the city’s gateway sign replacement, completion of the Dayton Street Plaza, installation of temporary art along the Fourth Avenue cultural corridor, and installation of a parklet along the Fourth Avenue corridor.

The National Recreation and Park Association also recently completed a study on Americans’ perceptions of local park and recreation services.

The conclusions confirm that Americans do not see public parks as luxuries, but rather as critical infrastructure and that there is unwavering support for local parks spanning age groups, household types, income levels and political affiliation.

Edmonds residents certainly demonstrate this sentiment, with people filling the classrooms at the Frances Anderson Center, walking the trails at Yost park, casting a line off the Edmonds Fishing Pier, running along the waterfront, throwing a ball for their dog at the Off Leash Area Edmonds dog park, playing soccer at Hickman park, or tossing a petanque ball at Civic field.

Whether you take part in a recreation program, enjoy the local public art, get out and enjoy a stroll along the waterfront walkway, or swim laps at Yost pool, we invite you to get active, stay active, and enjoy your parks, recreation and cultural services to the fullest.

 

 

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