Hazel Miller Foundation gives $1.5 million for Civic Park

Mayor also requests $2 million in city budget, calls for citizen support
By Brian Soergel | Dec 02, 2017
Courtesy of: City of Edmonds Pictured at the ceremony at Civic Park are Councilmember Tom Mesaros; Jack Loos, Hazel Miller Foundation; Mayor Dave Earling; Diana White, Hazel Miller Foundation; Carrie Hite, city of Edmonds; Pat Shields, Hazel Miller Foundation; Pat Doherty, city of Edmonds; and Dave Johnson, city of Edmonds.

The Hazel Miller Foundation has given the city an early Christmas present.

On Monday, Nov. 27, it announced an historic gift to the Edmonds community: a $1.5 million grant to support the redevelopment of Civic Park, which has previously been called Civic Center Playfield, or just Civic Field.

A contest to name the park will occur after it is developed.

The Foundation’s board of directors presented a ceremonial check for the grant funds at Civic Park to Mayor Dave Earling and the city’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department.

“This is wonderful news for our entire community that deserves to be celebrated,” Parks Director Carrie Hite said.

“Acquiring this beloved property in the heart of downtown Edmonds and securing it for our community’s use has been a top priority for the city and a part of this city’s Comprehensive Plan since the 1980s. This historic gift from the Hazel Miller Foundation, along with the requested $2 million in city funds, provides the beginning critical support to achieving this community goal.”

Established as a trust by Edmonds philanthropist Hazel Miller, the Hazel Miller Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to serving the citizens of Edmonds and south Snohomish County.

“The Hazel Miller Board is pleased to partner with the city to create something truly special in the heart of Edmonds,” says Hazel Miller board member Dick Ellis. “Hazel Miller loved Edmonds. The vision for a new Civic Park would be something she’d be proud of.”

Hazel Miller died in 2009 at age 93.

“The city of Edmonds is incredibly grateful for the generous support of the Hazel Miller Foundation in supporting the Civic Field project and so many others in our community,” Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling said.

“We hope this impressive gift, as well as my requested $2 million in the city budget for Civic Field's redevelopment, will inspire others in our community to also step forward and support this legacy project for our city and region.”

Those who want to contribute can contact Carrie Hite at the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department at carrie.hite@edmondswa.gov.

What’s next in the Civic Park redevelopment process?

That includes pursuing state and county grants as well as private donations to support what is anticipated to be a $10 million to #12 million project. The city plans to demolish the stadium stands in January and begin the design development process. It hopes to begin constructing the park by2019 or 2020.

Here’s some background on Civic Park:

Under the ownership of the Edmonds School District, the city had permission to use the Civic Field property for more than 40 years. The district approached the city in 2015 with its intent to sell the property, leading to negotiations for a sale and purchase agreement.

Under the purchase and sales agreement approved by City Council and signed by Mayor Earling, Edmonds agreed to purchase Civic Field for $1.9 million from the Edmonds School District in 2016 with the help of state and county funding.

Together with a 50 percent matching grant from the Washington State Recreation Conservation Office for up to $1 million, and a $500,000 grant from Snohomish Conservation Futures, the city budgeted $400,000 for the acquisition.

The city then initiated a community planning process to develop a long-term plan for the Civic Field property, with members of the community providing significant input into the design of a master plan for the 8-acre property.

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