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The City of Mountlake Terrace was recently awarded a $250,000 grant from the Hazel Miller Foundation to build a universally accessible ADA playground on the southeast side of Ballinger Park.
“The new Hazel Miller Playground will be much larger and easier to access for families of all abilities,” said Recreation and Parks Director Jeff Betz. “Thank you to the Foundation for their generous contribution to this regional park.”
The new play area will be approximately 7,000 square feet and include ramps, transfer platforms, slides, climbing walls, interpretive historical or environmental signage, various free standing play elements, shade, education elements, ADA surfacing and borders. It will replace the small structure currently located in the park near the ballfields to the north. The city is pursuing a matching grant from the state for $250,000 to aid in design and construction costs as well. A new walking path being constructed will allow ADA access to the playground and new ADA restrooms will be built nearby.
The city will undertake a community-wide process to design the playground, create new branding for signage in the 55-acre park, and develop a theme for the playground and the park itself.
Inclusive playgrounds have been a growing trend nationally due to the emphasis being placed on accessibility. Universal design considers the wide spectrum of human abilities. It aims to exceed minimum standards to meet the needs of the greatest number of people.
Mountlake Terrace has completed a community-driven master plan for Ballinger Park that includes an “active” side with play areas and picnic shelters, integrated with a “passive” side focused on ecosystem restoration. Total design and construction costs for the entire park are $12.5 to $15 million to be phased in over several years. This project benefits not only South Snohomish County but the entire region and requires a multi-year funding effort with many funding partners.
The city has made progress towards securing federal funding by working with the Army Corps of Engineers to complete the creek restoration components of the project. The city has also been awarded a State Recreation Conservation Office grant of $500,000 to install a new fishing pier, boat dock, boat ramp, ADA restrooms and a walking path on the east side of the park for a project total of $1.163 million slated for completion by 2021.
The Hazel Miller Foundation serves Edmonds and South Snohomish County. The Edmonds-based nonprofit was established as a trust by Hazel Miller who, with her husband Morris Miller, was committed to helping their local community. The Foundation’s mission is to support programs and projects that serve the public’s benefit, especially in the areas of education and youth services, poverty alleviation and hunger, civic and community services and amenities, the environment, diversity, culture, and the arts.