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A series of new grants totaling $873,000 will benefit the Mountlake Terrace Recreation and Parks Department.
The City Council voted Monday to accept the grants, which will support work at Ballinger Park, refurbish the Evergreen Playfield Complex tennis courts and enhance the Recreation Pavilion’s summer camps.
The largest sum, at $500,000, comes from the state Recreation & Conservation Office (RCO) through its Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account. The money will be used for a new viewing platform and trails on the west side of Ballinger Park. It represents a significant portion of the project’s total price tag of $931,000. The grant will be matched with a private donation and park impact fees.
That construction will follow the completion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ project to realign Hall Creek, reconstruct the bridge crossing, create a boardwalk, remove invasive species and replant with native plants. The creek project is currently in the design phase.
Also planned is a new wider, more accessible western entry to the park, located along the Interurban Trail, with improved signage.
“The new trails will connect you to a viewing platform to get you out over the lake,” said Jeff Betz, Recreation and Parks Director. “The whole west side of the park is really a place for quiet solitude and walking. It’s meant to be the more natural, passive side of the park. The east side is designed to be the more active portion.”
Meanwhile, the tennis courts at the Evergreen Playfield Complex are showing their age and late 1970s vintage. They remain popular, especially because of the shade from the tree canopy.
For that grant, the Recreation Conservation Office awarded $350,000 that is designated for youth athletic facilities. RCO grant amounts are funded and approved by the state Legislature.
The tennis courts have been resurfaced over the years, but are due for more attention. Repairing the subsurface and then resurfacing will address and prevent dips and puddles. The renewal also will bring new posts, netting, fencing, LED lighting, and accessibility improvements.
“The LED lighting will not only improve the light quality but also will reduce the light spillage,” Betz said. Other benefits include reduced energy costs. This project is expected to total $600,000, and the state grant will be matched with parks capital improvement funds. The design work could begin in early 2022 with construction in 2023.
The third grant, for $23,000, will go toward summer camps at the Recreation Pavilion. It comes from a partnership between the Washington Recreation and Park Association, the Association of Washington Cities, and the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The funds will help provide supplies and field trips for camps that are already scheduled.
The Ballinger Park project is scheduled for completion by 2024. It is a separate effort from the construction happening this summer to create a new fishing pier, floating boat dock and boat ramp. That portion of the park closed in July and is anticipated to reopen in the fall, as the waterfront work had to occur during the summer months to protect fish and wildlife.
A future view of Ballinger Park.