City to close West Hylebos Wetlands Park for extensive storm damage repair
The boardwalk has been damaged by falling and leaning trees, and the suspended broken branches pose a significant threat to park users. The park could be closed for up to several weeks.
"We have experienced back-to-back storm events that pull our Parks crew out of the parks to work with Public Works crews on streets and it will take us several weeks to be able to do all the repairs and clean up in all of the parks", said Federal Way Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Director Donna Hanson. "Safety is our first priority, and with the damage to the boardwalk and the high water levels, we don't feel that West Hylebos Wetlands Park is safe until we can repair the boardwalk and remove some leaning trees. We will make every effort to have the park open as soon as possible."
Chris Carrel, Executive Director of the Friends of the Hylebos Wetlands said, "Unfortunately, this necessary closure underscores the urgency of replacing the park's aging boardwalk. It is old and deteriorating. If not replaced, I can foresee more closures, possibly permanently. That would be a great loss for the community and the region."
The Parks Department and the Friends of the Hylebos have developed plans for replacing the boardwalk and have raised most of the funding needed. The City currently has applied for a grant from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program for the needed funds. If the State Legislature approves sufficient funding for the program this year, Federal Way plans to replace the boardwalk this summer.
The Friends of the Hylebos Wetlands is a nonprofit conservation organization working to protect and restore the environmental quality of Hylebos Creek, the West Hylebos Wetlands, and the surrounding watershed. More information about the Friends and volunteer opportunities can be found at the group's website, www.hylebos.org, or by calling 253-874-2005.