Panel OKs $100 million to expand parks —

Panel OKs $100 million to expand parks

By Lukas Velush; Jun 10, 2007, Everett Herald

By Lukas Velush
Herald Writer
June 10, 2007

Mukilteo Lighthouse Park is among several Snohomish County projects that will share nearly $2 million in state park and natural area acquisition money, officials said.

A state citizens' panel last week approved a plan to spend $100 million over the next two years improving and expanding parks and natural areas across the state.

The money was included in the new budget adopted by the state Legislature earlier this spring.

"This is one of the largest investment in parks and natural areas in Washington's history," said Carrie Bates, program director, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition.

Her coalition works with a citizens' panel that advises the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation, which administers the money.

Mukilteo Lighthouse Park will get $300,000 for its plans to turn a former state park that was largely known as a parking lot into an attractive urban park.

Other area grants include:

• $273,050 to help buy the development rights of Broers Organic Berry Farm and $143,050 to help buy the development rights to Werkhoven Dairy Inc.

The Snohomish County program is designed to help preserve farming by paying farmers to give up the right to subdivide their land. Both farms are in the Tualco Valley.

• $163,000 to renovate the Daleway Park Aquatic Playground and $176,000 to do the same at the North Lynnwood Park Aquatic Playground. Both parks are in Lynnwood.
 
Popular spray parks - where kids spray each other with water - at both locations are worn out and don't meet modern safety standards.

• $249,741 to help the state Department Fish and Wildlife Service reopen a boat ramp on the Skykomish River off Lewis Street in the Monroe area. The state had to close one ramp at the site because it had deteriorated to the point where it was unsafe.

• $500,000 to help buy Old Woodway Elementary School in Edmonds. The school grounds will be converted into a park.

• $100,000 to buy and preserve open space along Shell Creek in Edmonds. The land will be set aside as a preserve for wildlife.

Bates said checks would be sent to each winner this summer.

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