Washington is famous for its gorgeous and abundant waterways, from the Salish Sea to the Nisqually River, but many communities lack open public beaches and waterfronts where everyone can enjoy picnicking, swimming, paddling, boating, and angling. Water Access projects fund public shoreline access, boat launches, and fishing docks to create more opportunities for water recreation.
The City of Kenmore will use this grant to build a float for hand carry boats and provide access to the water for visitors at Rhododendron Park. The park is on the Sammamish River, a quarter mile upstream from Lake Washington, and next to a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife ramp for motorized boats. There currently is no developed access to the park’s 600 feet of riverfront. People are launching their hand-carry boats, including rowing sculls, kayaks, and small sailboats, in the mud at the project location now, trampling plants and causing water turbidity. The park’s well-used facilities include a senior center, restroom, picnic shelter, play area, and 38-stall parking lot. The City will build a float and adjoining parking area; an 800-foot-long path, which includes 220 lineal feet of boardwalk across a wetland; and pave a gravel trail that connects the new path to a bus stop. The park and wetland are used for passive recreation along the waterfront and for wildlife viewing, photography, walking, picnicking, and fishing. Kenmore will contribute $545,000 in cash and a grant from the state Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account.