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 Stanwood will use this grant to buy 2 acres and then design and develop the first phase of Hamilton Landing Park, a future park south of downtown Stanwood. The City will restore the site, create public access to the river, and develop a launch for hand-carry boats. The land, which includes 350 feet of shoreline on the Stillaguamish River, is only one of two publicly-owned sites on the “Old Stilly” channel. Development of the park will provide access to the unique estuary habitat created where the Old Stillaguamish River channel meets Puget Sound. Hamilton park is part of a larger project to preserve greenways and make connections to the river. The City owns an undeveloped 15-acre former dairy farm a half-mile down river from the park and land next to the river that will connect the two properties together allowing access to the river and a future river walk trail. The Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are restoring a 300-acres estuary directly across the river from this site. Stanwood will contribute more than $1.2 million in cash, Conservation Futures, and a grant from the state Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account.