Local Parks grants help protect these symbols of vibrant communities, providing places for families to gather and play and promoting a healthy and active lifestyle in an era when people spend increasing amounts of their time inside. The WWRP is the largest source of local parks funding in Washington, helping communities fund the acquisition, development, and renovation of vital recreation areas and green spaces.
The City of Lakewood will use this grant to develop a project at Wards Lake Park, a 27+ acre natural area park. The intention is to create accessible natural outdoor play spaces and areas that will inspire and educate our community. This site is located in a very diverse, low income and underserved area of the City. Grant funded improvements would enhance and activate underutilized and difficult to manage areas, remove and replace aging infrastructure and add site elements to make the park more inviting and accessible to all. Improvements will include two new nature based adventure playgrounds, a restroom facility, soft surface trails and compacted pathways to connect and expand access throughout the park along with wayfinding and interpretive signage. A new 3 acre BMX bike track will be separated from walking trails and sensitive areas with fencing & other natural materials. We will open up heavily vegetated areas to create safe lines of sight while preserving and enhancing important natural areas (wetland buffers, old growth forest and oak prairie areas). We will add capacity by expanding parking at the main entrance, extend curb gutter and sidewalk for neighborhood and community access and add a new parking area and trail head in the southern portion of the park. Important site amenities such as picnic shelters, tables, benches, bike racks, and trash receptacles will promote community gathering. Utility work will support restrooms, stormwater and safety lighting.