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 is working to acquire Wards Lake in two phases. The first acquisition phase, assisted by a grant from last year’s IAC process, is for purchase of approximately 10 acres. Phase II seeks to acquire an additional 10 acres for a total of 20 acres. The City’s intent for this park is to make it Lakewood’s second community park, providing a loop trail system, a group picnic area, a youth only fishing dock, playground equipment, a restroom, and access to natural and landscaped vegetation. Wards Lake is a very attractive wetland area with a variety of tree stands, including rare large oaks. As Lakewood is 90% developed, it has very few opportunities for preservation of suitable additional open space for public access. At present, there are no public parks to serve this corner of the City with 9000 residents. The closest park in Lakewood is nearly two miles away. All 20 acres comprising Phase I and II are part of an estate. The heirs to the property strongly prefer that the site be converted to a park, as they grew up on the site and do not wish to see it developed residentially. Their willingness to sell the property significantly below the appraised value is an indication of their affinity for the property and their civic interest. The Legal Description of the property to be acquired is described in Exhibit A, which is by this reference incorporated into the Project Agreement.