What’s at Stake: St. Edward State Park Project

May 6, 2015

Once a Catholic seminary, St. Edward State Park is today one
of the top ten most visited parks in the state park system. The 316-acre park
packs a big punch for its size, boasting 3,000 feet of freshwater shoreline on
Lake Washington, hiking and horse trails, mountain biking, soccer and baseball
fields, fishing, shellfish harvesting, swimming, and wildlife watching. Visitors
to the park can spot bald eagles, otters, and numerous other wildlife.

The park has a rich history that is reflected in its grounds
and architecture; the Saint Edward Seminary building is on the National
Register of Historic Places and serves as a Romanesque background for numerous picnics,
weddings, festivals, and various community celebrations throughout the year.
The park is also home to the largest and most popular children’s playground in
the state, constructed in 2003 with the support and labor of local volunteers.

park is hoping to acquire an adjacent 10 acres
of undeveloped land with over 450 feet of Lake Washington shoreline, one of
only two remaining undeveloped forested properties on the lake. This would
protect habitat for freshwater clams and spawning salmon, preserve two park
trails, and provide additional shoreline for swimming, kayaking, fishing, and
wildlife watching. In particular, the water of this stretch is shallower and warmer than
in the existing park, making it ideal for swimming.

the Coalition, we are working hard to make sure this project receives the
funding it needs through the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program. The
House proposed capital budget of $75 million for WWRP would provide $744,127
to help expand the park and protect critical habitat in an urban area. Unfortunately, this is one
of the many worthy projects that is not funded in the Senate proposed budget. With
your support, we can make sure this and many other community projects have a
fair chance to get funded.

Photo credits: Paul Salzman (left two) and Peter
Stevens (right) via Flickr