The city is finally moving forward with a plan to add a spray playground to its oldest downtown park, more than 20 years after first coming up with the idea.
Construction of the 5,000-square-foot spray area at City Park, 600 3rd Ave. S., is expected to begin in March and be ready to open just in time for warmer weather in May.
"We were able to put the puzzle pieces together," said Carrie Hite, the city's Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services director. "It's a pretty expensive project."
The city expects to spend $1.35 million to build the spray park and replace the aging playground equipment at City Park. The addition will be named after Hazel Miller, who established a foundation that awards money to charities and nonprofits in south Snohomish County and gave a grant for the project.
The foundation rarely backs capital projects, but the project was too good to pass up, said Diana White, foundation board member.
"It benefits so many in the community, including families, children and grandparents," White said. "And it's such a beautiful location."
Edmonds included a spray park in a master plan for the city in 1992, and every year it's been included in the city's capital facilities plan. But the city never had enough money to make it happen.
Hite said the city socked away $500,000 to replace the playground equipment. Last year, the city applied for another $500,000 through a competitive grant program from the Washington State Recreation Conservation Office. That money was awarded earlier this month.
In the past few weeks, the county gave the city $80,000 for the project. And the Hazel Miller Foundation provided the final $270,000, with half the sum coming this year and the other half next year.
"The Hazel Miller Foundation and the legacy of Hazel Miller is an incredible asset for the city of Edmonds," Hite said.
There are at least four other spray parks in Snohomish County. Lynnwood has two -- one at North Lynnwood Park at 18510 44th Ave. W. and another at Daleway Park, 19015 64th Ave. W. There's another at Forest Park, 802 E. Mukilteo Blvd., Everett.
The county also has one at Willis Tucker Park, 6705 Puget Park Drive, east of Mill Creek.
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