By Bill Sheets Herald Writer
MUKILTEO — People who like to hike and kids who like to play now have fresh opportunities to do so.
Mukilteo has improved the south fork of the Big Gulch trail and installed new playground equipment at 92nd Street Park, both in the central part of the city.
A dedication ceremony is scheduled for 5 p.m. Feb. 10 at the park, located just west of the Mukilteo Speedway.
Hikers had complained that a quarter-mile section of the trail gets muddy and tough to hike in the winter, said Patricia Love, acting planning director for the city of Mukilteo.
During the autumn, crews applied gravel to a section between a footbridge and the trail’s confluence with the north fork. From that location the trail continues more than a mile toward Puget Sound, ending near the Mukilteo wastewater treatment plant.
The old playground equipment at 92nd Street Park was deemed unsafe and was removed during the fall. It was more than 20 years old and its wooden anchor beams had deteriorated, according to the city.
“The supports were all rotted through,” Love said.
The city was able to complete both projects without spending any of its own money, she said.
The city recently received a $55,000 parks grant from Snohomish County. This covered most of the playground equipment and all of the trail improvements, Love said. A contribution of $8,801 from Buell Recreation Park and Playground Products in Bothell, through which the city bought the playground structure, covered the remainder of that project.
Another cost- cutter came when 30 volunteers helped assemble the modular playground equipment, with help from an installer.
Volunteers included members of the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs and staff members from Bank of America, Buell Recreation and the installer, the White River Fence Company of Auburn. Neighbors and current and former city officials also pitched in.
The work took place on a rainy, windy Saturday. The date was Jan. 11, the day of the Seahawks’ first playoff game.
“We were scrambling,” said City Councilman Ted Wheeler, one of the volunteers. Wheeler was elected in November and took office just last month.
“It was cold and wet and miserable, but it was fun,” he said.
The playground equipment opened for use on Jan. 20, Love said.
The Big Gulch trail is located just south of 92nd Street Park. The two areas together encompass more than 180 acres.
Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org.