Snohomish County government plans to spend 2013 celebrating the 50th anniversary of the county parks department by staging a series of special events.
The first is scheduled Tuesday with a day of free parking and the waiver of boat launch fees at Wyatt, Kayak Point, Wenberg and Flowing Lake county parks.
The county parks department was created March 4, 1963. It oversees more than 100 park properties that encompass more than 10,000 acres, 47 miles of shoreline, more than 30 miles of paved trails and hundreds of miles of unpaved hiking paths. The parks system includes playgrounds, saltwater, riverfront and lakefront parks, campgrounds, athletic parks, a golf course, an outdoor pool, an arboretum, off-leash areas, amphitheaters, wildlife areas and the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe.
A listing of parks, facilities and events is available at www.snocoparks.org.
Although the parks department is 50 years old, the county actually has been in the park business for more than 86 years. Its first park property, Squire Creek Campground northeast of Arlington, was acquired in 1926.