EDMONDS — A beloved neighborhood park is getting a makeover.
Renovations at Esperance Park in unincorporated Edmonds are set to begin in about two weeks. Additions include an off-leash dog area, a wheelchair-accessible path around the property, a new playground and a zipline through the trees. The baseball field will also be updated to meet Little League requirements.
Construction should be completed by the end of the year. The park will be closed during the work.
The renovations have been several years in the making. In 2015, Snohomish County bought 3.4 acres from the Edmonds School District that were adjacent to then 6-acre Esperance Park.
The concrete that was once the school playground is still visible in the park today. That’s set to be removed during construction.
A vision for the park was developed through five public meetings with neighbors.
“This is the vision of the community,” said County Councilwoman Stephanie Wright, whose district covers the area. “This is the park the community built.”
In a neighborhood that has recently lost several stands of trees to development, maintaining the forest was a top priority. Five trees deemed unstable by the parks department will be the only ones cut down for the project.
All the updates aim to make the park more functional and more aesthetically pleasing, said Tiffany Martin with Monroe-based RJJ Company, which will complete the construction.
The property has a slight view of Mount Rainier, so they plan to build a mound to increase its visibility, Martin said.
The entire project will cost just over $1.6 million, county Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department Director Tom Teigen said.
On a nice day, it’s not uncommon to find about 60 people walking through Esperance park, not including those at the baseball diamond.
Many have used the park as an unofficial off-leash area, Teigen said. The new, official off-leash area, along 224th Street SW, will provide a safe, fenced-in area for pups.
The new walking path design includes small, wheelchair-friendly gravel. Some sections will be paved.
The baseball field will be extended 15 feet to meet Little League requirements, allowing the park to host games.
Funding for the zipline, which will be low to the ground through the forested portion of the park, was secured through a grant from the Hazel Miller Foundation in Edmonds.
The parks department is seeking $20,000 in additional funding for a forest playground, which could include granite boulders, logs, sand-play areas and native trees and plants, Teigen said.
It would be similar to recent playground renovations at Flowing Lake Park and Logan Park, senior parks planner Thomas Hartzell said.
The parks department also is working with the city of Edmonds and some volunteer gardeners to open a community garden, or P-Patch in the park, Teigen said.
Julia-Grace Sanders: 425-339-3439; email@example.com.