Everett plans big upgrades for city parks

EVERETT — Changes are coming to Everett parks.

Trails. New playground equipment. A new off-leash dog area.

Everett officials expect to spend millions of dollars this year on projects big and small across the city.

Workers are just beginning to plan some projects, such as an overhaul of Sen. Henry M. Jackson Park. People should be able to start using other improvements — like a new disc golf course at Silver Lake — in coming months.

Although Everett, like many cities, had to make cuts in its budget, the park work made the cut.

The city is in the midst of adding 35 more solar-powered trash compactors throughout the park system. Federal grant money is paying for nearly all of the trash cans. Workers also plan to improve and extend paths in Lowell and Garfield Parks.

Here’s a rundown of other planned projects:

Sen. Henry M. Jackson Park: This year, the city plans to take a close look at adding amenities such as a new playground and a community garden. They’re considering moving earth around to take better advantage of the view. The planning process is expected to take most of the year. Construction is a few years away. Cost of planning: $200,000.

Downtown Plaza: The city plans to turn an old parking lot into a gathering space with a fountain, shade trees, art and an outdoor performance stage. The plaza will be located next to a vacant downtown building the city is also renovating for use by a theater group. The project is out to bid now, and construction should be completed by fall 2011. Cost: $2.7 million.

Bayside Park: This 1-acre park off Grand Avenue should have a new wheelchair accessible pathway, railings and landscaping by the end of the year. Cost: $100,000.

Powder Mill Gulch: This project is being planned, but officials envision improving and expanding trails so they connect with neighborhoods. The city may also add picnic tables, interpretive signs and parking. The city already owns the land. No price estimate has been announced.

Thornton A. Sullivan Park (Silver Lake): Disc golf, the sport in which players toss flying discs into baskets, is coming to Silver Lake in the next few months. So are a volleyball pit and soccer area. The city also plans to upgrade a rental hall, replace a floating dock on the east side of the lake and upgrade a restroom. Workers also plan to permanently remove the dock near the beach area — a move that should improve water quality. Cost: $250,000.

Langus Riverfront Park: Everett dogs should have another place to romp. The Everett animal shelter is raising all the money through donations to pay for an off-leash area adjacent to the shelter. By the end of the year, fencing should be in place. As more money is raised, the city would like to add paths and gates. Cost: $40,000

Walter E. Hall Park: This year, workers will design and install entrance electronic bollards — barriers that should open and close automatically when the park does. City officials are in the midst of talking to neighbors about replacing the playground equipment — that should happen by 2012. Total cost: $195,000.

Interurban Trail: This year the city plans to add markers every quarter-mile to 116th Street. In the next two years, the city would like to add picnic tables, benches and signs that give the trail’s history. Cost: $100,000

Kasch Park: This popular sports park is getting two new soccer fields replaced with synthetic surfaces. This year, the city is working on designing the project. It won’t be completed for several years. Cost: $1.4 million.

Howarth Park: The city wants to renovate this beachside park in the next three years. Improvements include parking, tennis courts, fencing and landscaping. Cost: $190,000.

Debra Smith: 425-339-3197, dsmith@heraldnet.com.

View Everett Parks Capital Projects in a larger map

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