Ruvim Mesheryakov, celebrating his 12th birthday with family, casts his line out into the ocean from the pier at Kayak Point on Monday, June 12, 2023, in Stanwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Ruvim Mesheryakov, celebrating his 12th birthday with family, casts his line out into the ocean from the pier at Kayak Point on Monday, June 12, 2023, in Stanwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Kayak Point to close this summer for $20M park renovation

It’s the county’s most-visited park with 180,000 annual visitors — and officials have big plans to improve it.

STANWOOD — It was a perfect night to be outside, and Charles Robbins was grilling steak dinner for his family Monday at Kayak Point.

Robbins will be one of the last people to use the waterfront before a sweeping construction project takes shape.

On Wednesday, the Snohomish County Council green-lit a new plan to renovate Kayak Point, which is south of Stanwood along the Port Susan Bay.

The project has been on the drawing board since 2010, ballooning in size to a $20 million endeavor.

Among the updates:

• A new boat launch;

• Parking lot updates and stormwater work;

• A new “backshore berm” to protect the park from sea level rise;

• Removal of a sea wall.

Charles Robbins pieces together a steak dinner for his family as young Athea Miller plays with the family dog, Lana, under one of the shelters at Kayak Point on Monday, June 12, 2023, in Stanwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Charles Robbins pieces together a steak dinner for his family as young Athea Miller plays with the family dog, Lana, under one of the shelters at Kayak Point on Monday, June 12, 2023, in Stanwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

The renovations will close the park July 5. The reopening date is to be determined, but aquatic construction cannot go past Oct. 15 because of the fish window — when streams are naturally slow — so the work disturbs the fewest fish. The park will be closed until at least the end of the year.

Robbins and his young family use the park often in the summer, and he’s excited about the changes.

“I’m hoping they make it more modern, but keep it nice, keep it natural,” Robbins said.

As the most-visited park run by the county, with 180,000 annual visitors, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said the upgrades are necessary.

“We know that renovation projects, even when necessary, can frustrate those who are used to ready access to the park,” Somers said. “For such a popular destination, we must make periodic improvements or it won’t be available for the next generation of users.”

On completion there will be a berm along the entire shoreline. The berm is to help with sea level changes and its height is set to 4 feet above the projected rise.

People fish from the pier, hold hands on the beach and steer a swamped canoe in the water as the sun sets on another day at Kayak Point on Monday, June 12, 2023, in Stanwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

People fish from the pier, hold hands on the beach and steer a swamped canoe in the water as the sun sets on another day at Kayak Point on Monday, June 12, 2023, in Stanwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Carol Ohlfs, a principal park planner with Snohomish County, shared some photos of the area during a combined King Tide and storm. The photos show part of the park underwater. Those extreme tides can be destructive.

“It’s hard for our maintenance staff, it’s not good for the environment and it’s an example of how we’re really trying to find balance between recreation and restoration,” Ohlfs said. “This park is a huge recreation site but we also want it to be great for the environment.”

Outside of the sea wall removal and planting native vegetation, the boat launch has been designed with the environment in mind: It will be elevated to allow sand and fish to move under it, Ohlfs said.

Ideally the county would like to partner with an environmental organization or agency to monitor the site and track human impact, she said. Aside from fish, visitors can observe seals and many birds from the shore. Fishing off the pier can be fruitful at the right time of day.

Right now, parks staff clear muck off the boat launch daily. A new launch will cut maintenance costs.

“That’s the number one thing thing we wanted to fix that really spurred the project on,” Ohlfs said. “It’s not easy and it certainly would not be easy for me to launch a boat there. It doesn’t quite have the right angle of the degree, so it’s very flat. But that’s something we’re going to fix.”

A couple walks back towards the park along the south shoreline of Kayak Point on Monday, June 12, 2023, in Stanwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

A couple walks back towards the park along the south shoreline of Kayak Point on Monday, June 12, 2023, in Stanwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

A new parking lot will offer better spaces for boat trailers. And a new stormwater system will catch the runoff from the lot and treat it before it goes into Puget Sound. Right now, runoff is untreated.

Other bathroom and water projects are also included in the plan, though some of those updates may not come until the second phase. In addition, the road along the shoreline will also be turned into a pedestrian path.

Native trees will be planted as well, and the line of poplars near the picnic shelters will be taken down. The second phase of the project will move the shelters back a bit from the shoreline.

The hope is to keep the roofs, but remove the foundations and pilings. The backshore berm will extend along that portion of the beach. The county plans to contract with a local woodcrafting guild to work on new shelters, closer to the current playground and sculpture.

In 2016, the County Council approved the selection of J.A. Brennan Associates, a landscape architectural firm in Seattle, to complete the project. The original contract between the county and firm was $550,000.

As of Wednesday, the contract has grown to $3.27 million.

A couple walks along the beach and over the gravelly, muddy boat launch, in the foreground, at Kayak Point on Monday, June 12, 2023, in Stanwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

A couple walks along the beach and over the gravelly, muddy boat launch, in the foreground, at Kayak Point on Monday, June 12, 2023, in Stanwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Over the past seven years, updated assessments, additional geotechnical needs, permitting requirements and other projects, such as eelgrass delineation and stormwater system redesign, added zeros to the bottom line.

Officials said the park is too popular not to update. Pick just about any day during the summer, and the park will be packed.

Robbins put it well while turning over a corn cob on the grill.

“Everybody just loves coming here,” Robbins said.

Jordan Hansen: 425-339-3046; jordan.hansen@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @jordyhansen.

Kayla J. Dunn: 425-339-3449; kayla.dunn@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @KaylaJ_Dunn.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Death of Everett boy, 4, spurs questions over lack of Amber Alert

Local police and court authorities were reluctant to address some key questions, when asked by a Daily Herald reporter this week.

The new Amazon fulfillment center under construction along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, just south of Arlington Municipal Airport. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210708
Frito-Lay leases massive building at Marysville business park

The company will move next door to Tesla and occupy a 300,0000-square-foot building at the Marysville business park.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Driver arrested in fatal crash on Highway 522 in Maltby

The driver reportedly rear-ended Jeffrey Nissen as he slowed down for traffic. Nissen, 28, was ejected and died at the scene.

PAWS Veterinarian Bethany Groves in the new surgery room at the newest PAWS location on Saturday, April 20, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
New Snohomish hospital makes ‘massive difference’ for wild animals

Lynnwood’s Progressive Animal Welfare Society will soon move animals to its state of the art, 25-acre facility.

Traffic builds up at the intersection of 152nd St NE and 51st Ave S on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Here’s your chance to weigh in on how Marysville will look in 20 years

Marysville is updating its comprehensive plan and wants the public to weigh in on road project priorities.

Mountlake Terrace Mayor Kyko Matsumoto-Wright on Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
With light rail coming soon, Mountlake Terrace’s moment is nearly here

The anticipated arrival of the northern Link expansion is another sign of a rapidly changing city.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
1 dead in motorcycle crash on Highway 522 in Maltby

Authorities didn’t have any immediate details about the crash that fully blocked the highway Friday afternoon.

Photographs in the 2024 Annual Black and White Photography Contest on display at the Schack Art Center on Thursday, April 18, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Black and white photos aren’t old school for teens at Schack Art Center

The photography contest, in its 29th year, had over 170 entries. See it at the Schack in Everett through May 5.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett mom charged with first-degree murder in death of son, 4

On Friday, prosecutors charged Janet Garcia, 27, three weeks after Ariel Garcia went missing from an Everett apartment.

Dr. Mary Templeton (Photo provided by Lake Stevens School District)
Lake Stevens selects new school superintendent

Mary Templeton, who holds the top job in the Washougal School District, will take over from Ken Collins this summer.

A closed road at the Heather Lake Trail parking lot along the Mountain Loop Highway in Snohomish County, Washington on Wednesday, July 20, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Mountain Loop Highway partially reopens Friday

Closed since December, part of the route to some of the region’s best hikes remains closed due to construction.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.