MUKILTEO — There’s a new place in town to kick back and soak in views of the lighthouse, waves and beyond.
Byers Family Park, also known as Peace Park, is another attraction to the waterfront wonderland. While the ferry terminal was grabbing the limelight, crews were busy putting in a park on the other side of the tracks.
The park with two names has a plaza with an arbor, benches and a bicycle repair station.
It is easy to miss in the Mukilteo Speedway snarl. Look to your right after Fourth Street when heading into town from the ferry, and don’t blink. It’s across from the Red Cup Cafe.
The small plot along Highway 525 was donated by the Byers family some years ago on the condition a park be the namesake.
Construction was funded several years ago through a $400,000 state grant. Work started last summer and will be completed with a sign and landscaping.
ProGranite Surfaces donated two engraved benches.
One bench reads: “In loving memory of Anna Bui, Jordan Ebner and Jake Long and others whose lives ended too soon.”
The Kamiak High School graduates, all 19, were shot and killed by former classmate Allen Ivanov at a 2016 house party. Ivanov is serving a life sentence in prison.
The city wanted to have a Peace Park in part to honor the slain students and considered several existing sites before choosing the Byers property, Mayor Jennifer Gregerson said.
That’s where the Peace Park name comes in, but it is not a memorial.
“The tragic loss of Anna, Jake and Jordan inspired the development of the Peace Park, but it’s a place for everyone to have a place of peace and reflection,” Gregerson said.
A second bench has the name of lifelong Mukilteo resident Yvonne McCaulley Pauley, who lived nearby and died in 2012 at age 79. It reads: “A mom’s love is forever.”
Gregerson said Pauley’s family, unrelated to the Byers, had basically reserved the space, pending the development of the park. The bench was paid for a number of years ago with the understanding that the mom’s bench would go there.
There is no parking at the park, which is a busy street over from the Rosehill Community Center.
“You can park in the business district across the street. Grab a coffee or lunch,” Gregerson said. “There are improvements to the crosswalk. Community Transit is moving a bus stop near that.”
Why not get a cone at Ivar’s and burn a few calories walking four blocks up the overpass to the park. Might as well get some fries to go with the exercise while you’re at it. The park does not have tables.
David Culler stopped last week while biking in the area.
“I usually just ride by here, but today I thought I’d just come check this out,” he said. “It’s a great little lookout spot.”
He was impressed by the bench dedicated to the students. He didn’t know them, but he lives near where the shooting occurred in Harbour Pointe.
“I love that they did this,” Culler said.