New county park planned east of Mill Creek

Steve and Susan Aaron Moller thought it would be nice if there were an amphitheater nearby.

They thought it would be good if there were a skateboard park for the kids in their neighborhood.

And an indoor community center, for group activities and meetings, would be a good idea, too.

They’re going to get all three, and more.

Work is expected to begin soon on Willis D. Tucker Regional County Park – 84 acres of baseball fields, playgrounds, picnic tables and shelters, an activity center, trails, an amphitheater, parking and landscaping.

The park, named for Snohomish County’s first county executive, will be located at 134th Place SE and Snohomish Cascade Drive, between Mill Creek and Snohomish.

The Snohomish County parks department headquarters, now in a rental house in Lake Stevens, will be located there as well.

Completion of the plans is targeted for next summer. Planned for later are three soccer fields, an off-leash dog park, a skateboard park, sport courts and additional trails, picnic facilities, restrooms and open space.

The first phase will cost about $3.7 million, with those funds coming from fees paid by developers, said Marc Krandel, park planning supervisor for Snohomish County.

The rest of the features, expected to cost about $3 million, will be built when the money is raised, Krandel said.

Seeds for the park were planted 10 years ago when Snohomish County created a task force to tackle its recreational fields shortage, Krandel said.

The county has purchased land for four new parks, including Willis Tucker Park, and is seeking property for three more, said county parks director Ron Martin.

The county bought the land for Willis Tucker Park from its own solid waste division for $6.7 million. The land had been set aside as a possible extension of the nearby landfill but was never used for that purpose. It remains a fenced-off, overgrown thicket, Krandel said.

A couple of years ago, a group of neighbors was invited to tell the county what they thought should be included in the park. The Mollers – who live in The Falls, a development adjacent to the park land – were among them.

The Mollers have heard from their neighbors about a shortage of places in the county for children to play sports.

“You see it with the kids playing in the streets in our area,” Steve Moller said.

Moller said he is delighted with the park plan. His only worry is traffic. Plans are in the works to extend nearby Puget Park Drive but no timetable has been set.

“If it isn’t completed our community will be dumped on,” he said.

Reporter Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439 or

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