The massive slide that killed 43 people is shown in a 2014 aerial photo taken two days after it occurred near Oso. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The massive slide that killed 43 people is shown in a 2014 aerial photo taken two days after it occurred near Oso. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Oso slide memorial gets boost with $500,000 state grant

With the money, the county can continue work on a park where those who lost their lives can be remembered.

OSO — A $500,000 state grant to Snohomish County will cover continued work on the Oso Slide Memorial, a community-driven effort to create a lasting testament to those who lost their lives in a massive mudslide in 2014.

With the grant, the Oso Slide Memorial Committee and county will have netted $2.6 million in funds and donated services for a project entailing a plaza, pathways, interpretive signage, benches, landscaping and retaining walls.

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said the funds, along with other grants and donations, will help to realize the vision of a permanent place to gather and remember “the lives that were lost, and the strength that grew from that loss.”

“The story of the SR 530 landslide is an important one to share,” he said. “It is a difficult story, but one of hope, community and resilience, and the memorial will be a place where people can come together to learn and find inspiration.”

The money comes from the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board, which last month awarded 342 grants across the state to provide recreational amenities, conserve wildlife habitat and protect working forests and farms.

Overall, the agency awarded $9,620,951 to 14 projects in Snohomish County, including the Oso memorial.

Among them are $2 million to Snohomish County for renovating and enhancing Kayak Point Park near Warm Beach; $1 million to the city of Monroe to buy five acres for a community park in the North Hill neighborhood; and $224,841 to the city of Everett to build a multiuse sports court in Edgewater Park, with areas for basketball, pickleball and tennis.

In Oso, the memorial, a roughly $6 million undertaking, will tell the story of the devastating mudslide of March 22, 2014, which consumed a neighborhood and took the lives of 43 people. It is the single deadliest landslide in U.S. history.

It will be located on 13 county-owned acres off the former Steelhead Drive and along Whitehorse Trail. Most of the site will remain undisturbed, with four acres along the trail developed into a memorial park.

As envisioned, there will be a plaza and shelter along with a walking path on which interpretive signs will be installed, explaining what happened geologically, paying tribute to the responders involved in rescue efforts, telling stories of those rescued and memorializing those who died.

Elements of the community’s remembrance efforts are already occurring.

A year after the slide, 43 trees were planted to represent each of those who died. They’ve grown from knee-high seedlings to nearly 7 feet tall.

In 2019, on the fifth anniversary, a bronze sculpture of mailboxes was installed at what was once the entrance to the Steelhead Haven neighborhood, which was destroyed in the mudslide.

Also that year, a 23-mile stretch of Highway 530 between Arlington and Darrington was renamed the Oso Slide Memorial Highway to ensure drivers understand they are traveling on hallowed ground.

In October, two wooden portals went up on a trail alongside the highway, alerting travelers and hikers to the area’s special significance.

Jerry Cornfield:; @dospueblos

Talk to us

More in Local News

Zachary Robbins
Marysville superintendent could start a month early

A June start means Zachary Robbins could weigh in on a $13.5 million budget shortfall and a parental consent policy for clubs.

FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2020, file photo, a Washington state Department of Agriculture worker holds two of the dozens of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a tree in Blaine, Wash. Authorities say they've found the first Asian giant hornet nest of 2021 in a rural area east of Blaine. State entomologists will now develop a plan to eradicate the nest. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Scientists will set 1,000 traps for murder hornets this year

Asian giant hornets, first detected in 2019, are are believed to be confined in Whatcom County.

Driver dies after rollover crash at Smokey Point

The deceased man, 25, reportedly sped off from police before crashing into a nearby utility pole. A woman, 19, was injured.

Lynnwood City Council member George Hurst moves to postpone action on the vehicle license fees ordinance during the council's meeting Monday. (Screenshot/City of Lynnwood)
Lynnwood to keep collecting a car tab fee and utility tax, for now

City Council members will consider repealing them in October when they write a new city budget.

Epic Ford on the corner of 52nd Street and Evergreen Way in Everett is closed. The dealership has been in business for more than 50 years. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)
After 50 years, Everett’s Epic Ford dealership closes shop

It opened in 1971, when gas guzzling muscle cars like the Ford Mustang still ruled the road.

Police officials investigate a shooting at Daleway Park Tuesday afternoon in Lynnwood on April 4, 2022.   (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Police: Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of retired Lynnwood man

Carl Bridgmon, 70, was an innocent bystander caught in a shooting at Daleway Park in Lynnwood. A second suspect was at large.

Nuno Taborda
Former Rolls Royce executive to lead Everett aerospace firm

magniX, which builds electric aircraft motors, has hired Nuno Taborda as its next CEO.

The Mountain Loop Highway between Darrington and Granite Falls remains closed beyond Barlow Pass. (Snohomish County)
Oops, Mountain Loop Highway only partly open

A miscommunication led Snohomish County to misstate how much of the road is open.

Smokey Point Boulevard stretch closed for crash investigation

The road was closed between 136th Street NE and 152nd Street NE after a possibly fatal collision.

Most Read