Public input wanted on future of Ballinger Park

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — The contours of the former municipal golf course are still recognizable through the shaggy grass.

City officials are inviting people to discuss the future of the 42-acre property known as Ballinger Park at a kickoff meeting at 6 p.m. on April 14. The city has mostly left the area alone since closing the money-losing nine-hole course in 2012.

“The idea is that we get that input and we put together a goal and a vision for what that park could be,” said Jeff Betz, the city’s recreation and parks director. “Obviously, that’s not determined yet. That depends on what people want to see.”

The upcoming meeting at Ballinger Clubhouse, 23000 Lakeview Drive, follows up on outreach the city performed in 2013. It’s related to the City Council’s decision in early March to authorize paying $74,750 to Berger Partnership, a Seattle landscape architecture firm, to prepare a master plan.

Ballinger Park is the largest park in Mountlake Terrace. It adjoins a boat launch and fishing pier as well as athletic fields. There’s also a three-acre island that was scorched by a 2009 fire.

“We’re going to look at that whole site,” Betz said. “We’re not just going to look at the golf course.”

The ballfields are unlikely to change much, he said. Ideas for improving for the former links could include an off-leash dog area, community gardens, walking trails and bird-watching areas.

Those concepts need to be balanced with protecting ecologically sensitive areas of the lake’s shoreline, Betz added. Another consideration is flood risk along Hall Creek, which flows into the north end of the lake. In a report from last year, the city’s Public Works Department suggested that flooding would improve if the creek were channeled along a more meandering course through the park.

Lake Ballinger is one of about 500 lakes in Snohomish County. Its surface area of 101 acres is split between Mountlake Terrace and Edmonds. In addition to city park property, it is ringed by 52 houses and the Nile Shrine Golf Center.

The watershed that includes McAleer Creek and Lake Ballinger once was home to significant chinook and coho salmon runs that no longer can survive in those waters. The lake is stocked with rainbow trout by the state Department of Fish &Wildlife. There’s also non-native bass and perch, along with native cutthroat trout, according to the city.

The lake was named by Judge Richard A. Ballinger, an early-20th-century Seattle Mayor and U.S. secretary of the interior, after his father, Richard H. Ballinger, who had served as a Civil War officer.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465, Twitter: @NWhaglund.

Lake Ballinger input

Mountlake Terrace has scheduled a meeting at 6 p.m. April 14 to help plan the future of park land on the north shore of Lake Ballinger.

Location: Ballinger Clubhouse, 23000 Lakeview Drive.

More info: Jeff Betz, recreation and parks director, or Ken Courtmanch, parks and property management superintendent, at 425- 776-9173 or

Park clean-up party

The city has scheduled a park clean-up party on the morning of April 25. Volunteers should meet at the Ballinger Clubhouse (Senior Center) parking lot, 23000 Lakeview Drive, at 9 a.m. in comfortable work clothes, with gloves and tools in hand (no power equipment, please). Afterward, the city will host an appreciation lunch for the volunteers.

Groups should contact Ken Courtmanch at 425-776-1811. For more information, call or visit the city’s website,

Talk to us

More in Local News

FILE - Former President Donald J. Trump watches the NCAA Wrestling Championships, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
Lawyer: Trump indicted, 1st ex-president charged with crime

Former president Donald Trump has been indicted on charges in New York regarding payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence claims of an extramarital sexual encounter.

Jeanette Westover poses for a photo at her home in Snohomish, Washington on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Tenant: Housing Hope ignored meth contamination at Snohomish apartment

Jeanette Westover says meth contamination far exceeding state limits gave her seizures and kidney infections.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Police investigating cause of fatal 3-vehicle crash on Highway 9

The man, 61, crossed the center line in Snohomish on Monday and crashed into the truck, the sheriff’s office said.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
1 dead, 1 in hospital after 3-vehicle crash on Highway 9

A concrete pumping truck and two sedans crashed Monday afternoon, closing the highway near Bickford Avenue.

Moses Malachi Brewer appears in court for sentencing Friday, March 24, 2023, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Man sentenced to 18 years for 2019 shooting in Everett

Moses Brewer, 23, shot four people in an Everett apartment, which left one victim paralyzed on his right side.

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
Health care spending continues to outpace inflation, driven by prices

Can state efforts curb 6.7% growth per year in overall health care spending?

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A buffet of budgets, a bunch of whales and a request for your miles

It’s Day 78. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

Erinn Dearth and Dan Beckmann will perform 7 p.m. at The Historic Everett Theater, on Friday, April 14, 2023. Their "Letters From Home" show features music from the soundtracks of WWII, Vietnam and more. (Photo provided)
USO-style variety show to make stop at Historic Everett Theatre

The cast of “Letters from Home” hopes to reach veterans, active military members and their families.

Jack Yoke, 5, runs through the Roozengaarde tulip fields on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 in Mount Vernon, Wash. This is the final week to head out to Mount Vernon to enjoy the of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival which ends on May 2nd.(Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Tulip Festival brings spectacular traffic jams, blooms to Skagit Valley

Thousands will visit the annual flower fest that kicks off Saturday and runs through April. Here are some tips.

Most Read