Renovations will require closing Wenberg Park boat launch

The park covers 46 acres off 15430 E. Lake Goodwin Road, between Marysville and Stanwood.

MARYSVILLE — Wenberg Park is going through its most significant overhaul in more than 50 years.

That includes a wider, easier-to-use boat launch for the Snohomish County park on the eastern shore of Lake Goodwin. Crews plan to enclose a beach swimming area with a dock for walking and fishing, in place of the log boom there now. Work is under way to improve the walkways down to the water.

“Boaters will see a big improvement there,” said Kevin Teague, a senior county park planner. “The big thing will be a complete renovation of the boat launch. That will improve circulation, which has been a big problem out there. It will provide a quicker in and out.”

That’s the good part. Now the bad: the renovations will require closing the boat launch from May 1 through Sept. 30. The park’s upland area, including the campgrounds and walking trails, are scheduled to remain open while the boat launch is closed.

Environmental restrictions about working in the water limited boat-launch construction to the warmer months when it typically gets the most use.

Some smaller parts of the project started over the fall. A groundbreaking ceremony ahead of heavier construction was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Wenberg covers 46 acres off 15430 E. Lake Goodwin Road, between Marysville and Stanwood. Beyond the park’s swimming and boating facilities, there’s a 70-site campground and two picnic shelters.

The park was initially a county property, possibly a donation from the Wenberg family circa 1936. In 1947, the county transferred it to Washington State Parks.

Over the years, the park more than doubled from its original 20 acres as more land was added, according to a county history compiled for a grant application. The first restrooms were built in 1955. The boat launch was installed in 1961 and renovated in 1986. Other facilities were completed in the 1960s and 1970s.

In 2009, the state handed ownership back to the county, as part of a broader effort to stave off budget troubles by mothballing and transferring state parks.

In the nearly nine years since, there have been septic-system and restroom upgrades at Wenberg, but not much more. That’s about to change.

The county awarded the nearly $3 million renovation contract to Strider Construction of Bellingham. More than $1.2 million of the total is coming from state Recreation & Conservation Office grants, the rest from the county parks department’s capital budget.

Other planned upgrades in the project are:

Adding a new picnic shelter and disabled parking spots.

Installing floating docks to either side of the new boat launch, for temporary moorage, including while people are re-parking a trailer.

Making it easier for disabled people to use the docks and swimming area.

Treating stormwater that now flows directly into the lake.

Building a new dock for transient moorage, where overnight campers can tie up boats so they don’t have to put them back on a trailer each night.

Crews expect to finish work on the park’s upland area, including pathways and stairs, before the boat launch closure in May.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@herald Twitter: @NWhaglund.

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