Snohomish parks take a hit

SNOHOMISH — Shanna Buckles and her three kids arrived at Ferguson Park and found a disappointing sight.

The playground was closed and red “danger” tape covered smashed equipment. A woman crashed her car into the play area June 14, crushing the stairway to a giant blue tube slide.

The woman put her car in reverse, her flip-flop sandal got caught under the accelerator, her car hit a tree and then crashed into the play area, Snohomish police said.

Nobody was hurt, but the crash caused $7,000 in damage.

Buckles likes coming to the park because it’s less crowded than other city parks.

“It makes me sad it happened,” said Buckles, who drove to Snohomish from her home on Seattle Hill. “My kids really like playing here.”

It’s a hard summer for Snohomish parks.

The playground at Ferguson Park is the second one in the city that will be shutdown for at least part of the summer. The playground at Pilchuck Park has been closed since flood waters damaged it last winter.

A popular fishing dock at Hill Park on Blackmans Lake likely won’t get fixed until near the end of summer either.

The dock at Blackmans Lake is taking longer than expected because it has to go through a permitting process required by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, he said. City staff are doing everything they can to speed up the process.

Johnson said the dock would probably be repaired by the end of August.

This series of unfortunate events is hitting right when park use countywide is up. Park staff around Snohomish County are reporting bigger crowds this summer as families search for free things to do and take advantage of better-than-average weather.

The city plans to fix the playground at Ferguson Park as soon as the insurance claim is settled, said Mike Johnson, the city parks, facility and fleet manager.

That will likely take at least a month.

As for Pilchuck Park, the city hopes to get $40,000 in federal money to move the playground from near the Pilchuck River to higher ground. This isn’t the first time it’s flooded.

“That playground never should have been put there,” Johnson said.

Until then, five other city parks offer playgrounds: Hill, Fischer, Morgantown, Claytown and the Averill Youth Complex.

Debra Smith: 425-339-3197,

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