The major improvements to Wenberg County Park’s swimming area and boat launch, as seen in December. (Rich Patton / Snohomish County Parks)

The major improvements to Wenberg County Park’s swimming area and boat launch, as seen in December. (Rich Patton / Snohomish County Parks)

The beach is now accessible for all at Wenberg County Park

This summer, swimmers will find new docks and water access for those with mobility challenges.

MARYSVILLE — As the weather warms, those flocking to Wenberg County Park will be greeted by a transformed beachfront.

Snohomish County officials gathered at the park Thursday for an official ribbon-cutting of renovations to swim, beach and boat-launch areas.

Completed during 2018 summer and fall months, the construction added new docks and water access for those who have difficulty walking or swimming.

“We wanted to give this beloved park, boat launch and swim area a much needed face-lift and upgrade its amenities including ADA accessible beach and swim access,” Tom Teigen, Snohomish County Parks, Recreation & Tourism director, said in a news release. “We passionately and fundamentally believe that the outdoors are for everyone to love, enjoy and have access to.”

Before the changes, the swimming area was surrounded by a log boom. Teigen said he remembers skinning his elbows and knees on the logs growing up.

Now, it’s encircled by a fixed dock for walking and fishing. People in wheelchairs should be able to ride around it with ease. To one side, a concrete ramp and metal railing continue underwater, allowing people with restricted mobility to enjoy the lake.

The major improvements to Wenberg County Park’s swimming area and boat launch, as seen in December. (Rich Patton / Snohomish County Parks)

The major improvements to Wenberg County Park’s swimming area and boat launch, as seen in December. (Rich Patton / Snohomish County Parks)

“The ADA swim access was really important to include, although it definitely added to the complexity of the permitting and construction,” Kevin Teague, a senior park planner, said in the release. “I just couldn’t see getting people all the way to the water and then not making a way for them to get into the lake if they wanted to.”

Wenberg is the only park he’s aware of in the region that allows those in wheelchairs to fully enter the water.

There’s also a new boat launch that can allow two boats to go into the water at the same time. On either side, floating docks provide places to tie up boats.

Other improvements include walking trails and erosion control.

The $3 million renovation took about one year to finish, and was completed by Strider Construction of Bellingham. It was designed by Bruce Dees and Associates, with marine work done by Surowiecki Brothers Construction.

More than $1.2 million came from State Recreation & Conservation Office grants with the remainder coming from the Snohomish County Parks, Recreation & Tourism capital budget.

The upgrades are the most significant for Wenberg in more than 50 years.

Major renovations have been made to the swim, beach and boat-launch areas at Wenberg Park, seen here in December. (Olivia Vanni / Herald, file)

Major renovations have been made to the swim, beach and boat-launch areas at Wenberg Park, seen here in December. (Olivia Vanni / Herald, file)

The park covers 46 acres off 15430 E. Lake Goodwin Road, between Marysville and Stanwood. There’s also a campground and picnic shelters. The park had 200,000 overnight camping reservations last year, Teigen said.

There’s a $10 day fee to park at Wenberg.

The county took over the park from the state in 2009. It’s believed to have started as a donation from the Wenberg family in the 1930s. Over the years, the park more than doubled in size.

Parks staff said the beach at Wenberg will get crowded this summer. Hundreds pack in coolers and don their swimsuits on any day over 75 degrees.

Their tip to get a prime spot? Get there early before the limited parking is snatched up.

Julia-Grace Sanders: 425-339-3439; jgsanders@heraldnet.com.

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