In each annual budget, the Snohomish County Council allocates money to be spent on local parks and community projects throughout the county. These projects are mostly funded by REET (Real Estate Excise Tax) and various grants. In the 2019 budget, $2.7 million was allocated for projects in District 1 across North Snohomish County. In this month’s column, I will highlight some of these projects funded in 2019. 

One of the most meaningful parks projects in North Snohomish County is the SR 530 slide memorial. The memorial has been designed in line with the vision of the victims’ families and local community members. Snohomish County previously allocated $250,000 as seed money for the project. Efforts are currently underway to raise the estimated $6 million for construction through philanthropic donations and grant money. 

Another significant project is the renovation of Kayak Point Park. Kayak Point includes 480 acres of park land. The County has conducted an extensive review of the park and received public input regarding future improvements. This year’s budget includes $1,103,079 to start the improvements to the day-use portion of the park. These improvements will include additional recreation space, improving the boat launch, relocating and increasing parking, and habitat improvements for local wildlife. As part of the larger Preferred Plan, we will also be making improvements to other areas of the park including the camping areas and additional trails for passive recreation. In total, we are expecting to put over $16 million in improvements to the park. 

I am excited that Snohomish County is able to help our local cities with critical community projects like the Granite Falls Civic and Community Center. Granite Falls is a fast-growing city in our area and, as we know, a growing population creates additional demands on public services. The new Civic and Community Center will include a new public plaza, community room, emergency response center, and city hall. Snohomish County has included $250,000 toward the project and the city has funded the remainder of the project.

This year’s budget also includes funding for a new Executive/Council Partnership Grant. These projects are in partnership with our cities to enhance local parks and open space. In 2019, we funded the following projects in North Snohomish County: $50,000 for ballfield improvements at Cedar Field in Marysville, $40,000 for improvements at Terrace Park in Arlington, $35,000 for improvements at Frank Mason Park in Granite Falls, and $25,000 for ballfield improvements at Whitehorse Park in Darrington. 

The Whitehorse Regional Trail is a staple for North Snohomish County’s park and trail system. This 27-mile stretch of trail between the City of Arlington and Town of Darrington provides amazing scenery of the Cascade Mountain Range, the Stillaguamish River, and everything in between. This three phase project includes trail and bridge rehabilitation, Highway 530 crossings, paving in certain areas, and more trailheads and access. The 2019 budget includes $1,032,291 for these improvements.

More about these projects and other parks projects throughout the county can be found by visiting https://snohomishcountywa.gov/2703/Current-Projects 

Nate Nehring is a member of the Snohomish County Council and represents District 1 which includes Arlington, Darrington, Granite Falls, Marysville, Stanwood, and unincorporated north county. He can be reached by email at Nate.Nehring@snoco.org or by phone at (425) 388-3494.

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