January 5, 1998
Swamp Creek Park to be environmentally friendly
King County is forging ahead with plans to develop the Swamp Creek Park on a 40 acre site in Kenmore on the north side of the Sammamish River, south of N.E. 175th St. The county hired the firm of Hough, Beck and Baird to design the park. Substantial input and consultation was also sought from wetlands preservation groups. The design, deemed a "passive development" by project manager Timm Gustine, features a trail system for walkers and bikers, park benches and picnic tables and two raised viewing overlooks. Absent, says Gustine, are athletic fields or other highly developed facilities that might disturb the bucolic charm of the wetland site. According to Gustine, great effort has been made to not only preserve the plants and animals currently living on the site, but also to reintroduce indigenous forms of fauna that have died out.
This environmentally friendly approach, Gustine explains, helped end any public concerns about the park's development. The three public forums devoted to the park served to explain the county's plans. Gustine says that the park's developers have "really made an effort to establish a partnership with the community," to make sure that the public's needs and the delicate micro ecosystem of the site are upheld.
The county also plans to create links with local schools once the site is developed to enable children to learn about the park's intricate balance of plants and animals. Now that plans for the park have been finalized, several permits must be obtained. Gustine hopes this process can be completed by June. The county's $200,000 development budget could then be utilized to create a finished park by September.