Northwest NEWS

May 24, 1999

Local News

King County's Cottage Lake Park to be dedicated Friday, May 28

Cottage Lake Park Cottage Lake Park
A look at the wetlands area of Cottage Lake Park. Ryan Nordquist and Jason Engelbrecht of Woodinville practice their swings.
Photos by Andy Walgamott.

   Cottage Lake Park will be officially dedicated this Friday, May 28, at 3 p.m. with King County Executive Ron Sims, King County Council Chair Louise Miller, and King County Park officials, along with City of Woodinville Mayor Don Brocha and Nancy Stafford of the Upper Bear Creek Community Council in attendance.

   "This is a peoples' park," said Miller, whose leadership took the original passive park plan to an active one. "It ,is a friendly place for fish, wildlife and people," Miller added.

   Phase I resulted in the improvement of the existing swimming pool and the renovation of the house. Phase II included the completion of a new fishing dock, the restoration of the original Daniels Creek, a trail system including a boardwalk through the wetlands area, restroom, a new picnic shelter, resurfacing the basketball court, and developing a childrens' play area and gathering place on the east side for performing arts. All of the park is handicapped-accessible.

   Phase III for 2000 and 2001 will add three additional picnic areas, a covering for the stage area, another restroom, and a utility shed for onsite equipment. A tennis court may be included.

   Originally the site of a logging outfit and early picnic and swimming area, the property was purchased by Norm Fragner in the 1940s. Fragner built the house and developed the area into a resort for fishing, camping, and picnics, called Norm's Resort. He passed out small signs to all of his customers.

   "I saw one of Norm's signs posted on a road in Alaska," said Chuck Eberhart.

   After Fragner died, the park was purchased by American Adventures, which added the pool and opened the park to members only. The company went bankrupt.

   A community outcry for King County to purchase the property for public use was answered in 1989 with the help of former King Councilperson Audrey Gruger, who advocated that the park be passive.

   The community disagreed. Louise Miller was elected to Gruger's council seat in 1993 and led the change in the philosophy of the park development.

   "King County was going to remove the pool. There was a groundswell of protest," said Stafford.

   "We placed a survey in the Woodinville Weekly asking for support and direction on park development. We got nearly 400 written responses which we took to the county affecting their decision for a more active park," said Chuck and Barbara Eberhart, who with Stafford and others formed the Cottage Lake Area Council supporting the park.

   CLAC has evolved into the Upper Bear Creek Community Council which will present Miller wth a plaque on Friday for her community support. The ceremonies will also include a basketball game of "Pig" for "pink slips" between Sims and Brocha. The winner will "own" the other's park. If Sims wins it, the county "gets" Wilmot Park. If Brocha wins, the city "gets" Cottage Lake Park.

   There will be a tour and refreshments. The park is located at 18831 NE Woodinville-Duvall Road.