Northwest NEWS

December 4, 2000

Front Page

Bothell slates 54-acre parcel of nature for a 'passive' park

* by Bronwyn Wilson
   Senior Staff Reporter
   At Thrasher's Corner, cars and trucks rumble along Highway 527 with a roaring whoosh.
   At Donna's Tree Lot, customers inspect Noble firs for the ideal Christmas tree.
   Next door at the Coffee Cabana, steaming wands whip up foamy lattes. But just behind this bustle of activity at Donna's and the espresso stand, there's a partial vine-covered sign off 208th which reads, Thrasher's Corner Regional Park.
   A few steps behind the sign, a foot path leads to a serene world full of firs, cedars and cottonwood trees. This peaceful 54-acre parcel of nature is slated to become a "passive" park.
   The City of Bothell annexed the land in 1992 after purchasing it from a private property owner for $2.9 million. A nonprofit conservation group, Trust for Public Lands, acted as a liaison between the private owner and the city to negotiate the sale. Though large corporations had eyed the land for themselves, they weren't able to seal a deal and the City of Bothell did.
   Now, the City plans to preserve the picture postcard property in the midst of urban development.
   "It's the last remaining large chunk of land to be set aside," Clark Meek, Bothell's Park Superintendent said.
   According to Meek, the City will keep the property passive, meaning that recreation will be limited. The prospect of ball fields, playgrounds or a community center is eliminated in a passive park.
   But trails, an interpretive center, picnic areas, restrooms and parking are all on the table for consideration.
   Since purchasing the 54-acres for park land, the City acquired a smaller parcel of land and has developed it into a park. The 3.6 acres of land in the Canyon Park area is now Stipek Park and opened in October, 1999.
   It is still unknown, however, when the public will be invited to enjoy the passive park in the Thrasher's Corner area.
   But when opening day arrives, visitors will have the opportunity to stroll along trails that wind through grassy meadows, vine maples and towering evergreens.
   They'll have the chance to take in the view of a quiet creek rippling over rocks with snow-covered mountains in the distance.
   Meek said that the land will have had minimal intrusion when the park opens, yet it will provide public access and use. The property is west of Highway 527 and south of Filbert Road and Meek mentioned that half is usable land and half is wet lands. He added that North Creek, a salmon bearing stream, runs on the easterly boundary.
   The City will abide by zoning requirements and maintain a buffer to preserve salmon habitat.
   With all this in mind, the City will hold public meetings early next spring to consider how the land should be developed. After hearing the public's input, the City will develop an idea of what can be done in the park.
   For further information, contact Bothell Parks and Recreation at (425) 486-7430.