New trail, parks proposed in 10-year PARC plan

Senior Associate with Conservation Technix Jean Akers (left) explains the proposed trail system to Lynnwood resident Natalie Tacher (right) and her three kids (center). (Photo by Natalie Covate)

When it comes to the city’s upgraded parks and recreation 10-year plan, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Director Lynn Sordel said he wasn’t surprised at residents’ priorities.

He’s been working with the City of Lynnwood for about a decade, so he knows the people who live in Lynnwood, and he knows what they want.

“They’re pragmatic,” he said. “Lynnwood values our parks. No surprises. Nope. None.”

Sordel was among the officials at the Recreation Center Wednesday night to share the new parks, arts, recreation and conservation (PARC) plan with residents.

The plan emphasizes upgrades to parks with 30-year-old equipment, keeping parks safe and accessible, building parks in areas of the city that don’t have parks and developing a bike and walking trail system throughout the city.

With light rail coming to Lynnwood in 2023, Sordel said a comprehensive trail is a must.

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A map of Lynnwood, showing the conceptual trail and current trails. The dotted red line going through the city is the proposed trail that will connect the Lynnwood Transit Center to Meadowdale Beach Park. Solid red lines are existing trails, including the Interurban Trail along I-5.

“There’s going to be 25,000 people a day boarding the light rail,” he said. “I don’t want them driving. I want them walking or riding a bike.”

A conceptual trail would eventually connect the Lynnwood Transit Center to Meadowdale Beach Park.

Principal Consultant at Conservation Technix Steve Duh said the PARC plan is exciting because it represents a sampling of the city’s strategies.

“The city has been doing a lot of planning the past few years,” Duh said. “This one is integrated. It’s integrated with the city center plan, it’s integrated with the healthy communities plan.”

The number-one priority by far for outdoor space is increasing safe park space. A resident who was at the meeting is happy.

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The blue dotted circles are areas where planners would like to add parks in the next 10 years.

“I think it’s great they’re planning more parks,” Natalie Tacher, of Lynnwood, said.

Tacher was there with three kids. Right now, they have to drive a mile and a half to get to the nearest park. She said one of the proposed parks is right next to where they live.

For indoor recreation, the top priority is teen activity space.

“They’re the most at-risk population and the most underserved,” Sordel said.

Also high on the priority list are new picnic shelters, an off-leash dog area and updating parks that have decades-old equipment.

“It’s like when you’re driving a 15-year-old car,” Sordel said. “You’ve gotten your oil changed, you’ve changed your tires, and it’s been working fine the past 15 years, but now it’s still a 15-year-old car and you need to upgrade. Except with these parks, it’s sometimes twice that.”

As more people in the older demographic move to Lynnwood, the city is also planning some upgrades to the senior center.

The city is still hoping for input from residents. A second open house will take place Thursday, Jan. 28 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Lynnwood Recreation Center, located at 18900 44th Ave. W. The plan will be presented to city council on Feb. 16.

–By Natalie Covate

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