Saturday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Lake Stickney Community Park was a day for hugging and congratulations for Joyce Altaras. Altaras, who lives on the north side of the lake in unincorporated Lynnwood, has spent almost 20 years fighting developers who had hoped to build on the west side of the lake.
Saturday was a confirmation that Altaras, as president of the Lake Stickney Conservancy, has been successful in her efforts. She had lots of help, of course, including financial support from the Snohomish County Parks and Recreations Department and Snohomish County public officials.
Many were in attendance at the 23-acre site, including Snohomish County Parks and Recreation director Tom Teigen, Snohomish County Executive John Lovick, Council Chair Stephanie Wright, and state Rep. Mary Helen Roberts. In addition, numerous volunteers who have worked to spruce up the park were on hand.
The new park is a work in progress, as now it still mostly resembles the ecologically fragile wetlands area it is. That’s part of the plan, said Teigen, who noted that 95 percent of the park will remain in its natural state.
The park, when completed, will have soft-surface trails, picnic shelters, play areas, and a small off-leash dog park.
Altaras said that preservation of Lake Stickney – which is downstream from manufacturing and drains into Swamp Creek, which flows into Sammamish River and Lake Washington – will help the environment. It will also preserve habitat and species and head off flooding that might have occurred with development.
Richard Schrock, Snohomish County Fire District 1 commissioner, has also been instrumental in the creation of the new park, working on many of the legal details.
“This is a great day because it’s a milestone for neighbors who live around the lake who for years have come together and decided this area was worth saving,” Schrock said.
Lake Stickney Community Park is located at 13521 Manor Way.
— Story and photos by Brian Soergel