Acreage to open up nature park land

By Cathy Logg
Everett Herald Writer


LAKE STEVENS, WA-- Locals call them George and Martha. They're two of the community's most-famous residents.

The eagles that soar over the lake and nest in a towering evergreen along Lundeen Parkway make Eagle Ridge Park a logical place to watch wildlife.

But the nature park at Highway 9 and Lundeen Parkway has no real access and no parking, which makes enjoying it difficult.

City officials hope to fix that when Snohomish County park officials turn over the keys to the city's new park addition, known as the Soper Hill property. The 4.79-acre parcel that abuts the park will provide a small parking lot and a trail to the nature park.

Authorities have yet to determine what they'll do with several buildings on the property, including a house (in the 2300 block), a mobile home, a garage and a barn, City Administrator Dave O'Leary said.

Lake Stevens seniors have expressed interest in using the house as a senior center, but city officials have to determine whether it's practical because of what would be needed to be done to convert the house to a center, he said.

Others are interested in developing another part of the property for a sports park, perhaps with a ball diamond or soccer field, he said.

"We don't know if the land is flat enough for that, but the city will consider it," O'Leary said. "It's so preliminary right now."

County officials are interested in developing small, regional parks. The city bought Eagle Ridge Park in 1998 with a $485,000 grant from the county, said Marc Krandall, the county's park planning supervisor. Local residents wanted the land used as a park largely because of George and Martha, Krandall said. So far, the only trails in the park are those made by people walking through the area, he said.

The county purchased the property, which extends from the northern edge of the park to Soper Hill Road, on the city's behalf. The county also gave the city $59,000 to make improvements, which will be done in the next year, O'Leary said.

Among the work to be done is the creation of an interpretive center near the eagles' nest.


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