Communications Program Manager
KIRKLAND, Wash. – City staff will be discussing major investments to 132nd Square Park during the monthly Evergreen Hill Neighborhood meeting on Wednesday, March 20.
The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Friends of Youth building at 13116 NE 132nd Street. Attendees will learn about two projects happening at the park: design of a stormwater retrofit project underneath the park; and a Park Master Plan process. Community members will be able to ask questions and share concerns with City staff during the March 20 meeting, and then will have the opportunity to attend a follow-up Open House on March 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Totem Lake Building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 13220 NE 132nd Street, Kirkland, at the northeast corner of NE 132nd Street and 132nd Avenue NE.
The City of Kirkland is undergoing a project in 132nd Square Park to better manage stormwater in the Totem Lake and Juanita Creek basin. The project is currently in the design phase, thanks to a grant from the Department of Ecology, and construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2020. Heavy rains and snowmelt can overwhelm the Totem Lake and Juanita Basin drainage systems, flooding streets, sidewalks and homes. This project ensures that the enhanced stormwater system will capture and detain enough stormwater to reduce the risk of flooding. Kirkland’s consultant will be testing soil in mid-March to understand how water moves through the soil under the park. The testing will take a week to complete. During this time, some large trucks and machinery will be parked nearby. When construction starts in spring of 2020, crews will be doing extensive digging in the park to create a large underground vault for managing stormwater flows. The City is using this opportunity to consider what amenities should be installed over the completed stormwater project. So that the City can fully consider the usefulness of the park to both neighbors and the broader community, the City has initiated a Master Plan Process.
Park Master Plan Process
To solicit input on the community’s values and interests, the City will conduct a planning and public outreach process to develop a Park Master Plan to inform design of park amenities. During the Park Master Plan process City staff will explore the possibility of synthetic turf and lights at the site. The 2015 Kirkland Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan (PROS Plan), identified that, “Kirkland’s existing and popular sport programs outstrip the capacity of current fields. With projected future population growth and growing participation in team sports, the City and local sports leagues will need to properly maintain existing field resources, use existing sites more efficiently and effectively and/or acquire and develop additional field space to meet demands.” Given the community need for sports fields demonstrated in the PROS Plan, and the potential opportunities for efficiencies by aligning park upgrades with the stormwater project, the City is looking to determine whether construction of park improvements (such as synthetic turf and lighting) should proceed after the stormwater improvements.
“The City recognizes that we have an opportunity to better manage stormwater in the Totem Lake and Juanita Creek basin while exploring if improvements such as synthetic turf and lights can provide an additional benefit to our community,” said Parks and Community Services Director Lynn Zwaagstra. “Examining the potential for efficiencies by looking at these construction projects concurrently also aligns with the City’s commitment to be a responsible steward of public funds.”
More information about the project is available on the City website. Questions about the upcoming soil testing and stormwater retrofit project can be directed to Outreach Coordinator Christian Knight, (425) 587-3831, email@example.com; Senior Project Engineer Aparna Khanal, (425) 587-3827, firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions regarding the Master Plan for 132nd Square Park can be directed to Mary Gardocki, Park Planning and Development Manager, (425) 587-3311, email@example.com.