Bothell has a shortfall of 675.5 acres of core park land to meet the recommended national standards, according to the 2014 Parks and Recreation Guidelines (Parks, Recreation & Open Space Action Program January 24 2014). Not only has the city’s population increased from 30,609 to 40,500 (32 percent) in just eight years, but Washington state’s population is expected to increase 24 percent by the year 2040. Finding ways to interact with nature will become more and more challenging for urbanites, and wildlife will be put at even greater risk by loss and fragmentation of critical habitat. We have an opportunity right now make a real difference for future generations!

Despite Bothell’s stated goal of acquiring Wayne Golf Course land as early as 1989, the city didn’t make it a priority when it went up for sale in 2013-14. Understanding the city’s limited financial resources and after much engagement from the community, Forterra successfully acquired the land as an interim measure while funds are secured for its public acquisition. Now we have a unique opportunity to create a signature park for the rapidly growing community of Bothell and surrounding areas. Because it’s adjacent to Blyth park, the two properties should be considered one so we can create an iconic park for the public.

Blythe meets the back nine of WayneThe image above shows where Blyth Park (left) meets the back nine of Wayne.

Wayne Golf Course alone “possesses natural resources, recreational, scenic, open space, water resource, and recreational value of great importance to the people of Bothell, the people of King County, and the people of the State of Washington.” (Conservation Easement Recitals section B).  Imagine the significance of a regional park that combined the 40.8 acres of Blyth with the 89 acres of Wayne.

Imagine a recreational corridor up located in the heart of Bothell connecting three trails—the Burke-Gilman, Sammamish River, and Tolt Pipeline. Imagine hiking through the interconnected woods of Blyth and Wayne, launching a kayak or paddleboard from an accessible river site, visiting an interpretive center to better appreciate the wondrous ecosystem, viewing wildlife from observation areas, catching glimpses of migrating salmon, enjoying vistas of meadows and forested areas, observing waterfowl and raptors, or just strolling through a peaceful haven free from city noises and urban structures. With restrooms, picnic areas and a play area for children already at Blyth, coupled with the immense opportunities for interacting with nature afforded by Wayne land, we could create a signature park of nearly 130 acres. What an amazing legacy this would be.