A Walk in the Woods
In a 2010 survey of Shoreline residents, “walking trails” were the second most requested improvement in Shoreline’s park system behind restrooms. In 2017, “walking trails” continued to rank at or near the top of parks and recreation facilities that are most important to Shoreline households. The Shoreline community consistently recognizes the value of a well-developed trail system, not only as a vehicle for exercise, but also as a way to link neighborhoods, schools, commercial areas, and future mass transit systems for easy access by the community.
Earlier this year we completed an evaluation of 13 parks. Our goal was to identify improvements that meet the community’s need for a park system that is a healthy, safe, and accessible refuge for Shoreline residents well into the future. Following multiple surveys, open houses, and neighborhood association meetings, we developed preferred concept designs for eight parks. The proposed improvements expand walkable trails and pathways, protect the natural environment, and add amenities the community desires. These projects are designed to continue Shoreline’s legacy of great parks in a great community, something both current and future generations can enjoy.
In May 2006, Shoreline voters approved a bond to make improvements to several Shoreline parks. Included in the bond was $2.5 million for hard and soft-surface trail systems in our parks and throughout the community. In the five years following passage of the bond, we made substantial progress in improving Shoreline’s trail system. Some of those improvements included:
- Adding several thousand feet of soft surface trail improvements to Hamlin Park and creating hard surface trails around the active field area in the lower part of the park, providing much needed access to the lower Hamlin athletic fields, restrooms, picnic shelter, and playgrounds for people with disabilities.
- Adding a pathway along the southern boundary of South Woods.
- Making soft surface trail improvements at Boeing Creek Park that improved access and safety for trail users, including those with disabilities in the northeast corner of the park.
- Installing box steps and trail drainage improvements in areas of Boeing Creek that were eroding, and closing other social trails to protect unstable soils and sensitive vegetation.
- Completing box steps and a structure for crossing wet areas in the publicly-owned Innis Arden Reserve.
- Installing hard surface tails and walkways at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park to improve pedestrian safety and improving some soft surface trails.
- Creating a link along N 195th Street east from the Interurban Trail to the Burke-Gilman Trail.
- Completing a pedestrian connection of the Interurban Trail from Aurora to the east end of the trail bridge that crosses Aurora.
In the years since completion of these projects, we have contracted with EarthCorps to provide ongoing trail maintenance and improvements in Shoreline’s heavily wooded parks including Hamlin Park, Shoreview/Boeing Creek Parks, and Innis Arden Reserve. EarthCorps is a local non-profit that specializes in environmental restoration and building trails in natural areas. Every year EarthCorps can be found applying new surfacing materials, repairing staircases, and improving access for people with disabilities to existing trails. In 2018, EarthCorps will be adding approximately one mile of new trails in Hamlin Park to meet the Parks, Recreation, & Open Space Plan goal of adding two miles of trails over two years.
To see the park concept designs and learn more about the next steps involved in making them a reality, visit shorelinewa.gov/parksdesign.