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City of Kenmore makes a splash with waterfront acquisition

Land newly purchased by the city of Kenmore. - Courtesy photo
Land newly purchased by the city of Kenmore.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The City of Kenmore recently purchased .65 acres of waterfront property located at 7353 NE 175th St. at the confluence of Swamp Creek and the Sammamish River, near Squires Landing Park in Kenmore.

The newly acquired property will serve a variety of park functions, including a bird and wildlife viewpoint, launching point for hand-powered watercraft, picnic area and connection to Squires Landing Park. The property is immediately available for public use. It includes a floating dock and waterfront activities center provided by the Kenmore Canoe and Kayak Club.

A dedication event is scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 26 at the new property.

“We have heard loud and clear from our citizens that accessibility to the water should be a top priority,” Kenmore Mayor David Baker said. “This is a win-win partnership for all involved and we are thrilled to be delivering this beautiful waterfront property for the public’s benefit.”

In response to the public’s desire for more waterfront access, the city purchased the property for $640,000 plus closing costs in early July. On July 28, following a formal Request for Proposals process, the city council approved an agreement with the Kenmore Canoe and Kayak Club (KCKC) to provide a waterfront activities center at the newly acquired property.

KCKC will provide public recreational programming and instruction for hand-powered watercraft activities including kayaking, canoeing, dragon boat racing and potentially rowing and standup paddle boarding in the future. While the emphasis will be on youth activities, instruction and classes will be provided for all ages and skill levels including free or deeply discounted classes and memberships for low income youth and families. The property was purchased using park impact fee revenue from the construction of new residential development, and the park impact fee revenue can only be used for park property acquisitions and new park development.

“Through this new park property and resulting public-private partnership, the City and KCKC are bringing the public’s connection to the water to a whole new level,” said Traci Cole, KCKC board member.

KCKC’s youth team is under the USA Canoe/Kayak umbrella, which is Team USA’s feeder organization for Olympic athletes. As the team grows, team members will have opportunities to race regionally, nationally and internationally. Most of KCKC’s board members are Kenmore residents.

Fong Ng of the Seattle Flying Dragon Boat Club is pleased that his organization is included in this partnership. At least one dragon boat will be stored on the new park property, and a Kenmore dragon boat team will be forming in the near future.

“We have a very successful dragon boat program on Lake Union, and we are excited to grow this very fun and social sport by bringing it to Kenmore,” Ng said.

For more information about Kenmore Canoe and Kayak Club or to sign up for the team or classes, email northshoreck@gmail.com or visit the KCKC website at www.kenmoreboathouse.com.

For more information about being a part of the dragon boat program in Kenmore, call (425) 954-3129 or visit the Dragon boat website at www.seattleflyingdragons.org.

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