The City of Bothell recently finalized a 31-acre purchase that will preserve the Wayne Golf Course as public land after a five-month process that began with a unanimous city council vote.
The city has been working to secure funds for the purchase for nearly two years and has partnered with King County, Forterra and OneBothell to save costs. The overall purchase costs the city about $3.8 million, which saved about $6 million from previous proposals.
“City of Bothell purchasing the Wayne Golf Course is very important to our community and our region,” said Mayor Andy Rheaume in a press release. “The preservation of this land for public use and watershed health is a huge accomplishment and testament to the many people that came together to make this possible.”
The city currently owns the front and back nine and is working with the county to purchase the final five acres.
Currently, city staff are working to develop a master plan for the course and want to hear what types of amenities the community would like to see at the future park. There will be several public meetings during which members of the public can voice their opinions and even help name the new public park.
The front nine is open to the public during daylight hours and is treated as a public park, with parking near the old clubhouse at 16721 96th Ave. N.E.
According to Tracey Perkosky, interim parks and recreation director, the gravel golf cart paths make for good walking trails.
The course is designated for passive recreation activities and the city can potentially designate nine acres as an active-use area.
The deed restricts the city from using the land for residential, manufacturing, industrial, office space, storage and any other developments that restrict public access, such as imposing a membership.
According to a press release, King County has offered to design, construct and maintain trail connections from the Burke-Gilman and Sammamish River trails through the front and back nine areas. The trails will potentially connect the course and Blyth Park with the Sammamish River Trail, the Burke Gilman Trail and the Tolt Pipeline Trail, pending city and county agreement.
The purchase found vocal support from Bothell residents as 22 residents spoke out at the June 20 council meeting, which was standing-room only in the council chambers. Many thanked OneBothell and Forterra for securing the land and urged the city to preserve it.
“It is a rare and beautiful piece of property,” said Barbara Harris at the meeting. “There are not enough of these spaces left. … (With the Burke-Gilman Trail,) people can come from all over to enjoy this property.”
Kevin Kiernan added, “with the growth (the city) is experiencing, preserving this space is essential.”
Forterra began purchasing the property in February 2016 to allow time for the city to secure funding.
“Forterra is proud to have joined forces with the Bothell community,” Michelle Connor, Forterra’s executive vice president of strategic enterprises, said at the meeting. “This is your time. Those privileged to visit the Wayne Sammamish Regional Park will thank you.”
Perkosky and her team expect it will take 20 to 30 years to implement the master plan once it’s finalized. They currently plan to restore portions of the land by removing invasive plants and improving the salmon habitat.
“This is a great example of what happens when the community and city partner,” Perkosky said. “It’s going to be around in perpetuity and generations to come will be able to enjoy the scenery and the nature.”