Soccer was a big part of Nicholas Madrazo’s life, so with construction tentatively scheduled to begin this fall on the long-awaited park bearing his name, his family says they’re happy it will be filled with sports fields and courts.
The 1st Lt. Nicholas Madrazo Memorial Park has been in the works for around five years, intended to honor the memory of the Bothell native who was killed in Afghanistan while on patrol in 2008.
“It’s fitting that a park like this is named after him because he spent a lot of time in the Bothell recreation departments playing various sports,” said Joel Madrazo, Nicholas’s father. “That was really a benefit to him and his friends.”
Park designs from the Bothell Parks and Recreation department show the proposed location at 18707 North Creek Parkway could have two tennis courts, a basketball court, a picnic shelter, a large, multi-purpose field for youth sports and a memorial.
Berger Partnership PS from Seattle is creating the memorial with help from the family.
The five-acre park would be within a larger 12-acre plot housing a wastewater overflow building and a large containment tank owned by King County, which sits directly under the planned soccer fields in the Bothell Business Park.
King County and the City of Bothell signed a land-use agreement last October allowing the city to build on the land while the county retained ownership. An annual fee of $6,500 was agreed to by the city.
The memorial park is expected to cost around $1.2 million to develop said John Keates, Bothell Parks and Recreation director.
Madrazo said the effort was spearheaded by local firefighter and Marine veteran Hugh Moag.
“When Nic died, there were several firefighters that came to our house from the Bothell area,” he said. “He was one of the firefighters.”
Madrazo recalls sitting down with Moag in a downtown coffee shop the first time they met. Soon afterward, Moag approached the city council with the idea of dedicating a memorial park to Nicholas Madrazo.
Finally, it seems those efforts may be coming to fruition with park designs around 80 percent finished, Keates said.
The plans will be presented to the Bothell Business Park for approval, after which the city will begin bidding out construction contracts, with an anticipated opening in fall 2016.
Nicholas Madrazo was killed in Afghanistan on Sept. 9, 2008 while on patrol after a roadside bomb exploded underneath his Humvee, also killing two other Marines and an interpreter.
He graduated from Bothell High School in 2001, and attended Seattle Pacific University where he earned a Bachelors Degree in business administration before signing on with the Marines.
“He could have easily left SPU and worked. He didn’t have to choose that route,” Joel Madrazo said. “It became apparent that he really wanted to serve, to do his duty.”
Nicholas was only 25 years old when he was killed, but his family said that was enough time for him to make an impression both at home, and on the children he met in Afghanistan.
His family said Nicholas would interact with the children, even asking his family to send paper, pencils and candy to hand out on patrol. He also found time for the occasional game of soccer.
“He was a very outgoing person,” Joel Madrazo said. “He really had a heart to do good in that place.”
“He didn’t want to just go there and say, ‘Well, I didn’t really have an impact.”