Historic ball field in St. Edward State Park faces irrevocable change

To all who value and enjoy St. Edward State Park: I write to alert you.

The City of Kenmore is relentlessly pushing a $4.91-million proposal to “improve” the open and natural grass ball field by installing “a fenced synthetic turf field, a subsurface stormwater system, and other related structures,” like bleachers, backstops, dugouts, a perimeter walking path, field lighting, maintenance shed and added parking — not to mention more asphalt, vehicles, congestion and noise.

“Approximately 131,000 square feet of sod will be removed. A 6-inch thick layer of free-draining aggregate will be placed over the subgrade, which will be covered with a 6-inch thick plastic grating system …..”

Adjacent to the field is a Class 2 wetland, which the state rating system defines as “difficult, though not impossible, to replace, and provides high levels of some functions.” Class 2 wetland buffers must be 100 feet, but “approximately 42,717 square feet (90%) of wetland buffer area is expected to be impacted,” a euphemism for uprooting the living soil and replacing it with dead plastic. To jump this hurdle of “insufficient” buffer, Kenmore is applying for a critical area variance, which if granted, would allow the proposal to move ahead.

Kenmore promises “compensatory mitigation” and “enhancement” of the area, yet concludes “the project will result in permanent unavoidable impacts to a wetland buffer area.”

This proposal is not a “renovation” or an “improvement.” It is a transformation — destructive to what is now a living ecosystem. It would benefit a minority of users when thousands of people come here every year to absorb and enjoy a place set apart from the beginning to preserve and protect a natural sanctuary.

Youth fields are important, but this development belongs in a municipal or school setting. We cheered our son’s soccer team wherever they played, often in school fields. Why isn’t this a pursued option now?

In 2008 the Washington State Parks Commission rejected a previous Kenmore ballfield proposal for St. Edward State Park as “inappropriate.” It still is.

If this development concerns you, please call or write. Public comment period for the Critical Area Variance is Aug. 18 through Sept. 8.

For more details: www.kenmorewa.gov/ athletic-field-saint-edward.

City of Kenmore Email: permittech@kenmorewa.gov. Phone: 425-398-8900.

Washington State Parks Commission (makes final decision.) Email: commission@parks.wa.gov. Phone: 360-902-8502.

Karen Prince

32-year resident of Kenmore


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Letters to the Editor

A way to keep us healthy | Letter

A way to keep us healthy A problem has occurred recently that… Continue reading

Kenmore council let them down | Letter

On Feb. 3, the Kenmore City Council had a special meeting regarding… Continue reading

Two solutions | Letter

Facts about the growing gap between the super rich and the vast… Continue reading

More community members weigh in on election | Letters

Thompson has positive ideas I write in support of Mason Thompson for… Continue reading

An unenforceable ban | Letter

As the advisory vote in Snohomish County regarding a fireworks ban approaches,… Continue reading

Community members weigh in on election | Letters

Sperry cares for Kenmore My husband and I are supporting Van Sperry… Continue reading

Thompson is ‘exceptionally well qualified’ | Letter

I am currently the presiding judge for Snohomish County District Court and… Continue reading

Thompson, a judge to be proud of | Letter

Judge Paul Thompson was an excellent choice for our governor to make… Continue reading

Okoloko is hard working and ethical | Letter

As a recently retired trial attorney after a long career in the… Continue reading

Duerr hardworking and engaged | Letter

Davina Duerr may be the most hard-working and engaged member who has… Continue reading

Vote for Okoloko | Letter

I support Judge Edirin Okoloko for the position of Superior Court judge.… Continue reading

Retain Okoloko as Superior Court judge | Letter

After a 23-year career as a Snohomish County judge, having served more… Continue reading