The city of Bothell, with significant help from King County, has purchased the last five acres of the former Wayne Golf Course from Forterra, completing the preservation of the entire 89-acre property.
The five acres is part of the “Back 9,” east of Waynita Way. According to a city press release, it is home to some of the flattest property on the former golf course, an apple tree orchard and a house built in the 1930s.
The community, led by OneBothell, initiated and supported the conversion of the golf course to open space, the release states.
“I just want to say ‘thank you’ to the community,” Bothell councilmember James McNeal said in the release. “We all worked together to make this happen. It’s priceless.”
The city’s newest park includes a portion of the Sammamish River and Waynita Creek. It is home to eagles, salmon, deer and more. About 23 acres are covered with a mature forest including Douglas fir, bigleaf maple and western hemlock trees. It also boasts hills perfect for winter sledding, according to the release.
Forterra purchased the former Wayne Golf Course in early 2016 to give the city of Bothell time to arrange financing to buy the property. The city bought the majority of the property in 2017, with purchase of the “Back 9” to be completed in two phases, the release states. This purchase of the last five acres is “Phase II.”
According to the release, the phased approach helped secure funding. Bothell’s cost for the five acres is about $45,000, to be paid by park impact fees. King County purchased conservation easements on both phases of the Back 9 purchase. Other funding was provided by the King County parks levy and conservation futures, the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, and the taxpayers of Washington.
Passive recreation — like walking, biking, drop-in sports such as flag football, lacrosse and disc golf, picnicking, bird-watching, legal fishing and the like — are allowed on the property, according to the release. Some areas are not open to the public for safety reasons, including the orchard, house and storage areas, as well as the clubhouse. The park is open from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Parking is available in adjacent Blyth Park, near the old golf course clubhouse at 16721 96th Ave. NE or at Red Brick Road Park.
In the future, King County, in coordination with the city of Bothell, will design, build and maintain trail connections from Tolt Pipeline through the former Back 9, the release states.
Community members are encouraged to share their ideas for the park during the update of the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan in 2019.