CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
This year, Snohomish County Parks Department is celebrating 50 years of providing great programs, parks, trails, and the Evergreen State Fair for the citizens of Snohomish County. The Parks Department was formally created on March 4, 1963.
Commemorating the Department of Parks and Recreation’s 50th Anniversary honors those who served before us and reminds each of us that our responsibilities extend beyond here and now - to the community around us and to the community to follow.
Since 1912, Snohomish County has acquired some of the county’s most valuable open spaces and environmentally sensitive areas to ensure their protection and in 1988 expanded its preservation efforts with the Conservation Futures Program. Through these acquisitions, Parks & Recreation Department today manages thousands of acres of passive open space including and wildlife sactuaries (Spencer Island, Snohomish River Estuary, Lord Hill, West Lake Roesiger, Bob Heirman Wildlife Refuge at Thomas’ Eddy, Paradise Valley Conservation Area, and Narbeck Wildlife Sanctuary).
Since that first acquisition the Park system has grown to over 10,000 acres, 105 park properties, 47 miles of shoreline, over 30 miles of paved trails, and hundreds of miles of unpaved trails.
Since 2004 over $67 million has been invested in the park system to acquire and develop new trails and parks for the citizens of Snohomish County.
Park Directors through the years include Earl Torgeson (1966-1968), Ron Taylor (1968-1971), Dick Fowler (1975-1992), Ron Martin (1993-2006),
Gary Weikel (2006-2007) and Tom Teigen (2007-Present).
1912: acquired property where the Evergreen State Fairgrounds now stands
1926: acquired property for Squire Creek Park
1939: Lake Roesiger Park property acquired
1945 acquired additional property at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds site
1951: acquired property for Logan Park
1958: property for McCollum Pioneer County Park acquired
1969: McCollum Pool opens to public
1971: acquired property for Meadowdale County Park
1972: acquired property for Kayak Point County Park
1973: acquired property for Gissberg Twin Lakes County Park
1976: Flowing Lake County Park opens
1985: property for Lord Hill Regional Park acquired
1987: Wyatt County Park opens
1991: Centennial Trail 1st Phase opens
1992: Martha Lake & Thomas’ Eddy Parks open
1995: Lord Hill Regional Park, North Creek, Spencer Island,
Robe Canyon and Spencer Island Parks open
2000: acquired property for Paradise Valley Conservation Area
2005: Willis Tucker Park and new Park Department headquarters opens
2008: acquired property for Heybrook Ridge & Miner’s Corner County Parks
2009: Wenberg State Park transferred to county ownership;
Paradise Valley Conservation Area opens
2012: Wellington Hills County Park property acquired
2012: completed the last 4 miles of the Centennial Trail (30 miles)
The Department of Parks and Recreation, manages over 100 active public parks including River Meadows, Picnic Point, Meadowdale, Kayak Point, Kayak Golf Course, the Centennial Trail, the Whitehorse Trail, Wenberg, Willis Tucker, and Martha Lake Airport and continues to invest in its active parks with recent acquisitions and improvements at Tambark, Miner’s Corner, and Wellington Hills County Park; and the Department of Parks and Recreation manages and invests in its park system to provide for a variety of activities including: camping, hiking, swimming, running, walking, cycling, mountain biking, BMX, horseback riding, golf, fishing, boating, team sports, dog parks, and other opportunities for outdoor play and rest, and continues to
expand its investments in other forms of active recreation including shooting sports, synthetic turf athletic fields, and yurt camping; and