It’s been a long time coming, but as of this week the City of Edmonds is the proud owner of the 8-acre Civic Field park in the heart of downtown.
“Owning this park has been part of our comprehensive plan since 1975,” said Mayor Dave Earling as he inked the deal in a Wednesday morning ceremony at the field. “Acquiring this critical property and securing it for our community’s use has been a top priority for the city. It deserves to be celebrated.”
Although owned by the Edmonds School District, the city has had use of the park for more than 40 years through a long-term lease agreement. But last year the district approached the city with its intent to sell the property, which led to negotiations for a sale and purchase agreement.
Approved by City Council and signed by the mayor late last year, the agreement allows the city to purchase Civic Field for $1.9 million. With a $1 million grant from the Washington State Recreation Conservation Office and an additional $500,000 from Snohomish Conservation Futures, the purchase will cost the City $400,000, a “fantastic deal for us,” according to Earling.
“This agreement ensures that Civic Field will remain a prime recreational resource in perpetuity,” said Carrie Hite, the City’s Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services. “The grants that made this purchase possible come with provisions to keep the space open, so don’t look for any large recreational centers or similar facilities to be built here. It will always remain a public park offering close-to-home recreational options for our community.”
To help ensure this, the city is embarking on a process to develop a master plan for the park.
“We’ll begin searching for a consultant this month,” said Hite. “Look for a process similar to what we had for Marina Beach, with multiple opportunities for public input and involvement.”
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel