Reader view: Edmonds has how many parks?

Like many this summer, I spent a lot of time outdoors. My wife and I like to walk and photograph various neighborhoods throughout Edmonds. I recently obtained a copy of an Edmonds map published by the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce and decided to visit and explore every single park within city limits. I was astonished to learn that there are 26 parks in the city limits. You can see the full list on the city’s website:.

Just a few of the many Edmonds parks. (Photos by Chris Walton)

What is even more amazing is that the Edmonds Parks and Recreation Department’s maintenance efforts are not limited to these parks. They also maintain many other locations such as the Library Plaza, the downtown corner plantings, the hanging baskets, the Edmonds Marsh, and much more. The total green space area of Edmonds is over 450 acres.

After visiting and photographing all of our parks and exploring many neighborhoods of Edmonds, one thing became very clear to me: Beyond the fact that we live in a beautiful city by the sound, our parks and other public spaces are amazingly well maintained. I felt compelled to write this short article because I have observed that our two great volunteer organizations — the Edmonds Floretum Garden Club and Edmonds In Bloom — often receive most of the media attention due to their volunteer city beautification efforts (primarily via the hanging baskets and the downtown corner plantings programs).

One of the city’s numerous hanging baskets, left, and a planting at Hazel Miller Plaza.

The reality is that while these two organizations do wonderful things to voluntarily support our city, the Parks and Recreation Department needs to be acknowledged as the team who does the majority of the work. They do it every day, all year long. Additionally, even during this pandemic, and with limited staffing, our parks and outdoor spaces continue to be clean and well maintained.

As a member of the Edmonds Floretum Garden Club, I have worked alongside Debra Dill and Eric Bird (both Parks and Recreation Department employees) during short work parties when we have assisted them in planting downtown corners in the spring. It is very obvious from these limited interactions that maintaining our city’s public spaces and parks isn’t just a job to them. For them it is a passion. They are dedicated and love what they do.

Debra Dill with the city’s special multi-purpose watering truck.

Often you will see residents out for a walk stopping to ask Eric and Debra questions about the city’s many plants and trees. Their team doesn’t just go to the nursery and buy a truck load of pretty plants each year. The city has a greenhouse adjacent to City Park where they propagate new plants and perform a variety of other horticultural activities.

The parks team is very knowledgeable about trees and plants. They have detailed plans and strategies for baskets, corners, and park maintenance. They keep records of which plants have done well and which plants may not be suitable for certain locations. Debra is ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) Certified Arborist and maintains ISA TRAQ (Tree Risk Assessment Qualification).

In conclusion, let me suggest that the next time you see one of the city’s Parks and Recreation white trucks with the “Park Maintenance” logo, take a moment to say hello to those staff members and thank them for keeping Edmonds the beautiful city that it is!

 — By Chris Walton

Chris Walton is an active member of the Edmonds Floretum Garden Club and occasionally volunteers to assist the city in planting corners or pruning plants at the Anderson Center. He and his wife have enjoyed exploring Edmonds for about 17 years. Chris has no personal association with the city’s parks department or their staff. You can visit City of Edmonds Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services at their website. 

8 Replies to “Reader view: Edmonds has how many parks?”

  1. Thanks Chris, for this tribute to dedicated workers who maintain our beloved town. I want to add that there are many volunteers who help keep Yost Park ivy and holly free! You can volunteer every Saturday, 9:00-11:00 a. m. Go to soundsalmonsolutions.org to complete a volunteer form.

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  2. I totally agree! We have a great varity of parks and wonderful city crews that maintain and improve them. Thanks Parks and Recreation .

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  3. A question for any Parks folks reading this: did a quick calculation and it appears roughly 7% of Edmonds land consists of parks. I then went looking for how Edmonds compares to other urban areas (most of them large cities, so somewhat apples to oranges — but more on that in a sec!). The best cities have 10-20% of their land as green spaces. However, what I don’t know is what qualifies as green spaces vs. parks in Edmonds. For example, does the 450 acres mentioned above include the marsh? If not, the percentage would be significantly larger..

    And yes, big tip of the hat to our Parks people — fantastic job.

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    1. Nicely written Chris, and yes, the Parks and Rec crew under Rich Lindsay has been fabulous for years!

      In response to Peter, there are many local parks in our Edmonds proper such as South County Park and Esperance which are under Snohomish County leadership and liability. Having said that many Edmonds citizens volunteer to help in park clean-ups. So Edmonds citizens are lucky to have access to all these regional parks.

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  4. I had no idea, 26 parks! I moved to MT LK TERR. 5 yr ago from Edm. When my mom passed. Please pass along to MT LK TERR how you do it. I walk my dog, an see it going down hill, without clean up. It shines for a week when there is an event coming up. The even took away 4 garbage cans. Used everyone of those cans for my dog bags. Now see them and masks through out the city. Sad. Up go the new living spaces. Only see it getting worse…Thanks for listening

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  5. I have also wondered how the 7% in parks is measured. Also it would be good to know how much of the city consists of green spaces. I see many private properties with green spaces, lots of trees and large shrubs.. Is there a way to capture that? I think it is good to know.

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  6. These parks, and the people who maintain them, are a huge gift on this town. My 5 little granddaughters identify them each by the color of the main play structure in each. So important

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