Kayak Point Park Day-Use Improvement Project
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Kayak Point Day Use Area well be closed to the public for summer 2023. Construction for Phase 1 began July 5, 2023. Phase 2 construction will follow in a future year, depending on funding availability. See below for more details on the construction timeline, design, site access diagrams, and Frequently Asked Questions.
KAYAK POINT BEACH CLOSURE: The day-use area (beach, all shelters, pier, playground, and parking) is CLOSED July 5, 2023, through at least December 31, 2023, for construction. The campground will remain open.
Snohomish County is working on renovating the day-use portion of this popular, well-loved park. An extensive design process has been ongoing for several years for reconfiguring the day-use area. The proposed design will provide additional recreation space, move parking away from the shoreline, improve the boat launch, and make habitat improvements. As part of implementing these changes, park infrastructure will be replaced (e.g. failing water lines and buckling asphalt) and the park will be positioned for many more years of enjoyment.
The renovation project is anticipated to cost approximately $20 million and is planned to be completed in phases as funding allows.
Kayak Point Day Use Area is closed to the public for summer 2023. Construction for Phase 1 began July 2023. Dates are subject to change.
- Tentatively planned: July 5 to December 31, 2023 (Phase 1 construction). The day-use area will be closed during construction.
- Due to sensitive fish spawning habitats located off the coast of Kayak Point, the new boat launch construction must occur during peak summer seasons.
- Alternate boat launches are available in Everett, Marysville, and Camano Island.
- Park staff and design consultant team of experts are working with the general contractor to initiate Phase 1 construction.
- Grant awards for Phase 1 construction from Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) include $2 million dollars of funding for the boat launch and upland improvements.
- Grant funds are being sought currently for Phase 2 construction.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What improvements will be included in the project?
Depending on available funding, the anticipated elements included in each phase of the project are:
- Boat launch replacement with wider, steeper launch (elevated design allows water and sand to move underneath the launch, which is better for fish habitat and easier for launching)
- A boarding float, pier piling, and decking replacement
- New parking lot to better connect and separate cars and boat trailers from pedestrians
- Central backshore berm, interim path connections, removing paving along the shoreline, planting and removing the sea wall along the central segment
- Completing the parking lot
- Renovations and moving of the existing picnic shelters + three new timber-frame picnic shelters
- Completing the backshore berm
- Creating a central grassy view mound
- Playground updates
- Renovations of the restrooms
- A waterfront promenade path, a central plaza with hookups for food trucks, access trails to the beach, planting and removing the sea wall along the northern end
What are the benefits of this project?
The final park updates will function similarly to the way it does now, but with all park features brought up to the 21st century. The park will be easier to maintain, better for the environment, and constructed with long-lasting materials.
Safer, Easier Circulation Routes
- The new design will provide separate walking routes for pedestrians that are ADA-friendly for visitors with mobility issues, and the shoreline will be easier to access for walkers, boats, and cars.
- The boat launch parking will have tie-down lanes and areas for prepping the boat, to reduce traffic congestion while accessing the launch or getting to the beach.
Environmentally Designed and Longer-Lasting Infrastructure
- The renovated park will be better for the environment because the parking lot next to the shore will be replaced with an expanded beach zone and native plantings, and the runoff from all the paved areas will go through storm-water treatment.
- The road along the shore will be replaced with a backshore berm to prepare the site for sea level rise and storm surges. Currently, storms that correspond with extreme high tides frequently push beach logs far into the site, covering the picnic shelters, parking lots, and roads with debris. In 2021 a storm also caused significant damage to the decking on the pier. The future design will protect the park infrastructure from storms of that magnitude by adding 4-5 feet of additional beach height with native habitat materials and raising all the parking and recreation elements up by a few feet.
- We’re doing a lot of infrastructure improvements that won’t be visible to park visitors but are very important for the ongoing management of the park, such as a complete overhaul of the septic system, water piping, and electrical connections.
Added Picnic Shelters and Parking Spaces
- There will be renovations to the existing picnic shelters and three new shelters. We are adding about 10 more parking spaces and moving all the parking to a centralized location toward the hillside and away from the beach. There will still be overflow parking located up the hill.
- There will be lots of wide-open grassy areas and easier access to the pier, boat launch, shelters, fire pits, playground, and restrooms.
Why are you doing this now?
Kayak Point is one of our most popular, most visited parks. It was last renovated in the 1970s, which makes the infrastructure over 50 years old. We’ve gone through a multi-year process with public outreach, design, and permitting, it’s taken almost eight years, but we’re finally getting ready to start construction. The park will be positioned for many more years of enjoyment.
Who can I contact with questions?
How can I stay updated on progress?
Will the renovated park be able to retain the old trees along the shoreline or are they being removed as part of the project?
The mature Lombardy Poplar trees along the shoreline at Kayak Point will need to be removed during the renovation project. Their location along the shoreline is going to be transformed into a soft-shore berm which will function as an extension of the natural backshore marine shoreline habitat. It will be beach rocks and sand at the lower elevations and planted native shrubs and trees at the upper elevations. A walking path will meander through the new plantings and beach access trails will be located strategically between tree groves. We cannot create the new shoreline without removing the existing trees, as they occupy the same footprint. The current trees are nearing the end of their typical life cycle and have begun dropping large branches. They typically only live for around 50 years. It will take some time for the new plantings to mature and grow tall like those existing trees, but the new plantings will create a healthier habitat for birds, critters, and fish.
What has been done to study and mitigate the environmental impacts of the project construction?
The project is located along the marine shoreline and has wetlands identified onsite. There will be some temporary impacts to critical areas and important animal habitats for which we are providing mitigation on site. Overall, the project includes extensive riparian zone habitat improvements integrated into the design and will be a significant improvement for the park, Snohomish County residents, and the Puget Sound.
The project’s critical area review permitting has included special studies, reports, and best management practices for sensitive species, including considerations for salmon, killer whales, eelgrass, water quality protection, cultural resource protection, flood hazard areas, and others.