Celebrating 58 Years

This year, Snohomish County Parks, Recreation & Tourism is celebrating 58 years of providing great programs, parks, trails, and the Evergreen State Fair for the residents of Snohomish County. The original Parks Department was formally created on March 4, 1963. Commemorating our 58th 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.

Background

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 and Recreation Department today manages thousands of acres of passive open space including and wildlife sanctuaries such as:

  • Spencer Island
  • Snohomish River Estuary
  • Lord Hill
  • West Lake Roesiger
  • Bob Heirman Wildlife Refuge at Thomas’ Eddy
  • Paradise Valley Conservation Area
  • Narbeck Wildlife Sanctuary

Since that first acquisition the park system has grown to over 12,000 acres, 121 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

Park directors through the years include Earl Torgeson (1966-68), Ron Taylor (1968-71), Dick Fowler (1975-92), Ron Martin (1993-2006), Gary Weikel (2006-07), and Tom Teigen (2007-present).

Yearly Milestones

  • 1912: Acquired property where the Evergreen State Fair Park now stands
  • 1926: Acquired property for Squire Creek Park
  • 1939: Acquired properties for Lake Roesiger Park and Wenberg Park
  • 1945: Acquired additional property at the Evergreen State Fair Park site
  • 1951: Acquired property for Logan Park
  • 1958: Acquired property for McCollum Pioneer County Park
  • 1969: McCollum Pool opened to public
  • 1971: Acquired property for Meadowdale County Park and SW County Park
  • 1972: Acquired property for Kayak Point County Park
  • 1973: Acquired property for Gissberg Twin Lakes County Park
  • 1976: Flowing Lake County Park opened
  • 1985: Acquired property for Lord Hill Regional Park
  • 1987: Wyatt County Park opened
  • 1991: Centennial Trail Phase 1 opened
  • 1992: Martha Lake Park and Bob Heirman Wildlife Park at Thomas' Eddy opened
  • 1995: Lord Hill Regional Park, North Creek Park, Spencer Island and Portage Creek Park completed and Lake Goodwin property acquired
  • 1998: Martha Lake Park opened
  • 2000: Acquired property for Paradise Valley Conservation Area
  • 2002: Acquired property for Paine Field Park
  • 2005: Willis Tucker Park and new Parks Department headquarters opened
  • 2006: Lake Goodwin Park and Whitehorse Park ballfields opened
  • 2007: Lime Kiln Trail completed
  • 2008: Acquired property for Heybrook Ridge Trail, Miner’s Corner County Park and Martha Lake Airport Park and 126 additional acres for Paradise Valley Conservation Area which officially opened. River Meadows Yurt village completed (dedicated 2009), acquired Leary property
  • 2009: Wenberg State Park transferred back to county ownership, and Paine Field Park opened
  • 2010:  Lake Stevens Park ballfields opened and purchased Reiter Foothills Trailhead
  • 2011:  Acquired West Lake Roesiger property
  • 2012: Acquired Wellington Hills County Park property; Nakashima Barn dedication; completed the last 4 miles of the Centennial Trail (for a total of 30 miles)
  • 2013: Tambark Creek Park opened
  • 2014: Flowing Lake Park and Campground expands from 38 acres to 195 acres; Hooven Bog acquired; Miner's Corner Park opened
  • 2015: New USeD reservation system
  • 2018: Acquired 3.59 acres for Heirman Family Nature Park; 6.67 acre Lake Stevens Ballfield expansion; 16 acre Squire Creek Park addition
  • 2019:  Lake Stickney Park opened; 3.43 acre Corcoran Memorial Park established with reserved life estate; 7.31 acres for Steelhead Haven inholdings acquired
  • 2020: Cavalero Hill Park completed; SR 530 Slide Memorial progress; acquired 4.36 acre Miller Pond Park; 1.11 acre donation to Lord Hill Regional Park from Ron Turner; acquired 38.84 acre PSE corridor for future trail from Snohomish to Lowell River Rd; raised timber framed shelter with the Timber Framers Guild at Whitehorse Park and Campground and entry portals over the Whitehorse Trail at the SR 530 Slide Memorial site; Esperance Park Renovation completed
  • 2021: Merged into the Snohomish County Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Whitehorse Campground to open 

About Parks and Recreation

The Division of Parks, Recreation & Tourism, manages over 121 active public parks including:

  • River Meadows Park
  • Picnic Point Park
  • Meadowdale Beach
  • Kayak Point Park & Campground
  • Kayak Disc Golf Resort
  • Centennial Trail
  • Whitehorse Trail
  • Wenberg Park & Campground
  • Willis Tucker Park
  • Martha Lake Airport Park

The Division of Parks, Recreation and Tourism manages and invests in its park system to provide for a variety of activities such as:

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Running
  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Mountain biking
  • Horseback riding
  • Golf
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Team sports
  • Off-leash dog areas
  • Accessible access and park features

The division continues to expand its investments in other forms of active recreation including shooting sports, synthetic turf athletic fields, and yurt camping.