The Wellington Hills Sports Complex? No, it's NOT a done deal!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wellington Hills Park, Washington State, Snohomish County

Here in the Northwest we take pride in the natural beauty of our forests, mountains and lakes ... but if you stop and think about it, what we see is often far away and sometimes unapproachable ... such as the Cascades or Olympics or Lake Washington’s shoreline.

A simple question - Can you name a local park filled with trees, natural features, peace and quiet and without swimming pools, soccer fields or baseball diamonds?

In Woodinville, on the Snohomish County side of town, there is such a place ... Wellington Hills Park. It's not a large park but it has majestic trees, almost 100 years old and there's walkable rolling hills and dales. As a bonus, if you’re strolling in the park you might see deer or bobcats, coyotes, eagles, hawks and owls doing what wildlife does best - existing in the small places we haven’t over-developed. 

Wellington Hills Parks is located between a quiet residential neighborhood and the commercial businesses of traffic-y Route 9. Unfortunately, the park has been targeted for unnecessary urban development - of the sprawl variety.

In May of 2012, Snohomish County's Director of Parks, Tom Teigen, announced that Wellington Hills Park was no longer scheduled to be a community park ... instead it was to be re-shaped into a regional sports complex.

Thus began my photography of the park. Since that terrible day in May I've taken thousands of photos of the place, in part to document what the park looks like but also because ... well, it's a beautiful place and I wanted to share that beauty with everyone. 

Here are a few recent photos of the park. 

btw, If Tom Teigen gets his way, the area in the photos would be de-watered, dug out then leveled. The removed soil would then be used as leveling fill dirt in other areas of the park.

In place of what you see in the photos there would be a number of artificial turf and grass sports fields, stadium lights and a 500 car parking lot.

photos by Bill Stankus
December 2013

And, just to be perfectly clear - Neighbors To Save Wellington Park is NOT opposed to sports fields or sports in general. What we are opposed to is the inappropriate use of Wellington Hills Park.

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