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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Snohomish County - Miner's Corner County Park - Epilogue

On the east side of Miner's Corner County Park, there are underground petroleum pipelines and overhead electrical power lines.  

see Part 1 

                   Part 2 
                                Part 3    

On the west side of the park, there are a children’s play area, basketball court, covered slab with tables, and, near all these amenities is a monument to the Snohomish County Council and the Parks Dept.

Scattered amongst the park’s amenities are inaccessible, fenced-off islands of nicely mowed grass encircled by asphalt pathways.

Another noticeable feature of Miner’s Corner Park is the expansive areas of what the Parks Dept. refers to as "natural vegetation".

You and I might simply call these areas, "itchy-scratchy, buggy, weedy fields".

photos by Bill Stankus
September 2014

park by Snohomish County's Dept. of Parks

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Snohomish County - Miner's Corner County Park - Part 3

On the east side of Miner's Corner County Park there are underground petroleum pipelines and overhead electrical power lines.  

see Part 1  Part 2

On the west side of the park there's a playground for young children.

The west side of the park also has toilets, a basketball court, a covered slab with tables, a monument to the Snohomish County Council and the Parks Dept. and, near all these amenities is a play structure.

Since Miner’s Corner is in Snohomish County, perhaps the Monroe Correctional Complex inspired this play-structure.

Let’s play Hide & Seek because there’s an awesome hollow log in the weedy ditch, "perfect" for hiding.

 Or maybe under the footbridge is a good hiding place.

I'm certain they don't want children to be tripped or speared on decorative log landscaping ... surely the County’s landscape engineers considered every detail when they designed this park ... but having a surplus of fallen trees is sooo tempting.

Ironically, the County prides itself on the fact Miner's Corner is the first ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant park in Snohomish County.

None the less ... petroleum pipelines, power lines, a profusion of noxious weeds (Ragweed, Scotch Broom, etc) ... a sandbox near a pond, hollow logs near play structures, numerous logs with massive root tangles and logs along pathways which have projecting limbs and fractured spear-like breaks ... and lots of large rocks that will be slippery when it rains (this is the Pacific Northwest).

And, all of this interpretative park design because King County coughed up mitigation funds to build the Brightwater sewage plant in Snohomish County.

photos by Bill Stankus

park by Snohomish County's Department of Parks

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Snohomish County - Miner's Corner County Park - Part 2

On the east side of Miner's Corner County Park there are underground petroleum pipelines and overhead electrical power lines.  

see Part 1   Part 3

On the west side of the park there's a playground for young children. This area has a climbing structure, slide, swings and a large sandbox.  The sandbox is located next to a pond with elaborately shaped cement walls.

The pond, when full, spills over the cement wall and water is channeled around the sandbox and under a footbridge, which is near the children’s climbing structure.

The entire play area is landscaped with large rocks, logs (some solid, some hollow) and large logs with intact root masses.

The first three photos were taken April 2014 and the last three were taken September 2014.

Also, for different perspectives of the sandbox area – the large sculpture-like metal sand funnel can be seen in photo no.1 and no.2

drainage away from sandbox area, towards play structure (not shown in this set of photos).

pond spillway

A person noticed I was taking photos of the sandbox area and asked if I had seen the child’s ball in the pond.  She commented how tempting the floating ball would be to a child and then she remarked, “Why would they place a pond and ditch so close to a sandbox?”

photos by Bill Stankus


Friday, September 26, 2014

Snohomish County - Miner's Corner County Park - Part 1

Snohomish County’s Department of Parks has suggested (much like a tag team of old style car salesmen who've cornered you in their office with the door closed) … that Wellington Hills Park should become something it is not.

You see, Snohomish County was given the opportunity to spend “free” taxpayer money - given to it by King County because King County didn’t want the Brightwater sewage plant in their county – they wanted it in Snohomish County … and so tax money (with the fancy name, “mitigation”) changed hands.

Unfortunately, the residents of both North King County and South Snohomish County, living in the Woodinville Washington area, have become the targets of a massive redevelopment project; better known as the proposed Wellington Hills “Tournament-Level Sports Complex”, the brainchild (?) of the Department of Parks.

BTW, using the word “park” with this plan is an insult to all the small and large parks scattered across this Nation, Canada, Europe and other places – where there are parks for people of all ages to walk, stroll, hike, sit, rest, picnic, toss Frisbees, and enjoy peace, calmness and various forms of greenery.

Anyway, I’m starting a new series.  This time I'm showing two Snohomish County parks and both were built with Brightwater mitigation money.

I hope the photos reveal the skill level and commitment to the general public of the Department of Parks as they landscape and decorate with weeds and stumps, logs and odd and/or less than thrilling play structures.

Here are the first photos of, “Miner’s Corner County Park”, located at 228th St. SE and 45th Ave. SE.

Peruse the chart  … for the purposes of this blog, I’m referring only to the two parts of no.3 – the project: “39th/228th Park Facility”.

Paying attention? The address of Miner’s Corner is 45 & 228th. Curious isn’t it?

The next three photo were taken July 2013

This sign was on a temporary office building during the construction of Miner’s Corner Park.  Note who is the “Designer/Landscape Architect/Engineer”.

Looking eastward across the property during construction of the park. Essentially they made a flat, blank piece of ground with the following exceptions:

The upright lollipops say: “Danger Petroleum Pipeline, Olympic Pipe Line Co.” Note the power lines located above the petroleum pipelines.

Photo taken last week. 
I stood approximately in the same location as for the during-construction photo. The petroleum pipelines and the power lines are still there.

Also note - the two warning signs are best seen from 228th Street (note the street curb).

Mustn't forget one of the other major features of Miner's Corner County Park - the power lines.

So, you ask, why worry about Miner's Corner Park?

Because the people who designed Miner's Corner are the ones who want to spend 27 million dollars to replace the current Wellington Hills Park with a "Tournament-Level Sports Complex" ... and, as with the fore-mentioned car salesmen, expensive sizzle is what they're selling.

go to Part 2    Part 3

photos by Bill Stankus

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Beyond Wellington Hills Park: Why Preservation of the Park is Critical - Part 5

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Park 4

Returning to the basic question  - Should there be a green buffer, a true Northwest park   ...  located between family homes and a full-blown industrial area?

Looking past the row of skinny trees, located on the edge of the cliff at the western boundary of Wellington Hills Park, is a lower valley filled with industrial businesses, garbage trucks, storage rentals, and mounds of stuff.

Here's the edge of the hodge-podge commercial 'district' that's beyond the skinny trees  ... just west of Highway 9 and Route 522. Razor wire, fences ... and mounds of stuff on the ground.

Beyond the dust (?) cloud and the tree line are homes and Wellington Hills Park.

This reminds me of TV commercials showing the "before" of a super fund clean-up.

I didn't see armed patrols of SMIRSH or KAOS, but a guy in a pick-up truck kinda glared at me.

I think this is landscaping mulch or maybe it's pothole repair stuff.

Another pile?
What's this, you ask? 
It's a huge mound of worn out roofing shingles.

I mean, can you ever have too many old, used, extra large tires?

Nothing says Happy-Joy-Joy like a Smiley Face and bulging eyeballs.

The last pic is of the asphalt & concrete recycling business (the piles of stuff located in top third of the photo).

So, returning to the question of what should happen to Wellington Hills Park: 

Having a buffer between the businesses in the Route 9 valley and the residential area of Wellington Hills Park is not a luxury, it's an absolute necessity.

photos by Bill Stankus

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The awesomeness of concrete that isn't a Federal penitentiary, Normandy bunker or Soviet era missle silo

When you're stuck in Route 9 traffic near Costco (in Woodinville), cast your eyes eastward and marvel at the awesomeness of the pre-post minimalist-modernistic architectural wonder that's holding back a gazillion tons of dirt (and a future retention pond).

photos taken on a Sunday's late afternoon ... answering the question why there are no tourists taking selfies at this new landmark.

photos by Bill Stankus
August 2014

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Can't wait to see what happens when a few thousand more cars jam the road with the frustrating hope of getting to Snohomish County's Tournament-Level Sports Complex

I lied.  I can wait forever. Indeed, I hope the Department of Parks Sports Complex is never built - and it's soon consigned to that awkward looking, almost filled building in Everett ... the one with the spray painted sign: "Locked In This Building Are All Of Our Really Bad Ideas".

Time of photos
September 5, 2014 

240th Street SE & Route 9
Woodinville, Washington
Snohomish County

This is the intersection the tunnel-vision bureaucrats and their coven of "stakeholders" have decided, in their infinitely myopic and self-serving manner, should be the gateway to the "Tournament-Level Sports Complex" at Wellington Hills Park.

BTW - At the same time as these photos, the intersection at 195th & Route 9 was equally terrible.

photos by Bill Stankus
Sept. 5, 2014

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Beyond Wellington Hills Park: Why Preservation of the Park is Critical - Part 4

links to Part 1... Part 2 ... Part 3 ... Part 5

I was standing at that row of skinny trees located on the cliff (western boundary of Wellington Hills Park) for this set of photos.

Looking down on the roofs of Wellington Business Park.

As seen from the cliff's edge of Wellington Hills Park.
• Workers standing on the roof of one of the Wellington Business Park buildings.
• The scrap metal business, west of Route 9, is visible.


Businesses seen from the cliff's edge of Wellington Hills Park. 
The blue striped building is a wholesale restaurant supply business.


From the cliff’s edge, looking beyond the roofs of Wellington Business Park.
The building with three open doors is a scrap metal business.
• Parking lot full of Waste Management garbage trucks.

Miscellaneous businesses as seen from the cliff's edge of Wellington Hills Park. 

That's State Highway 522 at the bottom of the photo. 

Note the swath of trees which blocks the view of the nearby businesses from the highway ... in that narrow strip of trees is an important salmon stream - Bear Creek.

photos by Bill Stankus