City opens two new parks

November 4, 2008

By Jon Savelle

In Issaquah’s green crown of parks, two new jewels are sparkling in the autumn sun.

Playground equipment is installed at Squak Valley Park South, the restrooms are complete and the parking lot is paved. The facility is ready for use, except for the grass play field. Photo By Jon Savelle.

Playground equipment is installed at Squak Valley Park South, the restrooms are complete and the parking lot is paved. The facility is ready for use, except for the grass play field. Photo By Jon Savelle.

They are Talus Neighborhood Park and Squak Valley Park South, both just completed and — mostly — ready for use. The one thing that isn’t ready is the freshly planted grass in the two junior-sized soccer fields at Squak Valley Park South. 

It needs to grow and develop a firm turf, said landscape architect Gary Carlson as he watched crews apply the finishing touches to Squak Valley on Oct. 28. Next spring, both fields will be outfitted with Green Shield drainage systems, after which they will be ready for legions of little cleated feet. 

In the meantime, temporary orange fencing has been installed to keep them out. 

But that won’t matter to children who want a playground with things to climb and slide upon. A colorful new structure is open now, conveniently close to parking and restrooms.

“At least kids can play on it,” Carlson said. 

Children already were doing that at Talus Neighborhood Park, even though the chipped-bark playground surface had not yet been installed and the structures were wrapped with tape. 

Nearby resident Jaime Finnegan was visiting the park with her two daughters, Ella, 2, and Shea, 4.

“We are eagerly waiting,” she said. 

Both parks incorporate some environmentally friendly features, such as pervious pavement to allow rain water to percolate through. Carlson said the restroom at Squak Valley is the vault type, which employs a waste-holding tank instead of a septic system (there is no sewer line to the site); that park also has a “rain garden” storm water detention pond, which is planted with native species and serves to clean and disperse runoff. The Talus restroom sports a solar panel on the roof that recharges battery-powered lighting, locks and irrigation timers. 

The Talus park cost $877,000 to build, of which $467,000 came from the 2006 parks and open space bond that raised $6.25 million. The remainder was pulled together from grants and mitigation fees. 

Funding for Squak Valley Park South was earmarked in the city’s 2008 budget. Roughly $1.2 million was spent on design and construction, of which $620,000 went to construction. Both the Squak Valley and Talus parks were built by McDonald & Company, of Enumclaw. 

Reach Reporter Jon Savelle at 392-6434, ext. 234, or jsavelle@isspress.com.

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