City leaders select architect for downtown parks

May 25, 2010

By Staff

City parks officials picked a Seattle landscape architect to plan the “crown jewel” of the municipal parks system — a network of parks at the confluence of Issaquah Creek and the East Fork in downtown Issaquah.

The confluence area includes three contiguous properties: Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks. City leaders refer to the area as the “crown jewel” of city parks.

The city selected The Berger Partnership, the firm responsible for redevelopment at Warren G. Magnuson and Cal Anderson parks in Seattle. Officials announced the deal May 24.

“We take our role as stewards of the environment seriously and continuously strive to achieve balance between people and nature,” Guy Michaelsen, a partner and the landscape architect, said in a news release. “The opportunity for Confluence Park to celebrate this balance is unparalleled — Issaquah had great foresight to acquire this natural treasure in the heart of its increasingly vital downtown.”

City leaders requested proposals from landscape architects in January; the city Parks & Recreation Department received 16 responses. Staffers culled the list to the five top-scoring firms, held interviews and then invited the final three firms to participate in a conceptual design competition. Staffers and community members then picked The Berger Partnership.

Though architects sketched a conceptual plan for the parks, the final plan will be developed with input from residents about the features park-goers want. But geography and preservation requirements will limit the parks to passive recreation, such as walking trails.

Issaquah voters approved money for development of the confluence area parks in a 2006 parks bond. The measure passed with 76 percent of the vote.

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