December 14, 2010
Park vision must be bold, grand
The plan for Issaquah’s newest parks along Issaquah Creek should be nothing short of grand. Money should be no object.
While that logic flies in the face of today’s economic reality, city planners and landscape architects must remember that this isn’t a park for today. It may take two or three decades to see the trio of park properties — mostly located between Issaquah Creek and Rainier Boulevard North — to see the plan constructed.
Even after the plan has been established, it will take grant money, private and corporate donations and an almost certain voter-approved park bond to make the land become the “crown jewel” of the Issaquah parks system, as city leaders hope it will be.
The potential is there.
Architects have taken community input and have already drafted some integral ideas for the park design. A bridge over the creek, natural elements that complement the geography and some restoration of the historic components are all included for the 15.5 acres. A possible community garden and future use of the city shop land has been taken into consideration.
The plan is almost in place, but already we are hearing a chorus of “that would be too expensive,” eliminating some good ideas worth exploring, worth dreaming about.
We hope those ideas can stay on a wish list for the park, with preliminary plans in place to make them possible. That’s the only way dreams can come true, even if it’s up to future residents to make the final decision about funding the dream.
Too often, we’ve seen public projects be built for today’s use with today’s dollars. In this case, there aren’t even dollars — yet. It is a project that will likely be built in phases over many years, just as Tibbetts Valley Park was built.
But we believe having a well-planned vision of a park to inspire the soul will keep the Issaquah Creek parks plan moving forward.