Architect offers bold plan for creekside parks

November 30, 2010

The proposed design for a downtown parks site includes a horseshoe-shaped bridge across Issaquah Creek and meandering trails. The Berger Partnership

Initial proposal emphasizes ecology and history at downtown site

Ideas abound for the downtown parks along Issaquah Creek: boulders for climbing, meandering paths, community gardens, historic farmhouses repurposed as meeting spaces and — the centerpiece — a horseshoe-shaped pedestrian bridge across the creek at the main stem and the East Fork.

The ambitious plan aims to transform the oft-overlooked, 15.5-acre site near Darigold into a destination. Seattle landscape architect Guy Michaelsen said the intent is to create a park site “unique to Issaquah and a reflection of Issaquah.”

The site — often referred to as the “crown jewel” in the municipal parks system — encompasses Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks. The effort is the largest parks project since the city built Squak Valley Park South in 2008 and the most ambitious plan since the city laid the groundwork for Tibbetts Valley Park more than 20 years ago.

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Women’s Club tea combines good times, charity work

November 2, 2010

Steamy tea, little sandwiches and sugary treats await those snacking at the third annual Harmony and High Tea hosted by the Issaquah Women’s Club.

After a group of friends founded the club in 1983, “just a couple of women who wanted to get together and have fun and do some good for the community,” the club has intertwined itself with Issaquah, forming friendships and donating funds to local groups, community outreach chair Mary Mallet said.

Tea aficionados chatter during the annual Harmony and High Tea auction organized by the Issaquah Women’s Club. By Debby Bader

At the tea, women of all ages can catch up with their family and neighbors. Joann McHolland plans to bring her 12-year-old granddaughter, who has already saved $100 to spend at the auction.

McHolland joined the club in 2002, after a vehicle accident made it difficult for her to pursue her other extracurricular activity: golf.

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Highlands residents seek another dog park

September 7, 2010

The only off-leash dog park in Issaquah could be joined by another off-leash park, if Issaquah Highlands residents succeed in a grassroots effort.

Kandis Paden, a highlands resident and business owner in the community, spearheaded the drive through the highlands homeowners association. Paden and other members of the neighborhood Pets-n-Pals Committee aim to turn a slice of city land near Central Park into a dog park.

“We’ve been asking for this to happen for a long time,” she said. Read more

City hosts park-planning picnic

August 10, 2010

Bring ideas to free Aug. 26 event

Head outside, grab a hot dog and offer ideas about the latest addition to the city parks system.

The city Parks & Recreation Department will host a picnic Aug. 26 for residents to share ideas about the downtown parks at the confluence of Issaquah Creek and the East Fork: Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks.

The parks department planned the picnic for the 15.5-acre site in order for people to understand the terrain.

“We want people to see the land, walk the land, see the farmhouses and walk the creek to get a sense of it,” city Parks & Recreation Director Anne McGill said.

The city maintains the historic Anderson and Ek farmhouses and farm buildings at the parks site. Read more

Picnic to kick off idea fest for creek park

July 6, 2010

Architect pledges to listen to all

The landscape architect hired to design a city parks complex along Issaquah Creek plans to ask residents about their ideas for the site during a picnic at the creekside site.

The late August picnic launches a monthslong process to shape the downtown parks at the confluence of Issaquah Creek and the East Fork.

Guy Michaelsen, principal at The Berger Partnership, a Seattle firm, said the parks should be flexible for many users, and a destination for residents from throughout the city.

“It is your Central Park — I know you have a Central Park — but this one will be really central,” he said during a June 29 presentation to the City Council. “This will be your central, central park.”

The city hired Michaelsen to lead the overarching design, or master site plan, for three contiguous properties spread across 15.5 acres: Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks.

The process to develop the parks — often called the “crown jewel” in the municipal parks system by city officials — starts Aug. 26. City Parks & Recreation Director Anne McGill said residents should expect details about the picnic in coming weeks.

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Investigators smell something foul in portable toilet fires

May 18, 2010

Something stinks in the Issaquah Highlands.

Fires set within about 24 hours of each other destroyed three portable toilets last week. Officials suspect foul play in the Grand Ridge Elementary School and Central Park blazes.

Firefighters responded to the first fire at about 10:30 p.m. May 11. Crews contained the fire to a toilet set up near a portable classroom.

Firefighters responded to another fire in nearby Central Park at about 11 p.m. May 12. Responders discovered a pair of portable toilets ablaze. Read more

Investigators smell something foul in portable toilet fires

May 13, 2010

UPDATED — 2:05 p.m. May 13, 2010

Something stinks in the Issaquah Highlands.

Fires set within about 24 hours of each other destroyed three portable toilets Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Officials suspect foul play in the Grand Ridge Elementary School and Central Park blazes.

Firefighters responded to the first fire at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Crews contained the fire to a toilet set up near a portable classroom.

Firefighters responded to another fire in nearby Central Park at about 11 p.m. Wednesday. Responders discovered a pair of portable toilets ablaze.

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Soccer club could be key to future of Klahanie Park

March 30, 2010

The process to transfer the county-run Klahanie Park to Sammamish has slowed, as King County officials and the Issaquah Soccer Club discuss ways to keep the park open. Read more

New design envisioned for downtown park

March 16, 2010

Issaquah landscape architect Dar Webb re-envisioned Pedestrian Park. Downtown boosters hope the proposal launches a discussion about the future of the park. Contributed

Advocates for downtown Issaquah want to transform the space between Jak’s Grill and Mandarin Garden from a blah concrete expanse into a vibrant park for pedestrians, musicians and festival vendors.

Michael Johnson, events director for the DownTown Issaquah Association, asked Dar Webb, a landscape architect and a downtown tenant, to re-envision the space known as Pedestrian Park. Webb presented a park lined with trees, planters and public art.

“That place would be unbelievably packed if we opened it up like this,” Johnson said.

The proposal received a warm reception from the city Arts Commission when Johnson and Webb presented renderings and discussed the idea March 8. However, any proposal to remake the park must go through the public process for all city projects.

The proposal presented last week merely shows how Pedestrian Park could be improved. Any eventual upgrades to the park will look different from the renderings Webb prepared.

Johnson said he hopes the proposal will encourage business owners, city officials and residents to re-envision the space. Read more

City wants Klahanie Park decision to hinge on growth

March 2, 2010

Local residents try to have their say in keeping Klahanie Park open, and which local jurisdiction they would like to see be its steward as King County officials plan to close the park. — By Greg Farrar

Issaquah city officials called last week for decisions about adding Klahanie Park to the municipal parks system to be made alongside long-term growth agreements.

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