Press Editorial

September 7, 2010

Get acquainted with new city parks

Issaquah has a new park, and it’s a beauty!

Actually, it’s three parks — Cybil-Madeline, Tollë Anderson and Issaquah Creek parks, located behind the Darigold plant on Rainier Boulevard. The three adjacent properties were acquired over the past 20 years, but until the city cut the weeds and tall grasses in recent weeks, residents couldn’t really see what a treasure they own.

First noted are the wide-open spaces, the kind that make you want to twirl in the sun or fly a kite, or spread a blanket and read a good book. But there are also towering evergreens, like the ones surrounding the beautiful white pine. There are fruit trees from a former orchard, and a stand of birches and other select, mature nursery picks. It’s worth visiting now, but will be even more glorious when the trees show their fall colors. Read more

Picnic kicks off effort to plan parks

August 31, 2010

Like a scene from a spring L.L.Bean catalog, a doe and a pair of fawns peeked from the trees along the creek bank in the fading light.

The deer moseyed from the brush along Issaquah Creek just as the Aug. 26 meeting to plan the future of Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks came to a close. The picnic hosted about 130 residents, city staffers and community leaders to start a monthslong process to plan the 15.5-acre downtown parks.

But as the meeting ended, the remaining attendees forgot ideas for trails, a playground and, maybe, a history museum, and all attention instead focused on the deer.

“They were supposed to be here an hour ago,” landscape architect Guy Michaelsen cracked.

The architect and the team from The Berger Partnership jotted dozens of ideas for activities and facilities onto giant sheets of paper. The early favorite: restrooms.

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City parks picnic to go ahead in rain or shine

August 26, 2010

NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 26, 2010

Bring ideas for the latest additions to the city parks system to a picnic — in rain or shine.

The city-hosted picnic at Tollë Anderson Park, 595 Rainier Blvd. N., starts at 5 p.m. Thursday. The city Parks & Recreation Department has tents ready to shelter picnickers from inclement weather.

The parks department planned the picnic for the 15.5-acre site in order for people to understand the terrain at Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks.

The city plans to spend up to $1.6 million to complete the plan and build the initial phase. Issaquah voters approved money to develop the parks in a 2006 bond. Conservation rules and requirements attached to land donations limit how the creekside parks can be developed.

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Landscape architect hopes outreach shapes city parks

August 17, 2010

The downtown parks strung along Issaquah Creek might not include a soccer field or a baseball diamond, but the former farmsteads could be a hub for lessons about local history and creekside ecology.

Map by Dona Mokin

The city and the landscape architect start the planning process for the parks next week, during a picnic at the 15.5-acre site. Planners hope the suppertime gathering affords residents a chance to explore the parks — Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek — peer inside old farmhouses and observe squirrels darting up trees and ducks bobbing in the creek.

Though preservation rules and limits on creekside construction shape how the park can be developed, landscape architect Guy Michaelsen said he hopes the setting inspires the picnickers to offer creative ideas.

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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

Bring ideas for Issaquah Creek-side parks to Aug. 26 picnic

August 7, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 7, 2010

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.

Gather at 595 Rainier Blvd. N. for the 5 p.m. picnic. The program — held on land set aside for the parks complex — starts at 6 p.m.

The city plans to spend up to $1.6 million to complete the plan and build the initial phase. Issaquah voters approved money to develop the parks in a 2006 bond.

Issaquah Parks & Recreation officials picked Seattle landscape architecture firm The Berger Partnership in late May. The firm also designed Cal Anderson Park and Warren G. Magnuson Park in Seattle.

Guy Michaelsen, principal at The Berger Partnership, outlined some initial ideas for the park during a June presentation to the City Council.

Compassion House units named for philanthropist

July 27, 2010

Compassion House — a nonprofit provider of housing for homeless people — plans to name a new downtown duplex after a longtime philanthropist instrumental to the construction.

Dignitaries will gather July 29 to dedicate the Julia L. Pritt House. The namesake philanthropist donated land for the housing units.

Join Mayor Ava Frisinger, Compassion House leaders and volunteer builders at the duplex, 260 S.E. Andrews St. The ceremony starts at 10 a.m.

Volunteers built most of the structure using materials donated by HomeAid Master Builders Care, a program of the Master Builders Care Foundation.

The foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, the largest homebuilding group in the nation.

The duplex will provide housing for two homeless families. Compassion House volunteers will work with the families to help them become self-sufficient.

Pritt died April 3 at age 77. In addition to the Compassion House donation, she donated money to help the city form downtown Cybil-Madeline Park.

Compassion House dedicates housing for homeless to late philanthropist Thursday

July 27, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. July 27, 2010

Compassion House — a nonprofit provider of housing for homeless people — plans to name a new downtown duplex after a longtime philanthropist instrumental to the construction.

Dignitaries will gather Thursday to dedicate the Julia L. Pritt House. The namesake philanthropist donated land for the housing units.

Join Mayor Ava Frisinger, Compassion House leaders and volunteers builders at the duplex, 260 S.E. Andrews St. The ceremony starts at 10 a.m.

Volunteers built most of the structure using materials donated by HomeAid Master Builders Care, a program of the Master Builders Care Foundation. The group also refurbished a home donated to Compassion House.

The foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, the largest homebuilding group in the nation.

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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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Issaquah Environmental Council digs for natural beauty

June 25, 2010

NEW — 3 p.m. June 25, 2010

The Issaquah Environmental Council is looking for volunteers to do their part for the planet and kick-off its summer 2010 restoration events.

The first event will be Saturday at Cybil-Madeleine Park. Plans are to focus on cleanup of debris and invasive plants to prepare the new park for installation of facilities, according to Barbara Shelton, program coordinator.

Events provide a fun and healthy way to maintain the natural beauty of Issaquah, Shelton said.

“It’s really refreshing and rewarding to dig out a blackberry root and to yank on ivy and know that it’s not going to grow up that tree,” she said.

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