Toni Droscher, (360) 902-8604
Janet Farness, FLSSP, (425) 577-3657
Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park hosting ‘beach party’ May 31
OLYMPIA – May 16, 2017 –The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park invite the public to a “beach party” to celebrate the newly completed renovation at Sunset Beach.
The Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park is hosting the event from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 31, near the Sunset Beach Bathhouse in Lake Sammamish State Park, 2000 N.W. Sammamish Road, Issaquah (Directions).
The event will include a celebratory ribbon cutting, music from an ensemble from the Sammamish Symphony and brief remarks from officials. The Friends group will provide refreshments. Following the ribbon cutting, attendees are invited to wander the new beach and discover the new features of the area.
For more information about the beach party activities, visit the Friend’s website: http://lakesammamishfriends.org
Sunset Beach improvements
Visitors to the park will now enjoy a nicely contoured beach, complete with new sand and gravel free from the silt and decomposed vegetation that had covered the area for decades and made the water murky. Swimmers will notice a tremendous improvement in visibility. New features at the beach include a ramp to allow people with disabilities to get into the water to swim, a sandbox, landscaping, benches, bicycle racks and a seat wall for enjoying the view.
Kids will especially be in interested in the sandbox, in which nine bronze sculptures have been buried under 6 to 12 inches of sand—just waiting to be unearthed. Olympia bronze artist Eric Holdener created the sculptures—a dragonfly, snail, salmon, frog, heron eggs, snake and more. The buried sculptures were the idea of the project’s designer, Bob Droll, a landscape architect in Lacey.
Bellevue-based Accord Contractors did the heavy work, which not only included adding new sand to the beach area but improving drainage to allow the sand to dry out more quickly after a rain.
Sunset Beach project and park master plan
The beach renovation and restoration project is part of a master plan for Lake Sammamish State Park adopted 10 years ago. The goal for this project was to concentrate swimming in the center part of the beach and to complete shoreline restoration projects to the north and south. In addition to improving nearshore fish habitat, the project is intended to make it easier for parents to watch over their children who are swimming.
The overall project also included adding a new boardwalk to lead park visitors from Sunset Beach to the mouth of Issaquah Creek. Completed in 2013, the boardwalk includes five interpretive panels to inform visitors about the fish that live in the lake and creek and the restoration projects State Parks has completed in the area.
As the beach project progressed, State Parks discovered that part of the project area was a low-functioning wetland. To mitigate for adding sand to that wetland, State Parks partnered with the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust to create a new wetland in the adjacent picnic area.
The cost for the beach and boardwalk project was about $3 million, with nearly three-quarters of the cost coming from three separate grant funds: an Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA) grant and Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) grants in the State Parks and Water Access categories. All of these grant programs are administered by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. One-quarter of the funding came from State Parks’ Capital budget.
Already completed in the park’s overall master plan for Sunset Beach are a new bathhouse building and a new all-access playground.
Other projects planned for Lake Sammamish include improvements to the picnic area at Sunset Beach, including new picnic shelters and a paved esplanade connecting Sunset Beach to Tibbets Beach. The park’s master plan also includes a waterfront activities center and a trails center.
For more information about improvements at Lake Sammamish State Park, contact Nikki Fields, Park Planner, (360) 902-8658 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park
Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting, enhancing and promoting Lake Sammamish State Park. The group formed in 2013 as a way for the park users and the community to foster communication among people interested in improving this jewel of a park in a growing urban area.
About Washington State Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.
Follow Washington State Parks:
Share your favorite state park adventure on the State Parks’ blog site at http://adventureawaits.com/
Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
1111 Israel Road S.W.
P.O. Box 42650
Olympia, WA 98504-2650
Washington Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388