In February 2018, the City Council passed Sumner’s updated Parks, Trails & Open Space plan. We updated this plan with hundreds of messages and input from the public that we gathered via signs in parks, open houses, pop-ups (with Popsicles!) in the park and more. Your input highlighted the need for more parks and identified the neighborhoods under-served by Sumner’s existing parks and open space. The Plan also identified future amenities that people would like, ranging from spray areas to dog park to pickleball courts. Once new space is identified and obtained, the City launches a new public process to identify which amenities should go into which of Sumner’s potentially new parks.
The dream of having a new park on Sumner’s east side to serve residents in Sumner’s north-east neighborhoods took its first step closer to forming into a potential plan. Our grant application to Pierce County Conservation Futures moved to the level just below funding at the October 8 County Council meeting. This means that it isn’t funded outright but is the next in line should the funded projects from the previous grant cycle not use all their money. The funding we requested would go to hopefully purchase four acres of land just off the East Valley Highway near the Creekside neighborhood and others in our north-east residential area. A key goal of this fund and our application is to preserve open space and natural areas from development for future public use.
While this is great news, it is just the first step forward that may or may not happen. If we receive funding, we will begin a public process that includes neighborhood engagement about the location and amenities. Additionally, we would have to negotiate with the landowner on a purchase and sale agreement. From there, we would seek more funding sources to design what this park/open space should look like.
A brand new park is still very far off, but it’s one initial step forward. The same plan also identified the need for a pedestrian bridge crossing over SR410 to reconnect the Rivergrove neighborhood. This project was recently awarded design funding from Sound Transit to increase access to their station. The design process will also involve public input to help shape a dream and need into a more concrete plan that helps obtain more funding to make it a reality.