BOTHELL, December 12, 2017 – The Bothell City Council voted tonight to complete its acquisition of the former Wayne Golf Course just south of downtown Bothell. With this action, the Council agreed to add thirty-six acres from the course’s old Back Nine to the fifty acres of the former Front Nine. The City paid $3.2 million for the Front Nine (a transaction that, as it happens, closes today), and together with King County will purchase the Back Nine for $7.8 million.
The land is currently held by local conservation and sustainability organization Forterra, which — at the urging of the citizens group One Bothell and others — acquired the land in 2016 to protect it as potential parkland. At the time, plans were in motion to turn much of the land into a luxury-home development. Forterra and partners instead proposed a vast green expanse for recreation, exploration, and wildlife habitat — including salmon, with a segment of the Sammamish River traversing the site. Given its location at the doorstep of Bothell’s new downtown, and abutting the wildly popular Burke-Gilman Trail, that park also promises to be a vibrant community hub. With tonight’s vote, that vision moves closer to reality.
“Like places all over Puget Sound, Bothell is experiencing explosive growth,” comments Gene Duvernoy, Forterra’s president. “Maintaining the livability of the city and the region demands that all the elements come together, from affordable housing, to cultural spaces, to spots where people can get outside, hike, play, and breathe free. We’re honored to have a part in securing what can become Bothell’s Central Park and another keystone of a great future for our region.”
Adds Forterra’s Executive Vice President, Michelle Connor: “Forterra is proud to have stepped in for the save. How often do we get a ‘do over’ on the story of a treasured greenspace lost to development? It took a courageous stand by citizens, the generosity of philanthropists to take a big financial risk on us, and gutsy elected leadership.”
“The City of Bothell’s purchase of the Wayne Golf Course is very important to our community and our region,” states Andy Rheaume, Mayor of Bothell. “The preservation of this land for public use and watershed health is a huge accomplishment and testament to the many people that came together to make this possible. I thank Forterra and all the partners, as well as the members of our Council and our city manager, Jennifer Phillips, for getting us to this milestone.”
Two indispensable partners have been King County and the State of Washington, both of which have made sizable grants to defray costs. Remarks King County Executive Dow Constantine, “We seized the opportunity with our partners to create a vibrant, spacious new park that will bring friends, families, and communities together for generations to come. Connecting the new park to the popular Burke-Gilman Trail will help us knit together our region’s world-class trails, parks, and greenspaces.”
“Tonight’s vote by the Bothell City Council to acquire the Wayne Golf Course in partnership with Forterra and King County is a testament to the impact a grassroots community organization can have on our regional landscape,” observed King County Council Vice Chair Rod Dembowski. “I particularly want to thank OneBothell and Forterra for their considerable effort to make today’s vote a reality. Without their foresight, leadership and commitment to protecting and preserving this one-of-a-kind community and environmental asset, we would not be celebrating today. This is a legacy achievement that generations to come will forever appreciate.”
Jesse Sears of the citizens group OneBothell comments: “Given that the land was on the verge of being developed, it was a tall order to turn things around. But the dream of a big, glorious park for our kids and our community kept us fired up from the start to the finish. It’s going to be tremendously exciting to see what this place becomes in the years ahead. Thank you to the people of Bothell, our City leaders and staff, Forterra, the County and the State for being part of an incredible effort.”
The park has many special features that make it a keystone for the Bothell community, and the region at large. Adjacent to popular Blyth Park and adjacent to the Burke-Gilman Trail, the new park can provide hiking, biking and running trails, as well as public river access. Other features include an historic apple orchard together with acres of woods. The site is one of the last large, private, undeveloped acreages anywhere in the central Puget Sound metropolitan area.
Dedicated to regional sustainability in all its dimensions — environmental, social, and economic — Forterra secures urban, rural and wild places with a keystone part in our shared future. Using skills in community-building, negotiation, real estate, land stewardship, and policy advocacy, Forterra has over its 25+ year history been part of more than 400 separate land transactions. These have protected upward of 250,000 acres — from remote wildlands, to working farms and forests, to city parks, to urban property for affordable housing. More at Forterra.org.
Media assets available for download
Photographer: Charlie Raines/Forterra
Credit: King County