City Planning Improvements to Wards Lake Park

Wards Lake Park is a beautiful natural reserve in northeastern Lakewood. It is home to historic oak groves, natural habitats, a scenic lake, walking trails, and more. It could also benefit from improvements.

Visibility is poor in some areas of the park. These become prone to garbage dumping or camping. The entrance to the park is inconspicuous; many locals may pass by and never know to visit.

Parks & Recreation Director Mary Dodsworth shares ideas for the improvement of Wards Lake Park during a design meeting on April 12, 2022.
The city is finalizing designs for Wards Lake Park to prepare for permitting and construction.
A new dog park, walking trails, entry signage, and pump track will be popular attractions at Wards Lake Park.

The City intends to begin improvements by early 2023. Plans include the addition of a dog park, an ADA-accessible walking trail loop around the lake, a new bridge, and a “pump track”.

A pump track is a hilly course for biking and skateboarding. Riders coast up and down small hills and “pump” on the downslope to build momentum to crest the next hill.

A “Pump Track” in Leavenworth, Washington (Image courtesy of the City of Leavenworth)

The City hosted several rounds of public engagement to invite ideas for the park in 2019. The City published a video tour of proposed improvements in 2020. The City is now finalizing those plans to prepare for permitting and construction.

Construction is expected to begin by early 2023. Slight permitting delays are possible due to the sensitivity of the park’s wetland and natural habitats.

Local birder Russ Smith mentioned spotting more than 80 bird species in his years visiting the park. Wards Lake Park will soon be more inviting for its human visitors while remaining a sanctuary for its wild visitors.