Project Description: : Wards Lake Park is a 26 acre outstanding natural area in a densely populated area. Wards Lake, the parks namesake, consists of a freshwater pond of 6.34 acres and two freshwater forested-schrub wetlands that total 4.5 acres; the larger wetlands, once known as Owens Marsh, is 3.75 acres. In addition to providing important habitat for birds, fish, and amphibians, wetlands improve water quality and provide storm water and floodwater storage and conveyance. Wards Lake serves as an integral part in the greater Flett Creek water system.
The park is bordered by a five lane arterial to the north (84th St S), a sizable strip mall to the northeast, I-5 to the southeast, and dense residential areas to the south and west. These conditions greatly conceal the visibility of park. The main access to the park is currently located at 84th Street S. This busy arterial makes it hard to locate and safely enter the park. While currently limited in visibility and access, the park is full of untapped potential and opportunities.
In 2019, the City completed a new master park plan. Park improvements identified in this new plan include purchasing adjacent property to expand the park, removing aquatic vegetation affecting the storm water pond, updating pathways to connect to current trail system, expanding parking, replacing and adding trail bridges, adding a dog park, picnic shelters, new playground, pump track, and site furnishings and enhancing open space areas.
Estimated Cost: $1,960,000
Project Status: The City received a Pierce County Conservation Futures Grant to purchase 10+ acres of land to expand the park. Lot line adjustments and appraisals will be needed prior to property purchase. Property acquisitions is estimated to be completed by Winter 2020.
The City has applied for multiple grants for project construction which will be done in phases.