Clark Park needs your help to maintain it
EVERETT - The next step for Clark Park is getting the public involved.
The Parks and Recreation Department will hold a public meeting Tuesday, Jan. 24 to develop a “friends of the park” group that encourages people to adopt the park. Residents will take a role in keeping the park clean as part of being in the friends group.
The Parks and Recreation Department wants to know how interested people are in forming a “Friends of Clark Park” group. The friends group may become organized at the Jan. 24 meeting if there’s enough interest.
“Maybe people will pick up pieces of trash” or watch for suspicious activity, Parks and Recreation director Paul Kaftanski said last week. If someone sees a park user picking up trash, they might be encouraged to do it also, he said.
The community would lead the friends group with the parks department’s guidance.
“One of the key elements of a successful friends group is it becomes a cornerstone of the community,” Kaftanski said.
Clark Park once had a simple park watch system in place, but it disbanded, Bayside neighborhood resident Jim McNeil said previously. He’s met with the parks department to get a park watch going again.
The meeting will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 2324 Lombard Ave. (at the northeast corner of Clark Park) Tuesday, Jan. 24.
Improving Clark Park
In 2011, the department solidified an improvement list for Clark Park with the help of 30 community members. The list includes adding lighting, more picnic tables, a community garden and having events at Clark Park.
People said they want more events at the park. The department is working with the Y to add some, Kaftanski said.
“We’re trying to fill up the park at varying times of the day,” he said.
The city will summarize which recreation events will happen at Clark Park at the Jan. 24 meeting. A final schedule for when the amenities will be added also will be discussed at the meeting.
The remaining question is when to open the gazebo up to the public again. The gazebo’s been fenced off since October 2009 after continuous vandalism. The gazebo is a main park feature and a key subject among residents.
“We hope to get to a point where it won’t be fenced off” but would need it to be safe, Parks and Recreation Department assistant director John Petersen said.
The gazebo is a sticking point because it attracted homeless people and drug deals when it was open.
Clark Park, near the corner of Lombard and 24th Street, has a 118-year-old history.
The city acquired the 2.5-acre park in 1894 in the height of an economic depression after a public vote. The park was first named City Park; it later became Clark Park after being named for John Judson Clark, an early merchant and community booster.
By MICHAEL WHITNEY
Published Jan. 18, 2012