Work to begin to revitalize neighborhood park in Evergreen
EVERETT - This is the year when a patch of green space surrounded by old trees will start to become a public park.
Neighbors in the south-central Evergreen Neighborhood are concentrating on revitalizing 1.8 acres located at the corner of Madison and Morgan streets and turning it into a passive park.
A work party is scheduled for Saturday, April 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Future work parties are planned for May 18 and June 29 at the same time.
The Evergreen Neighborhood is driving the plans for its neighborhood park, assistant parks and recreation director John Petersen said last week.
Ideas for the park include walking trails, interpretative gardens and relaxation areas. An arborist’s report suggests the property would be ideal for a rain garden and community garden.
For the last decade, the neighborhood has been working to turn the land into a public space, and work in the next two years will accomplish that goal.
Neighbor Jack Lockhart is the property’s forest steward and manages the restoration of the park’s old cedar, fir and other native trees. The work party on April 20 will clear out ivy rooted onto the trees and invasive plants from the forest floor.
Lockhart has more than a decade in natural restoration work and is a natural fit as the Madison-Morgan forest steward, Petersen said.
“He’s a volunteer extraordinaire,” said Joanna Nelson de Flores of the nonprofit Forterra, who is involved through the Green Everett Partnership.
The park will always be a work in progress, but this year most of the plans to turn the property into a park should solidify, Petersen said.
“Over the next couple of years, we will achieve an awful lot of things,” Petersen said.
The property is one of three initial forests Forterra is restoring under Forterra’s Green Everett Partnership, a 20-year plan to restore 354 acres of forested park lands.
The property is a high-priority forest because of its old trees, which are highly susceptible to invasive species, Nelson de Flores said.
The area was logged off in the 1890s, so a dominant share of the trees that remain are a century old, said Dennis Dudder, chair of the nearby View Ridge-Madison Neighborhood.
The site was more recently used as a homeless campsite, which neighbors got rid of, Lockhart said.
The property remained in a natural state all these years because the Deckmann family of Everett held onto the land.
Residents were instrumental in getting the city to acquire the property in the late 2000s.
They worked with Nick Harper, now a state senator who at the time headed local land conservation efforts for Forterra.
Residents wanted to achieve Janice Deckmann’s interest in turning her family’s property into a park.
When Henry Deckmann built his home at 528 Madison St., Madison was used to send logs westward to the water.
The property became part of the city in 2011 with $350,000 in grant money from the Snohomish County Conservation Futures Fund.
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