Destined to be a park, group tours Ludwig Road site
Parks board members and city project manager Ann Stanton (third from left) explored the Ludwig Road future park site in Snohomish last week. In the background is the farm house in question.
SNOHOMISH — Rolling fields, tricky wetland, shady cedar groves and historic farm buildings.
It’s a placid 10 acres that the city eventually wants to turn into a mostly natural large park at 2000 Ludwig Road when it can get the money.
The city purchased the land about a year ago through grants and park impact fee funds, but is yet to get sufficient funds to develop the land into a park. Based on the long-range park plan, developing the land is estimated to cost $3.4 million.
Even so, the city’s parks board strolled the property last week and gave their reactions.
Some of the ideas for the property are a series of property improvements, building rehabilitations and the reorganization of some of the land uses for park recreation. Among the potential features the city lists are a children’s play area, lawn, paved loop trail, hard-surfaced court, picnic shelters and barbecue pits, dog parks (both leashed and off-leash), performance areas, restrooms and perhaps a seasonal farm or petting zoo.
An original 1907 farmhouse sits vacant at the forefront of the sprawl, and is the city’s first decision point. They want to put an artist in the building.
“The issue is whether or not to repair the leaking roof, which (City Council) will decide at the meeting on July 15. And I’m still looking into potential artist-in-residence programs that could (be placed at the house at 2000 Ludwig),” park project manager Ann Stanton said to the board. “There’s so many programs out there. It’s really kind of exciting. The artist lives here, pays rent, and contributes somehow to the community through their work.”
The board likes the idea, but may not like the price tag for the roof.
To preserve the house roof it will cost $25,000. To lease/rent the house it will cost $52,000 plus, because the city would have to make repairs beyond the roof to rent it out. To demolish the house it will cost $32,000.
“We didn’t buy this property for a building, we bought it for land,” park board member John First said. “I think there’s a lot of great potential for how this house could be used, but we need to look at costs.”
The many multiple groves of cedar trees made the biggest impression on the board. As they entered each grove, ducking down to avoid the long-reaching branches, the sunlight was blocked out and the air was cool and fresh. The cedar trees stood at some 20 or 30 feet tall. Out beyond the cedar groves were brambles of blackberry bushes, tall grass and invasive plant vines.
The property includes a main house, an old barn, a chicken coop, and a small outbuilding near the pond. The board examined the structures on the pond, such as the bench and bridge. Bullfrogs provided ambient background music.
The walking tour was arranged so the board could get a close and personal look at the property’s unique features.
The City Council will decide what to do with the house’s roof at the July 15 meeting, as well as the future of the park and ideas on how to develop it.