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Lynnwood to use $2 million federal grant for Scriber Lake Park improvements

The city plans to to build a quarter-mile boardwalk and two wildlife viewpoints on the shore with the money, among other improvements.

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — When people think of Lynnwood many think of the Alderwood Mall, traffic or red light cameras.

But tucked away off busy 196th Street is a sea of green in the land of shopping centers and pavement.

"It's just sort of a green oasis," says Sarah Olsen, deputy director of Lynnwood's Department of Parks, Recreation and Arts. "You're immersed in nature in the middle of this urban environment."

Lynnwood's Scriber Lake was among three Washington cities that received grants from the National Park Service for improvements.

The park has been beaten up a bit over the years with vandalism, litter and the usual wear and tear.

Parts of the trail flood every year and it isn't accessible to people with disabilities. 

The Lynnwood Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts Department was given $2 million to build a quarter-mile boardwalk and two wildlife viewpoints on the shore of Scriber Lake in Scriber Lake Park.

"We were all pretty shocked when we won it," Olsen says. "It's pretty amazing."

The city also plans to improve the connections to a floating dock, update the parking and route to the parking lot to improve accessibility for people with disabilities and restore the shoreline habitat.

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The goal of the development project, according to the city, is to "provide year-round access to the natural environment for residents of the city's lowest income neighborhood by replacing a flooded trail with an ADA accessible half-mile walking loop trail."

With 24 acres of wetlands, a lake, streams, trails, forest and hillsides, Scriber Lake Park is home to a variety of waterfowl, osprey, largemouth bass, perch, river otter and beaver.

Scriber Lake Park was originally part of a 160-acre homestead from 1890. Twenty-four acres were turned into the park back in 1981.

"It's a really beautiful gem to discover," says Olsen.

Seattle and Spokane were the other two cities that received grants from the NPS. In the Emerald City, the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department received just under $1 million for improvements to Maple Wood Playfield in the Beacon Hill neighborhood.

The money in Seattle will go to grade the fields and add drainage, irrigation, a grass playing surface, backstops, dugouts and bleachers at the Playfield. The play equipment and parking will be updated to provide more accessibility for people with disabilities.

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