In a unanimous vote last week, the Bothell City Council voted to finish the purchase of the former Wayne Golf Course—the largest parkland acquisition in the city’s history. It ends one phase of a years-long project to preserve the 87 acres of land for public use and wildlife, including habitat restoration for salmon along the mile Sammamish River that runs through the land.
Back in 2014, the golf course’s “Back 9” was set to be developed into luxury townhouses by a group that included Bothell’s mayor at the time. A group called One Bothell formed to oppose the development and preserve the green space.
In February 2016, community land trust Forterra stepped in and negotiated a deal to buy the land—both the 39-acre “Back 9” and the 50-acre “Front 9”—giving the city three years to come up with the funds to make it a city park.
Less than two years later, with some funding help from Washington State and King County, both parcels of land have been purchased back. Bothell and King County’s $7.8 million “Back 9” purchase, $400,000 of which came from the city, was approved last week. The city approved the $3.2 million “Front 9” sale few months ago.
The city still has to figure out a name for the park and how, exactly, they’re going to activate the space, which is currently home to former golf cart paths, acres of woods, and an apple orchard.
Early next year, they’ll be asking the public for names—but the park is public space starting right now.