Juanita’s Edith Moulton Park will remain closed through July as the City of Kirkland begins renovations that will add gravel paths, a boardwalk, pavilion, restroom, play structure and multiple off-leash dog trails.
Allied Construction’s crews broke ground on the project Monday and will work between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays until the project is completed sometime in July. The crews will maintain local access for residents, mail delivery, garbage pick-up and emergency vehicles along 108th Avenue Northeast where some of the renovations are taking place. According to the city, there will be potential traffic delays that could impact pick-up and drop-off times for Helen Keller Elementary School.
Kirkland’s City Council approved a master plan for the park in 2015 followed by a $1 million design and renovation budget. The project is funded through the 2012 Parks Levy, which was approved by Kirkland voters. The renovations include ADA compliant parking spots, a new bicycle lane and a sidewalk replacement along the park’s western border with 108th Avenue Northeast that will add access for those who are visually impaired or are traveling by wheelchair.
According to Michael Cogle, deputy director of Kirkland’s Department of Parks and Community Services, the city aims to maintain a balance between developed recreation spaces and natural undeveloped areas; enhance the park for small neighborhood, school or family gatherings; improve park access; preserve the park’s forests; enhance wetland and stream habitats; and provide fenced, off-leash dog trails to prevent negative effects on other users or wildlife habitat.
The park is named after Edith Moulton who owned the property until her death in 1967. According to the city and assessor’s records from 1939, the property contained 15 fox pens and a combination of orchard, cleared pasture, uncleared stump land and second growth. Moulton visited and cared for the property throughout her life and starting after 1954, she even lived on the premises for short periods of time.
Moulton willed the property to King County as a public park, which now features 26 acres of lawns, forested area, trails and parking areas. Kirkland annexed the park along with Juanita in 2011.
The Moulton family buildings no longer remain as the farmhouse was destroyed in a fire a year after Moulton’s death and King County renovated the area with walking paths, rock walls, parking lots and a picnic area.
“Her dream was for her family homestead to be used as ‘a place for children to play in nature,’” Cogle said. “This vision has been a guiding principle for our work in improving the park.”