New design for Juanita Beach Park to create accessible playground

The project also establishes two new picnic pavilions and a new bathhouse.

Visitors to Juanita Beach Park will have a new bathhouse, two new picnic pavilions to choose from and new playground equipment — inclusive of abilities — by spring 2020, thanks to a construction project that begins this fall.

The bathhouse’s new location will maximize westward views of Lake Washington from the park, according to a city of Kirkland press release. The new building will offer space for concessions, life-guarding equipment and management. Its restrooms will be open year-round.

One of the project’s major achievements is that it enhances protection of Juanita Creek and the 1.2-acre wetlands that surround it, the release states.

“This project offers improved amenities for the community while also protecting the natural environment,” said Kirkland parks and community services director Lynn Zwaagstra in the release.

To improve and expand the buffer protecting Juanita Creek and its wetlands, the project will relocate the north-to-south trail slightly to the east of and adjacent to the new bathhouse. It will also establish low-lying native vegetation, such as vine maple, sword fern and salal, the release states.

The city of Kirkland designed the new playground to be inclusive and accessible to children of all abilities. The surface, for example, will be a stable, synthetic play grass with play equipment specifically designed to include those with physical and cognitive disabilities, according to the release.

“The city is dedicated to ensuring that all people have access to the benefits of local parks and recreation,” Zwaagstra said in the release. “We are currently working on developing a formal inclusion policy for all parks.”