City officials and community members on Saturday dedicated Marysville’s newest park facility, Doleshel Park, while fittingly enough, snow fell on the property that was once a popular family-owned Christmas tree farm.
The 6.4-acre park at 9028 67th Ave. NE is located next to Kellogg Marsh Elementary School and Wilcox Farm Community Garden.
“This park dedication really is a special event, and we’ve been looking forward to it for a long time,” said Mayor Jon Nehring to some 40 individuals who attended. “Doleshel Park is a crown jewel of our community, and a great example of citizens stepping in to fill the gap when public resources are not available for projects such as this.”
Parks and Recreation Director Jim Ballew said that unlike other parks with playground equipment, and backstops for ball fields, Doleshel will be a passive park, much like Deering Wildflower Acres. Other amenities include an outbuilding, picnic tables, parking and a restroom.
To help celebrate the opening, visitors were given wildflower seed packets to plant in May in the park’s new wildflower meadow.
“Doleshel Park is for individuals and families to simply come in and enjoy nature,” Ballew said. “The park has three resident deer, and the area where we’re standing is going be grown as a wildflower meadow – a nice salad bar for the deer.”
The park also presents an excellent opportunity for educational and environmental field trips for students at Kellogg Marsh Elementary next door.
Nehring and Ballew praised project leader Bruce Paquette and the Marysville stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including Steve Lebo, Shonn and Sabina Mereness, and Jeff and Deanna Vaughan. Church volunteers contributed more than 1,000 hours of service into the community park over three years. Church volunteers returned yearly for massive weeding, clipping, cutting and removal of blackberry brambles, as well as laying mulch for the trails.
“I knew our group would step up,” City Council President and church member Jeff Vaughan said. “This project brings pride for our entire community.”
Vaughan said later that the property once was a place where families would build memories during the holidays. “Now we’ve been able to continue to provide families with new memories (in a different way).”Ballew pointed out that trees on the property were used in various ways – such as trail surface – to create a completely recycled park. Where six-foot tall firs once stood ready for delivery to homes at the holidays, those same rows of trees today are now 40 feet tall or higher.
A centerpiece feature at the park is a sturdy trail bridge spanning the meandering Allen Creek, thanks to an enterprising Eagle Scout project coordinated by Danyon Heacock.
Joined by his parents and friends, Heacock was all smiles after the audience applauded his hard work.
“I’m really proud of the bridge,” Heacock said. “I’m glad it’s going to be here for a really long time, and I’m proud of the team that worked on it.”
He plans to make monthly visits to the park start to check that the bridge stays in good condition.
Councilmembers Kamille Norton and Donna Wright also attended the park dedication, joined by Parks and Recreation Advisory Board members, Parks staff led by Manager Mike Robinson, and Doleshel family members.
Doleshel Park was purchased through Snohomish County’s Neighborhood Improvement Program in 2007.
Park hours are 7 a.m. to dusk.
For more information contact Marysville Parks and Recreation at (360) 363-8400.