This map, courtesy of the City of Blaine, shows the improvements city planners eventually want to make to Lincoln Park.
After two weeks of work slowed by a wetter-than-average May, the city of Blaine has completed the lion’s share of tree removal at both the north and south sides of Lincoln Park.
The city contracted with Everson-based Goodman Logging and Lumber to take down a number of trees at the D Street entrance to Lincoln Park. Some of these trees had been damaged in past windstorms and were in danger of falling across the pedestrian paths that wind through the 27-acre park, Blaine community development director Michael Jones said.
Most of the deciduous trees that were cut were removed to enhance views into and out of the park and make way for future improvements. Crews also removed about 100 small alder trees from the H Street side of the park.
While most likely years away and dependent on funding, park improvements will include adding picnic tables, installing a playground and adding an informational entrance sign to the D Street access area. Jones said he hopes the work done on the D Street side will make the park obvious and allow more residents to enjoy the trails it has to offer.
“Many people have driven past this without noticing it’s a park,” Jones said.
The next step is bringing in a landscaper to clean up some of the debris from tree cutting on the D Street side, Jones explained. The aftermath of felling trees may look traumatic, but Jones said Lincoln Park is a strong enough forest to reclaim the spots where trees fell.
Some of the larger logs were moved to Marine Park as part of ongoing beach restoration work, while the remaining salvageable timber was sold for more than $5,000 to local mills. Jones said these funds will be funneled into park operations to pay the logging company that removed the trees.
The city is also in the process of removing a handful of trees on the west side of the park, near the east end of E Street. These trees will be cleared as part of installation of a sewer line extension that will eventually feed future development in east Blaine, Jones explained.
The Lincoln Park tree removal is part of a larger effort to improve the area, in keeping with a March 2011 Lincoln Park Plan
. The plan calls for enhancing trails within the park while adding a paved parking lot on the D Street side that will be able to handle approximately 20 cars.
In October 2010, Blaine planning staff held a public meeting to gather input on Lincoln Park improvements from 24 Blaine residents. Meeting attendees agreed that improving public access to the park should be the city’s main priority.
Another high priority was increasing the safety of the park with more police protection and giving the park a more open feel. Jones said clearing trees near the park’s entrances is part of the city’s effort to make visitors feel safer.
Lincoln Park is the city’s oldest, having been established some time before 1920. It’s home to Douglas firs, western red cedars and big leaf maples in addition to a number of animal species, including a resident family of owl.