Council approves 30-year agreement on construction, use of new field
StoryThe Metropolitan King County Council today gave its unanimous approval to a partnership that will create a year-round facility to accommodate the growing number of lacrosse players in the region. The adopted agreement between the County and Kirkland Youth Lacrosse allows for the construction of a lacrosse field with a synthetic playing surface at Big Finn Hill Park in Kirkland.
“This initiative will make a huge contribution to our livability in both recreation and quality of life,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague, the prime sponsor of the ordinance. “All involved have worked very hard to balance the needs of our student athletes while respecting the needs of neighbors that live near Big Finn Hill.”
“As the representative for the Finn Hill neighborhood, I am pleased this public-private partnership to improve Big Finn Hill Park is moving forward,” said Councilmember Bob Ferguson, co-sponsor of the legislation. “As the father of young twins, I know how important parks and playfields are to fostering vibrant communities.”
“The residents of northeast King County are fortunate to have numerous recreation opportunities, both active and passive, at Big Finn Hill Park,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert of Redmond. “This private investment in our park will provide a year-round public benefit for both adults and youth. We appreciate this partnership with youth athletics that will help young people improve their health and fitness and give them more opportunities to engage in positive activities.”
“This agreement with Kirkland Youth Lacrosse is an example of how partnering with the community can stretch King County’s limited resources and increase opportunities for kids to play sports,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips, Chair of the Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee. “I look forward to a successful partnership to build, operate, and maintain a new lacrosse field for the youth of our region.”
Big Finn Hill Park currently has a grass field that is used by Kirkland Youth Lacrosse, an organization with over 200 athletes and teams from third through eighth grade, as well as by the Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association. The condition of the field is impacted by weather, creating a difficult playing surface during the winter months.
One of the goals of the county parks legislation adopted by the Council in 2003—when the County, in response to a fiscal crisis, focused its Parks services on regional facilities, rural parks and trails—was increasing opportunities for community organizations to partner with the County to construct facilities at County parks in their communities. Kirkland Youth Lacrosse has agreed to construct a facility that includes a synthetic playing surface, fencing, lighting and fan seating that can be used for both lacrosse and soccer.
The legislation adopted by the Council approves a 30-year use agreement with Kirkland Youth Lacrosse. The organization would raise the funds needed to build the facility, and would get priority access during the lacrosse season. During other parts of the year, the field would be made available for organized local youth soccer through the Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association. King County Parks would be responsible for the maintenance of the field once it’s built and the field scheduling.