By Chuck Wright.
It took 17 years before Snohomish County Executive John Lovick was able to dedicate Tambark Creek Park, our new south county playground and sports park. He and other Snohomish County and Mill Creek officials officially opened Tambark Creek Park on Friday afternoon, June 28, 2013.
During the 1996 embryonic stages of this park then Mill Creek City Councilmember Lovick, along with Councilmember Kathy Nielsen (current Mill Creek Mayor Pro Tem) began to visualize what this 40 acres might look like.
So when Executive Lovick dedicated Tambark Creek Park he was uniquely involved with both the visualization phase and the reality phase of this south Snohomish County (35th Ave. S.E.) park and sports field.
During the dedication ceremony Lovick made sure he gave due recognition to those individuals who had been lost from the park’s history for their involvement in Tambark Creek Park’s development.
One such citizen was Mill Creek resident Karen Brandon. Back in the late 1990’s the Mill Creek City Council appointed her to the Regional Citizen’s Advisory Committee (later to be named the Tambark Creek Park Advisory Committee). At the time of her appointment she was also the Chair of the City of Mill Creek’s Parks and Recreation Board.
It was Brandon's responsibility to report back to the Mill Creek Parks and Recreation Board and to advise them about any updates regarding the new south Snohomish County Park. She did this over a two-year period, with the majority of information passed on being about the continuous growth of the wetlands area and about changes to the State’s environmental law. With these new challenges it was hard to push the park’s development forward.
Then in the early 2000’s, the Regional Citizen Advisory Committee came back together again to receive feedback regarding what the final design of the park would look like. But once again, land use was restricted by the growing wetlands.
In the beginning the committee’s goal was to have four active use ball fields. Today, there is only one ball field, which is designed for multiple uses. To say the least, being on that committee was a challenging endeavor!
In recognition of Brandon’s contributions to this park, Lovick asked Brandon to pose with him as he reenacted the cutting of the ribbon, which had officially opened the recreational area to all.