Si View parks district prepares for second season of programs

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NORTH BEND - As the Si View Metropolitan Parks District enters its second year of operation, its programs and facilities are starting to become more polished.

The Si View Community Center pool has been drained for repairs, the baseball field is getting set for the new Little League season and many of the walls inside the nearly 70-year-old facility have received a new coat of paint.

They are small but important steps in the relatively short life of the parks district, which was formed in 2003. In 2002, King County shuttered the doors to the Si View Community Center, a North Bend institution since it was built in 1938. The district, which covers all of North Bend, the unincorporated areas surrounding the city and Snoqualmie, got a more than 70-percent approval rating from residents in 2002 who did not want the community center to close down. Now the district has been trying to expand its programs and prove that Si View is more than just a pool.

"I know it sounds like a cliché, but we want to have something for everyone," said Si View director Jessi Richardson.

The community center remains the main hub of many of the district's activities. The pool will continue to have public swim times throughout the week and swim lessons for all ages. Swimmers can also get involved with the competitive swimming team, the Rip Tides.

Adult fitness programs will continue and expand this season. Cardio-kickboxing and Pilates classes will continue, but Si View will also be offering Hapkido (Korean martial arts), Chow Qigong (stretching and agility) and a self-defense class.

Organizers at Si View want to offer as much as they can to Valley youth. The center will be offering a Teen Recreation Adventure Camp this year for those in grades 6-8, and Camp Si View for K-5. In addition, there are numerous fitness and recreation classes for preschool children.

A new program this year will be Community Club, a group of activities for people 16 and over with special needs. The camp meets every Monday for a month and allows participants to go on field trips, swim, see movies, and take part in arts and crafts.

Another underserved population Si View has identified in the Valley are singles, and the district is offering coed athletics such as softball and basketball to get people together.

"It's really about having fun," Richardson said. "We want people to come, even if they can't swing a bat [for softball]."

Si View is also offering a full range of dance classes, where couples or singles can come and learn tango, swing, salsa, nightclub, line dancing and even the hustle.

Peppered in between them all are classes that don't quite fit into any category, such as drum classes and belly dancing.

This summer the district has partnered with other groups in the Valley to increase its recreational options. Meadowbrook Farm, located between Snoqualmie and North Bend and maintained by the Meadowbrook Farm Preservation Association, will host events that highlight the farm's cultural and natural history. The city of Seattle's Cedar River Watershed Institute near North Bend will also host programs at its interpretive center that focus on the area's human and ecological significance. The Mount Si Senior Center in North Bend is teaming up with Si View as well, offering activities and nutrition programs for Valley seniors.

Although it has only been around for two years, Richardson said the parks district has been growing steadily since Si View reopened its doors. New programs have been added as the district finds teachers for classes. The district's budget is just over $1 million and there are now seven full- and part-time employees. The district's commission will be devising a long-term capital plan for the district and searching for ways to fund a more thorough renovation of the community center, which has not undergone any major work in six years.

"We are adding new programs all the time," said Si View special project coordinator Wanda Boe.

* Spring and summer programs at Si View start next month. For information, pick up the new bulletin at the Si View Community Center, 400 S.E. Orchard Drive, North Bend, or visit

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