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Park space plentiful on Ridge

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SNOQUALMIE - Snoqualmie Ridge is best known for its $250,000 to million dollar houses, but they're not the only things that entice the people who live there.

The community also has several parks and trails. Meadow Park is the largest park with 16 acres, and contains just about everything. The tennis courts have three nets, the basketball court has two hoops and the soccer field is large enough to accommodate players young and old.

According to Parks Superintendent Jeff Mumma, the Snoqualmie Valley Youth Soccer Association and the Eastside Soccer Association will be making use of the soccer fields in the future.

Meadow Park also has a play area, plenty of grass and a paved walking path on the perimeter of the soccer field.

Parking is not a problem as there are at least 50 spots, and the lot is well lit. Restrooms are also available.

Stellar Park seems like a fitting name for the park that is surrounded by wetlands, woods, and a dozen or so beautiful homes. It also has a regulation-size Little League baseball field that the Fall City Little League Association is in charge of. They schedule teams for the field, and get first priority to play there.

The park also has picnic benches, a toy train for kids, one basketball hoop on a full court and a bike rack. Restrooms and parking are available here, too.

Muir Park is not finished yet, but will have lots of open space and benches.

"It is probably the least active park we have up there," Mumma said.

The community will have several of these "active" parks, according to Tom Nolan, director of sales at Snoqualmie Ridge.

Except he calls them passive parks - those that will have the sole purpose of providing rest and quiet. Just up the way from Muir Park will be another passive park. It has not been named by the city of Snoqualmie yet, but it's much of the same with grass, benches and plenty of nature. It also has one play toy, an aerodynamic jungle gym with wooden planks for climbing.

Once the parks are built by the contracting company, they get turned over to the city to name and maintain.

"All the parks in this community will be in the city of Snoqualmie," Nolan said.

Also interesting to the terrain is a natural interpretive area, just behind Meadow Park and wedged among three different neighborhoods.

Mumma said the 13 acres will have a bog with a pier, and trails on which to walk.

It will have signs that explain what is living in the bog and how it fits into the ecosystem. Construction should be completed this fall.

Mumma also said each cluster of neighborhoods will have its own park. He said it was important that the Ridge have lots of parks and open spaces so that people could walk from their homes instead of having to drive.

"There will be over 20 mini-parks with play equipment, benches and picnic tables," Mumma said. "The city right now owns and operates four, but there are another seven or eight that are soon to be turned over to the city."

Snoqualmie residents will also be able to use the extensive trail system - 20 miles of soft-surface and paved trails that line the outer edges of the neighborhoods and the natural interpretive area. A soft-surface trail will be constructed south of the Home Finding Center that will parallel the Snoqualmie Parkway and eventually hook up with it. It is expected to be completed next summer.

The total acreage of all the parks is estimated to be 80 acres once finished. Nolan said that a park just off Snoqualmie Parkway near the business park will have a climbing wall, swing sets, tennis and maybe a basketball hoop. It should be ready by the end of this month.

The city has also been tossing around the idea of building a 5.5 million dollar community center that would have basketball hoops, a weight room, an aerobic room with locker rooms, banquet facilities, kitchen, three multi-purpose classrooms for art or as rental space and a small office.

Three surveys have been sent out by the city and according to Mumma, residents of Snoqualmie prefer a multi-use facility first, rather than a community pool.

"We don't know who will run it," Mumma said. "The first goal was to get a building built and then after fundraising, work on logistics to find the most cost sufficient but highest quality facilities."

Mayor Fletcher has just hired a consultant and will hear recommendations from the feasibility report before taking any action. Mumma did not know yet how they will raise funds for the center.

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