Everyone who had something to do with the latest round of improvements to Torguson Park — ball field updates, a new restroom and concessions building and a walking trail — joined in the cutting of the ribbon to celebrate Thursday, Sept. 14 at the park. (Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo)

North Bend cuts the ribbon on updated ballfields, other improvements at Torguson Park

Turf fields, a new concessions stand, a walking trail, and the removal of the explosion-damaged storage building were all celebrated as improvements in North Bend’s Torguson Park Sept. 14.

A few raindrops fell on the crowd of about 100 people celebrating the completion of Torguson Park improvements last Thursday, but spirits were high until North Bend Public Works Director Mark Rigos started talking baseball.

Rigos first thanked a long list of people who had contributed to making the project, three years in the works, happen. These included City Planner Mike McCarty, Public Works Office Coordinator Carrie Smith, landscape architect Scott Holsapple, Rodarte Construction, John Day Homes, Si View Park Operations Manager Dave Dembeck, as well as the Si View Park Board and staff, and Sno-Valley Little League, all of whom contributed to the creation and maintenance of the improvements.

Then, he said, “I guarantee this project would not have happened without Jonathan Rosen.” North Bend City Councilman Jonathan Rosen had been a tireless advocate of the updates, especially to the ballfields, since the project started.

“But he’s a Yankees fan,” Rigos added, and the crowd groaned.

They recovered enough to hear Rigos out on future improvements to the park, too, including a future “pump track,” a course with varying degrees of elevation, allowing riders to navigate the track without pedaling.

Rosen’s dedication to the $1.6 million project to expand the fields, improve drainage and add turf, build a restrooms and concessions building, and build a looping trail through the park, earned him the honor of throwing out the first pitch after cutting the ribbon on the new and improved Torguson Park.

Caleen Cottingham, director of the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office also spoke at the ribbon cutting. Some of the funding for the park project came from her office, via the U.S. Congress, she said, adding “See, good things do come out of Olympia!”

She urged the audience to thank their state and federal legislators for the funding, and congratulated the city on the project.

Guests were served hot dogs and hamburgers cooked by the Snoqualmie-North Bend Police Department and made guesses as to the completed distance covered by the new trail. Two winners, David Olson and Logan Litsjo, were tied for the best guess. The answer was .56 miles.

Torguson Park is North Bend’s largest park.

The project is funded by a $127,250 grant from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, a donation of $80,000 from Little League, an $87,000 insurance claim for damages from a nearby gas explosion in 2014 and city funds of approximately $1.3 million.

Long-range plans for the park include 75,000 feet of basketball courts and parking for 100-to 200 vehicles, plus, in the near term, a new pedestrian entry to the park, when construction begins on the Phoenix Plaza, a residential and retail project on North Bend Way.

North Bend Public Works Director Mark Rigos points out the game to guess the length of the new walking trail, one of the latest park improvements celebrated Sept. 14 at North Bend’s Torguson Park. (Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo)

North Bend City Councilman Jonathan Rosen, an advocate of the Torguson Park improvements since they were first proposed, had the honor of throwing out the first pitch Thursday. (Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo)

Snoqualmie Police Explorers helped stock a cookout in celebration of the Torguson Park improvements. (Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo)

More in News

The Snoqualmie skate park will be located directly to the south of the existing basketball court and will offer sweeping views of nearby mountains. Aaron Kunkler/Staff photo
                                The Snoqualmie skate park will be located directly to the south of the existing basketball court and will offer sweeping views of nearby mountains. Aaron Kunkler/Staff photo
Snoqualmie skate park developer awarded contract by council

The council approved a public works contract with Gridline Skateparks to build the park.

Seattle and King County officials want a safe injection van

The mobile project—an alternative to permanent sites—still doesn’t have a defined timeline.

An autopsy found that Tommy Le was shot twice in the back during an fatal encounter with a King County sheriff’s deputy. Photo courtesy Career Link
New report calls for increased transparency from King County Sheriff’s Office

The fatal shooting of Tommy Le served as a case study for researchers.

North Bend Council member Pettersen resigns

Applications for vacant position now open.

A scene from the 2017 Women’s March Seattle. Photo by Richard Ha/Flickr
County sexual harassment policies could be overhauled

One King County councilmember says male-dominated departments have “workplace culture issues.”

Western Washington could see more wildfires this year

Lots of grass and warmer weather could make for worsening fire seasons.

Authorities target violent drug traffickers in series of Puget Sound busts

More than 80 “drug dealing conspirators” have been arrested over the past four months.

Seven Puget Sound residents are suing Sound Transit for $240 million. Photo by Atomic Taco/Wikipedia Commons
Sound Transit faces $240 million class-action lawsuit

An Auburn lawmaker has organized a suit that claims the new car tab taxes are unconstitutional.

Teen suicide prevention event in Bellevue educates parents

YES hosts suicide prevention event to equip parents with tools to support teens.

Snoqualmie City Hall. File Photo
Snoqualmie to explore partnership with Fall City Fire

Snoqualmie Council approved staff to explore four partnership options.

City breaks ground on long-awaited North Bend City Hall

New facilitiy is estimated to cost about $6.7 million.

Tips for staying safe around Washington wildlife

In the wake of a deadly cougar attack near North Bend here’s some tips on staying safe.