An artist’s rendition gives an idea of what Buckley’s climbing boulders could look like. Courtesy image

An artist’s rendition gives an idea of what Buckley’s climbing boulders could look like. Courtesy image

“Climbing boulders” coming to Buckley

Enumclaw is also weighing skate park options.

Recreation projects in both Enumclaw and Buckley – the first still in early planning stages, the second about to become reality – were recently in the spotlight.

In Enumclaw, talks have started in earnest about replacing the city’s aging skate park. On the list of hurdles that need to be cleared, No. 1 is money. In Buckley, plans have been approved and the funds are available to build a “climbing boulder” feature.

In Buckley, the notion of a climbing feature, complete with “hand hold” devices, came when the city last updated its Parks and Recreation master plan. City Administrator Dave Schmidt said the addition to the city’s recreation inventory has been included in the municipal budget the past few years.

This time around, it’s happening. Members of the Buckley City Council awarded a pair of bids during their April 9 meeting, giving their official blessing for the $65,000 project.

The climbing boulders will be near the skate park, but west of the Foothills Trail. Schmidt said some sort of barrier, still undecided, will separate the new feature from busy state Route 410.

There will initially be a pair of climbing boulders but plans allow for a third at a later date, Schmidt said.

The council action included a $53,000 contract with AllPlay Systems, a Sequim, Washington, company. The two sculpted boulders account for $33,000 and other major costs include installation of the boulders and the spreading of 45 cubic yards of “engineered wood fiber.” There’s also the cost of freighting the boulders to Buckley, borders around the boulders and 50 molded polyurethane hand holds.

Schmidt said the city wants a concrete sidewalk around the new attraction. Lake Tapps Construction will handle that part of the project after submitting a bid of almost $12,000.

Schmidt said a community survey of recreational desires included a type of climbing feature. The liability, he said, is no different than providing a skate park.

The work is dependent upon the weather, but the city hopes to have the climbing bounders available for public enjoyment by summer, Schmidt said.

ENUMCLAW’S SKATE PARK

Now about 15 years old, Enumclaw’s popular skate park is showing signs of age – and that can create hazards for those who enjoy the Garrett Park feature.

Michelle Larson, the city’s parks and recreation director, said replacing the skate park is included in the current six-year Parks Comprehensive Plan.

To help determine what the public wants, Parks and Rec hosted an April 11 open house that was attended by approximately 30 citizens. Most were in the 18-to-25 age range, but others provided input as well, Larson said.

The city’s goal, Larson noted, is to tear down the existing facility and replace it with something bigger and better, with elements that appeal to a broader range than just skateboarders.

Being discussed, she said, is a “pump track,” a concept that has been around since 2004 but is still relatively unknown. The website pumptrack.com has this to say: “From mountain bikes to BMX’s and skateboards a pump track is a playground for all wheels. By combining rolling jumps with turns they are accessible for all. Teaching the basic skills of carrying momentum, balance and speed by using your arms and legs to pump your bike/board/scooter around the track.”

In Washington, pump tracks can be found in Poulsbo, Leavenworth and SeaTac.

Larson said the thought is to provide a pump track in addition to a new skate park.

Whatever direction the city goes, the entire project is dependent upon outside money. Larson said she is applying for a grant through King County and, if that fails, she will search out state grants.

Replacing the skate park, Larson estimates, will take approximately $250,000.

If things go as hoped, work could begin next year, Larson said.

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