Scene in Mountlake Terrace: Ballinger Park construction overview — June 23, 2024

David Carlos on June 25, 2023 began taking weekly photographs via drone to capture the progress of the fish and wildlife restoration project at Ballinger Park.

And here’s the latest video:

The $5.5 million project aims to transform Ballinger Park into a natural area with wetlands, riparian corridors, natural vegetation, habitat for birds, fish, turtles and amphibians — and hopefully someday to support salmon runs.

A partnership between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Mountlake Terrace, the project includes planting of more than 2,000 native trees and shrubs, redirecting Hall Creek to a new, more-stable channel, and constructing boardwalks, trails and footpaths.

You can read more about the project here. Please stay out of this active construction site, both for your safety and to protect the new plantings.

Our thanks to City of Mountlake Terrace Stormwater Program Manager Laura Reed for captioning the photos.

  1. Is there any word on when the park will reopen? It appears that they’re reseeding grass and pulling their heavy machinery out.

    1. It is in fact early July, and I noticed that the gates on the Edmonds side of the park are closed up tight and now some new signage is up about new growth root health or something along those lines. At this point, I think lots of folks who live in this area just want “the park is going to open on XX date” or some information about why it cannot open if there are delays. It is not helpful when sometimes the gates are unlocked, seemingly as if the park is open and everything is mowed and looking ready, only to find out a day later that a new lock and new signage is put up. I don’t think anyone WANTS to trespass if it is still closed, but the lack of clarity and inconsistent access would provide some forgiveness I think if people were confused. All this is couched in the fact that this park is AWESOME, and we cannot wait to get to enjoy it again.

      1. The City of Mountlake Terrace says: We’ve communicated early and often that the timeline was flexible. This is normal for complex construction projects, especially with sensitive habitat. We posted this on Facebook about a week ago: We know everyone is eager, but we have to keep the west gate (access from the Interurban Trail) locked until the hydroseeded areas are more established. Also, one of the little bridges still needs safety panels, and we need to better define the pathways with woodchips, so everything doesn’t get trampled. Among other tasks! Thanks for hanging in there with us!
        The city also noted that when the contractor doing restoration work at the park left, they removed their locks and the city had to add their own — so there may have been a time gap when the gates were open.

        1. Thanks for the update, Teresa and city. Appreciate it! FYI that not everyone is on Facebook (myself included), so I have always gone here for pertinent updates. For those of us living in SE Edmonds who see this park as a major community resource even though it is not in Edmonds, I might suggest one of the next updates on construction and timelines also be posted on MyEdmonds! I am also now curious what the City of Edmonds plans and timeline are about their joint agreement with Mountlake Terrace to improve their access points to the park off of the Interurban Trail. I know that was discussed and I believe approved, but with the budget constraints in Edmonds, I am wondering if that has now fallen off. Thanks, all!

  2. Back in January ‘03 I received the following emails from (Edmonds) Parks Director Feser:
    “ What you are referring to is a phase of the Lake Ballinger Park improvements. Previous work has been completed including the dock and parking area, trail and playground and this is the next phase of work for the park’s overall improvements. The northwest corner of the park has not been eliminated, it is the next phase of construction. The phase, as seen in the attachment, is the portion the City of Edmonds will be involved with contributing $200,000 to support the construction which provides pedestrian access to the Mountlake Terrace park from the Interurban trail.”


    “ City of Mountlake Terrace is leading the project and so I cannot necessarily commit to a timeline on their behalf, but it is my understanding they are moving that phase of the project along currently to possibly be completed within 18 – 24 months.”

    That timeframe sounds like “possibly” July ‘24 to January ‘25. Hopefully some trailside maintenance will happen while we are waiting.

  3. Also received this email in March ‘03:

    “MLT is in the process of hiring an architectural and engineering firm which should be to Council by April. The consultant for this phase has been selected through an RFP process and we are currently awaiting the contractor’s proposal and then negotiating the fee. The plan is to construct during the fish window (July-August) of 2024. We will be engaging with the City of Edmonds on the ILA in the coming months, which will likely come to council by mid-year or so.

    I will continue to work on the MLT side to keep this project moving forward as expeditiously as possible.

    Bryan Wahl
    Mayor Pro Tem
    City of Mountlake Terrace”

    I think we will all be impressed by the popularity of this trail improvement if/when it gets done.

    1. Thanks, John! Very helpful. Yes I agree – this trail improvement will really add to look and feel of this park. Once it is open or even if there is a grand opening of sorts when the park opens back up but this work has not yet started, it would be cool to have a Lake Ballinger block party or something in that area. A perfect area for that since the street(trail) ends at the gate where there is no vehicle traffic allowed anyway, with very little car traffic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.