$650,000 State grant in adopted budget will help plan move forward
StoryCommunity efforts toward the construction of phase two of Ravensdale Park project were recognized in the State Capital Budget adopted by the Washington state Legislature.
State Senator Joe Fain and State Representative Chad Magendanz were able to secure a $650,000 grant to bolster the efforts of Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn and King County Parks to help fund the Ravensdale Park project and move forward to the next phase of the parks redevelopment.
“This is an important project for the children and families in Southeast King County and I am delighted to assist in seeing this project through to completion,” said Dunn. “We still have work to be done, but the State grant— along with the work the County and city of Maple Valley are committed to doing--this project will become a reality.”
Senator Fain, who worked closely with Ravensdale Park Foundation members last summer in preparation for the state budget negotiations, called the funding a huge step forward.
“With so many new families moving to our area we have had insufficient access to fields and parks facilities for too long,” said Fain. “I especially want to thank the dozens of young athletes who contacted me directly over the past six months about the project. Government works when people get engaged. Beyond a new sports facility, these kids who engaged in the process are learning a powerful message early in life; their voice matters."
“Projects like the Ravensdale Park are important investments in our communities and our quality of life,” State Representative Chad Magendanz, former president of the Issaquah School Board. “As someone who is active in our schools, I know the value of having safe places for kids to play and engage in competitive sports. We were in a unique position this session to enable a community organization to enhance our parks system to serve more local athletes, and I was happy to support their efforts.”
“Community partnerships are important to bring these kinds of public amenities to neighborhoods throughout King County,” said King County Parks Director Kevin Brown.
“The City is putting in $500,000 this year and is looking at ways to raise additional funds to match County contributions,” said Maple Valley Mayor Bill Allison
The Ravensdale Park Project began in 2007 when representatives from various organizations in Maple Valley began discussions of how they could bring more athletic fields to the area. As a result, the Ravensdale Park Foundation (RPF) was formed. The RPF is a nonprofit organization set up to design and facilitate upgrades and enhancements to the Ravensdale Park through a partnership with King County Parks.
“The Ravensdale Park Foundation has appreciated the cooperated efforts of State, County and City officials to help fund this project. It has been a long process and we are very close to seeing the fruits of our labor come to fruition,” said Scott Serpa of the Ravensdale Park Foundation and Maple Valley Soccer. “When completed, Ravensdale Park will be the ‘crown jewel’ of the area. The Foundation is excited to start the construction phase and see the finished product. Special thanks to King County Council member Reagan Dunn, Senator Joe Fain, Rep. Chad Magendanz, Mayor Bill Allision and the 4,000 plus families that have been working hard to get this project funded.”
“2013 marks my sixth year of involvement in the development of Ravensdale Park,” said Ravensdale Park Project Board Member Gordon Moorman. “I get to work with all the people who have come together to help enhance this park. With this funding we are well on our way to building a rural park at Ravensdale that will serve both the active and passive needs of our community while preserving its excellent historic tradition.”
The first phase at Ravensdale Park converted two fields to synthetic surfaces, which allows for greater usage. The county provided funding in addition to grant money RPF has secured. When the first phase of the project was completed it came in 28 percent under budget.
The grant from the state will go toward the parks second phase, which includes the installation of two new multipurpose fields as well as other improvements. This is a true community park project with groups from Baseball, Soccer, Football, Lacrosse, and Softball all working together to produce a park that can serve as many families as possible.