Rain fell on Western Washington’s most historically rainless day of the year yesterday (July 29) as Pierce County gave a peek at the two newest amenities at its 930-acre Chambers Creek Properties site in University Place.
While dedicating the 22-acre Central Meadow park and previewing a future pedestrian bridge that will allow beach access, County Executive John Ladenburg said July 29 was chosen for the ceremony because – prior to yesterday – it’s only rained twice on that day in 60 years. The drizzle only helped to water Central Meadow’s already lush, grassy field with adjacent parking that will host concerts and other events beginning with folk singer Judy Collins on Aug. 9.
“You can tell we all watch the Weather Channel,” Ladenburg joked to the assembled residents and elected officials including Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire. Central Meadow, along with the adjoining six-acre North Meadow, officially opens with a community picnic on Aug. 10.
The other star of yesterday’s event was the planned North Dock Overpass, which by 2010 will take pedestrians over the BNSF railroad tracks to two miles of beach that hasn’t been accessible to the public for 100 years. Gregoire and the state Legislature provided $2.4 million of the project’s $3.9 million cost.
“Having access to this kind of marine environment is why we all live here – and put up with the rain,” Gregoire quipped. “I think this is one of the most exciting things to happen in our state in a long time.”
County Council Chair Terry Lee, whose District 7 includes Chambers Creek, said the site has come a long way from the gravel mine that was there when his family moved to University Place in 1946. University Place became part of his district in 2002.
“I couldn’t have been happier then, when I received the opportunity to represent a place where I’d grown up,” he said, “and I couldn’t be happier now to see this site turn into the regional success story that it has.”
For more information on the Chambers Creek Properties, visit www.piercecountywa.org/ccp.