Visitors will soon find more open space at Wards Lake Park – 4.4 acres, to be exact.
On Monday night, the Lakewood City Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute a purchase-and-sale agreement on property next to the park in Lakewood’s northeast corner.
The deal will involve buying the land from a private property owner for $475,000. A Pierce County Conservation Futures grant will pay for $275,000 of the cost, while the other $200,000 will be paid for out of the City’s storm water management fund.
The additional land will add open space that the City can manage and maintain, as well as give visitors secure access to the park from the south.
But the deal that will bring Wards Lake Park to more than 26 acres in size seemed unlikely three years, when the City’s bid to obtain grant money from the Conservation Futures program fell short. However, once Pierce County processed the costs for the projects it approved, it realized it had money left that could fund those that didn’t make the cut.
“We’re extremely lucky to have an opportunity like this,” said Mary Dodsworth, the City’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director. “This allows us to maintain some of Lakewood’s open space and gives visitors more options when they visit Wards Lake Park.”
There is a house and a duplex on the property, as well as open space and wooded areas. The City will likely rent out the houses to generate income for maintenance and operations until money is raised to improve the site.