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Progress in Our Parks: Announcing the IHCA’s Five-Year Parks Project

By July 15, 2021January 3rd, 2022Connections, Development News, IHCA, Parks

This spring, the IHCA held its annual survey to gain valuable feedback from Issaquah Highlands residents. To coincide with our new five-year parks project, the focus of this year’s survey was parks. We want to thank everyone who took the time to take the survey. We received 165 responses and will consider the results when planning park upgrades.

Kirk Park

Favorite Parks

Kirk Park (located at the intersection of NE Magnolia Street and NE Natalie Way) received the most votes for favorite park. Firehouse Park, Summit Park, and Bark Park were also among the top favorites.

Bark Park received the most feedback, including requests to put a water source at the top of the hill, fix the fence at the small dog park, and put in more seating areas for pet owners. These improvements will be completed over the next two years. Any Bark Park updates can only be completed if they comply with the material and installation restrictions of the Bonneville Power Administration’s administrative agreements.

Requested New Amenities

The most requested park amenities include seating areas for large groups to gather, equipment for teens (like a bike course), outdoor fitness equipment (54% of participants said they would use it), a climbing wall, and more swings. In addition, after reviewing the survey results, the IHCA plans to work with developers in the future to discuss the possibility of adding a dog park in the lower part of the community.

How Does the IHCA Make Community Upgrades?

The IHCA has begun the massive undertaking of a staggered, five-year plan to upgrade most of the parks in our beautiful community. The behind-the-scenes process of upgrading any part of the community is much more complex than what residents can see. The IHCA must follow all regulations — city, county, state, and federal — to ensure the safety of our community and its members.

In addition to these regulations, we also need to:

  • Follow Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements
  • Be conscious of land-use restrictions
  • Research utility locations
  • Manage vegetation and drainage
  • Make necessary irrigation upgrades
  • Validate material availability
  • Be conscious of traffic/pedestrian safety
  • Ensure proper lighting
  • Research play equipment, follow national playground guidelines and have a third-party company inspect newly-erected play structures

Recent Park Updates

Summit Park

We replaced the iconic Summit Park slides, and now they’re better than ever. The maintenance team worked hard throughout the spring to remove and replace the worn slides and install new rubber padding surrounding the slides so everyone can enjoy them.

Magnolia Park

We recently replaced the basketball hoop at Magnolia Park and the IHCA partnered with the Highlands Youth (HY) Advisory Board to decide on colors for a new basketball court covering. HY members chose blue and green in honor of the Seattle Seahawks. We anticipate this project will be completed early this summer.

Logan Park

We are giving Logan Park a much-needed and highly requested makeover. We will remove the concrete play tunnels that have long adorned Logan Park to make room for a new play structure designated for kids ages 5-12. We will make additional landscaping and maintenance upgrades as necessary.

Future Park Upgrades

  • The IHCA recently replaced and repainted the fencing around Kirk Park, along with the gazebo. We will assess the play structure for replacement or additions in the coming years.
  • The IHCA is excited for the future development of a third community garden located in Westridge Townhomes North, set to be completed in the next two years. The IHCA strives to increase communications between the homeowners association and community gardeners to ensure safety for individuals and their crops alike.
  • The IHCA will explore additional upgrades for the remaining parks in Issaquah Highlands, including a general refurbishment of Magnolia, Fire House, and West Highlands parks with playground, basketball court, and landscaping amendments.
  • The IHCA will assess Ashland Park, the first park in Issaquah Highlands, for additional seating areas, a potential maypole replacement, and possible play equipment upgrades.

New Park Update: High Street Linear Park

Construction on High Street Linear Park, located in the Westridge neighborhood, started in 2020. The family and pet-friendly park replaced a portion of High Street with a multi-use trail measuring one-third of a mile. The park will feature various amenities, including a metered running track, toddler play structures, hammocks, picnic tables and shelters with accessible seating, a west-facing lookout with seating, an emergency callbox, an adult exercise station, a rain garden with a rock water feature, a bike rack, and historical information plaques. Taylor Morrison (formerly Polygon) is the park developer, and the IHCA serves as the master association, providing conceptual and architectural oversight for the project.

The IHCA’s maintenance, landscaping, and administrative teams work diligently to ensure every aspect of the community runs smoothly, especially during a transitional period full of renovations. We appreciate your patience while we implement these upgrades.

As always, the IHCA will continue to do daily park maintenance, follow safety protocols, and prioritize projects based on material availability, budget restraints, and community needs. We want to thank the wonderful residents of Issaquah Highlands for being a part of this beautiful community we continuously strive to perfect. Thank you for making your home here in Issaquah Highlands.

Sarah Hoey is the IHCA executive director. 
As published in July 2021 Connections >>