Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Aparkolypse: Haines Wharf Park

One of the newest places on our tour, Haines Wharf Park has the most interesting integrated play feature of all the parks we've been to. Long a place where motorists could pull over and check out the Puget Sound (and the not-as-scenic remnants of Haines Wharf), the city of Edmonds decided to carve a park into the hillside. At last, the well-to-do residents of the neighborhood have a slightly closer place to rest on their power walks and take their grandchildren for a few minutes.

History (since that's what you care about in reading a blog about parks with playgrounds)

As a bird-shattacked display at the bottom of the park informs us, the Haines family operated the wharf from 1939 to the 1970s, a vibrant part of the Meadowdale neighborhood fishing industry. The City of Edmonds also debated whether they were going to name the park after longtime community activist Del Caryl, who served as librarian for Edmonds Community College for 27 years and wrote a "delightfully unscholarly" history of Meadowdale in a book called Angels to the Rear: An Informal Portrait of Early Meadowdale. Team Haines won the park naming debate, but the council decided to honor Caryl with a plaque. All of this is in accordance with the city's park naming policy since we were cool enough to look that up.


We had driven by this place many times taking the "scenic way" to Granny and Grandpa's place and given little consideration to stopping here, which is probably fairly descriptive of most people in the area. Just few parking spots are carved out in the side of 75th Pl W, so it's really intended for foot traffic from the neighborhood. Scattered throughout the park are several benches. A couple of picnic tables are located on a platform just beneath the viewing scope. Down the stairs you'll find a water fountain and portable toilets.

If you can identify the vegetation growing in the hillside, please let us know.


We'll start with the underwhelming: the climbing toys are weird and Erector Set-esque, favored by municipalities trying to look cool (and failing). Perhaps you'll wonder with us why there are three large flat rocks with flag pole holders sticking out of them. There isn't much to the grassy area, but again, this is a small park where there could easily be nothing.

Our kids like the three kinds of swings (baby, toddler, and standard), but was really cool was the slide. The Living Landscape Architecture blog did its own review of the park, informing us that the slide is 21' long. The boulders are shaped into stairs going to the top, proving a natural look to one of the coolest-looking features of any of the parks we visited.


Haines Wharf Park is really a tiny neighborhood spot close to a lot of bigger, more various-use facilities (Lynndale Park, Meadowdale Beach Park, Seaview Park, and Sierra Park are all within single-digit minutes, not to mention the various Meadowdale schools and their amenities). It's a pleasant little distraction tucked away along the shore, worth a visit if you happen to be around or you're writing a blog about all of the parks with playgrounds in the area.

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