City to start work this year on West Hill Park named for Pete Lewis

An image of the pond that frames the future park named for former Mayor Pete Lewis on Auburn’s West Hill. COURTESY PHOTO, city of Auburn

An image of the pond that frames the future park named for former Mayor Pete Lewis on Auburn’s West Hill. COURTESY PHOTO, city of Auburn

The park on Auburn’s West Hill that is to carry former Mayor Pete Lewis’ name is budgeted for city clearing and grubbing, trail construction and preparation of a picnic meadow in 2019.

But other work horses out there, including a trio of Eagle Scouts, the Washington Conservation Corps and the Auburn Lions Club, are stamping in place to get a-moving on their projects at the park, too.

“It is a beautiful site and by the end of this year, we’ll have a lot of work done,” Auburn, Parks, Arts and Recreation Director Daryl Faber said of the tentatively-titled Peter B. Lewis Park on Monday evening at Auburn City Hall.

The city of Auburn approved naming the park for Lewis in 2017 to honor Auburn’s three-term mayor from 2002 to 2014. The site is on 320th Street, between W Street Southwest and 58th Street. Faber expects it to open next year.

After this year’s round of work, Faber said, the city anticipates applying to Washington state for funding that will provide for other projects at the park, among them a picnic shelter.

The Lions Club – the former mayor is a Lion – has adopted construction of a small foot bridge across the lake’s north end as its project.

“There’s lots of opportunity for community involvement out there,” Faber said.

Activities at the park, Faber said, will be limited to viewpoints and a few fishing spots, perhaps a swing.

“It’s not really set up for (activities),” Faber said. ‘It’s really a nature park. I would really love to have a little suspension bridge over to (the island) so people could go with a child or grandchild to explore, but it’s not really a good site for a pickleball court or a playground. There’s some cool nature place stuff that’s out on the market that you could maybe intersperse around the path.”

Also bearing the names of former Auburn mayors are Gaines Park, Les Gove Park, the Charles A. Booth Bridge and the Stanley Kersey Bridge.

The West Hill became part of Auburn in the 2008 annexation that also brought Lea Hill into the city.

Faber noted that the park does not yet have a formal name, though it will have the name Peter B. Lewis in it.

Another park project on the city’s front burner is the 104th Street Park at the site of what for years had been informally known as beer bottle beach, visible on the left and down the river bank as one makes the turn onto Green River Road from 8th Street Northeast.

At this time, the fate of that park project is in the lap of the state Recreation Conservation Office. The city hopes to receive about $550,000 from the state at the conclusion of the current legislative session. The plan is then to combine those monies with city park impact fees to facilitate park buildout.

“We’ll start with that later in the year with some permitting and final design items as well,” Faber said.

The city has also applied for $500,000 to facilitate renovation at the future Auburn Cultural Center on Auburn Avenue. the site of Auburn’s former post office.

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