Submitted by the City of Bellingham, written by Nicole Oliver
The City of Bellingham is moving forward to purchase property located at 2710 Donovan Avenue in the Happy Valley neighborhood to provide improvements to an existing park and improved access to trails that connect to the Connelly Creek Nature Area and the Interurban Trail.
“Acquiring additional park property in Happy Valley is a high priority of the City’s Greenways Strategic Plan and the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan,” Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood said. “This property is perfectly situated to expand and improve the neighborhood park and connect to nearby trails. Acquisitions such as this are a critical component of the most recent Greenways levy and I am pleased to see this accomplished.”
Happy Valley Park is located directly behind the property, Bellingham Parks & Recreation Department Director Nicole Oliver said. With only a trail to access it, the neighborhood park is often unnoticed due to lack of street frontage along Donovan Avenue. This purchase will provide street frontage, expanded park space, connections to trails, and opportunities to restore nearby wetlands, she said.
The Bellingham City Council approved the $615,000 purchase at its May 23, 2022, regular meeting, with unanimous support from the Greenways Advisory Committee and the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board. Greenways levy funds and park impact fee revenue will fund the purchase, which is scheduled to close the first week of June.
The 13,000-square-foot lot includes a home and a detached garage. The property attracted community interest when made available for sale due to its rough appearance and the desire by nearby residents to expand the neighborhood park. Testing determined the structures on the property contain no biohazards and they will be demolished, Oliver said.
“We are very excited to expand this park to serve the Happy Valley neighborhood,” Oliver said. “We hope to remove the structures this summer, while working with community members to make plans for park improvements.”