Discovery Park was conceived as being the main focal park within Tehaleh and is sited along the community’s primary east-west corridor and accessible via foot, bike, car, and shuttle. The park is immediately surrounded in all directions by neighborhoods representing a broad range of Tehaleh’s multi-generational residents; located within a 5-minute walk are senior housing and age qualified communities to the south, an elementary school and single-family neighborhoods to the north, multi-family neighborhood to the west, and open space and major neighborhood trail connections to the east. The primary pathway system and connections to the school and surrounding neighborhoods are designed to be universally accessible not only to eliminate the need for ramps and handrails, but also to prioritize equitable routes for all. The 12’ wide primary loop trail can be utilized by bikers, walkers, and runners.
A number of amenities were programmed into the park to engage the community. The great lawn and covered stage provide space for both large- and small-scale events as well as single users. Adjacent to the great lawn is a large dining area with three barbeques and a 48’ community table to host gatherings. A community garden provides an area for residents to gather and grow vegetables together. The park also includes a bocce court, and an amphitheater.
The park is constructed around a regional storm water management facility, which provides water quality treatment for 480 acres of upland development, and infiltration for a total upland basin of 1,150 acres. The storm water facility is comprised of two main components, a wet pond and dry cells. The wet pond stores over 23 acre-feet of water within its normal pool and serves as a settling basin for contributing runoff. Overflows from the wet pond discharge to the normally dry infiltration cells capable of handling up to 113 acre-feet during high storm water volume events.
In addition to the regional facility, rain gardens are strategically located within the parking lot to provide direct water quality treatment. The rain gardens utilize a soil mix and plant palette specifically designed to filter out pollutants from the parking lot runoff.
A primary goal of the park’s design is to incorporate S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education elements which are already the focus of the elementary school adjacent to the site. This concept is a non-prescriptive and contextual approach to learning that encourages kids to experiment, and learn from their own experiences. In the design of Discovery Park these concepts have been integrated with opportunities for environmental learning, and are designed to be fun and engaging. An example includes a large boulder discovered on the property that has been inscribed with a word search game where a word puzzle alludes to storm water systems. One outdoor classroom and several informal spaces to gather are provided for the adjacent elementary school. As well as metric trail markers and interpretive signage describing the storm water system, local ecology, and the created bat and bird habitat.
As the project site is nearly 20-acres in size, the efficiency of the landscape treatment is critical to the cost, management and maintenance of the park. The planting design incorporates a blend of evergreen, deciduous and shade trees for screening and to define programmed spaces throughout the property. Three quarters of the planted areas include mounded areas which aid in storm water management and are unirrigated in summer. These areas are sown with native grasses or planted with native, drought resistant plants to create habitat and attract and nurture wildlife. These areas will not require long-term irrigation and require minimal seasonal maintenance in mowing, upkeep and weed control.
The higher mounded areas have been designed to stand out in the warmer months, and include colorful vegetation to provide a natural rhythm to the changing seasons. The lawns were seeded with a drought tolerant seed mix that is a natural repellent to the Canada Geese. These non-native birds which are both migratory and resident to the area are capable of overwhelming the park’s ecosystem.
Along the trail, a series of snags, root wads, logs, bird houses, and bat houses are organized as a series of vertical elements that create a wild but orderly landscape. Extensive review was made of native and adapted birds to the area, and their various needs were taken into account during the placement of these elements. Bats and birds contribute to pollination and seed dispersal, as well as help in the control of mosquitoes.
17834 Cascadia Boulevard East, Bonney Lake, Washington 98391 USA
Design year: 2018
Year Built: 2021
Rickabaugh Pentecost Development LLC
Resource Integrated Site Water Planning
J. Maki Construction
Electrical and Lighting
Custom Signage Printing
Infinity Sign and Marketing
Custom and Native Seed Mixes
PT Lawn Seed
Built Work Photography LLC
Community Garden Fences and Gates
MFR Manufacturing Corp
Great Lawn Pavilion
Trail Steps and Stairs