The City of Covington held a ribbon cutting for the Phase 2 portion of Covington Community Park, located at 180th Ave SE and SE 240th St, on Friday, Aug. 17. In addition to cutting the ribbon, the city also dedicated the newly constructed pavilion to honor Covington Councilmember Margaret Harto.
While children were focused on breaking-in the new playground, remarks were shared by Stasha Espinosa on behalf of U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, Louise O’Rourke on behalf of U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, state Sen. Joe Fain, state Rep. Pat Sullivan, Covington Mayor Jeff Wagner and Margaret Harto about making the vision of Covington Community Park a reality.
Parks and Recreation Director Ethan Newton recognized the team effort it took to complete the park project. Special recognition was given to the project architects MacLeod Reckord and their team including PACE, ARC, MLA, Stantec, ESA, Landau Associates and Sazan Group; along with construction contractors Tapani and their team of over 30 subcontractors; the City of Covington team including all of the city staff, the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Arts Commission and the City Council; and the community at-large for their interest and support for growing their local park system.
Special recognition was shared by all the speakers about the dedication of the pavilion in honor of Harto for the countless amount of hours and resources she has dedicated towards improving the quality of life for the Covington community.
Harto’s history of community service proves how deserving she is of the honor. She has served for more than 16 years on Covington’s city council, including as mayor pro tem for two years and mayor for 10 years. She also served four years as a member and chair of Covington’s first Youth and Family Service Commission. Harto has earned recognition as a Certified Municipal Leader from the Association of Washington Cities and prior to her work at the city of Covington, Harto served in leadership positions at local, state and national levels of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), including President of the Washington State PTA and the National PTA Board of Directors. She has been involved in the organization and operation of numerous local and regional family advocacy and human service programs including: South King County Health and Safety Network, South King County Youth Violence Prevention Committee, Kent Drinking Driver Task Force, Reach Out Covington, Council for At-Risk Children and Youth, and Kent Youth & Family Services Lighthouse.
Building upon the first phase of the park that was completed in 2013, this second phase of improvements more than doubles the area of developed park area and includes the Margaret Harto Pavilion, a large lawn amphitheater, picnic shelters, a playground, a fitness area with exercise stations, a tennis/pickleball court, additional trail segments, restrooms, a concession building, a new parking lot, and sidewalks along 180th Avenue SE.
Phase 2 of the park is now open for parking, walking on the trails and for children to play on the playground. Over the next few weeks, work will complete on the restrooms, grass lawn areas (until the grass grows in), the exercise equipment and electric vehicle charging station. Once these items are complete they will be open to the public.
In the future, there will be a third and final phase of development at the park, but it is currently not funded. The most significant feature of the third phase will be the addition of synthetic turf athletic fields with lighting.
Funding summary for the Covington Community Park Phase 2 Project: $7,000,000 (80% of the project) is funded by the WA Department of Commerce (The Taxpayers of Washington State); $704,000 (8%) is funded by the City of Covington; $500,000 (6%) is funded by the federal Land Water and Conservation Fund program; $500,000 (6%) is funded by the WA Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program; $65,000 (1%) is funded by King County; $30,688 (<1%) is funded by King Conservation District; and $0 (0%) of nongovernmental sources are funding this project.
More information on this park project may be found online at www.covingtonwa.gov/parks.