After sitting idle for 10 years, the swath of wetlands and woodlands at Thrasher's Corner in Bothell at last is scheduled to be developed...

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After sitting idle for 10 years, the swath of wetlands and woodlands at Thrasher’s Corner in Bothell at last is scheduled to be developed into the city’s largest public park.

A grand opening of the park in 2009, in conjunction with the city’s 100th anniversary, is planned after an initial phase of construction, said Clark Meek, public-works superintendent.

In January, the city budgeted $1.2 million over the next two years for an engineering study and the first phase of construction for the park, located near 208th Street Southeast and the Bothell-Everett Highway.

A parking lot, picnic shelter, trails and restrooms will be located near the park entrance. Eventually, the 54-acre park will include restored wetlands, boardwalks and an interpretive center housed in a restored historic schoolhouse, Meek said.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $3.5 million.

“It’ll be a great opportunity for citizens … to be able to access a community park and one of the [city’s] historical buildings,” said Bothell City Councilman Joshua Freed.

An island of wilderness among large retail and housing developments, Thrasher’s Corner Regional Park occupies a lowland divided by North Creek and Lower Filbert Creek. Red-tailed hawks soar over the pines and raccoon tracks print the mud. Impromptu walking trails blazed by the public provide the only current access to the park.

The city has owned the park since 1997 and has had a master plan in hand for its redevelopment since 2002. Major construction on 208th Street caused the city to delay park redevelopment, Meek said.

Road construction is due for completion in the fall.

Meek said the improvements on 208th will allow safer and easier entry to the park.

“We’ve been patiently waiting all these years to get the street improvements done,” he said.

The street, now two lanes, will become a five-lane thoroughfare, with two lanes east- and westbound, a central turn lane, bicycle lanes and 6-foot-wide sidewalks, said senior project manager Ken Garmann.

Someday, a rebuilt North Creek Trail may link Thrasher’s Corner to the Burke-Gilman and Interurban trails, said project engineer Ronnie Bennett. Expansion and rebuilding of the trail is planned if federal funding comes through.

The city also is raising funds to restore the North Creek School House, donated to the city by Bill and Margaret Van Natter. Bothell’s City Council has approved funding to move the schoolhouse to the park from its current location at 228th Street Southeast and 31st Avenue Southeast.

The 105-year-old building will sit in a prominent position on high ground at the park’s northwest corner, said Assistant City Manager Manny Ocampo, who is overseeing fundraising efforts.

The move and subsequent restoration will cost an estimated $560,000. The city is looking to raise about $300,000 of that through community outreach, Ocampo said.

The road-construction project on 208th will include some initial wetlands work for Thrasher’s Corner, Garmann said. A treatment pond will be built next to North Creek for treatment of stormwater runoff from the road.

A new fish culvert has also been built, replacing the 18-inch pipe that previously allowed Lower Filbert Creek to flow beneath 208th Street. Lined by fish-friendly streambed gravel, the 14-foot-wide by 6-foot-tall culvert will give fish easier access to the creek and wetlands, Bennett said.

Wetlands mitigation in the park could allow developers to buy credits for wetlands enhancement if their proposed developments could damage other wetlands areas, Freed said.

“A large wetland that we can improve, and that can support a large range of wildlife, I think that’s more environmentally sound,” he said.

To celebrate the city’s 100th anniversary and the park’s opening, Bothell’s Parks and Recreation Board has recommended the park be renamed “Centennial Park.”

Naila Moreira: 425-745-7845 or nmoreira@seattletimes.com