More than 300 people are expected to attend Saturday’s grand opening of Lake Stevens Community Park as well as the dedication of the ball fields being named for community advocate Gary Cease.
Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon and other elected officials from the county and Lake Stevens will join the Lake Stevens Junior Athletic Association (LSJAA), friends and family of Gary Cease and others for the opening. Festivities begin at 10 a.m. at the park located at 1601 N. Machias Road.
“The Lake Stevens Community Park is a wonderful amenity to the county park system,” Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon said. “It offers new ball fields for the youth of Snohomish County while providing volunteer opportunities for community groups.”
Property for the park was originally purchased from Roesler Timber Company in 1996 with the assistance of the LSJAA. Following years of community design input and master planning, construction of the park began in 2008 at a cost of $4.3 million. Funding for the project included park impact mitigation fees, real-estate excise tax and a grant from the State of Washington Recreation Conservation Office.
Included in that construction are three new ball fields that will be named after Gary Cease, a popular, long-time volunteer coach and referee who worked tirelessly as an advocate for the Lake Stevens area youth.
Cease served 28 years as a coach, referee, mentor and ambassador for youth baseball, football and wrestling. He assisted the baseball and football little leagues as well as the middle and high school wrestling programs in Lake Stevens. He was a former president of the Lake Stevens Junior Athletic Association and Greater Snohomish County Youth Football League and served with the Lake Stevens Parks and Recreation Board. Cease died November 11, 2008.
The LSJAA will open and close the park, assume maintenance and operation responsibilities and help coordinate sports at the park for more than 2,500 young people participating in baseball, softball, football, soccer, cheerleading and basketball.
The park also includes Glen Anderson’s mosaic artwork, funded through the county’s 1 percent for the arts program.
For more information, contact Tom Teigen, county parks department director, at 425-388-6600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.