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By David Pan 

Mukilteo City Council approves naming of Byers Family Park


Last updated 8/28/2020 at 6:29pm

David Pan

Work started on the Byers Family Park, also known as the Peace Park, last month. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of August or early September.

Construction on the Byers Family Park, also known as the Peace Park, started last month, and the project is expected to be completed by the end of August or early September.

At its Aug. 3 meeting, the City Council unanimously approved the official name of Byers Family Park, as stipulated in a donation agreement. The owner of the land died, and his brother donated it to the City in 2013 to be used as a park in the future, with the only caveat being the Byers name be included in the park's name.

The park, at 601 Fourth St. across the street from Red Cup Café in Old Town, will have a 1,400-square-foot plaza, benches, an arbor and a bicycle repair station. The park was fully funded by a state grant.

The idea of the Peace Park has been discussed since 2016, shortly after the July 30, 2016, shooting where three Kamiak graduates were shot and killed at a party. A fourth student was shot and injured, but survived.

Mukilteo's Recreation and Cultural Services Director Jeff Price said the concept was to develop something that "would provide remembrance for those young people, who we lost, as well as other young people, who lost their lives too soon, and provide a place of peace, hope and reflection."

After more than 20 gatherings designed to solicit public input, the Byers property was selected as the site for the Peace Park, due largely to its unobstructed view of Puget Sound, the Mukilteo Lighthouse, and Lighthouse Park.

"We've had many, many community members, including the victims' families, provide input into what this park might look like," Price added.

Price also noted that the Byers family has gone above and beyond the original agreement by financing the purchase of the new sign for the park.

Councilmember Joe Marine was mayor when the City signed the agreement. He remembered when the property went up for sale the City reached out to the family to see if they would be interested in donating the land. Surprisingly, the family was and eventually they did, Marine recalled.

Councilmember Elisabeth Crawford said she was excited that the park is close to being completed,

"Finalizing the name, I think this is definitely setting it into reality that it's happening and it'll soon be there for everybody to enjoy," she said. "I want to express my appreciation and gratitude to the Byers family for donating this and for all of their commitment to this park becoming a reality in our city.

"I'd also like to thank all of the community members that have been involved along the process of planning, developing, and as well as the Parks and Arts Commission for their involvement in this project. I think that it takes a lot of people to get something like this done, and this is a testament of that, that working together we can accomplish something pretty cool, pretty awesome."


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