Langley parks commission sets work plan

Nancy Rowan, chairwoman of Langley’s Parks and Open Space Commission, speaks to the city council June 16.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Nancy Rowan, chairwoman of Langley’s Parks and Open Space Commission, speaks to the city council June 16.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

The citizen commission in charge of Langley’s parks and open spaces has set an ambitious work plan for itself in the coming year.

Speaking to the city council June 16, commission Chairwoman Nancy Rowan said the group would like to see a commitment from the city staff to create a budget for them to accomplish some work preserving open space in town. She cited a 2009 survey of Langley residents who stated parks were a high priority.

“It shows that people want walking trails and beach walks,” she said.

One of the top priorities for the commission is getting direction from the city about the Noble Creek property. Rowan described it as a commonly used trail that connects Edgecliff to Sandy Point. But the property it is on is up for sale, and the city turned it down once already and is still looking into its ability to purchase it for public use.

“Once it’s sold, that’ll be it. It’s gone,” Rowan said.

She also noted several areas of interest for the commission, including the wetland behind Langley Middle School. Last year, the city negotiated a lower dump fee for about 150 tires that had been abandoned there and were hauled out by resident John Norby. He again offered to help the city if it could get the lower dump fee.

Rowan said the commission plans to work with the South Whidbey School District and the Whidbey Watershed Stewards to restore the pond.

“These places are very important to the city,” said Mayor Fred McCarthy.

Councilwoman Rene Neff asked if the city could raise property taxes to directly fund parks and open space in city limits. Debbie Mahler, city clerk and treasurer, said it would require asking voters for a levy lift.

Langley’s Parks and Open Space Commission will develop a priority list for volunteer work and projects it would like to tackle in the coming months.

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