The City of Bellevue received an award from Futurewise Thursday for setting aside 20 acres of land for Downtown Park, which plays a pivotal role in making downtown a desirable place to live, work and play.
One of six award-winners statewide, the city received the 2017 Livable Communities Award for Excellence in Creating Livable Communities for its foresight in preserving 20 acres of land in the downtown core for the benefit of future generations.
"We're thrilled to be recognized by Futurewise for the key role our Downtown Park plays in the city's vibrancy, livability and sustainability," said Patrick Foran, Bellevue's director of Parks & Community Services. "Thank you to the community and former city and civic leaders for believing in the future value of green space in the middle of Bellevue."
The original park master plan, approved by the City Council in 1984, established the long-term vision for Downtown Park. An international design competition resulted in a park plan that provided a place for spontaneous play, respite, contemplation, exercise and community celebration.
The city bought most of what is now Bellevue Downtown Park over 30 years ago, and the plan for the park called for a circular promenade and a grand entry on the south side. Two phases of construction were completed by 1990.
Construction to finish the final segment of the circle and grand entry -- plus the addition of a new universally accessible playground -- started in July and will be completed in time for this summer's Fourth of July celebration.
Futurewise champions livable urban density and the prevention of sprawl with the goal of creating sustainable, equitable communities and protecting Washington's most critical natural resources.
Other 2017 award-winners include: Beacon Food Forest King Conservation District, Kittitas County and the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association.
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