by LUKE PUTVIN
On April 23rd, many gathered at Heritage Park to celebrate Lynnwood’s 60th birthday. Those in attendance included Lynnwood Mayor Smith, Lynnwood Council Vice President Frizzell, councilmember George Hurst, Lynnwood’s Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Lynn Sordel, Lynnwood’s Deputy Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Sarah Olson, members of the Stadler Family, community volunteers and the general public.
Frizzell gave a brief speech and then mentioned she is “as old as Lynnwood.” She grew up in the area and recalled her first job at the Lynnwood Library.
The celebration began with a ribbon-cutting for a new playground located at Heritage Park. The playground contains a rocker in the shape of a chicken; Lynnwood was home to many chicken farms before it was incorporated as a city. Also important in the area’s
history was logging; because of this, there is a faux-oak climbing log in the middle of the play structure.
A donation from the Elizabeth Ruth Wallace Living Trust made the construction of the playground possible. “We’re so lucky to have this donation,” said Eric Peterson, Lynnwood Parks and Recreation Superintendent, “We couldn’t have done this without it.”
Cheri Ryan, Lynnwood-Alderwood Manor Heritage Association President and niece of Elizabeth Ruth Wallace (Aunt Bette), is the one in charge of the aforementioned living trust. The trust donated $500,000 to the construction of this playground, another project involving the nearby water tower and an “I Love Lynnwood” feature, planned to be built by the Lynnwood Convention Center.
Cheri said that Aunt Bette lived in the area as a child. She also went to Alderwood Grade School and graduated from Edmonds High School. She later moved to Silicon Valley and owned properties there. Years later, when she passed away, Cheri sold the properties and used that money to create the trust fund with which to provide donations.
“Lynnwood was a huge part of our family growing up here,” Cheri said. In fact, four generations of her family, the Stadlers, were in attendance of the event. Cheri wanted their family’s legacy to be in Lynnwood since the area means so much to them.
“A park needs a playground,” Cheri told the crowd. She also mentioned that, in addition to the day being Lynnwood’s 60th birthday, it would have been Aunt Bette’s 95th birthday.
After the ribbon-cutting, there was an open house at the Wicker’s Museum. Large boards showing a timeline of Lynnwood were on the walls, and a slideshow of historical pictures played on a loop. There were also cookies and lemonade, both made from a 1950s recipe.
Lynnwood, as Frizzell mentioned in her speech, has come a long way. Though the area used to be predominantly agricultural with the abundance of poultry farms, Lynnwood has become a “thriving economic hub for South Snohomish County,” Frizzell mentioned.
Though no one can be completely certain where Lynnwood will be in 60 years, it is clear that, with the plans for high rises and the soon-to-come Link Light Rail System, the city will continue to grow considerably.