Puyallup: News

Puyallup’s Van Lierop Park design concepts highlight topography, daffodil history

Two design options for the future Van Lierop Park in Puyallup were released by the city and design team at an April 27 open house.
Two design options for the future Van Lierop Park in Puyallup were released by the city and design team at an April 27 open house. Staff file/2015

Two design options for the future Van Lierop Park in Puyallup was released by the city and design team at an open house on April 27.

One design option, called “Daffodil Hills,” emphasizes topography of the future park, while “Puyallup Polders” brings the park’s agricultural history to the forefront.

The 24-acre piece of land was purchased by the city from former owner and daffodil farmer Neil Van Lierop in 2015, with 18 acres to become a park. After online surveys and a public open house in March, the design team determined that the four main elements community members wanted for the new park were bathrooms, parking, trails and playgrounds. Both concepts feature these elements, including a connecting trail from Riverwalk Trail to Foothills Trail.

“In both options, this (trail) is a prominent feature,” said Brice Maryman, a landscape architect with MIG/SvR design company. “This is a natural link in this trail.”

Tennis, sand volleyball and basketball courts, sports fields, an adult fitness area and a community garden are features that also exist in both concepts. The main differences remain in design.

Daffodil Hills Design

“Using dramatic, sculpted hills, this scheme creates a series of enclosed rooms that capitalize on vistas to Mount Rainier,” stated a display board at the open house on April 27. “The hills support hiking, play and even beekeeping. Daffodils (and warm spring colors) reoccur as wayfinding, paving and public art.”

The Daffodil Hills design surrounds the park with daffodils and incorporates them on the trails. On the north end of the property are active sports fields, while the south end of the property features a dog park, community garden and amphitheater field.

Daffodil Hills has around 208 parking stalls, a skate park, concessions and a public art water feature.

Puyallup Polders Design

“This design draws connections between Van Lierop Park’s agricultural history and physical characteristics to the fields of bulbs in the Netherlands built on flat lowlands called polders, while emphasizing the views of Mount Rainier,” stated a display board at the open house.

A daffodil lawn strip angled across the park provides a view of Mount Rainier in the Puyallup Polders design. At the end of the strip of daffodils sits a “view mound” for the mountain.

The park is divided into three major strips of land using polders, or water channels, reminiscent of daffodil fields in the Netherlands.

The Van Lierop family were bulb farmers for generations, Maryman said, and originally came from the Netherlands. The design team used conversations with the family to develop the Puyallup Polders design, he said.

The east side of the park would be the most active, consisting of sports fields and playgrounds. The center of the park is an “open, passive lawn,” while the west side of the park features parking, gardens and the Mount Rainier viewing mound.

Puyallup Polders design does not feature a dog park or skate park. It has approximately 200 parking stalls.

Community feedback

At the April 28 open house, Puyallup Parks and Recreation director Sarah Harris said it was too early to tell which design the team will lean toward. The park could also take elements of the two designs.

“This is a community park, and it needs to have a balance,” Harris said at the open house.

Mayor John Hopkins added that the park should accommodate as many community interests as possible.

“It shouldn’t be focused entirely on sports,” Hopkins said. “It needs to appeal to all people.”

Buzz Grant, president of Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition in Puyallup, attended the open house with fellow Foothills member Dixie Gatchel. Both wanted to see trail options for the new park.

“We’re passionate about trails, but we want a conglomerate (of features),” she said.

A master plan and design for the park will be finalized this summer, Harris said, after discussions with the Puyallup City Council. Construction for the project could stretch on for five to 10 years.

Now, Puyallup Parks and Recreation encourages the public to take an online survey about the master plan options.

Allison Needles: 253-256-7043, @herald_allison