Arboretum work begins soon

Liberty Lake approves funds for project

It’s a small patch of land – just 2.8 acres next to City Hall in Liberty Lake – and soon, it will be the arboretum the city has been planning since the land was donated in 2006.

“It’s a little piece of serenity inside a fast-paced, urban setting,” said Mayor Wendy Van Orman. “That’s a plus.”

Van Orman said construction will begin as soon as the ground thaws enough to work with it.

During its retreat Feb. 22, the City Council approved around $85,000 for the project, which comes from real estate excise taxes that can only be spent on a capital facilities project.

Nature’s Place at Meadowwood, the name of the new arboretum, will be built on land that was donated to the city from the Meadowwood Homeowners Association. Although a groundbreaking ceremony was held in 2008, the city didn’t have the funds to start construction until recently.

The first stage of the project will include installation of the irrigation system, pathways and expansion of the parking lot.

In the years to come, the area will be planted with more than 3,000 species of plants, there will be art kiosks along the pathways and a view of the city’s Legend Tree.

The project will also include a community garden, which will bring the city’s total to two – one in Rocky Hill Park opened last year.

The plans were designed in 2008 by Washington State University landscape architecture student Michelle Berry.

Along with construction, the city will be applying for grants. Van Orman said Liberty Lake was recently denied a forestry grant, but she will be re-applying for it.

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