Children play on the new Mount Rainier climbing structure at the relocated Van Doren’s Landing Park in Kent along Russell Road. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent Parks

Children play on the new Mount Rainier climbing structure at the relocated Van Doren’s Landing Park in Kent along Russell Road. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent Parks

Kent's popular Van Doren's Landing Park reopens at new location

Park moved for Green River levee project by the King County Flood Control District

Now in a new but similar location, the city of Kent’s Van Doren’s Landing Park near the Green River showcases a custom Mount Rainier climbing structure for children among many other features.

“Van Doren’s Landing Park has always been a popular destination for recreation in Kent’s park system,” said Terry Jungman, city parks planning and development manager in a June 6 email. “The improvements to this site starting at the Russell Woods Trailhead and extending to Van Doren’s Landing and all the adjacent areas of the Green River Natural Resource Area creates a space where each of these individual parts are now interconnected and part of a bigger, more holistic park experience.

“A visit to this park truly has something for everyone: playground, regional trail access, open lawn for informal play, community gathering, nature trails, wildlife viewing and so on.”

City crews closed the park in 2020 as part of the estimated $57 million Lower Russell Levee Setback project by the King County Flood Control District. The improvements to the 1.4-mile levee between South 212th Street and South 228th Street (Veterans Drive) will help protect surrounding residential and commercial development from flooding and create additional flood storage and fish habitat.

“Inherent to achieving these goals was the relocation of Van Doren’s Landing Park from its original location along the riverbank just to the east of former Russell Road,” Jungman said. “The old park site was converted to additional flood storage and habitat with recreational trails. The redeveloped park replaced the original amenities and significantly expanded recreational value with additional children’s play, gathering spaces and improved trail connections.”

Jungman said the newly redeveloped Van Doren’s Landing Park has all the basic amenities typical of a community park: restroom, parking lot, two shelters, barbecue pits, children’s play area, Green River Trail access, walking trails, Wiffle ball field, pickleball court, horseshoe pits and an open lawn.

“The children’s play area is a pretty unique amenity and includes a custom Mount Rainier climbing structure with three concrete slides complimented with traditional play equipment, a zip line, swings and a large spinner structure,” Jungman said.

“Because of this impressive collection of play elements, the site is always busy with families and children,” Jungman said.

Count Kent Mayor Dana Ralph among the impressed.

“It provided a great opportunity to reimagine and invest in a new park,” Ralph said of the project. “So while we are creating fish habitat and protecting the valley down there, we are also getting a pretty, new, amazing space.”

The park also features an observation tower that sits close to the river and provides scenic views of the river and the park. The project created better connections between the park and the Green River Natural Resource Area, a popular regional destination for bird watching, with trails and three previously existing view towers.

Another significant improvement completed as part of this project is the separation of the Green River Trail from Russell Road between South 228th to South 212th streets.

“Historically, this segment of trail put bikes and peds on the road, but now this roughly 1 mile segment is completely separated from the road and meets regional trail standards,” Jungman said.

People are expected to make the 10.2-acre Van Doren’s Landing Park a prime destination.

“For most park users, this will feel like a completely new park experience,” Jungman said. “The old Van Doren’s Landing Park and the amenities were starting to show their age with most facilities near or at the end of their useful life. This project has breathed new life into this popular community park with vastly improved infrastructure and a significant increase to recreational value.”

Funding sources

Most of the funds for the nearly $57 million project are from the King County Flood Control District’s property tax measure, which is about 7 cents per $1,000 assessed value.

Grants that helped fund the work included $4.9 million from the state Department of Ecology; about $4.8 million from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board through the state Recreation and Conservation Office; and $300,000 from Cooperative Watershed Management grant, according to the King County Water and Land Division website.

Grand opening

10 a.m. Wednesday, June 28

Van Doren’s Landing Park is at 21901 Russell Road.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

An overview of the new play structures at Van Doren’s Landing Park in Kent, which was relocated due to Green River levee work. The park’s grand opening is at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 28. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent Parks

An overview of the new play structures at Van Doren’s Landing Park in Kent, which was relocated due to Green River levee work. The park’s grand opening is at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 28. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent Parks

More in News

One of two victims identified in fiery Kent crash

Kristen Anne Meyers, 53, died in May 11 crash on West Hill, according to medical examiner

City-owned ShoWare Center in Kent loses $742,675 in 2023

Losses lower than projected but expenses continue to exceed revenue at 6,200-seat arena

Kent firefighters extinguish two fires on the same morning | Photos

Friday, May 17 at apartment leasing office in the Valley and at a vacant East Hill house

Courtesy Photo, City of Kent
City of Kent population drops by 1,051 in 2023 compared to 2022

Decline similar to many cities of 50,000 or more across the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureau

Kent Police Blotter: April 25 to May 8

Incidents include burglaries, robberies, shootings

Rape charges dismissed against former Kent school bus driver

Prosecutors decide they could not prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt due to medical tests

Feds indict 9 South King County residents on drug trafficking charges

Those accused from Federal Way, Kent, Renton, Enumclaw

A screenshot of King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn speaking about a proposed amendment for the proposed $20 minimum wage ordinance. (Screenshot)
King County approves $20.29 minimum wage for unincorporated areas

Councilmember Reagan Dunn and more than a dozen business owners argued tips and health care expenses should be a part of the new wage. The council passed the ordinance without the amendment.

Dave Upthegrove. COURTESY PHOTO
Upthegrove one of seven candidates for state lands commissioner

His King County Council member’s district includes part of Kent

COURTESY PHOTO, King County Elections
Candidates file for Kent-area races for Congress, Legislature

Incumbents face challengers in two Congressional contests and four state House races

Two die in single-car crash in Kent on West Hill

Sedan crashed Saturday evening, May 11 into tree and caught fire in 2400 block of South 272nd Street

Spanaway man, 25, faces murder charge in Kent bar shooting

Reportedly shot Federal Way man, 30, eight times inside Meeker Street Bar & Grill