Panther lake is at the center of the earth. For an aerial view of this serene city lake, enter 47.42149 latitude, and -122.18734 longitude into a satellite view application or GPS device.
An amazing resource for economic development, improved livability and outdoor recreational opportunities is still alive in the Northeastern corner of Kent Washington. This fantastic piece of Shangri-La can be found smack dab in the middle of an economically struggling urban environment. The busy Benson Corridor, WA 515, borders it a few blocks to the west. Panther lake is surrounded by palatial estates, middle income housing, manufactured home developments, apartment buildings and commercial establishments. The Panther Lake Great American Casino offering an incredible lunch menu, is the most familiar landmark in the area.
If you have driven the Benson (WA 515) you have passed close to Panther Lake in Kent WA. You can't see it from the road. If you didn't know it was there you are in good company. Fifty thousand people live in the surrounding area. Many don't know it is there. Most people know there is a Panther Lake nearby, that's all. An old guy whom I met at After 5 Sports Bar near the Panther Lake Safeway told me it is still the best largemouth bass fishing lake in the State. A friend from church claims that no one knows how deep the lake is. He told me that the old timers say there is an impenetrable layer of muck about seven feet down but no one knows beyond that. A young businesswoman laughed when she related a story about going there to smoke pot when she was in High School. Her area has since annexed to Renton. She doesn't feel connected to The Lake anymore. My son and his friends from Benson Hill Elementary fished from the bank at the State Park entrance at the end of 116th SE. This spring a young man told me a fishing story over breakfast at the Golden Steer restaurant on the Benson at SE 240th. He often fished Panther Lake from a canoe when he attended Meeker Junior High. He quit going because his gear kept getting tangled in the non native lily that dominates the surface. He felt cleanup was a State problem. Since redistricting, his treasured fishing hole is now in the 11th Legislative District and he lived in the 47th Legislative District and didn't see how he could help in any grass roots activity to Save the Lake even though he only lives a few blocks away.
"Panther Lake will sink into the ground in twenty years" claims Kent Mayor Suzette Cook. What a tragedy, what a disaster. No public official or agency is willing to reach out to protect this precious public asset. I think the political leaders are unable to see the breathtaking splendor dancing before them. They choose instead to look at financial obligations. The State of Washington dumped a natural disaster package that included the stunning jewel of the Benson Corridor on an unsuspecting Boundary Review Board and ultimately on a Municipality. However, there is a much more pressing problem for Panther Lake and the people who canoe, swim, fish, play and breathe air.
Audrey ll was comic relief in Little House of Horrors, but reality is a Noxious non native vegetation ashpyxiating our lake. King County is dedicated to Noxious Weed Prevention. By their definition: Noxious weeds are non-native plants that are highly destructive, competitive and difficult to control or eliminate. Noxious weeds can destroy native plant and animal habitat, damage recreational opportunities, clog waterways, lower land values, and poison humans and animals.
Panther Lake of Kent certainly fits that description but it is not a problem for King County Parks. Who is responsible for the Panther Lake clean up? I'm old, but if we don't act soon I will live to see the last fingerling flap about in the muck competing for a desperate breath of oxygen. A frightening thought for me and the children of Kent
With the potential of becoming the paragon of city parks, Panther Lake, of Kent WA, remains unknown and neglected. By area, the Panther Lake community is the most multi-ethnic in the world. We must all join in a community effort. We need to form a coalition of citizens from our churches, synagogue, temples, mosques and cultural communities from throughout the Benson Corridor Communities. We need to step forward and demand a life saving clean up of non native lilies from Panther Lake, Kent WA. We need business leaders who influence political policies to step up to the plate in the campaign to Save Panther Lake. The Panther Lake community needs all residents to contribute in the effort to save Panther Lake. Students connected to the Benson Corridor, K-12 through IHL, can gather data, build timelines and help form a plan to save the lake and have fun doing it.
If we work together, our prize can become the centerpiece of Urban Parks and Lakes worldwide. First, we need to eliminate the non native lily that is strangling this active body of water.
First,, Help us form the coalition by sending your contact information in an email. Support our seminal effort to save this cherised recreational resource by posting your article at http://www.TheBenson.Biz. Placing COMMENTS at the end of any posted article is also a great way to show your support. Your opinion counts. Help us form the coalition by clicking the CONTACT US at the bottom of the HOME page or register as a member of TheBenson.Biz