Burien assumed ownership of existing King County Parks in 1997. In 2001, the City adopted its first citywide Parks, Recreation and Open Space plan, expressing Burien's desire to add more shoreline property to its park network. Due to limited resources, the highest-valued land acquisitions were those providing open space, wildlife habitat preservation, and access to natural resources.
In February 2000, Seahurst residents brought an 8-acre site on Puget Sound to the attention of the City. The site included 247 feet of undeveloped shoreline (with no seawalls, a rarity for this part of Puget Sound), 2 acres of tidelands, and 6 acres of wooded uplands. Acquisition of this site was supported by the Burien Parks Board, City Council, and Seahurst Community Club. The City Council voted to finalize acquisition of the Branson property in April 2002.
Burien’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department obtained grants to purchase the site, and provide $300,000 toward developing a beach access trail and protecting marine riparian and second-growth forest. In October 2002, the City Council articulated its vision for the park: “To provide an open space where community education and access are in harmony with habitat and critical area preservation as represented in the grant process.”
The City of Burien bought the property in 2002 for $954,866 from the Branson family. In 2000, the Bransons had divided the property into two parts, and the southern part of the property was purchased by the City for a public park. Another $824,135 was spent to develop the park. The firm of MacLeod Reckord Landscape Architects was selected to work with the City to develop a recommended plan for the park's construction.