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Seattle Parks and Recreation

The View From Denny Park
Gregory J. Nickels, Mayor
Kenneth R Bounds, Superintendent


No. 34. April 9, 2003
A periodic electronic newsletter
about Parks and Recreation news, programs, projects and events
from Seattle Parks & Recreation Superintendent Ken Bounds

The View from Denny Park: News and Views from the Superintendent

KUBOTA GARDEN A HIDDEN GEM

We all know and frequent the parks of renown—the Green Lake, Volunteer and Seward parks in our system —but if you’re looking for a lesser known getaway to enjoy spring blossoms, I urge you to visit Kubota Garden near the southeast border of the city at Renton Ave. S. and 55th Ave. S.

Now would be an excellent time to see flowering trees such as magnolia and cherry, and early rhododendron and azalea. The Kubota Garden is at once tranquil and spectacular. Conceived by Fujitaro Kubota in the 1920s, the 20-acre park blends Japanese and American garden concepts in a unique landscape of hills, valleys, streams, waterfalls, rock outcroppings, two traditional Asian bridges, and a stone lantern.

With the help of the Pro Parks Levy, we will enhance the garden with a series of projects, beginning construction next year, to improve drainage, irrigation, maintenance and accessibility for disabled persons. A new “entry court” with stone pavers, plaza and benches, funded with Pro Parks Levy dollars, will complement an entry gate and wall, sponsored by the Kubota Garden Foundation and funded in part by a grant from the Neighborhood Matching Fund. The gate will be designed by famed Seattle sculptor Gerald Tsutakawa. Another upcoming project, funded by the Parks Cumulative Reserve Fund, is the construction of a new facility for the garden crew, headed by senior gardener Don Brooks.

The Kubota Garden Foundation also sponsors garden tours, volunteer “work parties,” and spring and fall plant sales. For more information about the Foundation, please visit www.kubota.org/

For more information about the Pro Parks Levy project at Kubota, please visit

www.seattle.gov/parks/proparks/projects/kubotaGarden.htm

GAS WORKS PARK OFF-LEASH AREA PROPOSAL

I will make a decision later this month on a site plan for the northwest section of Gas Works Park.

Off-leash area supporters want a dog off-leash area included in the site. The idea, which is stirring public opinions both pro and con, was broached at a recent public meeting for this Pro Parks Levy project. The project description in the Levy calls for park improvements in the undeveloped northwest corner of the park creating a connection to the recently completed Wallingford Steps.

I will base my decision on a number of factors, including public input, the recommendation of the Board of Park Commissioners, and previous planning documents such as the Gas Works Park Master Plan, the Wallingford Neighborhood Plan, the Seattle Parks and Recreation Plan 2000, and City Council Resolution 29628, which includes site selection criteria for off-leash areas.

I appreciate hearing from citizens in writing and in person at project public meetings and at the public hearing before the Park Board on March 27. The Board will make its recommendation on April 10, and I will make a decision soon afterward.

AUDUBON AGREEMENT NEAR

In an important boost to our environmental stewardship programs, we are nearing final agreement with the National Audubon Society for Audubon’s use, occupancy and co-funding of an Audubon nature center at Seward Park.

We will present the proposal to the Park Board on April 10. As proposed, the project would renovate the Annex building and make minor improvements to the former Fish Hatchery. The Annex would house offices for the Department’s Teens for Recreation and Environmental Conservation (TREC) program, a naturalist on loan to Audubon and Audubon center staff. The Annex would also include classrooms, conference rooms, and a lobby. Of the $2 million cost of the project, the City would pay $618,600 from the Pro Parks Levy, and Audubon would raise and contribute the rest.

Upon approval of the agreement by City Council ordinance, project design would begin with construction expected to occur in 2004. If you have any comments on this proposal, please send them to david.takami@seattle.gov

OLMSTED CENTENNIAL

Seattle’s Olmsted park legacy was featured in a comprehensive collection of articles in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer earlier this month. Please see http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/115362_olmsted02.shtml

From May 1 to 4, the National Association for Olmsted Parks will hold its annual conference in Seattle featuring lectures, workshops, presentations and tours. Registration is under way. For more information, please visit www.seattle.gov/friendsofolmstedparks/ or call Kari Stiles at (206) 332-9915.

I will be in touch soon.

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