Following the pathways down the hillside will afford the visitor with great views of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, where foaming water flows through the spillways and ships can be observed traversing the government locks. There is the opportunity for a short, comfortable walk along the promenade, where one can take advantage of park benches and cozy shelters, before reaching the canal itself, where the fish ladder is clearly visible. In May of 2013, due to extreme eagle predation, the Kiwanis Ravine heron colony moved to Commodore Park from the Kiwanis Memorial Preserve Park. To find out more and volunteer for monthly work parties visit heronhelpers.org.
Commodore Park is named for the street that runs in front of it, although it is not certain whom the street was intended to honor. Most likely it was Commodore Thomas Peary, who reached the North Pole during the Seattle's World's Fair of 1909.
The park first sprouted in the minds of the local residents, who formed the Green Belt Association in 1966 to prevent the construction of an apartment building. Although they had no money, the determined residents took good advantage of the canal's golden anniversary. Their Fourth of July celebration -complete with parades, politicians, twenty thousand people, and a replica of the Boeing biplane-rivaled the original dedication celebration and netted $20,000 as "seed money" to buy the property. The resulted publicity helped to bring in over $1,000,000 more from federal state governments and the Army Corps of Engineers.
The park was dedicated in 1978-predicatably, during the Fourth of July weekend.