Seattle Parks and Recreation, in partnership with the University of Washington and the Arboretum Foundation, invites the community to a public meeting on Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at the Graham Visitor Center, 2300 Arboretum Drive E. from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. The community is encouraged to attend the meeting and learn about the changes at the Pacific Connections Garden in the Washington Park Arboretum.
The public meeting follows on the heels of a public tour of the site on Wednesday, March 10, at 5:30 p.m. An additional public meeting was held on January 13, 2010, to introduce the public to the design team from the Berger Partnership.
The upcoming project includes restoration of the now overgrown Holmdahl Rockery and creation of an eye-catching display of colorful Chilean plant species. Work will begin in late spring of 2010 and be complete by the end of the year. “Gateway to Chile” is situated at the southern intersection of Arboretum Drive and Lake Washington Boulevard. The Washington Park Arboretum is a living museum that hosts a diverse world of plants, and is a valuable educational tool for the people of Seattle and the entire northwest.
Before construction starts on the project, Parks will remove 34 mature trees, which include some native species, to make way for the new Chilean garden. The project includes planting 72 Chilean trees that will contribute to the horticultural collection, and help educate the community about Chilean gardens.
The Gateway to Chile is an element of the Pacific Connections Garden Phase II, and a symbol made more notable and poignant by the recent magnitude 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile. The earthquake imbues the project with special meaning to Seattle as we respond with the rest of the world to the crisis.
Chilean species include Fuchsia magellanica; drimys winteri varandina, or winter’s bark; embothrium coccineum, or Chilean Fire Bush; Austrocedrus chilensis, a beautiful, endangered conifer; and Pilgerodendron uviferum, a tree that can grow to be 500 years old.
Contributions from public and private sources provide for these improvements. The Arboretum Foundation has generously contributed $290,000 toward the $450,000 construction cost. Additional funding comes from the Parks and Green Spaces Levy.
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