Mayor to Award Seattle Park District Funds to Amy Yee Tennis Center and Kubota Garden

Join us Thursday, Dec. 15 at 2:00 p.m.

On Thursday, December 15, Mayor Murray will award major projects at the Amy Yee Tennis Center and Kubota Garden.  The funding is from the Seattle Park District’s Major Projects Challenge Fund, an initiative which leverages Park District funding with community-raised matching funds. The Fund awards are based on a recommendation from the Park District Oversight Committee and confirmed by Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) Superintendent Jesús Aguirre.

Amy Yee Tennis Center Check Award Ceremony: At 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 15 the Mayor will present a check for $1,273,000 to the Amy Yee Tennis Center Advisory Council. The tennis center project will build an enclosure over the six existing outdoor courts that will be heated, lighted, secure, and programmable for tennis year-round. Currently these outdoor courts are only used during the summer months. The project will expand the capacity of the tennis center and enable it to offer more programs to more people. The tennis center is located at 2000 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.

Kubota Garden Check Award Ceremony: At 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 15, the Mayor will present a check for $925,000 to the Kubota Garden Foundation. There are two phases to the Kubota Garden project. The first phase is the construction of the wall to the north of the Entry Gate and the completion of an accessible path. The second phase is the wall on the south side of the current parking lot. The project includes a retaining wall to create additional parking. Kubota Garden is located at 9817 55th Ave. S.

Background on the Major Projects Challenge Fund: The six-year financial plan for the Seattle Park District includes the Major Projects Challenge Fund, which provides $1.6 million annually to finance the redevelopment of SPR facilities. The intent of the Fund is to leverage community-generated funding to supplement the Park District funds. To maximize the impact of the funding, SPR combined two-years of funding for the initial round of awards. Applications for the funding from community organizations were scored based on criteria developed in consultation with the Park District Oversight Committee. The Committee reviewed the applications and recommended a slate of awards. Two projects were considered “shovel ready”: Amy Yee Tennis Center and Kubota Garden. Many other projects received smaller amounts for planning, ranging from $30,000 to $93,000.

Additional Project Awards: In addition to the construction funds awarded to the Amy Yee Tennis Center and Kubota Garden, planning grants were awarded to the following organizations.

Major Projects Challenge Fund

2016 Planning Grant Awards

Project Award
Daybreak Star Capital Needs Assessment and Facility Improvements $30,000
South Park Community Center – Playground and Playfields Renewal $50,000
Madrona Bathhouse Theater Improvement $40,000
Magnuson Park Community Center Improvements $50,000
Green Lake Small Craft Center Redevelopment $93,000
Magnuson Park Playfield Development Project $50,000

 

For additional information, please contact Karen O’Connor at karen. o’connor@seattle.gov or visit http://www.seattle.gov/seattle-park-district/projects/building-for-the-future

 

 

 

Seattle Parks and Recreation invites the community to the new terrace overlook dedication at Kubota Garden

HWA - KG Terrace PlatformSeattle Parks and Recreation and the Kubota Garden Foundation invite the community to a celebration for the new terrace overlook at Kubota Garden on Thursday, May 21, 2015 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at Kubota Garden, 9817 55th Ave. S.  The ribbon cutting event includes a Shinto blessing, music by Amazing Grace Christian School-Renton Preparatory Middle High School and light refreshments.

The new overlook structure, located at the north end of the garden above the Spring Pond, provides a much-needed informal event space and casual viewing area. Bob Hoshide of Hoshide Wanzer Williams Architects designed the structure. It is carved into a sloping hillside and connects the upper terrace with views to the main entry gate and pond. The overlook includes a stone support wall, crushed rock patio, granite pavement floor and a beautiful timber  structure, complete with a railing designed by local artist Gerard Tsutakawa, and integrated paths and landscaping. [Read more…]

Spring plants and expert advice at Kubota Garden’s plant sale

05-04-2014 Plant Sale 01

Kubota Garden’s 2014 spring plant sale

Plant Sale Prep Collage

Kubota Garden’s 2014 spring plant sale

The Kubota Garden Foundation will host its annual spring plant sale from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 2 at the Kubota Garden Nursery.

There will be beautiful and high quality plants for sale at extremely competitive prices. The selection will include perennials, annuals, grasses and both deciduous and evergreen bushes and trees. There will also be a great selection of Japanese Maples.

Most of the available plants and trees can be grown in containers.

Garden experts will be available on site for any advice needed on this method of gardening or on general plant care.

The first to arrive will have the best selection to choose from, so plan to arrive early! Plant sale staff will provide assistance with loading plants into vehicles.

All proceeds from the sale will go towards maintaining the garden.

The Kubota Garden Nursery is located at 9817 55th Ave. S. Free parking is available.

For more information, visit www.kubotagarden.org or call 206-725-5060. Staff can also be reached at office@kubotagarden.org.

Kubota Garden hosts weekly work parties

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Adopt a park! Every Tuesday, Kubota Garden hosts volunteer work parties. The breathtaking landscape of the garden is reason enough to attend, but we hear free sweets and caffeine are involved too.

Work parties start at 9:30 a.m. at the Staff Maintenance Office (the brown building south of the parking lot). Join work party leaders for coffee and cookies and then head out into the garden for a group work project from 10 a.m. –  noon.

Kubota Garden work parties are great opportunities to learn from horticulture experts. Dress in comfortable clothes and come prepared! Work parties happen rain or shine. Tools and gloves are provided.

The garden is located at 9817 55th Ave S.

For more information, please visit http://www.kubotagarden.org/events/calendar/ or call Marcia High at 206-684-4584.

Ishi-gaki completed in Kubota Garden

Construction team pictured from left to right: Jacobo Jimenez, Philip Gibson, Eric Sterner, Lorin Kaywood, Adam Hart, Don Brooks, Yoshitaka Sekiguchi, Matt Driscoll, Suminori Awata, Kevin Kobylczak, Jonathan Courtland, Michael Murphy, Seth Jenks, Kyle Schlagenhauf, Derrik Van Nimwegen, Kentaro Kojima, Ray Bernardez, Lance Myers, and Osamu Urushihara. Not pictured: Sadafumi Uchiyama, Ramon Garcia, Tetsuro Tanabe, Junji Awata, Pepper Goldsmith.

Construction team pictured from left to right: Jacobo Jimenez, Philip Gibson, Eric Sterner, Lorin Kaywood, Adam Hart, Don Brooks, Yoshitaka Sekiguchi, Matt Driscoll, Suminori Awata, Kevin Kobylczak, Jonathan Courtland, Michael Murphy, Seth Jenks, Kyle Schlagenhauf, Derrik Van Nimwegen, Kentaro Kojima, Ray Bernardez, Lance Myers, and Osamu Urushihara. Not pictured: Sadafumi Uchiyama, Ramon Garcia, Tetsuro Tanabe, Junji Awata, Pepper Goldsmith.

 

On Wednesday, Aug. 20, the Kubota Garden celebrated the completion of the ishi-gaki (dry-laid stone wall) constructed during the two-week “Rock, People, Chisels” workshop. Stone masons from around the country sorted through more than 300 tons of stone, sizing and setting the wall into place by hand. The wall will serve as a base for a new overlook terrace in the garden. 

Now that the ishi-gaki is in place, Seattle Parks Carpentry and Cement crews will build the shelter structure. The overlook terrace will include a stone platform and modest shelter structure, integrated paths and landscaping. It will be located at the north end of the Kubota Garden Terrace above the Spring Pond, providing a much-needed informal event space and casual viewing area.

For more information about the project’s history, please click here.

 

Japanese master stone masons arriving soon in Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden’s “Rock, People, Chisel” workshop is just a few weeks away, and stone masons from as far away as Michigan, South Carolina and Japan are clamoring at the opportunity to construct a traditional Japanese rampart in the Northwest.

From Aug. 8-20, Jyunji and Suminori Awata, 14th– and 15th– generation Japanese stone masons, will be in Seattle leading a workshop to construct an eight-foot tall “ishi-gaki” or dry-laid stone wall that will serve as the base for a new terrace overlook in Kubota Garden, which is located in southeast Seattle.  The workshop participants will work with the Awatas sorting through more than 300 tons of stone, sizing and setting the wall into place by hand. The group will be assisted by local stone mason, artist and translator Kentaro Kojima of Marenakos Rock Center and master stone fabricator Tanabe-san.

Kojima helped spearhead the effort to bring the workshop to Kubota Garden and said he is excited to introduce this piece of Japanese culture to the Pacific Northwest garden. When Fujitaro Kubota began the garden in the 1920s, he wanted to showcase the Northwest’s beauty in a Japanese manner.

In a message to workshop attendees, Kojima wrote, “[The workshop] will be educational, historical and cultural. It will be involving the community and it will be a heritage project.”

For the past seven months, the Kubota Garden Foundation has been working with the Marenkos Rock Center and Seattle Parks crews to prepare the site.

Feb 12
In February, Kojima tested High Cascade Granite to make sure the workshop would be equipped with the right tools to efficiently split stones.

April 22

On Earth Day, the gardeners at Kubota Garden transplanted a black pine tree to make way for upcoming construction.

May 8

In May, Suminori Awata did a tour of the Kubota Garden site and said the project will serve as a cultural bridge between the East and West.

July 9

This month, Ohno Construction and Seattle Parks Heavy Equipment Crew finished excavating the site and CalPortland donated 250 tons of quarry spall to backfill the stone structure. Front footings for the pavilion were formed and poured.

“This workshop will be incredible,” Kojima said. “First and foremost is the opportunity to bring the masters from Japan and introduce their art to the Northwest where the community seems thirsty and very receptive to connections with Japan. Also, as important for those of us working or thinking about working with stone, this is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to work side-by-side with the masters.”

After the workshop, when the stone platform is in place, Seattle Parks Carpentry and Cement crews will build the shelter structure. The overlook terrace will include a stone platform and modest shelter structure, integrated paths and landscaping. It will be located at the north end of the Kubota Garden Terrace above the Spring Pond, providing a much-needed informal event space and casual viewing area.

The public is invited to see the workshop in action. There will be no cover charge, but donations to the Kubota Garden Foundation are welcome. Construction will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 8.

Famed Japanese castle builders to construct Kubota Gardens structure

An artist's rendering of the Terrace Overlook planned for Kubota Garden.

An artist’s rendering of the Terrace Overlook planned for Kubota Garden.

 

There is something that draws us to castles. Maybe it stems from our childhood days full of wonder and fairytales. Maybe it’s our awe of brave knights and jousts. Or maybe, dare we admit it, it comes from an obsession with Hogwarts and Game of Thrones.

There is also something intriguing about the people who build castles.  Jyunji and Suminori Awata are father and son, 14th- and 15th-generation stonemasons who are known for restoring medieval castle walls throughout Japan. The men are from the Ano-shu guild lineage, famed carvers whose castles are celebrated for being impervious to seismic activity, having stood for hundreds of years due to the concentrated dry-stone stacking of their walls.

In August, the Awatas will be in Seattle for two weeks leading a workshop to construct an eight-foot tall “ishi-gaki” or dry-laid stone wall that will serve as the base for a new terrace overlook in Kubota Garden.  Fifteen to 20 masons will work with the Awatas, sorting through more than 300 tons of stone, sizing and setting the wall into place by hand. The participants will be assisted by local stone mason, artist and translator Kentaro Kojima of Marenakos Rock Center.

Kentaro Kojima performs tests on High Cascade Granite to ensure that Kubota Garden has efficient tools for the August workshop.

Kentaro Kojima performs tests on High Cascade Granite to ensure that Kubota Garden has efficient tools for the August workshop.

The idea to bring the Awatas to Seattle came from Kojima who attended their workshop in Ventura, Calif. in 2010. “Kentaro came back from the workshop and he was so jazzed,” Kubota Garden Foundation President Joy Okazaki said. “He was determined to do one in the Northwest.”

Kojima looked into many private businesses that had Japanese connections to serve as hosts, but realized the wall would be located in a private place after completion and thought that went against the spirit of the project. He searched for a more public venue with no luck. Then one afternoon, Don Brooks, the chief gardener at Kubota Garden, walked into the Marenakos Rock Center.

“I know Don, so we started talking and he brought up this crazy project he read about on the internet,” Kojima said. “The project entailed bringing some guys from Japan and building a stone wall somewhere in California. Don seemed to think that that project took place long time ago, but in fact it just had happened and I had many, many pictures to show him. As I was showing him the images, he said, ‘Oh, how I wish we could do something like that in Kubota.’ And it all connected in my mind. It will be educational, historical and cultural. It will be involving the community and it will be a heritage project.”

During the past year, Seattle Parks and Recreation crews have been busy preparing the Kubota Garden site for the workshop. Crews have relocated trees and large stones to create lines for paths to the overlook. In February of this year, Kojima began doing some tests on High Cascade Granite.

After the workshop, when the stone platform is in place, Seattle Parks Carpentry and Cement crews will build the shelter structure. The overlook terrace will include a stone platform and modest shelter structure, integrated paths and landscaping. It will be located at the north end of the Kubota Garden Terrace above the Spring Pond, providing a much-needed informal event space and casual viewing area.

“We are really excited for the opportunity to promote cross-cultural artwork and highlight the partnership we have with Seattle Parks,” Okazaki said. “Plus, people are really interested in learning about castles.”

To see a video about the upcoming workshop, click the following link: Rock, People, Chisels

Winners Announced for Annual Denny Awards

Acting Superintendent Christopher Williams today announced the winners of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s 2012 Denny Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Stewardship. The winners are a cross-section of Seattle’s most tenacious, creative and hard-working volunteers who donate precious time and energy to improving Seattle’s parks and programs.

“It is always difficult for us to choose winners,” Williams said. “All of our volunteers make valuable contributions for which we are deeply grateful. Our intention is to single out those who whose work builds community, inspires others, and improves lives.”

Each year, more than 40,000 volunteers donate about 350,000 hours to Seattle Parks and Recreation. Their service is valued at between $8 and $10 million annually. Winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony on November 29, 2012.

Special Gardens Award

Mary Anne Parmeter, Kubota Garden Foundation

Mary Anne Parmeter has donated thousands of hours to Kubota Garden and the Kubota Garden Foundation in the past 22 years. As a founding board member, Mary Anne has held many roles. Since 1991 she has served as the editor and publisher of the Kubota Garden Foundation Newsletter, was Secretary for several terms and currently responds to calls to the foundation’s voice mail system. She developed and wrote the Garden’s Tour Guide program. She spent hours researching historical information for the guide, including interviewing Tom Kubota — the son of the Garden’s founder, Fujitaro Kubota. Not only did she write the guide book, she still trains the Tour Guides and takes a personal interest in seeing them succeed.

http://www.kubota.org/

 

Conservation and Environmental Stewardship Award

Lance Smith, Seattle Volunteer Naturalist

For 16 years, Seattle Volunteer Naturalist Lance Smith has tirelessly dedicated his talent, passion and skills to providing environmental education programs throughout Seattle parks for students of nature ages 2 – 92. Lance averages 185 hours of programming each year. In 16 years, he took one brief hiatus from the program after his twins were born. Using his degree in Entomology, Lance trains new and veteran volunteer naturalists on insect identification, as well as tips and tricks for teaching insects to varied age groups. In 2012, the traditional docent program expanded to become the citywide Seattle Naturalist Program. Lance was an integral part of this transition. His ideas resulted in an improved training program that is more relevant for the volunteers.

http://www.seattle.gov/parks/environment/naturalists.htm

 

Community Stewardship Award

Craig Thompson, East Duwamish Greenbelt/Dr. Jose Rizal Park

Since 2001, Craig Thompson has been on a mission to reclaim the overgrown, crime ridden hillside at the north end of the East Duwamish Greenbelt and to activate Dr. Jose Rizal Park.

He has spent hundreds of hours clearing brush himself and organizing work parties for thousands of volunteers. After a decade of volunteer leadership and personal stewardship, Craig’s hard work is paying off.  With the completion of the Mountains to Sound Greenway trail through the greenbelt and park, activity has increased tenfold. Craig now spearheads activation. He continues to solicit and lead volunteer groups. He has provided mentorship and support to the new Off Leash Dog Area Steward.  He inspired and continues to lead an Orchard Steward group, which has renovated and maintains an orchard in the park. And, he is now a Green Seattle Partnership Forest Steward.

http://www.seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?ID=433

 

Park Activation Award

Othello Park Alliance, Othello Park

The roots of the Othello Park Alliance (OPA) go back to a tragic and deadly shooting on one of the basketball courts at Othello Park in 2005. Neighbors stepped up, helping to create positive, family friendly events in the park. In 2008 those neighbors formed The Othello Park Alliance. For four years, OPA has produced the Othello Park International Music and Arts Festival, an annual signature event. More than 1,500 people attend this event annually. In 2011, the Music and Arts Festival was formally accepted as a Seafair-sanctioned community event. This group gathers grants, donations and sponsorships of more than $15,000 each year to fund the annual Music and Arts Festival. They have also raised more than $278,000 to organize, coordinate and fund six design processes and park improvement projects.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Othello-Park-Alliance/189438511108629

 

Corporate Citizens Award

Skanska USA Building Inc, Magnuson Park Picnic Shelter

In May 2011, Skanska USA Building Inc. approached Seattle Parks and Recreation with an offer to complete a small project. Skanska is a worldwide contractor with local roots in Seattle, and its standing Community Involvement Committee (CIC) seeks opportunities to give back to the local community. In collaboration, Parks and Skanska identified Magnuson Park Picnic Shelter #1.  The project had been fully designed, and sat waiting for construction funding for four years. Members of Skanska’s CIC, along with skilled-labor staff, worked tirelessly over the course of nine months, spending much of their personal time generating construction schedules and communicating with vendors to procure donated materials and services. Construction was completed in just over one month. The total project’s estimated value is $200,000. All materials were donated to Skanska by industry subcontractor partners.

http://seattle.gov/parks/maintenance/magnuson_picnic_shelter.htm

 

Making a Difference Award

Gray Newlin, Out There Poetry Camp

Gray Newlin created Seattle Parks and Recreation’s first ever week-long poetry camp for LGBTQQ youth and allies. The Out There Poetry Camp brought in 20 local, adult LGBTQQ poets, artists and performers who provided five hours of topics each day, and inspired young participants to find and strengthen their authentic voices: as youth and as LGBTQQ persons. The camp culminated in a Friday night Camper Showcase event at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. Although she had never organized an event of this scope before, and — at 18 — was attending her first year of college, Gray provided amazing leadership. The value of the camp — counting cash, in-kind sponsors and volunteer time — came to more than $8,000; although, the actual cash used to implement it was less than $1,000. And it was free to campers.

http://www.outtherepoetrycamp.com/

Superintendent’s Award

Tom Douglas Restaurants, Salmon-Chanted Evenings at Victor Steinbrueck Park

In 2011, Tom Douglas approached Seattle Parks and Recreation about offering “fish, friendship and fun” in Victor Steinbrueck Park. Tom’s initial idea was to set up a casual outdoor dining event that would be hosted by different restaurants throughout downtown Seattle. No other restaurateurs took up the idea, so Tom Douglas and his staff – notably Pamela Hinckley — did it themselves. And Salmon-Chanted Evenings was born. Once a month from June through September, you can find Tom Douglas in Victor Steinbrueck Park with his staff serving up freshly cooked salmon dinners to park visitors. All the proceeds from the events are donated to Seattle Parks and Recreation. To date, the event has raised more than $30,000 that goes directly back into Victor Steinbrueck Park. He and his staff have donated more than 335 hours to produce the events.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLEIQ8zgbIQ&feature=related

 

Seattle Parks and Recreation is extremely grateful to the thousands of people who dedicate themselves to making Seattle Parks and Recreation better. This year’s nominees include:

 

  • Richard Appleton, Nora’s Woods and Leschi Natural Area
  • Somchai Chaipatanapong, Ballroom Dance Instructor at Yesler Community Center
  • David Dougherty, Founder of the Olmsted Park Trust
  • Carol Fisher, President of the Lifelong Recreation Council Advisory Council
  • Richard “Dick” Foley, Volunteer for the Japanese Garden Party
  • Friends of Green Lake, Stewardship of Green Lake and Green Lake Park
  • Friends of International Children’s Park, International Children’s Park Renovation
  • Keith Gellar, Forest Steward at Plum Tree Park
  • Sue Geving, President of the Northgate Community Center Advisory Council
  • Groundswell Northwest, Volunteers Bringing Parks and Greenspaces to Northwest Seattle
  • Donna Hartmann-Miller, Friends for a Greater Maple Leaf Park
  • Lifelong Recreation Advisory Council, Recreation and Socialization for Seniors
  • Alfred Love, Volunteer Basketball Coach
  • Russell Odell, Youth Mock Trial Instructor at Jefferson Community Center
  • ServPro, Professionally Cleaned Southwest Teen Life Center, Pool and Neighborhood Service Center
  • Seward Park Environmental and Audubon Center, Nature and Science Education at Seward Park

 

The Denny Awards are named after David T. and Louisa Denny, who donated land for the first Seattle park in 1884 (Denny Park), where Parks’ headquarters are located.

 

Seattle Parks and Recreation gratefully acknowledges the Denny Award sponsors and supporters, including the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, Seattle Park Foundation, Associated Recreation Council, Parker Design House, Ivar’s Restaurants, Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Parks and Recreation Japanese Garden, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Art Museum, Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering, Pacific Science Center, Schwartz Brothers Restaurants, and 5th Avenue Theater.

 

# # #

Kubota Garden Maple Festival on Saturday

Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Kubota Garden Foundation will host a Japanese Maple Festival at Kubota Garden, 9817 55th Ave. S, on Saturday, May 14, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

At 11 a.m., maple tree expert Charlie Morgan will give a talk entitled “Amazing Maples.” That will be followed by tour guided and self guided tours of the garden at 12 noon. At 1 p.m., Master Pruner Pete Putnicki will give a talk about caring for maple trees. Visitors are invited to hear Charlie and Pete speak near the garden entrance gate on the small lawn.  

Self-guided materials will lead visitors to what gardeners view as the best most noteworthy varieties of maple in the Garden. Kubota Garden contains more than 150 maples, with about 50 different types.

Hidden in South Seattle, Kubota Garden is a stunning 20 acre landscape that blends Japanese garden concepts with native Northwest plants. The city acquired the property, which is an historic landmark, in 1987 from the estate of master landscaper Fujitaro Kubota. Kubota was a horticultural pioneer when he began merging Japanese design techniques with North American materials in his display garden in 1927. The Gardens are a spectacular setting of hills and valleys, interlaced with streams, waterfalls, ponds, bridges, and rock out-croppings with a rich array of plant material.

Admission to the Garden is free.