Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Two new parks in Seattle

Colman School parking lot to be Jimi Hendrix Park

Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken Bounds announced today the naming of two new parks: Jimi Hendrix Park and Chinook Beach Park.

Jimi Hendrix Park
Parks acquired this land, located next to the Colman School at 2400 S Massachusetts St. in Seattle's Central District and once the school's playground, in 1948. Then the Washington State Department of Transportation bought the land for use in staging construction of the I-90 lid project. Since 1997, Parks has leased the land from the state for parking for the adjacent Sam Smith Park. The 2000 Pro Parks Levy provided $309,300 for site improvements that include better pedestrian connections to the park and neighborhood.

The name honors the late '60s rock icon Jimi Hendrix and his childhood ties to Seattle.

Seattle City Councilmember Jean Godden, a champion of naming the park after Jimi Hendrix, said "This recognition is long overdue. I'm delighted the City has finally found a fitting tribute to honor the significant historical and cultural contributions of one of our most famous native sons."

Chinook Beach Park
The City of Seattle acquired the property, located along Lake Washington at the 9500 block of Rainier Ave. S, in the 1930s when Rainier Ave. S was extended to Renton. In 1960, the then-Seattle Engineering Department transferred most of the property to Parks, which then leased the site to the adjoining AquaMarina for the moorage of small boats. This moorage was destroyed in November 2003 by severe wave action caused by high winds.

After the storm, Parks began design work on the conversion of the site to a habitat area for juvenile migrating salmon. These small fish feed and grow before they migrate through the Lake Washington Ship Canal to Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean, where they spend several years before returning as adults to spawn in the Cedar River. The project involved removal of the parking lot fill and other features from the old moorage, installation of beach gravel, planting of the hillside with native vegetation, and building a small overlook. This work was completed in late 2005.

The name honors Seattle's ties with salmon, and the role this park plays in their life cycle.

The Park Naming Committee is comprised of one representative of the Board of Park Commissioners, one representative of the Seattle City Councilmember who chairs the committee dealing with parks issues, and one representative of the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation. For more information about the park naming process, please contact Paula Hoff, Seattle Parks and Recreation, at 206-615-0368 or paula.hoff@seattle.gov.

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