Community invited to participate in Open Houses for the Kubota Garden Master Plan Update

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and the Kubota Garden Foundation invite the community to participate in Open Houses for the Kubota Garden Master Plan Update on Sunday, June 17 or Saturday, June 23. Both Open Houses will be held at the garden, 9817 55th Ave. S from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The community is encouraged to drop in and meet the design team (Jones & Jones Architects/Landscape Architects and Hoshide Wanzer Architects), learn about the site’s opportunities and constraints, and offer thoughts on what is important at Kubota Garden. The design team will use this information as they develop ideas for the garden that will be presented to the public in early fall.

There have been many changes to Kubota Garden since its master plan was put into place almost 30 years ago. This Master Plan Update will guide garden programs and maintenance for the next 20 to 30 years. The update will help preserve the garden and its passive recreation use, while defining future improvements such as buildings, parking, pathways and security. The Master Plan Update will also include assessments for the garden’s existing creek, as well as vegetation and wildlife, along with recommendations for their protection.

The Kubota Garden Foundation received a funding match from the Seattle Park District’s Major Projects Challenge Fund for planning process and plan update. Approved by Seattle voters in 2014, the Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding to Seattle Parks and Recreation for maintenance of parklands and facilities, operation of community centers and recreation programs, and development of new neighborhood parks on previously acquired sites.

For more information please visit: https://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/kubota-garden-improvements or for special meeting accommodations please contact Karen O’Connor at karen.o’connor@seattle.gov or 206-233-7929.

For more information about Kubota Garden and the Kubota Garden Foundation please visit: http://www.kubotagarden.org/.

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Seattle Park District Major Project Challenge Fund improves Seattle Parks and Recreation facilities

Update on community-initiated projects and studies

The Seattle Park District Major Project Challenge Fund (MPCF) initiative leverages Seattle Park District funding with community-raised matching funds to significantly expand the life and usability of a park facility, providing greater opportunities for people to make use of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s improved community facilities and parks. The first round of the community-initiated projects, announced in December 2016, provided small awards of $30 – $96,000 for feasibility and preliminary design work to help define the scope of potential future projects and awards to two construction projects with a total cost of approximately $2 million each. The MPCF awards were based on screening criteria that included equitable prioritization scoring matrix, and came recommended from the Seattle Park District Oversight Committee and confirmed by Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Superintendent Jesús Aguirre after a screening process of the 19 applications received. The MPCF allowed for projects/studies to be accomplished throughout the city. Recognizing that all communities are not equally able to provide matching funds, the initiative allowed for a portion of funding to be allocated to assist diverse communities and organizations that lack resources for a match.

The six completed studies are:

  • Magnuson Community Center Architectural and Engineering Maintenance Evaluation Study
    • INNOVA Architects completed the study and estimates renovation costs at $1.8 to $2 million.
  • Magnuson Park Playfield Development Study
    • DA Hogan & Associates completed a schematic field design and cost estimate. The preliminary project cost estimate is $4 + million.
  • Daybreak Star Capital Needs Assessment and Facility Improvements Study
    • INNOVA Architects completed the feasibility study and estimated project cost to be $4 million for short and long term needs.
  • Madrona Bathhouse Theater Improvement Study
    • INNOVA Architects completed the feasibility study and estimated project costs at $2.3 million
  • Green Lake Small Craft Center Redevelopment Study
    • Schacht Aslani Architects is completing study on the building and programming, and the study will be completed by the end of 2017.
  • South Park Community Center, Playground and Playfields Renewal
    • Broadview Planning and SPR planning staff conducted public outreach over 2017 with attendance at community events, and the community is encouraged to participate in this survey for South Park Community Center’s Major Challenge Fund Site Study https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SPCCStudy

The two construction projects include:

  • Amy Yee Tennis Center, which is proposing to 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. SPR has assigned a project planner; initial planning work has started and community outreach will begin in early 2018.
  • Kubota Garden phased construction project, plus funding for a master plan. The first phase is the completion of the wall to the north of the Entry Gate along with accessibility improvements. The second phase involves an update to the master plan, additional wall work and other potential improvements. Kubota Garden is located at 9817 55th Ave. S.

SPR will be launching the second round of the Major Projects Challenge Fund in January 2018 with proposal letters due in March 2018. Funded projects must renovate, expand or upgrade parks or park facilitates with funding from a combination of City and community -generated funds.

For additional information, please contact David Graves at david.graves@seattle.gov or 206-684-7048 or visit http://www.seattle.gov/seattle-park-district/projects/building-for-the-future

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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

 

 

 

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May is Asian Pacific American History Month

Seattle is the perfect place to celebrate Asian Pacific American History Month. Asian Pacific Americans have played significant roles in Seattle’s history and there is a thriving community with lots to explore including public art, museums, the Chinatown/International District and everything in between.

Lunch + Learn
Friday, May 13 | 12-1 p.m.
Bertha Knight Landes Room at City Hall 600 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
Please join us for a special Lunch + Learn, celebrating Asian Pacific American History Month. Artists Akio Takamori, Diem Chau, and Humaira Abid will present their work and how it reflects their cultural heritage. Curated by Ruri Yampolsky, Public Art Program Director, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. Please bring your lunch; beverages and food for thought will be provided.

Places to explore:

Chinatown/International District
Seattle’s Chinatown/International District is located southeast of Pioneer Square. The historic district built largely between 1909 and 1929 is listed in the National Historic Register of Historic Places. It is home to vibrant storefronts, restaurants, produce markets, and museums.

Parks to explore:

Hing Hay Park
423 Maynard Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
Hing Hay Park “Park for Pleasurable Gatherings” is the International District’s primary public square and features an ornate grand pavilion that was a gift from the people of Taipei.

Kubota Garden
9817 55th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
The Kubota Garden is a stunning 20 acre landscape blending Japanese garden concepts with native Northwest plants. It was created by Japanese American Fujitaro Kubota in 1927.

Seattle Japanese Garden, Arboretum
1075 Lake Washington Blvd E, Seattle, WA 98112
Located within the Washington Park Arboretum, this is a spectacular 3 1/2 acre formal garden designed and constructed under the supervision of world-renowned Japanese garden designer Juki Iida in 1960.

Cultural Organizations:

The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
719 South King Street, Seattle, WA 98104
Founded in 1966, the museum was named after Wing Luke (1925-1965), the first Asian American to hold public office in the Pacific Northwest.  The Wing explores the culture, art and history of the pan-Asian Pacific American experience and is the first Smithsonian affiliate in the Pacific Northwest as well as an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service. Their mission is to connect everyone to the rich history, dynamic cultures and art of the Asian Pacific Americans through vivid storytelling and inspiring experiences.

Seattle Asian Art Museum
1400 E Prospect St, Seattle, 98112
The Seattle Asian Art Museum resides in a 1933 Art Deco building in the Olmstead-designed Volunteer Park. Their collection of Asian art includes historic and contemporary Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Korean, Southeast Asian, Himalayan, Filipino, and Vietnamese art.

Burke Museum
4331 Memorial Way NE, Seattle, WA 98195
The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, founded in 1885 is a research and collections based museum dedicated to cultural heritage and biodiversity. The museum’s long term exhibition Pacific Voices features the arts, ceremonies and stories of Asian and Asian American cultures and communities around the Pacific Rim.

Densho
Densho is a digital, public history organization. They work to preserve and share stories of Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated during World War II by recording firsthand accounts, digitizing historical images and documents, and developing classroom resources. Densho’s work is nationally acclaimed with awards from the American Library Association, Society of American Archivists, Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award and the Oral History Association.

5th Avenue Theatre
1308 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
Opened in 1926, the interior of the 5th Avenue Theatre incorporates design motifs from Imperial China’s Forbidden City, Temple of Heavenly Peace, and Summer Palace.

 

*Information included from the Visit Seattle’s Cultural Guide

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

Seattle 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.

As part of the project, Stone masons from around the country joined Jyunji and Suminori Awata, 14th- and 15th- generation Japanese stone masons to constructed an eight-foot tall “ishi-gaki” or dry-laid stone wall during a workshop organized by Kentaro Kojima of Marenakos Rock Center.  The overlook’s stone wall uses a gravity wall system and was constructed using a traditional method of splitting and stacking the large granite stones. During the workshop, stone masons sorted through more than 300 tons of stone. The masons then sized, split and set the wall into place.

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.”

Seattle Parks and Recreation staff including the survey crew, heavy equipment operators, truck drivers, carpenters, cement crew, electricians, plumbers, drainage crew, landscape crew and Kubota Garden Parks staff all contributed to the overlook.  Survey and heavy equipment crews worked with Ohno Construction to prepare the Kubota Garden site for the stone workshop and when the stone platform was in place, Seattle Parks carpentry, electrician, plumbers, and other staff built the pavilion structure and integrated paths.

“The new overlook is a beautiful new cultural asset for Kubota Garden,” said Christopher Williams, Acting Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent. “Seattle Parks is grateful to the many talented and generous people coming together to create this sustainable community gathering space.”

The Kubota Park Foundation’s successful fundraising campaign included funding from 4Culture, the Seattle Parks Foundation and generous private contributions.  The new overlook represents history, culture and public/private collaboration to further the Kubota Garden Foundation and Seattle Parks and Recreation missions.

Kubota Garden is a stunning 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. Tom Kubota, Fujitaro’s son was the first to suggest an overlook structure at the current location. The garden is a spectacular setting of hills and valleys, interlaced with streams, waterfalls, ponds, bridges, and rock out-croppings with a rich array of plant material.

More information about the workshop visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kilmEJoQ0VE&feature=youtu.be  For more information about the event visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kubota-Garden/144013716362 or contact Karen O’Connor at 206-233-7929 or karen.o’connor@seattle.gov.