Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Thomas C. Wales Foundation and the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs are hosting a dedication for Queen Anne’s newest green space, Thomas C. Wales Park, at 10 a.m. this Saturday, April 16.
The 1.3 acre park, located at 2401 6th Ave North just off Dexter Avenue, opened quietly back in October in the space formerly known as Dexter Pit Park. When the park was redesigned last fall, artist Adam Kuby created five raised gabion “Quarry Rings”, providing an urban wildlife habitat for many birds and bats that nest in the park, and a design that matches the park’s unique history. The stone and gravel used to make the rings are a tribute to the park’s previous use as a gravel pit in the early 1990’s.
A variety of indigenous, bird friendly plants were chosen to support artist Adam Kuby’s vision of creating avian habitat in the gabion-ring sculptures. The elevated, stone-filled rings echo the history of the site as a gravel quarry, and gesture to its future as a wildlife sanctuary
The park was renamed in December of 2007 after the late Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas C. Wales, who was murdered in his Queen Anne home in 2001.
“Thomas C. Wales Park is a wonderful memorial to Tom, who loved Seattle and his Queen Anne neighborhood,” Rick Wales, brother of Tom Wales and founding chairman of the Thomas C. Wales Foundation, said in a press release. “He was a big believer in supporting and developing public spaces in which people could convene and connect, helping to inspire civic engagement and passionate citizenship amongst neighbors. The Foundation is honored to join Seattle Parks and Recreation, and the Queen Anne Community Council in honoring Tom, his vision and dedication to community.”
The dedication Saturday will include a performance by the John Hay Chorus, a chance to learn about birding from Seattle Audubon members, and an official ribbon cutting ceremony with members of the Wales family, the artist, and a number of elected officials, including Mayor Mike McGinn, who will be leading a Q&A in the neighborhood later in the afternoon.
The redesign of the park was funded by the Pro Parks Levy, approved by Seattle voters in 2000. Over the last eight years the levy has provided $198.2 million in funding for more than 100 projects citywide.
After the dedication, Mayor McGinn will be taking a walking tour of Lower Queen Anne and Kinnear Park, followed by a Q&A session from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Bayview Manor, located at 11 W Aloha. Community members are invited to pose questions, voice concerns, or simply share what’s on their minds with the Mayor and city department representatives.
For more information on the Q&A portion of the event please contact Liz Birkholz at email@example.com or 206-233-5107.