by Staff Writer
“Seattle’s hidden treasure” may have just gotten a little more valuable as of last week. More than a hundred people, including Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Japanese master mason Suminori Awata flocked to South Seattle’s Kubota Garden last Thursday to celebrate the latest addition to one of the city’s most alluring parks.
After more than a year of scrupulous labor, planning and donation drives, the garden finally unveiled its new Terrace Overlook in a ribbon cutting ceremony to a delighted crowd of local dignitaries.
The stone overlook, which graces the rear entrance of the garden, was initially conceived by Don Brooks, the Seattle Parks Department Lead Gardener, and received funding from the Seattle Parks Foundation, 4Culture and hundreds of private donors with an affinity for one of South Seattle’s most prominent attractions. Marenakos Rock Center provided the stones for the overlook’s construction.
Most of the work prepping the garden for the ceremony – including grading pathways, pruning and landscaping – was handled by the same people who contributed the majority of work on the project: the garden’s fervently dedicated volunteers.
“The overlook is really a testament to the value people place on the garden. This project was only possible because of the countless hours of volunteer labor people provided to it,” said Michael Oxman, a long-time Kubota volunteer who attended Thursday’s ceremony.
“It’s another showing of this community coming together towards a goal,” added Oxman.
After musical performances by choirs from Amazing Grace Christian School and Renton Prep Christian School and speeches by local officials, Kubota Garden Foundation Board President Joy Okazaki joined Mayor Murray in cutting the ribbon on the Terrace Overlook to much applause from those in attendance.
Nestled between the Upper Rainier Beach and West Hill neighborhoods, Kubota Garden – with its twenty acres comprising hills, valleys, waterfalls and rock outcroppings – has long been an “escapist” destination for those seeking temporary serenity from the entrapment of urban living.
As the recently completed overlook offers plum views of Kubota’s various amenities including its diverse horticulture, the garden’s newest add-on should keep that reputation well intact.