“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”
As we start winter, which seemed to come a bit early this year, we are starting our persistent planning for the upcoming spring and summer. We continue to make improvements to Miller Park. We received some local grants and donations and a $625,000 grant from the State of Washington Department of Commerce through the Washington State Legislative Capital Projects grant program. We are almost done with the improvements. The new playground seems to be a big hit and the final Viva La Musica concert in the park under the new shade canopy was amazing. I have been told that the new lights at the basketball courts are appreciated and the courts are getting more use in the evenings now due to the added lighting. The walkways are done thanks to our talented staff in the City of Yakima Streets Division. The butterfly mosaic is on the wall of the Washington Fruit Community Center and it looks amazing. The porcelain tile welcome mats will be installed in the walkways when the weather permits. We are so grateful for the generous donation from the Millennium Foundation and the great work done by the staff at Tieton Mosaics that provided this park with these great additions. We still have the free-standing mosaics to complete in the park and those will be done in the spring.
We are again working with our amazing Yakima Rotary Clubs to improve your parks. The individual presidents of the 3 clubs have joined forces to add lights to the basketball courts and skate park at Gateway Sports Complex – Kiwanis Park, at the Chesterley Park skate park and possibly at the basketball courts at Randall Park. Lights will provide added security to the parks facilities and allow longer facility use, especially in the fall and spring when the weather is still good, but the daylight is short. Special thanks to Vicki Dwight, president of Sunrise Rotary, Rick Fairbrook, president of Downtown Rotary and Dirk Bernd, president of Southwest Rotary.
We will continue to work on the design of the MLK Jr. Park swimming pool. NAC Architects was chosen to work on the new project along with Water Technology. As the design progresses, we will share them with City Council, Park and Recreation Commissioners, community leaders and the community.
As we exercise patience and persistence towards our goals for 2023, I encourage you to get out there and enjoy the winter and spring weather and the outdoor recreation facilities in our community. Park Maintenance staff will once again work hard to keep the walking paths and parking lots plowed and available for you to enjoy.
Ken Wilkinson, Parks & Recreation Manager