“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”.

Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer in 533 B.C.

                Walkers on the new pathway at Randall Park

I remember during my first month in Yakima as the Parks and Recreation Manager, we held an event at Randall Park and I thought to myself, we need to renovate this park.  That was back in October of 2008.  Now we are almost ten years down the road and we are in the home stretch for our Randall Park Improvement Project.  As I am writing this letter, work is being completed on the walkways within the park and on the 44th Avenue parking lot.  We apologize to everyone for the inconvenience the construction has caused.  Our talented staff in the Streets Division, led by Joe Rosenlund, have been doing a ton of the work in the park.  We have also had a large amount of guidance and assistance from our City Engineer, Brett Sheffield and his staff.  I also need to acknowledge Mike Price, Stormwater Division Manager, and his staff for the work on the pond.  I would be remiss if I did not mention Brad Schneider, Park Operations Supervisor, and his staff for the many hours they have spent working on this project. Saying thank you just doesn’t seem like enough to show how much I appreciated my City of Yakima coworker’s contributions to this project.


As I look back on this project, I am once again amazed at how we created a vision for improving Randall Park starting with 2 anonymous donations and establishing a small committee.  This started the process of dreaming about the improvements that could be made at the park.  After we applied for the grant from the State of Washington and got $500,000 to be able to do more to the park, our great service clubs jumped on board and continued the momentum with 2 new picnic shelters, a bridge, benches, a basketball court, wildlife observation deck and a playground.  We also received more donations and other organizations wanted to be part of the project.  City funds paid for the two parking lots, new walkways and the restroom.  The Stormwater Division made the much needed improvements to the pond and the ducks seem very happy.  Below is a list of our amazing donors, volunteers, businesses, organizations and contributors.  Without them, we could not have made this project a reality.



Russ & Elaine Kruse                                       Steven Manske

Hamilton & Carol Licht                                    Sonya Claar Tee and Robert Tee

Earl & Marilyn Pratt                                        Carl Dry

Kathleen La Fetra                                           Glenn and Valarie Dorn

Anonymous Donor – $100,000                       Anonymous Donor $50,000


Service Clubs

West Valley Kiwanis Club – Benches

Yakima Southwest Rotary Club – Wildlife Observation Viewing Deck and Basketball Court

Yakima Lions Club – Bridge

Downtown Yakima Rotary Club – Playground

Yakima Sunrise Rotary Club – Picnic Shelters



Recreation Conservation Office of the State of Washington – $500,000 grant

Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group – Riparian Zone restoration – Wide Hollow Creek & Pond

Triumph Actuation Systems – Trees and Volunteer Labor

Boy Scouts of America – Various Eagle Scout projects


City Departments and Divisions

Yakima Stormwater Division – Pond Renovation

Yakima Streets Division – 48th & 44th Avenue parking lots, .75 miles of 10’ wide walkways, parking lot

striping, parking lot lighting

Yakima Parks Maintenance – Irrigation, landscaping, general clean up, grass reseeding, ground repair, etc.

Yakima City Engineering Division

Scott Schafer, Director of Public Works

When I think about our Randall Park project, I am reminded of the quote from Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer in 533 B.C.  He said the familiar quote, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”  We started with one step and here we are at almost the end of the journey and it does feel like it was a thousand miles.  As you think about your plans, ideas and goals, remember that we all need to take that first step and as you look back I am sure you, like me, will be amazed at the miles you have traveled.

New park signs are popping up around Yakima.  We replaced the signs at Cherry, Miller and McGuinness Parks.  Every year we are hoping to replace a few park signs.  Keep an eye out for the next new park sign.


Ken Wilkinson,  Parks and Recreation Manager