Manager’s Message

“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

It has been an amazing year so far.  So many people have been working tirelessly to make the Aquatic Center at MLK Jr. Park a reality.  Yakima City Council approved a construction contract with Chervenell Construction and the construction started on April 22, 2024.  On Wednesday, May 8, 2024, we had a Groundbreaking Ceremony.  Over 170 people were on hand to celebrate this momentous occasion.  The effort and amount of time and energy by so many people to make this amazing recreation facility a reality is incredible.  The funding for the Aquatic Center has come from many sources.  [City of Yakima – $3.3 million, Yakima County – $3 million, State of Washington – $2.2 million and donation of over $3.3 million.] The generosity of this community is astounding from the $1 donations to the $750,000 donation.  Our plan is to open the facility in June of 2025, which I know we will be celebrated with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. 

Aquatic Center at MLK Jr. Park Concept Drawing

Jerry & Lynn Ward, on behalf of the Parker Youth and Sports Foundation, have been taking care of the roses at Franklin Park.  The Parker Youth and Sports Foundation helped with the purchase of fertilizer and new rose bushes.  Sadly, Jerry and Lynn have decided to “retire” from their volunteer gardening position and we need some help filling those time giving generous shoes.  If you or someone you know might be willing to help us maintain these beautiful rose beds, please contact me.  My phone is 509 576-6416 and my email is  Without more volunteers stepping up, the beds may need to be removed.  Huge thanks to Jerry and Lynn for your many years of service. 

Franklin Park Rose Bed

A fund-raising effort for added fencing at the Randall Park South Dog Park has been initiated.  The need for a second fenced area for the dogs that need a little more time to get acclimated is needed.  If you are interested in donating to this effort, please let me know.  All donations to this project are tax deductible.

In this time of seemingly more and more contention, please join with me in finding ways to work together for the benefit of our community.  Whether it be volunteering or donating to the new Aquatic Center or some other way to help us live together. 

Ken Wilkinson, Parks & Recreation Manager

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