News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

It's a Happy Easter at Hubbard Homestead Park

April 24th, 2011 · No Comments

By Katie Melton

The grand opening of Hubbard Homestead Park on Saturday boasted a bustling crowd and beautiful weather.

At 10 a.m. there was an all-ages egg hunt, followed by a performance from local musician Rodey Dean, pictured below, playing the acoustic guitar and singing a mix of old favorites and his music.

The new park features a half-court for basketball, which was broken in by players from the Seattle Storm and the former Seattle SuperSonics, alongside other park visitors.

One of the park’s artistic features is the source stone that mimics the spring that once ran through the Hubbard family’s property.

Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan, shown below, the artists behind the stone, attended the opening to talk to visitors about the symbolism and purpose of the piece.

“The water is reclaimed irrigation water,” Haddad said.

The water flows out of the stone and down a channel to the other end of the park to irrigate the park’s abundant plant life.

There is also some mythical symbolism behind the piece.

“The texture of the stone is supposed to be like beaver fur and the disk inside is mimicking beaver tail texture,” Haddad said. “The red light that glows at night commemorates the rest of the myth of the ‘Beaver Woman,’ who is believed to reside in springs.”

The artists also sprinkled gold flakes amongst the gravel near the stone to represent the fool’s gold that the Hubbard children used to find in the spring.

The water feature was a huge hit for adults and children alike.

So, what were the visitors’ thoughts on the new park?

“It’s great!” said Owen, pictured below, who was with his father, Flint.

And dad’s thoughts?

“I’m glad it’s here,” Flint said. “Something is much better than nothing. I’m not totally gung-ho about the design. It’s really lacking in shade. I’m looking at it as a work in progress.”

The park’s design (pdf) is intended to have shade … eventually. Trees have been planted around the park to solve this issue.

A little after 11 a.m., Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Christopher Williams introduced Mayor Mike McGinn to give a welcoming speech and to cut the ribbon with the Hubbard family and other special guests.

McGinn, shown at left, discussed the importance of having the community enjoy a place to gather and be together, as well as the importance of having access to a nice, new green space for Northgate and its surrounding neighbors, including Maple Leaf.

“Parks like this don’t just have a single vote or a levy,” McGinn said. “I bet there’s a lot of heroes here who helped get this started.”

Mr. Hubbard, who grew up on the property, spoke briefly.

“I’m glad it’s changed from a parking lot to a place to play — again,” he said.

The morning concluded with the Hubbard family, McGinn, Seattle basketball players and Seattle Parks and Recreation members (and some tiny volunteers) cutting the ribbon.

The age 50-plus walking group Sound Steps finished off the event with a walk throughout the park, encouraging visitors to be active outdoors.

The park is now available for the public, so if we get any more weather like yesterday’s, be sure to check it out.

Katie Melton is the intern for Maple Leaf Life. She is a journalism student at the University of Washington.

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