Councilmember Godden left office on January 1, 2016.
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Seattle’s newest Park

Children were everywhere Saturday morning. They were leaping in and out of the jet spray fountain. They were leaning across the parapet at the model boat pond. They were racing along the generous pathways and crossing the footbridge to the Western edge of the park. They were cooling their toes in the

Lake Union shallows and chasing the flotilla of Canadian geese who came, uninvited and unabashed, to the opening of Seattle’s newest park.

What a day it was for a park opening and what a park. Seattle has rarely seen 12 acres of neglect turned almost magically into a playground for young and old alike.

The sun, a virtual stranger these gloomy summer months, arrived to illuminate and warm the newly sodded acres of slow-growing grass. The change in the weather didn’t go unnoticed. It was welcomed to the park by the several dozen Seattleites who gathered to celebrate the fruit of their labors. They had worked, year after year, for nearly a decade, beguiled by the dream of a Lake Union Park.

They were people like former councilmember Phyllis Lamphere and philanthropist John Nesholm who, against all odds, worked to make it a reality. They were others like Karen Daubert and Carol Lewis of the Seattle Parks Foundation and Maggie and Doug Walker who headed the campaign to raise the private funds – $10 million – to make it all possible. They were folks like Parks Superintendent Chris Williams and former superintendents Ken Bounds and Tim Gallagher. The list goes on and on and I’ll probably forget someone along the line – the honor role is lengthy and worthy. Just to mention two: Gary Glandt and Jackie Kotkins who spent a year planning the big opening ceremonies.

And then, don’t forget the people of this city who have acquired a jewel of a park, and who have somehow managed to find, during tough times, the funds to match the generous private donations.

I stood on an improvised stage Saturday dealing with disbelief, goosebumps and terminal euphoria, hardly able to comprehend that I was finally hearing that the park had become more than an imaginative artist’s rendering on a by now yellowed brochure.