Press Release: ƛ̕ax̌ʷadis (Tl' awh-ah-dees) Park opens to the public with expanded water access and environmental protection improvements 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         
April 7, 2023                                    

City of Kenmore Communications

Walkways and Waterways: 

ƛ̕ax̌ʷadis (Tl' awh-ah-dees) Park opens to the public with expanded water access and environmental protection improvements 

  • The park reopens to the public on Friday, April 7, 2023 
  • Public ribbon cutting ceremony to be held on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at 10 a.m. 

KENMORE, Wash. – Eleven acres of newly renovated and newly named ƛ̕ax̌ʷadis (Tl’ awh-ah-dees) Park reopens to the public on Friday, April 7, 2023. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on May 6, 2023, at 10 a.m. to celebrate the completion of the Waterfront & Natural Open Space Access Project and recognize the official name change to ƛ̕ax̌ʷadis (Tl’ awh-ah-dees) Park.

In April 2021, the Kenmore City Council approved a name change from Squire’s Landing Park to ƛ̕ax̌ʷadis (Tl’ awh-ah-dees) Park, the name of the Lushootseed village previously located in or near present-day downtown Kenmore. ƛ̕ax̌ʷadis translates to “a place where something is grown or sprouts” and honors the Coast Salish People who originally inhabited the area and the many Indigenous Peoples who still reside here. The name was recommended by the Kenmore Heritage Society, Ray Fryberg (Tulalip Tribes), and Iissaaksiichaa Ross Braine (Kenmore Resident /Apsaalooke Nation).

The Waterfront & Natural Open Space Access Project, approved by voters through the 2016 Walkways and Waterways bond measure, improves access to the water while restoring native vegetation for wildlife habitat. The project site includes improvements that renovate riparian and salmon habitat along the Swamp Creek Shoreline, create new wetland, and increase native vegetation. Over four acres of invasive species were removed and over 15,000 new native plants and 5,000 new native trees were planted throughout the the park project area.

“We are thrilled to be opening Tl’ awh-ah-dees Park to the public and celebrating the completion of this Walkways and Waterways project,” said Kenmore Mayor Nigel Herbig. “This park will be a newly activated space where wildlife and natural habitat can flourish because of the planning and care around environmental protections and where our community will have better access to the water, greater opportunities for recreation, and more space to enjoy the beauty and amenities that make Kenmore special.”

In addition to environmental enhancements and protections, the project includes new amenities for public access and recreation. Amenities include pedestrian bridges and viewing decks, accessible pathways, a watercraft wash-down station, elevated boardwalks, nature paths, a community gathering plaza and picnic shelter, kayak storage, launching facilities for hand carry watercraft, a public restroom and parking lot. The project also includes public artworks such as the signature “BirdBlinds” by local Public Artist Jennifer Dixon, which cast delightful, decorative shadows across the park.

“What an amazing opportunity this has been to create artworks for such a magnificent site,” said Dixon. “The BirdBlind roofs’ open cut pattern is inspired by the play of sunlight and shadow in the adjacent second growth cedar stand; each of the silhouettes suggest a bird in flight and provide the opportunity for visitors to engage with the site’s unique and diverse wetland habitat.”

The Kenmore Heritage Society (KHS), in collaboration with the Burke Museum, assisted with new interpretive signs and native plant markers that will be placed throughout the park. Parkgoers will be able to identify plants and read the native plant names in Lushootseed, binomial nomenclature, common naming, and the ethnobotanical category of use. KHS also hired Tulalip Coast Salish Artist Ty Juvinel, to create and install two additional artworks at the park: a painted mural and an aluminum spiral whorl.

The City has partnered with the Kenmore Waterfront Activities Center (KWAC) to provide a variety of programming and activities that support access to the water. KWAC will provide opportunities for hand-powered water sports including canoeing, kayaking, dragon boating, and outrigger canoeing. KWAC will also provide scholarships for those wishing to participate. KWAC will be hosting a Waterfront Activities Fair following the ribbon cutting ceremony on May 6, 2023, at 11 a.m.

“The Kenmore Waterfront Activities Center and its affiliates are so excited to be able to move home,” said KWAC President Sheri Baker. “With the expansion and improvements to what is now Tl’ awh-ah-dees Park, the opportunity to introduce more youth as well as adults to various watersports is truly something we’ve been anticipating.”

Thank you to the project team and partners: Strider Construction Co., Inc. With Boulder Creek Landscape Construction, Osborn Consultant Inc. with KBA Inc., Mott MacDonald LLC with J.A. Brennan Associates PLLC, Confluence Environmental Inc., Tree Solutions Inc., Landau Associates Inc., Davido Consulting Group, Jennifer Dixon, Kenmore Heritage Society with the Burke Museum and Ty Juvinel.

Total construction is estimated to be $6.7 million. $5.1 million in Walkways and Waterways Bond funds were used on the project with additional funding provided by Washington State Department of Commerce, the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board, King Conservation District, and King County.

ƛ̕ax̌ʷadis (Tl’ awh-ah-dees) Park is located at 7515 NE 175th Street in Kenmore, Washington. Visit the project website to learn more and listen to a pronunciation of the park’s new name:

tl ahw adees

Photo of ƛ̕ax̌ʷadis (Tl’ awh-ah-dees) Park by Jason Sperling

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