CHS Pics | Volunteer Park Picnic and a look at the design for new lily pond fencing

(Images: CHS)

Volunteer Park was an exceedingly pleasant scene Thursday night as family, friends, and lovers gathered for a picnic on the main lawn to enjoy live music and free ice cream under the summer sun. Seattle musician Lydia Ramsey sang with her band as children danced and wrestled on the grass with their parents watching from a distance.

The annual Volunteer Park Picnic included a special appearance this year. Partway through the picnic, a member of the Volunteer Park Trust went onstage to make a few announcements about upcoming projects that build upon a larger effort to renovate and reinvigorate the park alongside major reconstruction and expansion of the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

One of these projects includes replacing the fence surrounding ponds near the front entrance of the museum, which have been taken over by a small flock of local ducks that have adopted them as a home and resting area to escape the summer heat.

The $46,000 project will replace the small wire fencing that surrounds the ponds with a sturdier barrier that is 30 inches high, permanent, and runs the circumference of both pondsThe height and placement of the fences came under scrutiny after the accidental drowning of Capitol Hill resident Amy Vanderbeck in January 2017. But the Volunteer Park Trust maintains that they’re not redesigning the fence because of the tragic incident, but rather, to ensure that children playing near the ponds don’t fall in.

Volunteer Park Trust’s Jeff Crandall told CHS last year that planning for the lily pond improvements began in 2010 after generations of Capitol Hill families went through the unfortunate experience of consoling soaking wet children who fell into one of the twin ponds near the park’s reservoir.

Fabrication of the fence has already begun and the new barriers will be installed in September.


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2 thoughts on “CHS Pics | Volunteer Park Picnic and a look at the design for new lily pond fencing

  1. No, I did not tell “CHS last year that planning for the lily pond improvements began in 2010 after generations of Capitol Hill families went through the unfortunate experience of consoling soaking wet children who fell into one of the twin ponds near the park’s reservoir.”

    But safety issues for children at the Lily Ponds go back over a hundred years. Here are just three historical documents that discuss this:

    1910 letter from Seattle Board of Park Commissioners discussing their concerns stating “(T)here has been some talk that our Lily Ponds at Volunteer Park are dangerous on account of depth and … the small children wandering around there may possibly fall in….”
    http://volunteerparktrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/1910-Thompson-letter-re-lily-pond-safety.pdf

    1911 Letter from James Dawson offering solutions for “the danger of small children falling into the pools and drowning.”
    http://volunteerparktrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/1911-Letter-from-James-Dawson.pdf

    1912 Field Note detailing two children who fell over the pond edge.
    http://volunteerparktrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/1912-Field-note-re-lily-pond.pdf

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