Thursday, June 15, 2017

All About Sun Pocket Park Near Laurelhurst Elementary School At NE 47th Street And 47th Avenue NE

The Sun Park Team, which oversee the upkeep of the small corner pocket park located at the corner of NE 47th Street and 47th Avenue NE, would like to share what is currently blooming:
The Blue Camus have been blooming at SUN (Saving Urban Nature) Native Plant Park. 
Blue Camus (Camassia quamash) is common throughout Cascadia and was
cultivated and widely used by Northwest tribes. Steamed Camus bulbs were
popular part of the native diet and some tribes traded the bulbs with other groups
across the region.

Camus was often cultivated over generations in family-managed Camas beds.  Bulbs were dug with special sticks crafted from wood and deer horn in the late
Spring or mid Summer. Collected bulbs were placed in heated rock pits lined with Salal, blackberry, or alder branches or seaweed; blubs were covered with more branches and dirt or sand. Water was poured on the pile and bulbs were left to steam for a day or more. Cooked bulbs were soft and sweet and were eaten alone or used to sweeten other foods. Some tribes dried the bulbs for use throughout the winter.

If you would like to support SUN Park, please contact Dixie Porter
( or 206-383- 0147) or Janice Camp (206-849- 5778).
SUN’s Weed and Sweep Brigade work parties are held the second Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. Stop by with your favorite garden tool to keep the park in shape.

Originally a large 1920's Bungalow style house was located on the site.  A developer divided the original lot in three parcels and two houses were built on the subdivided lots. The Sun Park group, along with many in the community, attended a meeting along with City representatives, to save the third parcel from being developed and then created a pocket park.

The plot of land was purchased in March 2007 by a group of Laurelhurst neighbors and friends, through donations to the Cascade Land Conservancy, in order to preserve the small open space from development. 

SUN Park group provided this history, also located on a plaque at the park:

Saving Urban Nature

In 2005 the property at the corner of NE 47th St. and 47th Ave. NE was slated for development, but neighborhood residents saw an opportunity to create a community park and native plant garden. They worked with Cascade Land Conservancy (now Forterra) and formed a partnership to acted on this dream. Forterra is a nonprofit 501.c.3 organization whose mission is to conserve great lands and create great communities.  
The property was purchase in 2007 and SUN Park was completed in 2009, all funded by private donations. The Friends of SUN Park continue to partner withForterra as well as to volunteer to maintain the plantings and enhance the space for neighborhood use.

The garden showcases a diverse collection of trees, shrubs, ferns, perennials, and groundcovers native to Western Washington. Identification markers offer
some information on the plants and the ways in which their use represented the
first ‘grocery store’ and ‘pharmacy’ for local Native American cultures.
SUN Park serves as a demonstration site for those interested in growing native
plants and learning more about the plants indigenous to the region. Gardening
with these plants creates a more nature landscape, promotes wildlife habitats,
and requires less maintenance.

Go here for more information.

No comments: