The Kirkland Park Board is seeking public comment and feedback in consideration of naming the Marina Park Pavilion “The Allen Locke Pavilion at Marina Park.”
The idea was presented to the Park Board by former Kirkland Mayors Bill Woods and Bob Neir, and former Kirkland Fire Chief Bob Ely at the June 14, 2017 Park Board meeting. The Park Board is asking residents to comment on the idea before the board decides if they will recommend the naming to City Council.
Residents can submit their comments via email to John Lloyd, Deputy Director of Operations for the Parks and Community Services Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a one question survey which is being distributed through social media on both the City’s FaceBook and Twitter account. Comments will be collected and the survey open until Thursday November 30, 2017. Results will be presented to Park Board at the December 13, 2017 meeting.
Kirkland’s policy for naming public parks is outlined in Resolution R-4799 and includes a provision to name a park after an individual, living or deceased, who has given outstanding civic service to the Kirkland park system.
Allen Locke, Kirkland’s first City Manager, took the job in 1965 and served for 20 years. Prior to his arrival, the site where Marina Park lies today was a dumping ground for raw sewage and was not fit for swimming or boating. Locke looked beyond the industrial wasteland and saw potential. He crafted Kirkland’s first master plan for parks, setting the stage for the City to receive a $328,000 federal grant which funded the development of Kirkland’s iconic downtown waterfront park in 1970. Locke expanded Kirkland’s park system from less than 30 acres in 1968 to over 70 acres in 1980 including 12 acres of waterfront parks.
According to Mayor Woods, Locke saw Lake Washington as Kirkland’s front door, he visualized parks, activity centers with play areas and a pavilion. Locke’s efforts as City Manager made this a reality.