Friday, October 15, 2010

“Gateway to Chile” opens this weekend

Though it clearly has a ways to go before it becomes the “eye-catching display of colorful Chilean plants” that it’s ultimately intended to be, the Arboretum’s newest installation, Gateway to Chile, is about to get its official public unveiling. On Sunday, October 17, the public is invited to the inauguration of what’s certainly the most ambitious replanting project undertaken in the Park for several decades. This garden represents the first phase of a much more ambitious Pacific Connections Garden project, part of the Arboretum’s twenty-year master plan.

Located on a Lake Washington Boulevard hill near the Arboretum’s Madison Street entrance, the newly planted Chilean garden will need a bit of time to mature and fill the space available before looking anything like the graphic below.

Even so, the project, which began in July, has totally transformed what had previously been an overgrown hillside. Part of that vegetation overgrowth had obscured the Holmdahl Rockery (right at the corner of Lake Washington Boulevard and Arboretum Drive), which is also being restored as part of the Gateway to Chile installation. A further portion of the Chilean forest will be planted later this year, followed by a New Zealand “focal forest” to be installed in 2012.

Funds for this project were partly provided by the City’s Parks and Green Spaces Levy, with additional monies raised by the Arboretum Foundation. The Washington Park Arboretum is jointed operated by the City, the Foundation, and the University of Washington. More information on the project is located here. This Sunday’s inaugural event begins at 1 pm (2300 Arboretum Drive E.).
Gateway to Chile opens, coincidentally, during the very week when the world’s attention has been focused on the rescue of the Chilean miners. When ground breaking occurred at the Arboretum site during the summer, the Chilean earthquake disaster had just occurred, bringing Chile to the forefront of the world's consciousness.
[Illustration courtesy of the Arboretum Foundation.]

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully these are exhaust-resistant plant species.


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