Thursday, November 4, 2010

Great News for November!

The Grey Whale Garden will get a new eye!
Most of you know that we had a tragic loss last April, when thieves dug and cut and pried out one of the beautiful mosaic eyes from our Grey Whale Garden. The hundreds of children who find delight in spending time in the Children's Garden each year were saddened and confused by this crime, which was hard on all the grown-ups too. Yet we will always be grateful for all the kind words of support and acts of kindness that have been shown to the garden ever since.

All summer long we were hoping that a kind (or guilt-ridden) person would give the police a tip that led to its return, but alas not a single clue came in. So today it is a huge thrill to announce that the Grey Whale Garden will get a new eye! Here's how it happened: When Clare Dohna - the artist who made the original mosaic for the whole sculpture - came back to reinforce the remaining eye with a major amount of concrete, she offered to make a new eye for much less cost than what her work is worth. What a generous and kind (as well as talented) person she is!

The Children's Garden Committee then began fund-raising efforts, which were kicked off by donations from parents and children who attended the Magnuson Community Center free family concert on July 30th. But with the tiny annual budget of the Children's Garden, the new eye still seemed out of reach until Ciscoe Morris suggested that we write a grant request to the Northwest Horticultural Society NHS is a wonderful organization that has provided public education and support for gardeners in our region for decades. We are so grateful to all the members of the NHS board for awarding the grant to the Children's Garden, and we are so excited that Clare can now get started on the eye!

On behalf of all the children (and grown-ups) who love the Children's Garden and its gorgeous Grey Whale, all we can say is "hip-hip-hooray!"

Thank You Volunteers!
This year, the Children's Garden Committee hosted 12 workparties and 5 special events, none of which would have been possible without the support of our fellow volunteers. We were honored to have adults and children from the local community, Scout, Campfire, and Y-Guides groups, Edmonds Community College Horticulture students, King Co. Master Gardeners, Seattle Works, and United Way Day of Caring volunteers each come spend a few hours with us to enhance and maintain the garden, with generous tool loans from Seattle Parks & Recreation.
In addition, our collaboration with Magnuson Community Center and the help of their teen volunteers made it possible for us to offer more special events this year than ever before.

We welcome all volunteer groups who would like to help keep the Children's Garden's growing and sustainable. As the Seattle Works volunteers (photo above) will testify, our events are tons of fun too!
For more photos and info about our wonderful volunteers, visit the July 24th posting.

Come Visit!

The Magnuson Children’s Garden is open FREE to the public year-round, during all hours that the park is open.
It is an interactive, vibrant place, filled with plants and other features that delight all the senses:

• A sea of grasses that rustle in the wind.
• Hundreds of plants that feed butterflies and other beneficial insects, hummingbirds and songbirds.
• Child-size picnic tables, plus tree stump stools and benches to sit and dream.
• A spiral path up a hill to the Lookout, the highest point in the whole community garden.
• The Fort Zone, complete with everything you'll need to build a unique "house" of your own.
• The Salmon Survival Path, which winds from our "ocean" up to the Lookout.
• and its signature feature, the Grey Whale Garden, complete with mosaic tail and eyes, and a tall grass spout!

For more information on Children's Garden events and volunteer opportunities, contact the Magnuson Children's Garden Committee at

For info about the Jr. Nature Explorers program, which is sponsored by the Magnuson Community Center, visit

You can also find additional information about the Magnuson Children’s Garden and Community Garden at

Directions to the Garden:
The Children's Garden is part of the 3.5 acre Magnuson Community Garden, located inside Warren G. Magnuson Park
7400 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115

The Children's Garden is easy to find! It is located right behind building #406, also known as "The Brig". Metro bus #74 will take you right to the NE 74th St. park entrance. Whether you are traveling to the garden by foot, bus, or by car, follow these directions:
  • Enter Magnuson Park via the entrance at Sand Point Way NE and NE 74th St.
  • Take NE 74th St. approx. 4 blocks until you reach the second 4-way stop sign.
  • If you're driving, turn right at that 4-way stop and park in the huge parking lot. (if you reach the dog off-leash area you've gone too far)
  • The entrance to the Children's Garden is via the crosswalk & sidewalk on the north side of that 4-way stop. When you get a few steps in, look on your left for a giant entry arbor with colorful flags and a Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar Tree draped over its top, and the giant Grey Whale Garden !
Magnuson Park is a proud participant in the annual National Environmental Education Week, which was held this year from April 11th-17th. The Magnuson Community Center, Children's Garden, and Bird-Friendly Landscape hosted several educational events that week for school-age children!
For more info on National Environmental Education Week, visit