• The Eli's Park Project

In early May we asked for your help. Dozens of you responded with letters, quotes and testimonials of how you and your loved ones plan to use Pathways Park. We are so grateful, so honored and so proud to tell you that it worked!

We are recipients of $850,000 of Dan Thompson Memorial funding!

Not only is this exciting news for our project, but for our entire state. In loving memory of Dan Thompson, a memorial fund was created in 2005. This year, in partnership with our legislature, $55 million has been allocated to different organizations and community groups who directly serve people with developmental disabilities.

Click here to see the full list of recommendations and to learn about the amazing work happening in Washington that will improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities.

What’s Next for Pathways Park?

This funding brings our total raised to just under $5.8 million! The project is almost ready to go to bid and then we’ll find out how much it will actually cost to build this amazing park. We’re hopeful we’ve raised enough to build it exactly as you’ve dreamed it.

Thank you for being there at every turn of this wild, winding pathway that has led to a park for us all.

The Eli’s Park Project first started with a little boy who inspired a big idea. But the project really began with a simple google search, something like, “seattle landscape architects who are also kind humans” and a cold call to the first firm that popped up: Site Workshop.

They submitted an application and were unanimously and enthusiastically chosen to lead the project. This line in their application stood out to the team, “If our work as designers is going to be responsive to the needs of the community, we need to invest in hearing from the broadest range of voices.” They have invested limitlessly, for the past five years, and as a result, are building both a beautiful community and a beautiful park.

Vinita Sindhu, Clayton Beaudoin and Patrick Pirtle are three of the wonderful landscape architects who’ve been leading the project from the beginning. They have put countless hours into the project. From meeting with small handfuls of people, to hosting large community events, to even helping brew the first ever Inclusion IPA with our friends at Ravenna Brewing.

The truly inclusive nature of the project is what really stands out to Vinita. “From the beginning, this project made a commitment to inclusion that far exceeds any other project I’ve worked on. That commitment to a park that is truly designed for all was what attracted me to this project and what has continued to inspire our team.”

Site Workshop has embraced and embodied this commitment to inclusion throughout the entire process. “They are absolute experts, yet they genuinely believe that people’s lived experiences are another form of expertise. Their unique and powerful leadership style centers listening, learning and loving,” says Paige Reischl, project volunteer.

Vinita, Clayton and Patrick have turned years of listening into an amazing plan for a park that honors and elevates the dreams and needs of thousands of community members who’ve come together to imagine a place that works for everyone.

When asked about his favorite feature Clayton said, “My favorite feature of the park is the treehouse, which cantilevers out over the ravine creating the feeling of being very high up, yet is easily accessible for absolutely everyone.”

Like the treehouse, each feature in the park will be accessible for all. Every feature is also thoughtfully designed to be used in a variety of ways, to include art, to hold messages of welcoming and to carry reminders that our differences are beautiful and should be celebrated.

We are so grateful to Vinita, Clayton and Patrick for pouring their time and talent into our project and community.

We’re getting together at the park one more time before we break ground this summer. Come meet the landscape architects behind, and really at the heart of, the future Pathways Park. They are the very best.

Updated: May 23

Drop in and join the Eli’s Park Project community for one last celebration before we break ground and begin renovations this summer.

We will be hanging out at the Burke Gilman Playground Park (future home of Pathways Park) on June 5th from 1:00 - 3:00. We will have lots of fun activities and people of all ages, abilities and identities are welcome.


Storytime with June Vanderhoff

Eli’s grandma and author of, A Home for a Gnome, will be reading her book and signing and giving away 100 free copies.

Grow Your Own Microgreens

If you have a love for plants, come plant your very own microgreens with Laura Matter from the Garden Hotline. Laura and the Garden Hotline will provide a small cup, soil and seed for you to get started and take home and grow!

Ravine Poetry with Our Teen Advisors

Do you love to write and exercise your creativity? Our Teen Advisors will be located near the Rainbow Ravine to help you write some metaphors, odes and haikus to celebrate the natural beauty of the ravine.


Wedgwood Starbucks is generously donating beverages for the event! Store Manager, Marshall, shares our mission and values, come pay him a visit.

Lushootseed with Nancy Jo Bob

Come learn about Seattle’s first language, Southern Lushootseed (txʷəlšucid, dxʷləšúcid) with Nancy Jo Bob who has been working to revitalize the language for over 20 years. Scan the QR code to listen to the pronunciation of Pathways Park.

See the Plans and Stay Connected

Our landscape architects from Site Workshop will be hanging out ready to show you the final design! Come check out the plans and join the Friends of Pathways Park to get updates and be part of ensuring the new park remains a welcoming place for all.

Yard Games and Play

Get ready to gather with your community and play yard games! We will have lots of fun games. Teen volunteers from the Eckstein soccer team will be on hand to welcome everyone in to play.

Hope to see you all there!

Thank you to Outdoors For All for promoting our event. Outdoors For All is dedicated to teaching individuals with disabilities adaptive recreational activities.