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.