Big changes have been made at Yakima's Martin Luther King Jr. Park and city officials are celebrating the changes with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday. The work is a result of a community partnership that invested more than $160,000 in the park. City officials say the improvements completed last September were lead by Downtown Yakima Rotary Past President Eric Silvers. Changes at the park include a new 576 square-foot picnic shelter, additional security lighting and new playground equipment.
“I grew up in this park, played with my friends, learned to swim and went to school in that neighborhood,” said Silvers, who chose the park as the site for the new playground. “This is my neighborhood for three generations. This is a way to give back to my community.”
A press release says "members from all three Yakima Rotary clubs, along with Yakima Parks and Recreation maintenance staff and representatives from Play Creation installed the playground last September. The project, which kicked off with a ground-breaking ceremony in February 2020, was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Yakima Downtown Rotary, Sunrise Rotary, Southwest Rotary and Rotary Trust contributed to improvements at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, located at East Race Street and South 9th Street."

“We are grateful for a generous community that gives back and helps create improvements to our parks,” said Parks and Recreation Manager Ken Wilkinson. “The Yakima Parks & Recreation Division is able to do much more because of great partners like our Rotary clubs. Eric Silvers’ leadership has been so key to making these needed improvements possible.”

The ribbon cutting ceremony on June 17th is expected to last 25 to 30 minutes. Scheduled speakers include Mayor Patricia Byers, Yakima Parks & Recreation Commission Chair Rod Bryant, Silvers, as well as Yakima County Commissioners Amanda McKinney and LaDon Linde.

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