“City parks serve, day in and day out, as the primary green spaces for the majority of Americans.” – Bruce Babbit
Pioneer Memorial Park is a serene 4-acre park in located in downtown Sequim, Washington. It is owned by the City of Sequim and operated and maintained by the Sequim Prairie Garden Club. Visitors can be seen reading, walking their dogs, performing Tai Chi or enjoying a picnic. Unable to use its’ Clubhouse due to Covid-19, the Sequim Prairie Garden Club lost its’ rental income in March of 2020. It is using cash reserves to continue to pay it's fixed expenses. It is not enough. WITHOUT HELP, THE CLUB WILL HAVE TO CLOSE AND ABANDON ITS' LEASE WITH THE CITY. This goal will allow us to carry on until rental of it's Cluhouse and in-person fundraisers will again provide regular income.
Pioneer Memorial Park played an integral part in the early days of the small pioneer community of Sequim. It originated as part of John Bell’s 1880, 160- acre homestead. Four acres were split off and sold to Clallam County to be used as Sequim’s first cemetery. The deed to the Sequim Cemetery Association was signed in about 1909. Frequent flooding from Bell Creek caused the association to abandon the property. Living family members were contacted for burial transfers to other cemeteries or at that time, on family farms. Some families could not be located and the individuals and headstones remained on the property. For the next thirty years, the property became overgrown with brush and weeds but still home to a stand of beautiful native Garry Oaks. In 1951, the newly formed Sequim Prairie Garden Club signed a 99-year lease with the Sequim Cemetery Association. Garden Club members, with the help of numerous other service groups and volunteers, created Sequim’s first community park from the abandoned cemetery and named it Pioneer Memorial Park.
Over the following decades garden club members spent hours and days clearing the dense overgrown brush. With the assistance of husbands and the community, the land was leveled and rocks were hauled. The planting areas were designed and a large semi-circle was created along the north side. As cash donations came in, trees, shrubs and flowers were added. The ornamental cherry trees were added to the semi-circle in 1961. The community donated memorial plaques, benches and trees in memory of their loved ones. A donated Carlsborg mill house became the garden club’s headquarters in 1963. Many improvements were made including a major remodeling in 1992. In 1966 the families of Judge Max Church and William Rhodefer created the oval on the south side of the clubhouse. Bill Whitney of Whitney Farms donated over 200 shrubs and evergreens for the area.
What will the funds be used for?
The donations will be used to pay for fixed monthly expenses of electricity, insurance internet, landscaping maintenance, repair as needed, and phone. The Club does not have any employees and has 53 volunteer members. We do not know how long the mandated closure of our Clubhouse will last. It might not be until the end of 2021. All deductions are tax deductible.