Newest Kiwanis Park Improvements Celebrated
Over that last several years, Kiwanis Park has celebrated a lot of improvements, including new
softball fields, a new skate park, new basketball courts, and a new playground. This Saturday,
September 22nd, the latest additions to the 34-acre park in Southeast Yakima – three new
ballfields – will get a chance to be in the spotlight during a grand opening ceremony starting at
2:00 pm. The park is located at the corner of South Fair Avenue and Maple Street.
The opening of the three new, lighted ballfields, which can accommodate youth baseball as well
as women’s fastpitch and slowpitch softball, marks another step in securing the park’s growing
reputation as a premiere sports and recreation destination.
“Earlier this year the Gateway Sports Complex at Kiwanis Park hosted the Northwest Athletic
Association of Community Colleges women’s softball crossover tournament,” said Yakima Parks
and Recreation Manager Ken Wilkinson. “It was a big tournament and it was a huge success.
With the opening of the three new ballfields, we anticipate more events of the size and scale of
the NWAACC tournament, or even larger, coming to Yakima,” said Wilkinson.
Other improvements were also made in conjunction with the three new ballfields including
restroom facilities, a concession stand, an additional parking lot, and new playground. In total,
the project cost more than $2.5 million. Funding for the project came from Yakima Rotary,
Lions, and Kiwanis clubs as well as the Yakima School District, the City of Yakima, and the
State of Washington Recreation and Conservation Office (“RCO”).
“The new ballfields, as well as all of the recent improvements at Kiwanis Park, prove that
amazing things can be accomplished when the community joins together to achieve a goal,”
said Wilkinson. “Kiwanis Park is a great testament to the concept of public/private partnerships.
It really is a facility all of Yakima can be proud of,” said Wilkinson.
Saturday’s grand opening ceremony will take place in the common area connecting the three
new ballfields. Speakers at Saturday’s ceremony will include Assistant Yakima Mayor Maureen
Adkison, 14th District State Representatives Norm Johnson, Yakima School District Board
Members John Vornbrock and Walt Ranta, Yakima Parks and Recreation Commission
Chairman Rod Bryant, Dr. Mike Wilson from the Yakima Kiwanis Club, Dick Elliott from the
Yakima Lions Club, and Steve Pilger from the Yakima Rotary Club.