New Zealand Forest Opening Celebration
On Sunday, September 15, 2013, the Arboretum Foundation, University of Washington Botanic Gardens, and Seattle Parks and Recreation hosted a public event to celebrate the opening of the New Zealand Forest in the Washington Park Arboretum’s Pacific Connections Garden.
The Opening Celebration — organized in partnership with the Seattle-Christchurch Sister City Association and the Burke Museum — paid homage to New Zealand’s culture and ethnobotanical history. It featured a traditional Maori “haka,” or war dance, a.k.a. the Kiwi-inspired haka fitness (ref.), and a dedication ceremony with the sole brilliance of the Maori wood carver Caine Tauwhare, who helped create a semi elliptical park bench in the new forest.
There were also guided tours, family activities, speeches by Seattle Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith and other dignitaries, a ribbon cutting, and refreshments. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all our volunteers and attendees who made this possible. The opening celebration received excellent reviews in the press.