The former Wayne Golf Course is being transformed into Bothell’s newest park, and some in the community are rallying behind a name honoring the salmon who swim through the city’s waterways: “Redfish Park”.
Whitney Neugebauer of Whale Scout, with help from Dr. Jeff Jensen of UW Bothell and killer whale scientist Dr. David Bain, has helped spearhead a movement to name the 89-acre park in honor of “redfish”. According to many historical accounts, these kokanee salmon were feasted upon by the Native Americans who first settled the Bothell area. These iconic fish remain culturally important today.
Neugebauer has collected over 60 “Redfish Park” name submissions as well as posters and artwork from children at Bothell’s Evergreen Karate & Jiu-Jitsu and other local elementary school classrooms.
“Giving the park the name ‘Redfish Park’ honors the native history of the Sammamish River and the natural abundance that originally brought people to this special place,” Neugebauer said. “Now it’s up to us to decide what will draw people to the park in the future.”
Bain said the name would capture the spirit that the park “should be shared among fish, wildlife, and people in a way that balances everyone’s needs, the way it was historically.”
“In addition to their importance to Native Americans in the area, the striking abundance of kokanee in our area figures prominently in the accounts of early non-Native settlers,” said Jensen. He added that the name “would be a wonderful way to highlight both the historical importance and current efforts to restore kokanee.”
The Bothell Parks and Recreation Board will be making recommendations at their March 8th meeting for the Bothell City Council who will decide on a name at their April 3rd meeting. The public is welcome to attend and give public comment at both meetings.