Seattle Sensory Garden receives Lions Club grant, SPU support

For Immediate Release:
Media contact: Stacia Irons
Phone: (206) 817-4667

September 19, 2012

News Release

Seattle Sensory Garden Receives Lions Club Grant, SPU Support for Accessible Garden Project

With materials funded by the Ballard Lions Club, Seattle Pacific University students will help build a wheelchair-accessible raised bed to further SSG goals of creating an inclusive garden in the community.

Seattle, Washington—The Seattle Sensory Garden, a community- and accessibility-focused organization today announced a big step forward in their mission to broaden community involvement and build a public garden that individuals of all ages and abilities can enjoy. A work party initiated and funded by the Ballard Lions Club and involving more than a dozen Seattle Pacific University student volunteers will be held this Saturday, September 22, 2012 at the demonstration garden adjacent to the Woodland Park Zoo.

The Ballard Lions Club donated $500 for materials, while SPU students, along with Lions Club and SSG steering committee members, will contribute their time, skills and labor on this day of service to create a raised bed along the wheelchair-accessible garden path so that all visitors can see, smell and enjoy the plants up close.

The work party will focus on extending and enhancing the existing demonstration garden—a small but invaluable part of the SSG’s mission to create a much larger garden that is accessible to all. “While the paths are wide enough for people with wheelchairs, not all of the plant materials are reachable right now,” said Briar Bates, a landscape designer and SSG steering committee member.

Saturday’s work party will change that, said Bates, while accomplishing other goals besides: “Because of the Ballard Lions Club and SPU, this is more than just a work party. It means we are getting broader involvement in the actual building of the garden. It means we can create a more accessible experience that serves a broader community—a garden for all. One that lets people recognize each other’s needs and see how others interact with the space.”

Saturday’s work party helps further the Seattle Sensory Garden mission of creating a unique outdoor space with interactive opportunities to engage and explore the senses and to learn how people with disabilities experience the garden and the world. Support from the public and collaboration between different groups like the Ballard Lions Club and SPU reflect the principles of inclusion, education and community engagement that are central to SSG’s mission.

While additional volunteers aren’t needed for Saturday’s work party, anyone can drop by during that time to enjoy the public garden. Future work party announcements and requests for volunteers will be posted on the organization’s website ( and Facebook page.

Event Details:

Who: Seattle Sensory Garden
What: Ballard Lions Club and SPU Work Party
Where: 700 N 50th Street, Seattle 98103 NE corner of Rose Garden, Woodland Park Zoo
When: September 22, 2012 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The Seattle Sensory Garden is open to the public 7 days a week, from 7 a.m. to dusk.

About Seattle Sensory Garden: Since 2009, Seattle Sensory Garden has worked with organizations and communities to create an inclusive and sustainable garden adjacent to Woodland Park Zoo that encourages people of all ages and abilities to explore their senses and to learn how others experience the world. For more information, visit, or the SSG Facebook page.