Monday, January 23, 2012

Welcome to the Hunter Farm Gathering Place!

The Hunter Farm Gather Place being unveiled.
Sandwiched between the primary commercial nodes at NE 75th Street and NE 85th Street, the Hunter Farm has sat for most of the year as a blank canvas where NE Seattle residents would ponder "What if?"

The Hunter Family has been an anchor of NE Seattle going back to the 1950's when they first started selling Christmas trees in the Wedgwood neighborhood.  They eventually purchased the property at 7744 35th Ave NE from the Wedgwood Presbyterian Church in the 1960's and have been there ever since.

However, for 10 months out of the year, their property has sat unused with the exception of seasonal berry sales and overflow parking from the adjacent US Post Office.  Many people who recognized the lack of open space and parks in the area thought that acquiring the site for a community park would be ideal. 
The Hunter Farm site, circa 1962.
The Hunter Family has never had any intention of selling this property.  In fact, the family has a special connection to this property and their seasonal Christmas tree operation that has and will be passed down from generation to generation.

In 2011, the NE Seattle community came together with the Hunter Family through a grant received by the Wedgwood Community Council.  The project resulted in a wonderful experience for NE Seattle to come together, get to know one another better, and develop a real gather place for community to share.  This could only have been done with the overwhelming generosity of the Hunter Family, by making their site available to the community throughout the 10 months where they're not selling Christmas trees.

We hope that the HFGP becomes as cherished in NE Seattle as the Hunter Family already is.