The Kubota Garden Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to support the popular Seattle park known as the Kubota Garden. This garden started as a private endeavor, but when a group of developers sought to purchase the 20-acre land for use as a condominium site, community members rallied to get the City of Seattle to buy the garden instead. The Kubota Garden Foundation was established in the year of that purchase, 1987, to preserve the garden as it existed then and on to today.
The Kubota Garden itself can be found in Seattle’s southwest neighborhood of Rainier Beach. It spans 20 acres alongside Renton Avenue between its intersections with 51st Street S. and 55th Avenue S. As noted above, this gorgeous park is now owned and maintained by the Seattle Parks and Recreation division.
This garden began in 1927 when Japanese immigrant Fujitaro Kubota bought five acres in Rainier Beach. This initial purchase was made through a friend due to then-discrimination against Asian immigrants. Kubota bought the land in the hopes of showcasing his work as a landscaper and owner of the Kubota Gardening Company. In 1930, Kubota increased the garden to a total of 30 acres and the park itself became both a garden nursery and a cultural center for Seattle’s Japanese community.
The landscaping and flora species choices within the Kubota Garden are largely characterized as Northwest Japanese Gardens. Here, rock gardens, meandering paths, and freshwater ponds stocked with koi all lie in the shadows of magnificent northwest tree species as well as popular non-native species like the Blue Atlas Cedar from Morocco and the Norway Spruce.
Those seeking the headquarters of the Kubota Garden Foundation will find it just a few blocks south of Kubota Garden itself on 51st Avenue S. This non-profit is located within a very nondescript one-story green building with a small sign displaying its name. The Kubota Garden Foundation is always looking for volunteers and financial support to continue its mission of preserving the garden and maintaining its legacy as a cultural hub of the community.
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