Possible snowy Walk-n-Talk to Mathison Park this Sunday, March 2

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So they’re predicting some snow for our first-Sunday-of-March Walk-n-Talk, set for this Sunday, March 2.

That could be both amusing and beautiful. The walks are into their third year now, and we’ve surprisingly only had rain three or four times… but we’ve never had snow!

Come walk and talk with the possibility of white stuff falling. How about “Mathison Park in March”? It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Eric Mathison, local Burienite, has spoken on previous Walk-n-Talks and has given walkers historical background before leading the group over to Mathison Park. The property was donated by his family to the City of Burien.

WHAT/WHO: This is a FREE Walk-n-Talk open to walkers and talkers of all abilities, including families and dogs.

WHERE: Meet on the grassy knoll in the middle of Burien Town Square Park, at 5th Place SW and SW 152nd Street (between the Library and the Condos).

WALK TO: Mathison Park: 533 S 146th St., Burien WA.  The total, round-trip distance is about 2.1 miles. There are sidewalks all the way TO the park, and then trails within the park itself.(Walk-n-Talkers should know that though this walk is “only” 2.1 miles, it does include the slope up to Mathison Park, which can be a challenge for those with mobility issues.)

WHEN: Sunday March 2, 2014; meet at 2:00 p.m., start walking at 2:15 p.m.

On the May 2012 Walk-n-Talk, the sun shone on the shoulders of 26 walkers (and 2 pooches) as they chatted their way from Burien Town Square over to Mathison Park. We had English, Spanish and Japanese native speakers mixing and mingling along the way.

Read about the May 2012 Walk-n-Talk to Mathison Park HERE.

Here’s a map of the Mathison Park Walk-n-Talk Route:
(Click on the map for a larger view, and please print it out if you’d like a map as you walk.) 

Brief history of the Park:
This five-acre park was dedicated on September 15, 2006. Most of the land was donated by Ted Mathison in 1999. On April 16, 2003, two sisters, Eleanor Carver Nelson and Dorothy C. Carver, donated a key parcel allowing the park to connect between South 146th and 148th Street. They gifted their property to the Burien Parks Department in memory of their grandfather, Herman Nickolas Peters, who homesteaded in Sunnydale in 1889.

Peters was born in Germany on February 21st, 1868 and came to Minneapolis when he was 14. He arrived in Seattle in 1889, just after the great fire. After buying a small paint store in Seattle, he purchased 10 acres in Sunnydale. He later bought another five acres. He lived on his homestead property until his death in 1949.

Peters operated a large chicken ranch and orchard between 5th Ave. South and 8th Ave. South, and South 148th and South 150th. He built several houses on 6th Ave. South, most of which were paved over by State Highway 518.

Patrons of the Park: The Mathison Family
In the summer of 2006, the Mathison siblings – Don, Phil, Eric, Stephen, and Susan – cut the ribbon to open Burien’s newest neighborhood park and playground. They grew up on the property, raised by their parents Ted and Bernadine Mathison.

Eric Mathison, a writer for the Highline Times, noted the irony in Burien Plaza Starbucks adopting the park: his mom and dad didn’t drink coffee. His late father had written that “it is highly recommended that the property remain heavily wooded (my wife Bernadine loved trees).” With “great pleasure and trepidation” he turned over to the city of Burien what had been the family home since 1944.

The Mathisons bought the five acres “in the country” from the Sunnydale Goat Dairy for $1,600 in August, 1942. Ted Mathison laid 10 or 12 cinder blocks a day, after work, in building their house. The children had many adventures on the property – climbing trees, building forts, and picking fruit from their gardens. “Just because we lived on five acres on the top of a hill, I don’t want you to think we were rich snobs,” Eric said. “My dad was a Boeing middle manager. My mom took care of five kids and volunteered in the community. My parents were into voluntary simplicity before voluntary simplicity was cool.

“I want Burien officials and park patrons to know how important the place is to my family and me. The benefits we received as kids (wooded trails with views of Mt. Rainier, the airport, and Puget Sound) we want to pass on to succeeding generations of children and adults.”

Additional history of the Park:

(Photos by Maureen Hoffmann, Künstdame • Burien WA)

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