Friday, March 13, 2020

Semaphore is UP!

Thanks to a donation of a semaphore from Bob Tjossem, volunteers from Kirkland Rotary, and Kevin and his crew at  Apex Steel we now have a semaphore installed at the site!  This was no small task!

First Bob had to locate, purchase, and have the semaphore shipped to Kirkland.  Then  several trusty Kirland Rotarians had to move part of it to the site  and install the base, then move the rest of it to the Apex Steel yard for assembly, then Kevin and his Apex crew moved the assembled semaphore across the street to the site and placed it on the base.  Quite the impressive process!
Rotarians moving Semaphore pieces from storage locker.

And, moving part of the semaphore onto the truck.
Then, installing the base.
David assembling Semaphore in Apex yard.

Kevin and Apex crew installing rest of semaphore on the base.
Semaphore installed!  (thanks to Don Winters for the photo)
More to come:  red, yellow, and green lenses in the signal.

And, watch for signage regarding the native plants and Kirkland's railroad heritage.  Not to mention, a picnic pavillion some day!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Have you checked out the project lately?

Sorry to take so long to bring you up to date on the progress!  Although you will need to actually see the project site to fully appreciate the changes, here's a quick preview:
  •  60 feet of railroad track from the CKC is now fully installed!  It was quite the show!

  • Most of the split rail fence is up, and the native plant area has been cleared of invasive species.  It now has quite a number of native plants in it with more to come.  This area will be even more impressive when Spring finally arrives and more plants start sprouting leaves.  (A sign identifying the plants in the garden is finished and will be up soon.)
Next steps:
  • Installation of various railroad signage and artifacts
  • Historical signage explaining the role the railroad has had in Kirkland's history
  • Actual installation of the Rotary Central Station picnic pavilion!  (The City hopes to start in March.)

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Status Report June 2019

Great news!  David was recently notified that 4Culture has approved the grant request.  That means the project is fully funded!

The City of Kirkland is working on designs for the picnic pavilion and should soon have chosen one.

Meanwhile, watch for action on other parts of the project: actual installation of rails and signal, creation of a native plant garden, historic signs about the role of the railroad in Kirkland, and more!

Thank you for your interest and support.  If you would like to help with the planting or other parts of the project, feel free to email David Aubry at

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Project Status - April 2019

The Rotary Pavilion project on the CKC is chugging right along!

1-Kirkland Parks Foundation has reached (exceeded, actually) their funding goal for removal of trees, fencing, native garden (thank you to all the generous donors!)

2-The Rotary Club of Kirkland has completed raising funds for the pavilion structure

3-Rotary District 5030 has awarded a grant to cover 2 picnic tables for the pavilion

4-The rails were moved to the site on April 4th with the help of Rotarians with safety vests and signage in front and in back of the truck. (Here are some photos - it was pretty spectacular!  Those rails weigh almost 1 ton each.)
The rails had been part of  siding behind what is now Chain Line Brewery.
  It just took a bit of digging to get them ready to move.

Moving the rails on the CKC to the project site 

Unloading the rails at the project site.

5-The cottonwood trees (aka giant weeds) are down
Here's what the site looks like now with the trees down.  
Help yourself to some wood!
 (The construction trailer is there for major city work on Kirkland Avenue.)

6-The Rotary Club should hear from 4Culture soon re a grant to cover installation of rails and historic signage

7-David Aubry gave a progress report to the Kirkland City Council on April 16th.

WHEW! (Good work, David!!!!)

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Funding Update - Good News!

Good news!  We are close to securing all the funding needed for this project!  We just need your help to finish it off.

Here’s the latest.  TheKirkland Parks Foundation is raising funds so we can remove two large cottonwoods and create a labeled Native Plants Garden with a split-rail fence (using weed-block material to avoid the use of herbicides).  This will cost $3,500, and $1,105 has been pledged so far.

But here’s the great news: If we can raise $1,000 more, an anonymous donor will contribute the remaining $1,395!

So spread the news and go to TheKirkland Parks Foundation and help us raise that $1,000!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

More Progress! (March 3, 2019)

Have you been following postings on Kirkland Weblog (  If you are not familiar with this blog, you really should check it out!  It’s one of the best ways to keep up to date on happenings in Kirkland.  And, the latest posting was all about this project on the CKC!

Further good news:  The Kirkland Parks Foundation ( has now raised more than $1,100 towards the CKC Picnic Area Native Vegetation Restoration part of the project.  That’s 30% of their fundraising goal. 
Thanks to both Kirkland Weblog and The Kirkland Parks Foundation for your support and help in getting the word out about this project!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Progress Report – February 3, 2019

We’ve made great progress on this project, but we need your help to complete it!  We want to restore a section of the Cross Kirkland Corridor to original, native plants, so it looks the way it did before all those invasives escaped from our yard - so our kids can see how it must have looked before it was taken over by Enlish ivy, English Laurel, English holly, and Himalayan blackberries!!

Here’s where we are*:
ü  Pavilion Purchase – fundraising completed by The Rotary Club of Kirkland

ü  Pavilion Installation – City of Kirkland will provide

ü  Picnic Tables – grant approved by Rotary District

Ø  Installation of section of original rail track and historic signage

ü  Railroad ties, spikes, connectors obtained

ü  Track has been dug up and is ready to move  (that’s what has been going on near Chainline Brewery)

Ø   4Culture Grant application submitted and pending

Ø  Native Pant garden and fencing

ü  Invasive pants removed by volunteers

Ø  Kirkland Parks Foundation supporting project and Fundraising Site active

This is where we need your help!

-       Help us get the word out!  Tell your neighbors and friends.

-       Better yet, go to  click on “CKC Picnic Area Native Vegetation Restoration” near the bottom of the page, and make a donation.
*See below for more detailed timeline.
Winter-Spring 2017 – Project conception, obtain general and specific cost estimates. 
August 18, 2017 – City of Kirkland personnel to gage interest in project. Receive positive response.
October 16, 2017 – Formally present project to fund purchase of Pavilion to the Rotary Club of Kirkland.  Club votes to approve Pavilion project and raise the necessary money.

January 16, 2018 – Formally present project to Kirkland City Council.  Receive favorable response; Council directs City Manager Kurt Triplett to meet with David Aubry of Rotary and appropriate City personnel.
January 26, 2018 – Meet with Kari Page, Kathy Brown, Kurt Triplett, obtain formal City of Kirkland approval for project.  City to be responsible for installation of Pavilion.

January 31, 2018 – Retrieve 80 plates, 118 spikes, and assorted other track hardware from rail removal contractor behind old Bellevue Lowes store.
February 1, 2018 – With the Rotary volunteers, John Pruitt, Steve Shinstrom, Joe Getzendammer, pick up 40 very heavy ties in two trips from behind old Bellevue Lowes Store.  (Ties are currently in Aubry carport.)

February-March 2018 – About 320 spikes for project.  Picked up more spikes, plates, rail connectors along CKC.  Believe we now have enough hardware for the project.
February 22, 2018 – Meet at site with Kari Page, Betsy Adams, Shannon of the City of Kirkland to discuss site layout and non-native plant removal.

February 27, 2018 – Meet at site with Karen Story, CKC Steward, to discuss project and non-native plant removal. 
February-April 2018 –  Develop landscape plan for native plant area.

March 21, 2018 – Meeting to discuss obtaining Rotary District Grant for picnic tables for the Pavilion.

March 22, 2018 – Meet with Sally Otten of the Kirkland Parks Foundation to discuss Foundation participation in the project – specifically in raising funds for developing the native plant area. 
April 9, 2018 – Rotary volunteers and Karen Story’s crew finish clearing the majority of the non-native brush and plants from site.

September 2018
·         Begin discussions with 4-Culture for future grant application in the ‘Heritage’ category for historic signage and rail installation project. 
·         Investigate feasibility of removing 2-3 sections of rail from a buried siding behind Chainline Brewery on the CKC.   

October 2, 2018 –The Kirkland Parks Foundation Board votes unanimously to approve support for the project.  (This will encompass the removal of the remaining cottonwoods, purchasing native plants, landscape cloth as a weed barrier, split rail fence materials, and identifiers for native plants.  Planting and installation of fence to be accomplished with volunteer labor.)
October 2018-December 2018 – dig up rails and pull spikes behind Home-Grown Trailers/Chainline Brewery. 

January 7, 2019 – Parks Foundation website goes live with the CKC project.