Kenmore is celebrating the completion of the public Kenmore Boathouse, a 2,800-sq-ft rowing shell house located at the northern end of Rhododendron Park. The Boathouse will serve as a year-round base of operations for the Kenmore Rowing Club and home to all four of Northshore School District’s high school crew teams. The project completion was celebrated with a small, in-person ribbon cutting ceremony on May 26, 2021. Due to the pandemic, only a small number of individuals could gather for this celebration, but it was filmed and will be shared in the coming weeks.
“We are thrilled to provide all Northshore students with an opportunity to participate in a sport that brings abundant mental, physical and lifelong benefits. It is important to provide equitable access to traditionally private programs such as crew,” said Northshore Superintendent Michelle Reid, Ed. D. “This partnership with the City of Kenmore and Pocock Foundation will open doors to post-secondary opportunities for students who may not otherwise have access to the crew experience.”
The Boathouse, which houses coaching, training, storage and repair facilities, will provide a staging platform for learn-to-row programs, as well as summer youth rowing camps, beginning in summer 2021. Most importantly, the Boathouse is a space for the public, with the goal of removing barriers and increasing access to rowing through a variety of community programs and scholarships offered through the Kenmore Rowing Club.
"It is my mission to make the sport of rowing accessible to everyone in all life situations," said Suzanna Blahna, Executive Director of the Kenmore Rowing Club. "I want to invite everyone to come out and join in creating this beautiful community of rowers."
The Boathouse is the next stage of the Rhododendron Park improvement plan, following on the heels of 2018’s boardwalk and float addition that increased ease of waterfront access for park users and a staging area for hand-powered watercraft users. The Boathouse will complement the state-operated boat launch on the western side of the West Sammamish River Bridge to help make Rhododendron Park an all-inclusive spot for water activities for Kenmore by the lake.
Several community groups and funding sources came together to make this project possible, including; The City of Kenmore, taxpayers of Washington State, the Northshore School District and Booster Clubs, Kenmore Rowing Club & Fundraising Committee, the George R. Pocock Foundation, the King County Council and various state legislators.
The video highlighting the project and the ribbon cutting ceremony will be shared in celebration with the public in the coming weeks on the City's website and social media. Community members interested in using the boathouse are encouraged to contact the Kenmore Rowing Club at email@example.com.