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Laurelhurst’s Aki Kurose Peace Garden Gets Major Facelift, Set to Reopen

Beloved Teacher’s Legacy is to Plant a Seed of Peace That Continues to Grow and Inspire a Community

Peace Garden Flyer JPGThe Aki Kurose Peace Garden at Laurelhurst Elementary in NE Seattle will reopen to the community after a significant renovation with a brief, meaningful celebration on June 5 from 10:30 AM to 10:45 AM.

Festivities will include the reading of a student peace poem, a school-wide vocal concert, and remarks from Paul Kurose, a teacher at Franklin High School and the son of Aki Kurose. The ceremony will feature the display of over 1,000 origami paper cranes folded by children and community members and arranged in the traditional Japanese Senbazuru-style, as a symbolic prayer for peace, in accordance with Japanese legend that anyone folding a thousand cranes will be granted their wish.

The Peace Garden, originally created and dedicated in 1997 to Akiko Kurose, beloved Seattle public school teacher and peace activist, has been transformed and revived into an inviting, green space with the addition of new plantings, design elements and needed irrigation systems. Integral to landscape architect David Berleth’s design, three benches were installed to encourage children to rest, reflect, and find peace. The project was funded by a $12,500 award from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Neighborhood Matching Fund and involved a significant volunteer effort from families, friends, and neighbors.

To learn more about Aki Kurose’s legacy and the garden, click here.