City of Walla Walla has a wide variety of public parks scattered across town,
ranging in size and purpose from the large, historical Pioneer Park to the
unique Xeriscape Park, landscaped with drought-resistant trees and shrubbery
that thrive in
Walla Walla’s arid climate. The
city’s larger parks typically host large, grassy playing fields, baseball
diamonds, volleyball and tennis courts, and multiple-use recreational trails,
while many of the smaller parks contain picnic benches, shade under large trees,
and playground equipment. Walla
Walla’s parks are funded and maintained by the city, but volunteers and
monetary donations also help to maintain the parks.
The Walla Walla Union Bulletin annually organizes a Fourth of
July festival in Pioneer Park, while the City Parks and Recreation Department
sponsors many recreation programs throughout the year, such as the Saturday Gym
Program for children, the Walla Walla Teen Center, and various adult
recreational sports leagues. These
programs are hosted in parks, schools, and other public facilities throughout
further information about Walla Walla’s parks, call the Parks and
Recreation Department (509-527-4527) or visit its website (http://www.ci.walla-walla.wa.us/Parks_&_Recreation/).
Veterans Memorial Golf Course
10. Jefferson Park
11. Mountain View Cemetery
Memorial Pool & Park
12. Howard-Tietan Park
Parks & Recreation Office
13. Pioneer Park
14. Wildwood Park
15. Menlo Park
16. Vista Terrace Park
17. Eastgate Lions Park
9. Fort Walla Walla Park 18. Mill Creek Sports Complex
– Rees Ave. – Borleske Stadium is home field to both Walla Walla High
School’s football team and Whitman College’s baseball team. The stadium is equipped with night lights, grandstands, and concessions, and also includes a soccer field and a track.
Pool & Park
– Rees Ave. – Situated adjacent to the Borleske Stadium, the Memorial Pool
is a seasonal-use outdoor 50-meter pool. The
park spans 7 acres and features play equipment, picnic tables, basketball hoops,
and a stream.
N. Rose & Isaacs – Xeriscape Park is a unique garden featuring
drought-tolerant grasses, shrubs, and trees.
Square – Main
St., between Spokane & Colville Streets – Surrounded by old-fashioned
murals, Heritage Square contains a covered picnic area and playground equipment.
Between 3rd & 4th Avenues on Main – The site of the
ever-so-popular seasonal Farmer’s Market, Crawford Park contains a performing
arts stage and a statuary, surrounded by park benches and a landscaped area.
Park – 9th
Avenue & Cherry – Set among 12 acres of large trees that includes a stream are
picnic tables, a playground, basketball courts, soccer fields, and a baseball
Walla Walla Park
– Dalles Military & Myra Road – On 208 acres, Fort Walla Walla Park
features play equipment, picnic facilities, horseshoe pits, a sand volleyball
court, an amphitheater, a model car track and a model airplane field, a bicycle
motocross track, a skateboard park, and a paved bicycle trail. Also featured are a 70-acre wildlife preserve with streams and
a hiking trail, a cavalry cemetery, a museum with pioneer and agricultural
artifacts, and a ropes course, which is managed by the Walla Walla Juvenile
Park – 9th
Avenue & Malcolm – Geared towards children, Jefferson Park is a 9-acre area
of play equipment, including a seasonal swimming pool for youth ages 10 and under.
A locomotive, two streams, and a youth fishing pond make this park unique,
while it also hosts a picnic area, basketball area and the Senior Citizens’
Howard & Tietan Streets – A large recreational area of 19 acres, this park is home
to baseball fields, soccer fields, a basketball court, a sand volleyball court,
a playground, and a sledding area. Located
on the outskirts of town, Howard-Tietan provides a scenic view of the nearby
Alder & Division – Walla Walla’s most historic park, Pioneer Park sits
on 58 acres and features play equipment and sheltered picnic tables, a gazebo, a rose
garden, and sports
areas (including baseball and soccer fields, volleyball areas, tennis courts,
and biking and walking trails).
Two large duck ponds and an aviary make this park a popular spot for animal-lovers, who come to feed the park’s many ducks and birds.
Division & Boyer – Wildwood Park is a 6-acre expanse of grass dotted with trees,
including a picnic shelter and playground.
Division & Portland – Menlo Park is a small area with large trees, a
playground, picnic tables, and a hard-court.
Terrace Park – Mountain Park Drive – A 7-acre sports facility,
Vista Terrace Park features picnic tables, a playground, a bicycle trail, tennis
and volleyball courts, and a baseball diamond.
– Wilbur & Tacoma – Home to Little Leaguers and youth soccer players,
this 12-acre park situated along Mill Creek also has a basketball court, play
equipment, picnic tables, and a shelter.
Mill Creek Sports Park - Tausick Way and Garrison Street - This new park replaces the old Athletic Complex near Borleske Stadium, which was sold. While it is being built in phases, the Mill Creek Sports Park will ultimately include six full-size lighted soccer fields and six lighted softball fields.
Walla’s parks forge a deep history dating back to the beginning of the 20th
Century. Pioneer Park saw its
beginning on March 5, 1901, when the City Council declared that a particular lot of land,
which had been purchased two years earlier, would be developed into a public
recreation space. John C. Olmstead,
the architect who was also responsible for the design of New York City’s
Central Park, arrived in Walla Walla in 1906 and surveyed the city, giving a
report that would later influence both the establishment and design of Walla
Walla’s first city parks. While
Olmstead was a key player in the early design of Pioneer Park, it was John
Langdon who has been credited with the final park design.
Before the city assumed responsibility of the parks in 1941, the Parks
and Civic Arts Club, a women’s organization, not only secured the materials,
labor, and funds for the development of the early parks, but also contributed to
the parks’ maintenance and recreation programs.
Gazebo and Aviary
gazebo in Pioneer Park is a city landmark that was built in 1910 at a cost of
Initially begun by a women’s service organization, the Pioneer Park Aviary has grown from a small collection of birds to a home for over 60 different avian species that originate from areas all over the world. A popular spot for children of all ages to observe the exotic ducks, geese, and pheasants, the Aviary is open year-round during all hours of the day. While city caretakers maintain the cages and feed the birds, the Aviary is sustained financially by donations and by the sale of birds raised in the Aviary.
Walla’s parks are home to many of Washington State’s record trees, four of
which are national records, the largest known of their species in the United
States. Planted around the turn of the 20th Century, 59 trees in Walla
Walla are now the largest known of their species in Washington State.
Many of these champion trees are located in Pioneer Park and on the
Whitman College campus; a small pamphlet called “A Walking Guide to the Big
Trees of Walla Walla,” published by the Blue Mountain Audubon Society,
outlines a tour of the record trees at these locations.
Walla Walla Heritage Tree Program has been established to honor special and
unique trees. It enables citizens to nominate a particular tree, which, if chosen,
is awarded Heritage Tree status and put on a permanent registry.
city funding provides some monetary backing for Walla Walla’s parks, donations
of money, material, and services are ultimately responsible for the upkeep of
the parks. Park volunteers maintain
the parks and organize activities such as the following through the Parks and Recreation Department:
Pick-a-Piece-of-Park – Individuals, families, organizations, and
businesses may adopt a park or park area to help maintain and keep litter-free.
Spring and Fall Cleanup – Seasonal cleanup of the parks and cemetery.
Aviary – Helping to clean the cages, caring for the birds, and leading
Improvements – Various activities from large and small-scale
construction projects to flower and tree planting.
Recreation Programs – Assisting with children's or athletic
Walla Walla Parks and Recreation Department sponsors public recreation programs
and special interest classes throughout the year—for tots, children, teens,
and adults alike! The following
list is not comprehensive and is subject to change. Current information can be obtained by calling the Parks and Recreation
Department (509-527-4527) or by visiting its website: (http://www.ci.walla-walla.wa.us/Parks_&_Recreation/Recreation_Programs.cfm).
Start Smart – A
sports development program for tots ages 3 to 5, Start
Smart is a parent-child program that teaches children basic motor skills, which will help them succeed in future sports endeavors.
Smart Start is a fall recreational program held at Green Park Elementary
– The Saturday Gym Program is a free drop-in program that gives children ages
7 to 13 an opportunity to participate in activities such as basketball, indoor
soccer, arts & crafts, and board games.
The program is held at various public schools and runs from November
Walla Teen Center
– Walla Walla Armory, 113 S. Colville - A joint venture with the Community Center for Youth Council, the Walla Walla
Teen Center is led by volunteers and Parks & Recreation employees and
offers a positive, safe environment for teens to play basketball, volleyball,
ping-pong, foosball and video games, and to listen to music and use a pool table.
The Teen Center also promotes seasonal events such as sports tournaments
and theme dances. Except for during
special events, use of the Teen Center facilities is free. Hours
are from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.
Recreational sports leagues are available year-round for adults. Basketball and volleyball leagues are in season during the fall months, while co-ed soccer, volleyball, and softball teams play in the spring.
Creek, a channelized stream through Walla Walla, was originally modified to
control flooding in the Walla Walla Valley.
Today, it provides a backdrop for one of the Walla Walla area’s most
enjoyable parks . . . .
Rooks Park – 5 miles east of Walla Walla (Hwy. 12), off Mill Creek Rd.
– Maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rooks Park is a day-use park
located along Mill Creek. The park offers access to fishing at Bennington
Lake and to the Mill Creek Trail. Approximately
18 acres in size, it features multiple facilities, such as picnic tables,
barbeque facilities, a sand volleyball court, and a playground.
Plush, grassy areas are amenable to other leisure activities.
Pets are welcome, but must be kept on leashes.
College Place features a small,
neighborhood park along with two
large parks, which are suitable for community recreation leagues such as the
Youth Soccer Association and the College Place Little League. The parks
display a variety of trees such as maples, sycamores, and firs; small plantings
of petunias are on display at both the Kiwanis Park and Lions Park.
Larch & 8th – Lions Park is a 7-acre park that hosts picnic
shelters, playground equipment, a softball field, and areas for youth fishing. In the summertime, the
City of College Place sponsors the “College Place Fun Days” celebration
during the first full weekend in July. The
facilities at Lions Park can be rented through the College Place Lions Club.
Date & 3rd – Kiwanis Park is also a 7-acre recreation park, with
a softball field and tennis courts.
Harvest Meadows – Harvest Drive – At approximately one-third of an acre, Harvest Meadows is a cozy neighborhood park that features play toys suitable for children.
are funded and tended to by the city’s Public Works department; however,
volunteer workers, such as local elementary school children, occasionally help
with litter control. There is a
proposal to build a new bike and skate park facility, which would help to
diversify public park activity, but inadequate funding may hinder progress on this project.
Dehaven & SW 2nd Ave – At 24 acres, Yantis Park is Milton-Freewater’s
largest recreational park, featuring 2 large fields, tennis courts, and a
bandstand. The aquatic center in
the park boasts one large waterslide, one small one, and a kiddie slide.
The sycamore, maple, and birch trees make the park a delightful place to
take advantage of the picnic shelters and barbeque facilities; in the summer,
Yantis holds the “Fourth of July Picnic in the Park” celebration.
North Main & 8th – Freewater Park is a small, 2½-acre
recreation space devoted to a playground and tennis courts.
– Couse Creek Road, 2 miles southeast of Milton-Freewater - Marie
Dorian Park is a picturesque area where one can picnic, fish on the Walla Walla
River, or relax on the grass. While
squirrels commonly frequent the park, there have also been sightings of deer in
the area. Previously
the location of a water filter plant and power plant, the locale has been
renovated and restored to provide a 2- to 3-acre recreation area that is a
popular site for social gatherings and weddings.
– County Road & Winesap – Exclusively a sports facility, Rotary Park is
approximately 8 acres of grassy soccer fields with a baseball complex where both
the local minor and little league baseball teams play.
of Walla Walla.
Home page. 13 Oct.
of Walla Walla.
Home page. 1 Nov.
Andy. Personal interview.
8 Nov. 2001.
Paul. Personal interview.
15 Oct. 2001.
Paul. Personal interview.
19 Oct. 2001.
Howard. Personal interview.
16 Oct. 2001.
Shirley. A Walking Guide to the
Big Trees of Walla Walla. 1998.
Walla Walla, WA: Blue Mountain Audubon Society.
Army Corps of Engineers.
Home page. 20 Oct.
Walla City Service Center secretary. Personal
interview. 19 Oct. 2001.
Weis, Ken. Personal interview. 19 Oct. 2001.