The Arboretum Foundation, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and the University of Washington Botanic Gardens invite the public to join us to celebrate the official opening of the New Zealand Forest in Washington Park Arboretum (2300 Arboretum Drive East, Seattle) on Sunday, September 15, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Opening Celebration—organized in partnership with the Seattle-Christchurch Sister City Association and the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture—will pay homage to New Zealand’s culture and ethnobotanical history. It will feature a traditional Maori “haka,” or war dance, and a dedication ceremony with special guest Caine Tauwhare, a Maori wood carver from New Zealand who carved the slats for a park bench in the new forest.
- 11:00–11:15 AM: Welcome
- 11:15–11:20 AM: Haka dance performance by Te Tini A Maui.
- 11:20–11:40 AM: Speeches by Darryl Smith (Deputy Mayor of Seattle), Jeffrey M. Riedinger, J.D., Ph.D., (Vice Provost for Global Affairs, University of Washington), Craig Trueblood (Arboretum Foundation Board President), and Rachel Jacobson (New Zealand Honorary Consul).
- 11:40–11:45 AM: Procession from the Pacific Connections meadow to the New Zealand Forest.
- 11:45 AM–12:00 PM: Ribbon-cutting ceremony, led by Jack Collins, chair of the Arboretum and Botanical Garden Committee chair.
- 12:05–12:20 PM: Performance by Te Tini A Maui.
- 12:25–12:50 PM: Poi and haka workshops by Te Tini A Maui.
- 1:00–1:15 PM: Bench dedication with Maori carver, Caine Tauwhare.
- 12:35–2:00 PM: Tours, family activities, and refreshments.