Northwest NEWS

December 17, 2001


'Don't give things, give experiences'

by Jeanette Knutson
   Staff Writer
   For those with unfinished holiday shopping, the city of Woodinville has a gift idea that is guaranteed to please. It is a fun, low-fat, organic, low-tech, yet long-lasting gift your children, your spouse or even your parents might enjoy.
   It's a brick.
   Yes, a brick. Or a tile. Either one. Both, you see, can be inscribed with, say, your child's name and birth date or an adult's name, or family members' names, or even a business name and logo. The blank bricks make up the path along the Sammamish River Trail that winds through Woodinville's Wilmot Gateway Park. The blank tiles have been laid along the park's garden area and under the covered pavilion. All the un-etched bricks and tiles have been in place since the park was finished back in 1999. And all 300 of them, the city just found out, can be inscribed insitu.
   Back in 1996, when Wilmot - Woodinville's first community park, named after Jerry Wilmot, a city resident and community leader who died of the disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease - was still in the planning stage, the city launched a program to sell engraved bricks and tiles to local businesses and individuals. It was a fund-raising endeavor, and a successful one at that, netting tens of thousands dollars, all used in the construction of the riverside park. If you've been to the park, you've probably seen all the names on the walkways and garden walls.
   The Seattle-based company Kenadar Corporation did the engraving back then before the bricks and tiles were set into position. Once the park was complete, bricks and tiles in place, the city figured the project was done.
   "We've had a lot of requests from people wanting to know if they could buy a brick," said Brenda Eriksen, senior administrative assistant for the Parks and Rec. Department. "So we looked into it and learned Kenadar can bring a machine to Woodinville and engrave the bricks and tiles while they're in the ground. I even think it might be a fun thing to watch," said Eriksen.
   So consider the brick and tile campaign re-opened. With the money earned, the city would like to finish covering the picnic area. You may have noticed the center is covered, the two ends aren't. They will use the same acrylic material for the covering.
   "It's nice because it lets the sun in, yet provides protection if it's a little drizzly out," said Eriksen.
   The "Kid Bricks" are 4" x 8" for kids to age 17. They cost $45. Inscription is limited to one name and a birth date. "Adult Bricks" are the same size and cost $100. Inscription is limited to one name only. "Family Tiles" are 8" x 8" and made of ceramic porcelain. They cost $300. Inscription could be names or names with a phrase. There is room for three lines of text, with 15 characters per line. The "Business Tiles" are 12" x 12", are also made of ceramic porcelain, and cost $1,000. Inscription may include a logo or special artwork. There is room for three lines of text, with 22 characters per line. To find out more about the Wilmot Gateway Park brick and tile campaign, call City Hall at (425) 489-2700, Ext. 2232.
   Order forms are at City Hall, the Community Center, and Parks and Rec employees hope to have tables set up in some retail stores around town before Christmas. Right now the city anticipates the campaign running through June.
   "Maybe we can get some June graduates' names on bricks," said Eriksen.
   "Frontier Bank, Woodinville branch, has been kind enough to collect the money for this project for us," said Eriksen. "They have set up a special account for us. They've really been very helpful."
   The inscribing date has not been set, but it will probably be when the weather is drier and warmer, and the city has accumulated a long list of names to be etched into the bricks and tiles ... perhaps in late spring.
   For readers timid about giving a brick for a holiday gift, don't think of it as just a brick. Think of it as a "destination brick," a brick, all kidding aside, that you or your children can search out time and time again. A brick, that shows your civic pride. This season Metro buses display posters that say, "Don't give things, give experiences." You might want to think about that.