Kenmore Public Boathouse receives 2022 Governor’s Smart Communities Award

The public boathouse sits on the bank of the Sammamish River in Rhododendron Park.

Recently, the Kenmore Public Boathouse received a 2022 Governor’s Smart Communities Award. The Boathouse, a 2,800 square foot rowing shell house and recreation facility located on the bank of the Sammamish River in Rhododendron Park, received the Smart Partnership award for a joint public project that implements a comprehensive plan.

The Governor’s Smart Communities Awards recognize local governments and their partners for exceptional work in implementing the state’s Growth Management Act to shape future growth, economic vitality and quality of life in communities across Washington.

“Award winning cities serve as models for other communities on solutions to issues of statewide significance including housing shortages, climate resilience and equity in community development,” stated the news release from the Washington State Department of Commerce.

The boathouse is a jointly developed project that began as an advisory committee in 2017, consisting of the City of Kenmore, Northshore School District, Kenmore Community Rowing Club, and the George Pocock Rowing Foundation.

Following boathouse completion in Summer 2021, the district began its first high school rowing program and school rowing teams have swelled in numbers. The Kenmore Community Rowing Club began offering rowing programs to the community including low-cost youth summer camps, competitive adult training, and learn-to-row programs. Scholarships are available to ensure cost is not a barrier for participation and more than 400 individual rowers have taken part in Kenmore Public Boathouse programs to date.

The ground floor of the boathouse contains storage space for rowing shells and equipment and areas for boat repair work. An upper mezzanine level provides office space and a multipurpose space with a balcony overlooking the Sammamish River.

Earlier this year, the Kenmore Public Boathouse received a 2022 Local Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Kenmore Public Boathouse also received the Washington Recreation & Parks Association Spotlight award in 2022 for indoor recreation facilities constructed during the pandemic.