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Everett Archives: Doyle Park

Everett Archives: Doyle Park

My first thought when I saw Doyle Park was that’s a giant field. Sure enough, a big section of the park is a grassy meadow in a valley and partially surrounded by trees.

It’s in an unexpected location; it fills most of a city block in the heart of residential Port Gardner on the east end of Rucker Hill.

The playground has a couple of playsets, swings, a strollable boardwalk over wetlands, and a small forested trail.

And that giant field of grass.

The playground at Doyle Park // Richard Porter

The playground at Doyle Park // Richard Porter

The land originally belonged to the wealthy William Howarth, of Howarth Park fame. The lot contained his personal gardens. The Howarths were garden fanatics. They were personal friends with the Butcharts (as in, the Butchart Gardens of Vancouver).

How did Doyle Park get its name? In the 1970s volunteers from the Port Gardner neighborhood pulled together to build this park. The neighborhood kids were thrilled to watch a public play place emerge from the forested lot.

One boy, a certain Doyle Cates, was particularly excited by construction. He made his own sign that said “Doyle’s Park” and mounted it to the chain link fence at the entrance to the park. That was 1971.

The name has stuck ever since.

Today, Doyle Park really feels like a retreat from the surrounding urban world. Good parks can do this— create places of a cool, quiet, green respite in the middle of the city.

This would be a great park for dogs (see: giant field), as well as kids (playsets) and for anyone who wants to stretch their legs on the boardwalk and forested trail.

Downtown Everett is only a few blocks away, so it’s conceivable to walk to the city for an after-park treat like a smoothie and a sandwich at the Sno-Isle Natural Foods Co-op, an espresso and croissant at Choux Choux, or a craft beverage at Toggle’s Bottle Shop.

As Everett changes, it’s good to know that there are dozens of parks like Doyle in our city—small green oases to catch a break, get outside, and enjoy the fresh maritime air that helps make our city a great place to live.


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