Mathison Park

533 S 146th Street

This 5.3 acre neighborhood park is located two blocks south of the highest point in Burien (463 feet). The northern edge is just 10 feet below that peak elevation. The park has a paved trail and playgrounds, and provides has views to Puget Sound, Mount Rainier, and SeaTac Airport.

Park History

This five-acre park was dedicated on September 15, 2006. Most of the land was donated by Ted Mathison in 1999. On April 16, 2003, two sisters, Eleanor Carver Nelson and Dorothy C. Carver, donated a key parcel allowing the park to connect between South 146th and 148th Street. They gifted their property to Burien PaRCS department in memory of their grandfather, Herman Nickolas Peters, who homesteaded in Sunnydale in 1889.

Peters was born in Germany on February 21st, 1868 and came to Minneapolis when he was 14. He arrived in Seattle in 1889, just after the great fire. After buying a small paint store in Seattle, he purchased 10 acres in Sunnydale. He later bought another five acres. He lived on his homestead property until his death in 1949.

Peters operated a large chicken ranch and orchard between 5th Ave. South and 8th Ave. South, and South 148th and South 150th. He built several houses on 6th Ave S, most of which were paved over by State Highway 518.

In the summer of 2006, the Mathison siblings—Don, Phil, Eric, Stephen, and Susan—cut the ribbon to open the new Mathison Park. They had grown up on the property, raised by their parents Ted and Bernadine Mathison.

Eric Mathison said, “I want Burien officials and park patrons to know how important the place is to my family and me. The benefits we received as kids—wooded trails with views of Mt. Rainier, the airport, and Puget Sound—we want to pass on to succeeding generations of children and adults.”

King County Youth Sports Facility provided a $50,000 grant for the playground, and Starbucks Neighborhood Parks program provided a $15,000 grant.