Aberdeen officially adopts Cobain Landing park

In another step toward recognizing Aberdeen’s most widely known former resident, the Aberdeen City Council has voted to include Cobain Landing in the city’s official park inventory.

The park, which was initially constructed and maintained by private volunteers, honors Nirvana frontman and Aberdeen native Kurt Cobain in his old neighborhood. It unofficially came to be in 2011 under the direction of Tori Kovach, a long-time advocate for community recognition of Cobain’s accomplishments. Though the city owns the land, it did not sanction the park’s dedication to Cobain, and Kovach has maintained the park since it was established.

Kovach recently moved to Raymond, said Karl Harris, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. Since then, the city has been maintaining the park.

The city’s park board recommended adopting the park, and the idea garnered support from most council members, with Ward 3’s Jeff Cook and Ward 5’s Kathi Hoder speaking in support of the tourism Cobain’s legacy brings to the area.

Ward 2 Councilwoman Alice Phelps did not agree.

“If we add another (park), it’s just going to be way too much more work for people to do,” Phelps said. She said the park also poses a safety concern with its proximity to the river.

Harris said the department could afford the manpower to maintain the park and has been doing so anyway since Kovach left.

“We wanted to have control over what is done there in the future,” he told the council, adding that obtaining the park gives the city the option of applying for grants to improve it. “Otherwise, it would just be in no-man’s land, and we thought that we would go ahead and step up and take care of it.”

Cobain immortalized the park in Nirvana’s song “Something in the Way,” which he wrote about his time spent underneath the Young Street Bridge adjacent to the park.