Community members celebrate opening of Detective Cookie Chess Park in Rainier Beach

SEATTLE — A Seattle police detective was recognized for her work with children and families in the Rainier Beach neighborhood on Saturday with the grand opening of a park named in her honor.

SPD detective Denise Bouldin, better known as Detective Cookie, who has been with the department for over 35 years, has been using chess to teach life lessons to children in the neighborhood as part of a community outreach program since 2006.

“It’s a sport where you don’t have to be the fastest, the biggest, the tallest, the bravest, the strongest,” said Bouldin in an interview with KIRO 7′s Deborah Horne last year. “You just sit down and you play. You don’t even have to know the person’s language. And I tell you, Chess Club has brought many people together that would have never talked to each other, never say ‘hi’ to each other, never play a game of chess with each other.”

Detective Cookie Chess Park, located on Rainier Avenue South at South Barton Place, opened on Saturday. City officials, families and chess enthusiasts of all ages were on hand to celebrate.

The park features a paved chess board plaza, 12 chess tables and stools and an illuminated King & Queen chess piece art installation, according to the Seattle Department of Transportation.

“This is Detective Cookie’s Chess Park,” said Bouldin. “Not Detective Cookie’s playground in a Chess Park. No swings. No sliding boards. This is a Chess Park.”

Det. Cookie will continue to run her chess club out of the Rainier Beach Community Center, library, and several schools throughout the area. Children in the neighborhood now have one more place to make new friends and enjoy the game of chess.