Parks/Open Space/Trails

The Green Seattle Partnership is looking for forest stewards and is hosting a Forest Steward Orientation on Saturday, April 4 from
10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Seward Park Environmental and Audubon Center.

This is an opportunity to be a part of an exciting partnership between the City of Seattle, its residents, and the Cascade Land Conservancy.
The purpose of the Green Seattle Partnership (GSP) is to restore, maintain, and steward Seattle’s forested parklands.

They build on restoration work that is already underway with a citywide goal of restoring 2,500 acres of forested parkland by 2025.
The enormous contributions of volunteer restoration groups play an integral role in the success of this effort.

Working with the GSP Project Manager and Parks Urban Forester, the forest stewards will develop site restoration plans and a system for tracking progress. In return, the Forest Steward will be eligible to receive tools, materials, technical assistance and specialized training needed to implement a successful community-based forest restoration project.

For more information contact Andrea Mojzak at andream@cascadeland.org /or by calling (206) 905-6920.

02/20/2009

Applications are due to the city by Feb. 27 for the projects that can be funded through the Neighborhood Projects Fund, such as traffic circles, sidewalk repair, or playground improvements.

Approved projects will be implemented in 2010.

There are two funds set aside in the 2010 city budget for community-proposed streets and parks projects, approximately $1.2 million.

Neighborhood Project Funds can be used for small-scale (up to $90,000 per project) street or parks improvements, such as sidewalk repair, traffic circles and traffic calming, sidewalks, school zone speed limit signs and playground improvements, etc.

Proposed projects are required to meet the following criteria:

Projects must be related to the maintenance or repair of existing structures (not new construction) and must relate to the implementation of an existing Neighborhood Plan.

Projects funded by the Neighborhood Street Fund portion (approx. $200,000 total) must be transportation-related. These projects may include new construction and do not have to relate to Neighborhood Plans, but there is less money to go around in this fund.

02/20/2009

Community member and business owners have noticed an increase in the number of homeless people congregating at Ballard’s Bergen Place Park. Some say they are presenting a safety concern and are making the park undesirable to the rest of the neighborhood.

Victoria Sangrey, volunteer coordinator for Friends of Bergen Place, said it’s not the fact that the people are homeless that is causing concern, it is that they are engaging in illegal activities.

She said she has seen drug deals, evidence of sexual activity and defecation in the hedges. She walks by early in the morning, and there are usually beer cans surrounding someone sleeping on the bench, she said.

“People are not going to want to sit on the bench when they are drinking and doing other things,” Sangrey said. “And, it’s sad to me.”

The number of homeless gathering in the park has increased in the past four to five monhts, said Zach Milsteadt, a barista at the Chai House, located next to the park.

Sangrey said there used to be three to four individuals at a time loitering in Bergen Place, now it can be 10 to 12 at points.

02/20/2009
Bergen Place Homeless Photo 1.JPG
Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Bergen Place on a Thursday Feb. 19.

Corners Park could open in next few months

David Folweiler, co-chair of Friends of Ballard Corners Park, announced that Ballard's newest community park is likely just a few months from opening to the public.

The park, in the last phases of construction, is located at 17th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 62nd Street and haas been on ongoing community effort since 2006. It's been paid for by city, county and state grant funds.

A planting party to finalize plantings in the rain gardens and parking strips around the park is schedule at the park for 9 a.m. March 8. Volunteers are being sought.

Volunteers are asked to bring work gloves, boots, shovels, wheel barrows, trowels, pruners, knee pads/kneeling pads, hoe-type rakes, brooms, buckets or yard waste containers for collecting green waste and rain gear. 

Donor tiles are also available for purchase. For $100, a tile with the name of your choice can be installed in the park. For an extra $50. a tile would be put in the park and the donor would get a personal copy for home.

02/17/2009
corners park 3.jpg
Photo credit: 
File photo by Michael Harthorne

Ballard Corners Park a few months ago. A planting party is scheduled for March.

Recently there have been reports that the Ballard Chamber of Commerce is against the Burke-Gilman Trail because we have signed on as an appellant to the SEPA Notice of Appeal. This is NOT the case.

The Chamber has appealed the determination of non-significance (DNS) because it has concerns about the impacts of the trail on the broader business community. These have been conveyed to both Mayor (Greg Nickels) during a visit last on May 10, 2008 and to Kirk Jones, Burke Gilman Trail project manager, in writing and in a meeting hosted by the Chamber’s Issues Committee last Oct. 7, 2008.

Our concerns have not been adequately addressed and the appeal process is the only tool at the Chamber’s disposal to demand further consideration.

The Chamber is not opposed to change and has been supportive of efforts to develop and encourage alternative modes of transportation, including cycling. In partnership with King County Metro, Sustainable Ballard and Groundswell NW, the Chamber devoted countless hours to promoting and managing the Ballard in Motion program in 2006.

02/16/2009

Have you ever loved a tree? A huge, stately tree that has always been there. You admire it every time you see it, and secretly resist the urge to stop and climb it. Or, maybe to just sit on it’s branch-like-arms, even if just for a little while, and let its majesty soak in.

And then, one day, it’s gone.

Most times, you never had a clue it was close to the end of its life span – it was just always there. You can see the stump and the fresh sawdust still on the ground, and all that’s left above is big sky. You may go by in a few days to see the stump has been ground down even further, preparations made for something new.

We have a similar thing happening in our garden community here in Seattle. The Northwest Flower and Garden Shows have always been there – or it seemed so. After 21 years of bringing the big show to our fair city, the owner is taking his ball and going home, even if he can’t find any buyers.

But, unlike that big tree that was gone all of a sudden, we now have a chance to pay homage, to visit with, to spend some time reveling in the magic created by many. We have time to still be a part of it, and to say, “I was there, and I saw it.”

02/13/2009
AGarden19.jpg
Photo credit: 
Janit Calvo

A big ol' little tree, this slow growing Jervis Canada Hemlock is about 12 inches tall.

I went by Ballard Corners Park recently and noticed that it has gotten bigger.

The park now juts 4 to 5 feet out from the original curb line. This not only is a deviation from the plan as put forth on their Web site but also is a traffic and safety hazard in the making as it reduces that block to a one-lane road. It is too late to do anything about this now except to bring it to your attention and to share with you how discovering this made me realize the importance of being involved in the community.

The construction of the park has taken several years. During that time, the Ballard Corners Park group has been very up front about their plans to transform the site from a vacant lot and an uninhabited house into a vibrant neighborhood open space. There’s a billboard up on the site that details their plans and has contact information if people want to volunteer.

02/12/2009
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Photo credit: 
Brian LeBlanc

Ballard Corners Park under construction.

Although the Seattle City Council has denied funding for the construction of a new skatepark in Delridge, project organizers continue to develop a design for the park.
The proposed park would be located in the northeast corner of the Delridge Playfied and measure 10,000 square feet.

02/03/2009
DelSkatepark1.jpg
Photo credit: 
Photo courtesy of Grindline

This skatepark in Yakima, Wash., by Grindline, is a similar size to the park that is being designed for the Delridge Playfield.

Small Faces Child Development Center has been awarded the right to purchase the former school building they have used for the past several years.

The former Crown Hill Elementary School building was bought from the Seattle School District after it was declared as surplus property.

Built in 1919 and expanded in 1949, the building has been said to serve as an important community resource and has homed for the past three decades a nationally accredited childcare facility and most recently the ARC School of Ballet, several small arts non-profits, along with the Crown Hill Nei

10/06/2008

While the City of Seattle has taken affective measures to control the spread of Dutch Elm disease, the Department of Transportation is warning residents that many new infected trees have been discovered across the city.

Dutch Elm disease was first discovered in Washington in 1974 but was not seen across the mountains in Seattle until 2001. That year three infected trees were identified followed by five more in 2002.

Between 2002 and 2007 no more than 2 percent of Seattle's elm trees were infected, but during this summer that number has increased.

10/06/2008
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