Parks/Open Space/Trails

The Sustainable Sites Initiative announced the selection of Ballard's forthcoming Ninth Avenue Park as one of the first sites to participate in a new program testing the nation’s first rating system for green landscape design, construction and maintenance.

The Ninth Avenue Park, which will be located on Ninth Avenue Northwest between Northwest 70th Street and Northwest 73rd Street, will join more than 150 other projects from 34 states and from Canada, Iceland and Spain as part of an international pilot project program to evaluate the new Sustainable Sites Initiative rating system for sustainable landscapes.

Sustainable landscapes can clean water, reduce pollution and restore habitats while providing significant economic and social benefits to land owners and municipalities, according to a Seattle Parks and Recreation press release.

The Sustainable Sites Initiative selected the Ninth Avenue Park

05/27/2010
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Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Site Workshop

The future Ninth Avenue Park, seen here in sketches, has been chosen to participate in the Sustainable Sites Initiative.

About a dozen parents and children spent their Saturday morning giving shape the the new Golden Gardens play area May 22 at the Golden Gardens Bathhouse where Seattle Parks and Recreation were presenting two potential schemes.

The first scheme for the new play area, which will be located in the field immediately east of the Bathhouse, is called Bubbles. In Bubbles, there are four partial circles of play that are segregated by age group. In the middle of the play area are picnic tables.

In the second scheme, Squid, the play spaces are less broken up. There is a plaza at the east side of the play area where Americans with Disabilities Act parking spaces would be located. Areas of beach grass, logs and rocks separated the play area from parking.

Dean Koonts of HBB Landscape Architecture said comments at the first meeting for the new play area April 7 expressed a desire for seating near play areas, paths separating age groups and proximity to restrooms.

Both Bubbles and Squid schemes are four to five times larger than the current Golden Gardens play area, Koonts said.

05/22/2010
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Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

HBB Landscape Architecture's Dean Koonts explains play equipment possibilities for the new Golden Gardens play area at a May 22 meeting. CLICK IMAGE TO PLAY AREA SCHEMES AND LOCATION.

With Mayor Mike McGinn's final budget decisions looming in June, the neighborhood group Save Ballard's Community Centers is starting a postcard campaign to let the Mayor's Office know they shouldn't mess with Ballard.

"We want to start sending a message to the Mayor's Office that we want Ballard's community centers to stay open and stay funded," said Amy Janas, organizer of the postcard campaign.

Ballard Sip & Ship is donating several thousand postcards for the campaign. Janas said physical cards will help the city see the impact cuts would have on Ballard.

Save Ballard's Community Centers started when outgoing Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Tim Gallagher gave a television interview in late April in which he said the Ballard Community Center and Loyal Heights Community Center were in danger of closure due to budget cuts and their close proximity to each other.

In addition to drawing McGinn's attention to Ballard's community centers, Janas said she is hoping the campaign raises more awareness in the neighborhood about the danger the community centers are in.

05/20/2010
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Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Save Ballard's Community Centers

Save Ballard's Community Centers is starting a postcard campaign to ask Mayor McGinn not to cut funding for Loyal Heights Community Center and Ballard Community Center. CLICK IMAGE TO SEE THE POSTCARD.

The Port of Seattle is hoping to open a new 6,000-square-foot garden space at Shilshole Bay Marina to the public by Memorial Day weekend.

The garden, which features a grass lawn, small plantings, benches and gravel paths, was created in the fenced-off area of the marina that at one point was going to be a second Anthony's Restaurant using funds from Port of Seattle's capital budget.

The Port began work on the garden last summer when it became apparent that there would not be a fast recovery in the retail space market, Port spokesperson Peter McGraw said.

Instead of having a vacant lot, they created something for relatively little money that the public can use and enjoy until a tenant can be found for the space, McGraw said.

"We're hoping in the future that it will eventually become a restaurant or a retail space that will add value to the Shilshole Bay Marina property," he said. "It's there for folks to enjoy for the time being."

McGraw said the garden can easily be removed for a new tenant, and a future restaurant has been a popular idea with marina residents.

05/19/2010
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Michael Harthorne

The Port of Seattle created this 6,000-square-foot temporary garden space where a second Anthony's Restaurant was at one time scheduled to be built.

Planting day is June 5 for 800 plants

The West Seattle Junction Merchants are hoping to get volunteers out to plant 800 plants they have assembled for the new Junction Plaza Park. The park is still under construction at the corner of 42nd Ave. S.W. and Alaska Street.

The plan is to conduct two, 4-hour shifts with 20 volunteers doing the planting work in each. Training, materials and refreshments will be provided.

To volunteer contact Susan Melrose at susan@wsjunction.org or call 935-09004.
Space is limited so get in touch as soon as possible if you can participate.

The park dedication is slated for June 29th at 5:30 PM.

05/12/2010
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Photo credit: 
Photo by Donna Ryan - Donna Ryan Photography

Workers fill a trench with gravel during the construction of the new Junction Plaza Park at 42nd S.W. and Alaska Street. June 5 is the planting day for the park and volunteers are needed to get the work done.

There is talk within the city and Seattle Parks and Recreation about the closure of pools and community centers, including the Ballard Community Center and Loyal Heights Community Center, due to budget "shortfalls."

Parks is in the process of spending $15 million over the next two to three years though their Opportunity Fund on development of new parks, improvements of existing parks and acquisition of new land for parks.

In addition, Parks is in the design stage of a $500,000 play area at Golden Gardens, as well as numerous other costly nonessential projects.

In an era where there is no money to responsibly manage existing parks and invaluable indoor community gathering spaces, funds for other projects must be re-allocated to maintain what is currently serving our communities, not add more operational costs that will lead to even more closures in the future.

This needs to be a directive from the Seattle City Council and Mayor's Office.

05/07/2010
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Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Visual and audio dampening components were installed on the roof of the Ballard on the Park/QFC development April 29 in an attempt to make the rooftop HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) units less audibly and visibly noticeable from the adjacent Ballard Commons Park and nearby residences.

The HVAC system could be heard humming from the park since it was turned on in January, and some residents complained that the large metal units were unsightly and not represented in plans for the development.

The supports for the dampening components were installed two weeks ago.

Ballard on the Park's 268 units at 5700 24th Ave. N.W. opened for leasing in February. The QFC below the apartments opened in January.

04/29/2010
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Michael Harthorne

Workers install dampening components to the Ballard on the Park/QFC development April 29 to hide the rooftop HVAC units from sight and hopefully cut down on the noise emitted from them.

After a four-year hiatus, the Seattle Parks and Recreation project team and the Crown Hill community reassembled April 28 to discuss the design for the renovated Crown Hill Elementary Park in the project's first public meeting since 2006.

The single design presented by Parks at the meeting was culled from public input on three previous designs presented at two public meetings. Parks' Pamela Alspaugh said there were more than 30 people at each of the previous meetings, and there was extensive participation and community input.

The April 28 design features a play field with a baseball diamond and two soccer fields for young children, an oval of open lawn with trees, a walking loop around the open lawn and play field, seating and picnic tables, a multiple-use plaza for potential community performances, adult fitness stations, and a 1,600-square-foot plaza that could become either a skate dot or a play area with artistic elements.

The main entrance for park, which is located next to the Crown Hill Center at 9250 14th Ave. W., will be at the intersection of Holman Road and 13th Avenue Northwest near the pedestrian overpass.

04/29/2010
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Michael Harthorne

Residents check out the new design for Crown Hill Elementary Park at an April 28 meeting. CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW THE DESIGN.

Supporters of six Ballard-area park projects requested funding from the city's Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund when applications were due April 2.

The Opportunity Fund provides funding for the development or acquisition of parks. There is up to $7 million available citywide in the first funding cycle of the Opportunity Fund.

The East Ballard Community Association requested $1.1. million to create a linear park boulevard on 14th Avenue Northwest between Northwest 59th Street and Northwest 62nd Street.

Groundswell NW asked for $200,000 to create a street-end park on 24th Avenue Northwest. According to the application, the park would improve the quality of urban living as well as improving water quality and natural drainage systems.

The Monkey Puzzle Neighborhood Group requested $380,000 for the acquisition of land at 5801 28th Ave. N.W. to create a children's garden.

04/27/2010
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Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Friends of Sunset Substation requested Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund money to continue planning for a power-generating park at this former substation site. Five other groups requested funding for Ballard parks this month as well.

On April 20, CAST Architecture presented the final design, with two alternate schemes, for the solar-generating park members of the community are hoping to build on the City Light-owned substation property behind Ristorante Picolinos on Northwest 65th Street and 32nd Avenue Northwest.

Matt Hutchins from CAST Architecture said the Wedge Scheme from the March 25 meeting was the most popular with meeting attendees and commenters on the project's blog, followed by the Big Roof scheme and the Pair scheme.

The two final schemes are variations on the Wedge, called the Double Wedge Scheme and the Single Wedge Scheme.

The Double Wedge features two hillsides, one in the northeast corner and one in the southwest corner, that create an artificial valley for the path through the middle.

The Single Wedge has a hillside in the northeast corner but a gently sloping lawn at the south end of the site, creating an open meeting area in the middle of the site.

In the Double Wedge scheme, the meeting area would be in the southwest corner where stairs lead down from the alley and create seating.

04/21/2010
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Photo credit: 
Courtesy of CAST Architecture

The Double Wedge, one of two final schemes presented April 20 for the Sunset Hill substation park. CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW MORE IMAGES.

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