Parks/Open Space/Trails

Seattle Parks and Recreation will host a community meeting to discuss the renovation for Ross Playground from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 20 at Ross Shelter House, located at 4320 Fourth Ave. N.W.

Parks has hired Worthy and Associates as the designer for this project. They will introduce the project and gather ideas from the community on building an improved play area at the park.

This renovation project, identified in the Parks and Green Spaces Levy, will provide new play equipment, site improvements and access improvements.

Seattle voters passed the Parks and Green Spaces Levy by a 59-percent vote in November 2008.

The $146 million Levy provides acquisition funding for new neighborhood parks and green spaces and development funding for projects, such as improved playfields, reservoir lid parks, renovated playgrounds, community gardens and safety upgrades at city owned cultural facilities.

The community is encouraged to come and participate in designing this new play area.

For more information, click here.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Seattle Parks and Recreation is inviting the public to submit potential names for the new park on Ninth Avenue Northwest and the new Crown Hill School open space. Suggestions for names are due to the Park Naming Committee by June 2.

This Ninth Avenue Northwest site was purchased with 2000 Pro Parks Levy funds and now, as a result of the 2008 Parks & Greens Spaces Levy, there is funding to develop this site into a brand new park.

The public process involved three community meetings, which provided valuable design direction.

The design most preferred at the final public meeting includes a community garden at the north end, a sitting wall enclosed space to recall an old building foundation, an open lawn, a "sledding hill" and a small play area at the south end.

There is a planted buffer along the back edge with a trail for unstructured play.

Construction on the site is scheduled to begin in August 2010, with completion anticipated in spring 2011.

For more information, click here.

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Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Site Workshop

The city is looking for name suggestions for this new park on Ninth Avenue Northwest, as well as the new Crown Hill School open space by June 2.

Seattle Public Utilities will turn over the project to Seattle Parks for construction of new park on the site

The Myrtle Street Reservoir project at 35th Ave. S.W. and S.W. Myrtle Street is nearing the point at which Seattle Public Utilities will complete their maintenance and update work and hand the project over to the Seattle Parks Department to get the process of creating the planned park on the site underway.

Plans for the Myrtle Reservoir Park include a central plaza, a children's play area, railroad tie stairways, and some concrete seatwalls. Seattle Public Utilities is replacing its open reservoirs around the city with underground structures that will improve the quality and security of the water supply.

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Photo credit: 
Patrick Robinson

Myrtle Street Muffin? The elevated tanks at the Myrtle Street Reservoir site have been undergoing some repairs and the tank at the corner of 35th Avenue SW and SW Myrtle Street is totally draped in cloth to permit a repainting of the structure and prevent overspray from drifting off and on to the surrounding area.

The City of Burien celebrated Arbor Day Tuesday morning at one of its newest parks.
Mathison Park is a six-acre forested neighborhood park, located at 533 S. 146th St. The upper five acres was donated to the city by Ted Mathison. The Carver sisters, in memory of their grandfather, Herman Nikolas Peters, donated a lower acre.


Peters homesteaded the area in 1899. Ted and Bernadine Mathison moved to the property in 1944 and raised five children there.
The Arbor Day commemoration was preceded by a dedication ceremony for Phase II improvements to the park.

Parks operation manager Steve Roemer said only one acre of the park, which contained playground equipment, was available to the public before the improvements.

The construction project included a new toddler's playground, a winding asphalt trail with picnic tables and viewpoints and a sawdust hiking trail.

Roemer said the construction period from August to February was "short and sweet," despite occasional bad weather.

See video
Photo credit: 
Patrick Robinson

Cutting the Ribbon- From left, Eric Mathison, Todd Mathison (Eric's son), Phil Mathison, Leona Mathison (Phil's wife) and Don Mathison. In the background, Burien councilwomen Rose Clark and Kathy Keene.

First major courtyard to be complete by late fall

Seattle Chinese Garden at 6000 16th Ave. SW just at the north side of South Seattle Community College held a site tour and presentation on chinese gardens on April, 10. These free docent-led tours of the Garden are held on the second Saturday of each month, March through October at 10 am. To arrange a special docent-led program or hardhat tour of the construction site for your group of eight or more or call the office (206-764-5219) . Check their website for updates on construction, events, tours, and other programs.

The 4.5-acre garden site, and Song Mei Pavilion are under construction now and progress is being made on the first major courtyard. Plants native to China are now in the SSCC Arboretum. The tour began with a slide presentation on the cultural significance of Chinese Gardens.

The project will be completed in several phases, likely over at least several years, as funding becomes available.

See video
Photo credit: 
Kimberly Robinson

Sandy Marvinney, member of the Board of Directors of the Seattle Chinese Garden stands in the Song Mei Pavilion under construction. This summer, skilled artisans from China will come to complete the work on the project, due to open to the public next fall.

At the first public meeting for the replacement of the Golden Gardens playground April 7, a new location for the play area was all but decided on. The types of play equipment it would feature was a bit more controversial.

The upgrade of the 20-year-old playground that sits adjacent to the barbeque area is being funded by the Pro Parks Levy.

The city wants to bring the playground into safety and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance and also move it to a larger space away from a high-traffic area, said Virginia Hassinger, project coordinator for Seattle Parks and Recreation.

Dean Koonts, an architect from HBB Landscape Architecture working on the project, said the current playground, which features four swings and a small play structure, has a small range of equipment, caters to a small age group and has little separation from traffic.

After a site analysis by HBB that ruled out areas within 200 feet of the shoreline, areas that are habitat-sensitive or already highly used and a portion of Golden Gardens that may have contaminated soil, the city is proposing relocating the playground to the grass-covered area immediately east of the Golden Gardens Bathhouse.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Seattle Parks and Recreation presented its plans to relocated and update the Golden Gardens playground April 7. CLICK IMAGE TO SEE THE PROPOSED NEW LOCATION.

There used to be a skate ramp in Kate Martin’s front yard. Her sons had just caught the skateboarding bug, and the mini-ramp, planted among the maples and mountain hemlocks, became an icon in their south Greenwood neighborhood.

“It was heaven,” said Martin, a longtime community organizer who owns her own site planning, design and construction management business. “Every little kid on my block came and played on our stuff. Older kids, pro skaters—the gamut – would stop by. It’s just a safe place to play.”

When a lawsuit forced the ramp’s removal last spring, Martin, one of the founding members of Parents for Skate Parks, took a sabbatical from activism.

But now, as nearby Sandel Park heads toward a redesign, she’s reloaded and is pushing for a skatedot—a mini-ramp measuring less than 1,500 square feet—in her neighborhood.

There’s just one speed bump: There isn’t room in Seattle Parks and Recreation’s budget to fund it.

Photo credit: 
Rachel Solomon.

Community organizer and founding member of Parents for Skate Parks Kate Martin, left, views plans for the Sandel Park remodel at a March 27 open house. The design for the park does not include a skatedot.

Neighborhood groups and the city of Seattle will team up again this year to create fun for residents on local streets and support nearby businesses through the Celebrate Seattle Summer Streets program.

Starting in May and running through August, Celebrate Seattle Summer Streets events will be held in Ballard, Greenwood, Phinney Ridge, Alki and the Rainier Valley.

In its third year, Summer Streets events open up roads to pedestrians and bicyclists, offering people a way to have fun, celebrate the spirit and personality of their neighborhood, and support local businesses.

Each of the four events is organized in partnership with a local group.

“Families need affordable recreation opportunities that help build communities and Celebrate Seattle Summer Streets delivers by promoting biking, street sports, sightseeing and visits to local establishments,” Peter Hahn, acting director of the Seattle Department of Transportation, said in a press release. “Through the leadership of local groups, Celebrate Seattle Summer Streets promotes our neighborhoods and encourages people to walk and bike.”

Photo credit: 
Allison Espiritu

The Bubble Man entertains children at last year's Celebrate Seattle Summer Streets event in Greenwood/Phinney. The city is bringing the program back for a third year this summer.

The new Seattle Parks and Recreation Code of Conduct goes into effect on April 1.

The Code of Conduct brings together in a single document all the behaviors not allowed on some or all park property and includes provisions from Washington state law, Seattle City ordinance, already-adopted administrative rules and some provisions.

Violation of these rules can result in exclusion from a park or a group of parks.

New prohibited behaviors include:

  • Possession of glass containers at athletic fields, beaches or children’s playgrounds.
  • Smoking, chewing or other tobacco use within 25 feet of other park patrons and/or at play areas, beaches, playgrounds and picnic areas.
  • Conduct that poses a risk of harm to any person or property.
  • Possession of explosives, acid or any other article or material capable of causing serious harm to others.

Prohibiting smoking in some parks is consistent with Seattle Parks and Recreation’s mission to provide healthy, safe places for people to congregate and sends a message to Seattle’s youth that the norm is for public places to be smoke-free, according to a Parks press release.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

The new Seattle Parks and Recreation Code of Conduct, including restrictions on smoking, will be enforced beginning April 1.

The Loyal Heights Community Center is looking for teenage bands from any genre and any area of Seattle to participate in its annual Rock the Gardens event at Golden Gardens.

The event is a series of summer concerts that take place at the Golden Gardens Bathhouse on the beach.

The shows, which take place on July 9, July 23 and August 20, run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and are free and open to all ages.

Each night will focus on a different musical theme and include genres from rock to metal to acoustic to punk to hip hop.

This year, Rock the Gardens is being offered in partnership with the Vera Project, Seattle’s all-ages arts and music center.

Rock the Gardens is currently in the process of recruiting bands.

Any teenage bands looking to play to a crowd in one of the city’s most scenic locales should contact Alexis Govan at or 206.684.4052.

The bands being featured in Rock the Gardens 2010 will be announced in June.

Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Alexis Govan

A band performs at last year's Rock the Gardens. The all-teen concert series at Golden Gardens is looking for bands for this year's July and August shows.

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