13 years later, Gemenskap Park is now a reality

The long wait is finally over — Gemenskap Park has a fresh layer of green grass and is open for business.

The idea for a park along 14th Ave NW between NW 59th and NW 61st Streets was first broached 13 years ago by residents in East Ballard. It inched closer to reality when Seattle Parks and Recreation allocated $2.9 million in funding to the project about six years ago. The funding came as part of the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Acquisition Fund, which provided $24 million for new neighborhood parks in 20 locations around Seattle.

Here are aerial shots of 14th Ave, before and after the park construction:

Members of the East Ballard Community Association are thrilled it’s done, so they’re planning a party to celebrate.

“The grass in Gemenskap park went in last week and the park was transformed this weekend with kids rolling around on the hills, neighbors having picnics, dogs playing fetch and people saying hi as they strolled or rolled by!” they write.

The grand opening celebration, which they’re calling the East Ballard Fall Festival & Gemenskap Park, is on Saturday Oct. 27 from 10:30am to 12:30pm. They’re hosting a planning meeting this Thursday, Sept. 27 at 7:30pm — if you’re interested in joining, email eastballard@gmail.com and they’ll send details. They say they’re hoping for a Halloween costume parade as part of the festivities.

For an excellent photo essay of the park’s transformation, visit the Gemenskap Flickr album. Find out more about the history of the park here, and stay connected to the East Ballard Community Association here or here.

Photos courtesy Gemenskap Flickr album

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Doubling Down on Stupidity
Guest
Doubling Down on Stupidity

Wow. Hope the 3 hours of clean park was worth the $3mil, as it will soon be filled with junkies, trash and tents.

Ballardite
Guest
Ballardite

I know exactly where I’m going to tell the crown in Ballard Commons to go…I’ll even pay for their bus fare.

Doubling Down on Stupidity
Guest
Doubling Down on Stupidity

Yes, from the air it looks like they’re doing a mini-Commons type thing. I’m sure this will attract the same crap. Money well spent!
Though, to be fair to those behind the project, Ballard was much cleaner/safer even 5 yrs ago. Nobody could’ve predicted the abject lack of responsible leadership and criminal negligence by Murray, Durkan, and the City Council during the last few yrs. It’s shocking even to those of us who expect the worst from liberals.
They outdid themselves!

Blake Thecat
Guest
Blake Thecat

Durkan really didn’t have anything to do with the downfall of Seattle, but Mike O’Brien can be squarely blamed.

Doubling Down on Stupidity
Guest
Doubling Down on Stupidity

@Blake Thecat
She has failed to restore law and order to this city. In fact, she has done everything possible to embolden criminals by hobbling police for the sake of their social justice diversity Twitter nonsense. It’s sad that we can’t really celebrate our first (capable) lesbian mayor, because it looks more and more like she was elected by simple virtue of being in the Murray clique and running solely on her sexuality.

Lets be realistic
Guest
Lets be realistic

I can’t believe how much you people whine about politicians who weren’t even elected at the time this was planned. Don’t you have a Trump rally to be at?

Mgb
Guest
Mgb

Looks nice, it is now on the neighborhood to keep it clean. The city will only perform minimum maintenance. The junkers and midnight boozers will find their way here so everyone must remain vigilant.

Oscar
Guest
Oscar

You and I both know that neighbors will only complain about the inevitable vagabond issues on Nextdoor. Why risk your life confronting crackheads when the Police are themselves tied by voter approved city council.

elenchos
Guest
elenchos

What ordinance did the council pass that ties the SPD’s hands?

Is there a chain of command diagram of the Mayor, Chief and the Council that explains this? I’m having trouble picturing it. Like the Council issues orders to the precincts? Wouldn’t the actual SPD leadership, like the Chief for example, object? Why would the Mayor allow it? The Chief works for the Mayor, not the Council. It makes no sense.

The council does pass ordinances. Why do we never hear this ordinance spoken of? Why aren’t neighborhood activists denouncing it? Why don’t they gather signatures to put this law on the ballot?

Dog Mommy
Guest
Dog Mommy

Here xhe is!
Hey elenchos did the community college walkout protest keep you tied up all day?

elenchos
Guest
elenchos

Just answer the question. Do you really think the police take orders directly from the City Council? Or do you think they passed a ‘stand down’ ordinance? Or what?

You always resort to insults and taunts when you can’t face the truth. Answer the questions.

Dog Mommy
Guest
Dog Mommy

Nobody owes you anything elenchos, just like nobody owes the junkies free food and hugs. Police response is slow, if at all, and the city has now chosen to “treat” these scumbags instead of jailing them. Now, use that blue dyed brain of yours and think about the message this sends to the junkies flocking here. There is almost zero enforcement of open narcotics use. Try to imagine your own compulsive narcissism multiplied by 1000: that is the power of a meth or heroin addiction. We tolerate people like you, and sadly, we tolerate hordes of these addicts.

This is your city on drugs. Any questions?

elenchos
Member
elenchos

So you started saying “the city” is to blame, rather than the Council. You’re learning!

And thank you for admitting that the City Council is not in the SPD chain of command. The police take their orders form the Chief, and from the Mayor. If anyone told the police to stand down, it was the Chief, presumably with the approval if not a direct order from the Mayor.

The SPD has said no such stand down order exists. You can believe one exists without any evidence, but as with the leprechauns, you can’t really fly in to a rage at reasonable people who don’t believe in leprechauns. Find some evidence though, and we’d pay attention.

All the taunts and name calling are understandable. This is a typical reaction when you’ve been schooled. Have a nice day.

Skip
Guest
Skip

Mgb, I agree. I will do my part and check on it daily.

Censorship sucks.
Guest
Censorship sucks.

MyBallard censors comments about the very real likelihood that parks will be overrun with rv’s and used needles.

Not Blind
Guest
Not Blind

Muh real estate values

Fish
Guest
Fish

I feel like the whole “muh” thing is kind of over, dude.

SteveValet
Guest
SteveValet

At least they didn’t throw out the obligatory “NIMBY” label that is used when they are out of arguments.

Milton Keynes
Guest
Milton Keynes

What’s wrong with real estate values? In the scheme of things, which is more helpful for people: having an investment appreciate or filling the park with self-destructive shitheads?

Not Blind
Guest
Not Blind

My point is that many are trying to downplay the decline of our neighborhoods instead of holding our failed leaders accountable and/or reevaluating their own stances on tolerating antisocial behavior. I agree with you. Good neighbors don’t force people to pay for their own burglars.

elenchos
Guest
elenchos

What decline? US News Best Places? AARP Best Places to Retire? Forbes Best Places to Do Business?

Burglars? The burglary rate hasn’t risen. Ballard has 4 times the homeless population as last year, but crime did not increase.

If you had evidence of the decline of the neighborhoods, you would change a lot of minds. You can’t accuse people of “downplaying” a thing that doesn’t exist. Telling us to believe in “unreported crime” with no evidence is like asking us to believe in ghosts and leprechauns without evidence. You’re free believe in such things but you can hardly insist others believe.

Be reasonable. That’s not a lot to ask.

Lets be realistic
Guest
Lets be realistic

The decline is currently they have to actually see poor people when before they could pretend they didn’t exist. They don’t care if crime is actually down and home values are up,

Not Blind
Guest
Not Blind

Poor =/= junkie criminals
Once again your liberal bigotries are showing themselves

elenchos
Member
elenchos

So your point is “junkies exist”.

Yes, they exist. And they are in possession of controlled substances, so you can call them criminals. But by around 2000 or 2005, our crime rate plummeted to 1/3 of or less of what it was in the 90s, and it has remained flat for the last 15 to 20 years. Inequality and homelessness are up, but not crime.

So yes, junkies exist. You probably have seen them. But we are not suffering from increased crime. Crime continues to be a fraction of what it once was. Business is booming.

I saw homeless and probably drugging people in Ballard Commons Park today. But I saw happy citizens enjoying the nice weather with their families. I saw them in Gemenskap Park too. I’ll post photos.

John Smith
Guest
John Smith

Wow, great, another place to attract more filth from downtown. Needles ahoy! Bring your kids! Bring your (smelly, dirty, loud) dogs!

Dog Dad Gives $50 to Junkies
Guest
Dog Dad Gives $50 to Junkies

Dogs and junkies are the most important people, John. Don’t be such a bigot.

Homeless On the Range
Guest
Homeless On the Range

They’re our most vulnerable community members!

SteveValet
Guest
SteveValet

Can we have our money back when the park fills up with trash, tweakers, and human waste, and Mike O’Brien (once again) welcomes it??

Taxes Never Go Down
Guest
Taxes Never Go Down

NOPE

JoMama
Guest
JoMama

Once the tents move in a gas can and a flare will work nicely… Neighborhood bon fire!!!

Wallbanger
Guest
Wallbanger

Has anyone heard of the vigilantes that are for hire to get rid of homeless people? I didn’t think it would take long…i suppose we all saw it coming since the police and city council do nothing. It’s total anarchy in some parts of Ballard.
I heard they get paid in bitcoin and will get rid of your homeless problem with pepper spray, flash bangs, and Brittany Spears constantly playing on a PA system. Seems simple enough?

Do it to me one more time
Guest
Do it to me one more time

LOL that’s an imaginative combo of ordnance.

guesty
Guest
guesty

countdown to bum-aggedonn….3,2,1

Gimme a tent anyday
Guest
Gimme a tent anyday

I’m just stopped by to check out the anti-homeless and junkie comments. Looks like I hit pay dirt!

Dog Mommy
Guest
Dog Mommy

Here’s $20. Please don’t break into my car. Thanks

Dave
Guest
Dave

Stupid waste of money

elenchos
Member
elenchos

Thanks, Obama!

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Stupid Location
Guest
Stupid Location

Looks like our local registered s*x offender and public intellectual is out photographing children in parks again.

elenchos
Member
elenchos

And O’Brien. Thanks, Mike O’Brien. Dastardly!

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Wallbanger
Guest
Wallbanger

http://mynorthwest.com/1124499/woman-mauled-by-dogs-rv/

What say you elenchos? Is there a problem or isn’t there one? Also, would you mind wearing a t-shirt in Ballard that says you’re elenchos…its getting old wanting to spit in everyone’s face I see in Ballard because i think it’s you. Btw are you the bum, that lives on Market st on the sidewalk close to Market Arms?

elenchos
Member
elenchos

There are about 300 dog bites in Seattle every year.

Not surprising that garbage Fox News sources like KIRO don’t bother to report basic facts like that. Instead, they cherry pick single incidents, and sensationalize them with no context.

There’s a huge problem with the increase in homelessness, due to insufficient housing and a general rise in inequality. There has not been any increase in crime correlated with the increase in homelessness. You know that, and you know you have nothing to contradict that critical fact.

You know you have no case, so instead you only spotlight single cases. If we drive away all homeless people in reaction to this one dog bite, then we should drive away all housed people for the other 299, shouldn’t we?

SteveValet
Guest
SteveValet

Easy to throw out “facts” without any kind of support links. Did you know that 90% of homeless eat raw squirrels and dolphins sometimes cheat at poker?? See, I can make shit up too

elenchos
Member
elenchos

Which facts are you disputing? How many dog bites do you think happen every year? Do you think all those dog owners aren’t housed?

Locally Sourced
Guest
Locally Sourced

Hey elenchos I wouldn’t be out taking pics of people’s kids. Just saying. Might be sending the wrong message since you’re clearly in the Stranger/Murray camp.

Stupid Location
Guest
Stupid Location

A park with a road and a driveway crossing it. Have fun kids!

BAM
Guest
BAM

Let’s make a commitment to keep the riffraff out of here. If you see homeless frequenting this park run them out of there, they are ruining everything. The Ballard Commons park is so depressing. A bunch of derelict vehicles with people sitting in their cars and trucks all day. What do these people do? What is their purpose in life? I dislike these folks, I’m sorry. They’re a blight on the neighborhood.

Wallbanger
Guest
Wallbanger

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

elenchos
Member
elenchos

Anything that gets you up out of your chair, away from your screen, and out of the house is bound to do us all good. Godspeed, vigilantes!

Truth
Guest
Truth

I can’t wait to read the news article where you get arrested for harassing park users that you don’t care for, under the guise of anti-homeless vigilance. I’d put the over/under for your little brownshirt experiment at 30 minutes before the police are called.

Locally Sourced
Guest
Locally Sourced

Yes the pink shirts will stop the brown shirts for the sake of the skid marks at the Commons. A real Seattle style justice party! I’m sure you’ll be right there throwing noodle armed punches at anyone who looks like they might have all their chromosomes. Be sure to get video for your Twitter!

Truth
Guest
Truth

You mean you and your manly-men harassment gang can’t handle a bunch of “noodley armed pink shirts”?

Gosh, I’m shocked! I look forward to the video.

Lampchop
Guest
Lampchop

A rather expensive parking strip.

Seattle’s Chapped Lips Smiling At Me <3
Guest
Seattle’s Chapped Lips Smiling At Me <3

In all this greed and constant construction it’s nice to have a few things built for the public!

John Smith
Guest
John Smith

You mean built for the junkies?

Funk
Guest
Funk

I’d hate to say it, but there are a lot of white small pea brained racists that lives in those areas. It’s funny on how there are white junkies walking around nowadays and they do nothing about it, because it’s their own kind.
It’s even funnier how retarded and uneducated white racists are, because they drive Asian cars! The funniest thing ever!!!