Open house on Saturday for Baker Park expansion design planning

Baker Park on Crown Hill is going to get a makeover, and the city wants community input on design plans. Seattle Parks and Recreation is hosting an open house on Saturday, August 12 from 1 to 3 pm at the park (8347 14th Ave NW).

The open house will provide an opportunity for residents to learn about the expansion and design options for the park, and to tell Seattle Parks what amenities and park elements they prefer in the future design. There will be light refreshments and activities for children.

The .23-acre site, which is directly south of the existing Baker Park, was purchased by the city in 2013. Aims for the new addition include accessibility features in compliance with the  Americans with Disabilities Act standards, as well as providing access to open space in a high-density neighborhood.

For more about the Baker Park expansion, click here.

Photo by Seattle Parks

 

Carkeek Park trail rerouting project starts next week

An unstable section of trail in Carkeek Park is being rerouted.

On Monday, August 14, the Seattle Parks and Recreation Trails Program will be rerouting the lower section of Carkeek Park’s Viewlands Trail where it intersects with the Pipers Creek trails.  According to the Seattle Parks department, the existing structure, which was built in 1999, has become unstable due to water damage and slides over the years and has reached the end of its life.

The new trail will have a gentler approach just north of the existing trail and shouldn’t have the same grade and water issues. In a separate project, the department will decommission the stairs and restore that area.

Trails will stay open while work is underway between 8:30 am and 2:45 pm from August 14 to September 15. Seattle Parks says visitors should keep an eye out for vehicles moving materials and supplies along the Pipers Creek Trail during the rerouting work.

Photo of Viewlands Trail by Seattle Parks

Nearby News: Locals invited to give final feedback on Greenwood/Phinney Park Development

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Locals are invited to attend the final public meeting to give input on plans for the Greenwood/Phinney Park Development that is set to be built between N 81st St and N 82nd St on the east side of Greenwood Ave N.

Seattle Parks and Recreation thanks the Greenwood/Phinney neighborhood for their participation in the last public meeting on November 2.

At that meeting Seattle Parks presented three concepts and play options and gathered community feedback. An online survey was created in addition to printed surveys at the Greenwood Library for those who were unable to attend the meeting. Locals can download the survey results here.

Locals are invited to give more feedback at the final public meeting which will be held on Wednesday, February 1, from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Greenwood Community Center (525 N 85th St).

Click here to find out more about the Greenwood/Phinney Park Development.

Seattle Park District funds renovation of two Ballard park play areas

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) renovated Gilman Playground (923 NW 54th St) and Webster Park (3025 NW 68th St) play areas, both of which opened in December 2016. The play area renovations replaced aging play equipment and improved park accessibility.

Gilman Park features a play structure with a 16-foot tall play tower, two new slides, and inclusive play elements designed for 5- to 12-year-old children. A structure with a slide and new swings was installed for 2- to 5-year-old children. The park also features an accessible ramp, providing access for all into the play area, as well as a new concrete seating plaza.

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Webster Park includes a new play structure for 2- to 5-year-old children, complete with inclusive play elements and a rainbow slide similar in design to the old slide that was in the park. Play structures for 5- to 12-year-old children include rocks and rope elements that offer climbing and balance opportunities. SPR installed a new sand digging area and provided new basketball backboards, hoops, and nets. The entry at 68th St., along with a portion of the sidewalk, was improved to provide universal access into the play area.

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The SPR team thanks everyone for attending the public meetings and providing input for the improvements.

The Seattle Park District provided the funding for these play area improvement projects. Approved by Seattle voters in 2014, the Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding for Seattle Parks and Recreation including maintenance of parklands and facilities, operation of community centers and recreation programs, and development of new neighborhood parks on previously acquired sites.

For information about the projects and construction updates vist: https://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/gilman-playground-play-area-renovation or http://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/webster-park-play-area-renovation

Most drop-in activities now free at Community Centers

Thanks to funding from the Seattle Park District as part of the Community Center Strategic Plan, as of the first of the year, most drop-in activities  at Seattle Parks and Recreation community centers are now free.

During a public outreach process, Seattle Parks and Recreation heard from many communities that even small drop-in fees can be a barrier for people with low incomes, preventing many from taking part in some of our basic activities and services.

In general, a true drop-in activity is one that does not regularly hire staff or have regular materials and supply costs. For most community centers, this means the following activities are now free:

  • Tot Gyms and Tot Rooms
  • Fitness Rooms
  • Basketball, Pickleball, Dodgeball, Volleyball
  • Pool Tables
  • Table games like Bridge or Mahjong
  • and most other activities that previously had $1, $2, or $3 drop-in fees.

The following kinds of activities will continue to charge a fee:

  • Program drop-in (paying for a class one session at a time)
  • Special events
  • Drop-in activities held outside normal operating hours

For more information, or if you have questions about a previously purchased punch card for drop-in activities, contact Ballard Community Center  at (206) 684-4093 or Loyal Heights Community Center at (206) 684-4052 to find out more.

Seattle Parks and Recreation on the lookout for volunteers

The team at Seattle Parks and Recreation is on the lookout for volunteers for 2017. They are hosting a Volunteer Information Fair to learn about our volunteer opportunities on February 2 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Northgate Community Center (10510 5th Ave NE).

Seattle Parks and Recreation volunteers coach youth sports, help plant native trees in our parks, serve on various advisory councils and boards, and provide countless other services that allow us to have the first-rate park and recreation system that Seattle loves and depends on.

At the Volunteer Information Fair locals can find out what opportunities are available, learn more about the jobs that volunteers do, ask questions and get registered as a volunteer on site. Plus, a free lunch will be served!

Representatives from several of our units will also be on hand to describe their volunteer needs, including the Green Seattle Partnership, our Environmental Learning Centers, Community Advisory Councils, Adopt a Park and more.

If you have questions or would like to sign up for this event, call Cheryl Brown at (206) 615-0619.

Seattle Parks and Rec on the lookout for local basketball coaches

Basketball season is just around the corner, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is on the lookout for basketball coaches for the hundreds of Seattle youth that will be coming in to the community centers to sign up for teams.

If you’re 18 or older, have a love of basketball, and want to be a positive influence in youths’ lives – Seattle Parks and Recreation is looking for you!

Locals can coach at any of the 26 centers across the city that is convenient to their home or work. If your child and/or neighborhood kids are interested in playing, and you are interested in coaching, the staff at any community center can help form a team.

Visit the Seattle Parks and Recreation website and register as a volunteer. All coaches are required to pass a background check before working with youth.

Seattle Parks and Recreation seeks nominations for volunteer awards

Seattle Parks and Recreation is seeking nominations for the Denny Awards, which honor extraordinary volunteer service to the city’s parks and recreation system.

The Denny Awards acknowledge and honor the crucial role volunteers play in supporting neighborhood parks, community centers and recreation programs throughout Seattle. The awards reflect the early commitment by the Denny family to the preservation of parkland and open space for public use and enjoyment.

“Volunteers are one of our most important resources in helping us reach our goals of supporting healthy people, a healthy environment, and strong communities,” said Superintendent Jesús Aguirre.

In 2015, 38,386 people volunteered for Seattle Parks and Recreation, providing 270,360 hours of service, which is a donation valued by Independent Sector at $23.07 per hour or $6.2 million dollars.

For locals wanting to nominate local volunteers, Denny Awards nominees should:

  • demonstrate exceptional stewardship of parks and/or recreation;
  • have given a significant commitment of time;
  • provide stellar leadership by supporting SPR’s goals to extend Race and Social Justice, and support Healthy People, a Healthy Environment, and Strong Communities.

The deadline for online nominations is Thursday, October 27. Nominations can be made online.

The awards will be presented at a recognition ceremony on Tuesday, December 6, in the Brotman Forum at the Seattle Art Museum.

Public invited to experience the ‘Big Shaker’ at earthquake event

Seattle’s Office of Emergency Management and Seattle Parks and Recreation are inviting members of the public to attend the City’s first ever ‘Big Shaker’ Earthquake Event at Westlake Park (401 Pine St) next Tuesday, October 11, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

City officials will also be in attendance to take a ride in the ‘Big Shaker’ to highlight the importance of preparing for earthquakes. The ‘Big Shaker’ is a 22’ foot-long, 6,500-pound earthquake simulator that gives participants the opportunity to experience the shaking of a simulated 8.0 earthquake.

Mayor Ed Murray proclaimed October as Emergency Preparedness Month to encourage Seattle residents, businesses, and organizations to get prepared.

More than 100 members of the public will also have the opportunity to step into the ‘Big Shaker’. Tickets will be distributed to the public at Westlake Park on the day of the event and are on a first come, first served basis.

Tickets for riding in the ‘Big Shaker’ between the hours of 10 a.m. and noon will be passed out at 9:30 a.m. Tickets for riding between noon and 2 p.m. will be distributed at 11:30 a.m.

In addition to riding in the ‘Big Shaker’, several City departments and vendors, including QuakeHold, will be present to give participants the opportunity to:

  • Learn how to build an emergency kit, make a disaster plan and help each other
  • Hear about how to get involved in neighborhood and community preparedness
  • Practice shutting off utilities
  • Play fun preparedness games and win prizes

“Preparing for disasters starts with individuals,” said Seattle Office of Emergency Management Director Barb Graff. “People need to plan to be on their own for a minimum of 7-10 days following a major disaster.”

Members of the public are also invited to participate in the annual ‘Great Washington ShakeOut’ Earthquake Drill on October 20 at 10:20 a.m.

Those who participate will join millions of people worldwide in practicing how to ‘Drop, Cover, and Hold On’. Seattle’s Office of Emergency Management plans to issue an AlertSeattle message immediately before the drill begins to encourage participation.

To find out more information about Seattle’s earthquake risk and how to get prepared for disasters, visit the Seattle Office of Emergency Management’s webpage.

Board of Park Commissioners to host hearing on People, Dogs and Parks Strategic Plan

The Board of Park Commissioners will hold a public hearing to receive feedback on the Draft People, Dogs and Parks Strategic Plan. The meeting will take place at Miller Community Center (330 19th Ave E) on Thursday, September 22, at 6:30 p.m.

The plan will guide the operations of existing off-leash areas, and provides strategies for development of future off-leash areas. It provides direction on how to spend Seattle Park District funding designated for existing off-leash areas over the six-year term of the Park District funding plan (2015-2020). The Draft People, Dogs and Parks Strategic Plan is available to view online.

The Board of Park Commissioners will receive oral and written testimony, and will make a recommendation to the Parks and Recreation Superintendent based on the feedback they receive from the public.

Seattle currently has 14 fenced off-leash areas totaling 28 acres. The People, Dogs and Parks Plan offers recommendations on how to add new off-leash areas, and how to improve off-leash area conditions and user experience.

New off-leash areas may be added through new park development, existing park redevelopment and community requests, on park land or non-park public land.

All new off-leash area proposals will be reviewed by a committee of dog- and environmental advocates, community members, animal behaviorists and Parks staff, who will make a recommendation to the Parks and Recreation Superintendent.

The Plan recommends that future off-leash areas be fenced, does not recommend allowing unleashed dogs on trails, and recommends against establishing more off-leash areas on beaches. User conflicts, limited enforcement and maintenance resources, and environmental concerns limit the capacity for adequate management of unleashed dogs in city parks outside of fenced off-leash areas.

The plan proposes the use of Seattle Park District funding to improve existing off-leash areas based on site assessments included in the plan, and to explore possibilities for partnerships and sponsorships to expand resources. It also proposes the creation of a license for dog walkers, and limiting the number of dogs in a dog-walker pack to three unless dog walkers complete an approved animal behavior training program.

Locals who want to give input but are unable to attend the meeting can give written comments, which bear equal weight to verbal comments. Please email comments to rachel.acosta@seattle.gov.