Neighbors see 9th Ave. park concepts

A few dozen people attended last night’s workshop to catch a glimpse of four concepts for the 39,000 square foot park on 9th Ave. between 70th & 73rd.

From a formal garden (above) to open common grounds (below), the design group presented several ideas. (See larger versions here and here.)

According to Ryan Bogden, one of the neighbors at the meeting, “The most popular concepts were to have a big open green/lawn area near the south end, some sort of kids play area with equipment integrated with earthworks, sitting areas (and) pathways meandering through the park,” he said. “Other popular ideas included extending the park on the west side by taking out the existing parking slots, removing the most of the old structure but maybe keeping some sort of remnants, and a community garden or p-patch.”

The main debates, he says, were the swings and the p-patch idea. People like the swings, but they take up a lot of room. As far as the gardens go, one side feels that a p-patch in a public park doesn’t make sense. Others felt the gardens would provide a good sense of security and community. “Overall the group agreed that they wanted the park to be more of an informal common area for all ages to participate and did not want anything to formal or that required too much maintenance,” Bogden says. The other two concepts can be seen here and here.

The third and final meeting for the formation of this park will be held on January 28th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Whittier Elementary. At this meeting, Site Workshop will present a preferred design which they develop from the feedback they’ve received.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

26 thoughts to “Neighbors see 9th Ave. park concepts”

  1. I don't get why a p-patch in a public park is a bad idea.

    other than all the off-leash dogs peeing on the produce, I think this is a fantastic idea.

  2. Why should a few people get exclusive access to public land for themselves? If the park was bigger maybe, but this one isn't big enough to ha d over to a few people for their own private use.

    And what's the band shell for, summer performances of 'Hobos in the Park'? No thanks.

  3. I'm actually writing a screenplay called “Hobos in the Park”

    the opening scene (sung to 'strangers in the night')
    “hobos in the park,
    exchanging needles
    looking for a fight
    What were the chances we'd be sharing wine
    before the night was through—-shooby-dooby”

  4. concerts are a little to abstract for the reality of community gathering at the level it is at right now, i agree.

    Growing Space on the other hand should be ever striven to expand. This park is located on a very Rich dense suburb that could defiantly benefit from a local, visual, educational gardening display. composting, and tutorial signs would make a difference ten fold.

    Also the introduction of imitated natural plant systems into their water distribution swale ideas would be a stepping stone to those who do not fully understand the relationships and systems that plants have evolved to thrive in. With this realization they then can apply to all other food growing projects with hopefully the knowledge of paths of least resistance to nature's methods and minimal muscle energy input, to ultimately become their most successful low maintenance gardens.

    This all being said, these are all on terms of foresight into potential future, local, energy resource conveniences to the public and a simple backbone of education in the park to help others devise their own or at least have their children understand and start their green thumb so they may provide in the future, beyond what is in their school's lessons. Otherwise, they should jungle-gym it and turn it into what Whittier doesn't have on top of a giant maintenance lawn.

  5. “a local, visual, educational gardening display. composting, and tutorial signs”

    Great, now I can't even go to a park and not have this kind of **** being forced on us.

    All we need is space to sit, space to throw a ball, space for 4 year olds to run in circles and not hit anything that will cause permanent damage, and space for teenagers to do whatever they do in parks after 9pm. What we don't need is your view of 'learning'.

  6. I agree with Ballard born, music is far too abstract. Ditto for kids running around, throwing balls, lounging in the sun, taking naps et cetera, et cetera.

    What we need in this park is an $800,ooo biosphere and eco-training center for future enviro-warriors. All neighborhood sewers and waste should be directed into creating a biofuel energy source for our intrepid bio-Ballardites who will lead us into pure, zero carbon footprint future. This “Ballard-Sphere” will help create an ecologically perfect system integrating all living beings and their relationships, including their interaction with the elements of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere.

  7. I'm w/ BMWL, but intensity dialed back a few notches. We aren't farmers and home gardening, it has been pretty well argued, might be more expensive and less green than simply buying organic at the supermarket. The opposite can be argued too, and our area in particular has a strong urban farming contigent, but the point is that we're all not down with that agenda.

    Let's let the park be a park in the traditional sense — kids play, people relax, have a picnic, etc.

    A childrens pool is a big draw for hot days — there is a small park in Magnolia with one. Or one of those fountains that squirts up (recycled) water from holes in the ground?

    Big sandbox is fun too.

    At any rate there are tons of young families in the hood. Let's make the park as appealing as possible for the kiddies and a civic project that enhances local home owner's bottom line (for once).

  8. Design by committee. Design by Seattle committee.

    This should be a disaster, pleasing every moron with some kind of enviro-agenda they want to ram down our throats.

  9. I loves me some Stupid Hippie and Bark More, Wag Less!!! I sometimes wonder if we already know each other.

    Now what would really be kickass in this location is a gun range with a couple archery lanes on the side. Given the rising level of crime in the neighborhood, law-abiding citizens could be educated on a skill that might actually be useful at some point in the future if all hell breaks loose. Plus it would be crazy ass loud which is always fun.

    I'm sure the mayor-elect is with me on this.

  10. Consider who will be using the park – the neighborhood. This (my)neighborhood is awesome but a little short on open spaces… There are a lot of kids so a play area makes sense. Open spaces, paths, and a play area… That's all you really need. No to the pea patch and band stage… For what NOT to do, see the pocket park on 76th and 6th… A giant litterbox and unused stage…

  11. Sadly the $800k budget almost ensures this will be an over developed plan with tons of stupid ideas and zero functionality for kids. A simple open space will never fly, it doesn't waste enough of our tax dollars.

  12. I do like the idea of a walking labyrinth, though. Those are super-groovy. I'd have one in my own yard were it big enough.

    As for the rest, put in some play space, plant some trees, and then leave lots of room for throwing balls and running around.

  13. There are more than 60 households in the immediate neighborhood who are waiting for a p-patch plot. These folk would be informal “eyes in the park” and would also
    contribute to the long-term maintenance of about a fourth of the land. Vegetable gardens are beautiful. They remind us where our food comes from, and believe it or not, kids LIKE to garden with their parents and eat food they have grown. Usually,
    every p-patch also has a community plot or two with food grown for food banks. There is plenty of room for both vegetables and large, open space for play.

  14. If you want land for your own private privilege, pay rent. What part of 'public land' don't you understand? Or can anyone come in and take produce since we are all paying for the land?

    Last thing we need is a subsidy for a bunch of college educated, middle class hobby farmers and pseudo-greens.

  15. There isn't enough space for pea patches and open spaceBin this park, it is a tiny park. . Why can't we for once just have a simple, cheap open public space and not turn it into a space for green yuppies to come ram their politics down our throats with expensive hobby horse projects. Kids need to learn about food, yes…..but from their parents, not in a park.

  16. P-patch plots are not privately owned. The City thru the Dept of Neighborhoods rents them to people who want to grow food but don't have room at home. Folks who do not tend their gardens lose the privilege. If you have spent any time in a city p-patch, you will find that they are quite “public” and that
    if you volunteer to help with weeding or the like, it is quite possible that you will be offered some of the produce, if it is in season. The people who want to grow food do so for a variety of reasons. Tending a garden is a day by day, week by week commitment, and is rarely taken up by hobbyists. I struggle to grow a few carrots in my own backyard, so am in awe of the beauty and bounty I find in the community p-patches. Please take a look at the Thyme Patch park at 2855 NW 58th, or Greg's Garden just south of Safeway on 14th NW. The benefit of having some of this new park be under cultivation will accrue to everyone, but if you just can't feature it, then turn out for the final public meeting on Jan. 28 at Whittier School and speak up. You've missed 2 already.

  17. “P-patch plots are not privately owned”

    They are privately used and in a public park. If this park was bigger, fine, but it's a tiny park in a neighborhood were kids have few places to run around, throw a ball, let alone drop back and punt. If you want the public to subsidize your hobbies, pay the market rates on the rent.

  18. “if you volunteer to help with weeding or the like, it is quite possible that you will be offered some of the produce, “

    We, the public, already give you the land at below market rent; I say we get the food free.

  19. parents need to learn about food too, it's obvious the majority of America doesn't quiet understand fresh or local, or the facts as to what children are eating in public cafeterias.
    hobby horse, yes, yuppie no. everything happens in baby steps, this is just an attempt at opening those who otherwise dont have the self motivation or time to take the first learning baby steps on the trail to understanding laws and rhythmic cycles of nature.
    politics, maybe but this is a opportunity to voice what has been left out of many parks, during a new era of awareness I see this as an opportune time of change. I am not saying that the park should be covered with shrubs, but more interlaced with low maintenance local plans, which most grow very well as borders, on ledges, and in nooks and crannies of unused space.
    if you are worried about open space to throw your pig skins, just know that ballard high is 4 blocks away and astro-topped.

  20. A p-patch would be great but my concern is that once they are granted it is almost impossible to ever change or eliminate them. If I invested that much time into that plot of earth I would certainly feel some kind of ownership but some lessees unwillingness to ever relinquish their plot is one of the biggest reasons why you don't see more of them.

    Another question about p-patches. Most of the surrounding neighborhood is single-family homes with yards. Where would these p-patchers be coming from? Outside the area?

  21. I went to both design meetings for the 9th Ave Park. The design team and Parks Dept. have been very professional and provided an excellent environment for people of all walks of life to participate in the design process. All ideas provided in these plans were suggested by the participants. These plans are groupings of ideas and some were great for understanding what was and what was not wanted in this park. For example: the band shelter is not going to happen for many reasons and the more open space was requested.

    Our neighborhood is very fortunate that the Parks Dept. was able to purchase this land for a park and that money is available to construct it. In the short term it will provide jobs to design and build. In the long term it will provide an open space for the community to play, learn and enjoy.

    As for the P-patch or community garden, there was some division among participants. The P-Patch coordinator was in attendance and provided great information as to how a P-patch operates. A P-patch is a managed program and not a land grab or give away. Plots are 100 square feet and must be used or the plot is provide to someone who will use it. Not everyone has a large enough back yard to effectively garden in and providing the opportunity is what a reasonable community can do.

    A majority of participants wanted the park to be informal and open. A sense of practicality and simplicity was communicated as well. This park is also intended to be used by many people and it is important to understand that your use and someone else use may be different. Will the end design be perfect? Most likely not. But it will be good for many and that is about as perfect as it gets.

    It could be worse, the land could have been sold to a developer and eight new homes built on the site instead.

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