Each month, Groundswell NW selects a park to recognize. This month they’ve selected the very first Groundswell NW project – Webster Park (3025 NW 68th St, just west of the Nordic Heritage Museum.) The park is nearly an acre in size with a grassy area, basketball hoops, swings, slides and a big play structure.
Amy Janas, who spearheads the renewed Friends of Webster Park group wrote this about the park and her involvement:
I love urban parks, “pocket parks” and urban green spaces. I don’t love certain types of morning glory and graffiti. The morning glory and graffiti prompted me to get involved with Webster Park.
While my young children were on the swings or digging in the sand, I would untangle and pull out morning glory. Then I started bringing my gardening gloves to the park. I’d pull morning glory, then grass from the sandy area, next dandelions. My young children would run over to pluck a few weeds and then return to their play.
Then, last year, the graffiti started showing up. My oldest child was starting to sound out words and I didn’t want the first words he read to be of the unsavory and uninteresting sort—by the hand of a metallic-pen yielding vandal—so, I added the Graffiti Hotline number to my phone contact list. After a few weeks of leaving messages, (the Parks Dept was amazing and got most graffiti removed within 24 hours) I called the Parks Dept and asked if I could volunteer to remove graffiti myself.
That led me to inquire if there was an existing group maintaining Webster Park. I asked the Parks Department and asked longtime neighbors and finally heard the name Lillian Riley, who founded Groundswell NW in order to make Webster Park a reality. Along the way, two local artists helped with finishing touches. Chuck Nafziger designed and fabricated the intricate sundial, and Charles Biggers designed the Nordic themed murals. Neighbors in the early 1990’s did the hard work of fundraising, grant writing and goading to make it all come together.
Friends of Webster Park is planning a work party and picnic for June. A renewed Friends of Webster Park will organize a future work party and community events, discuss improvements and repairs, fundraise to tackle improvements and discuss ways to celebrate Webster Park’s upcoming 15th year anniversary in June.
For more information, contact Amy by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.