(Courtesy Barker Landscape Architects)
That’s the almost-final design for West Seattle’s new Barton Street P-Patch, revealed at Southwest Community Center this afternoon. About 30 people were there for the last of three community design meetings shaping the future of the big parcel at 34th/Barton, once owned by Seattle Public Utilities, long little more than a stretch of lawn, till the Parks and Green Spaces Levy made money available to turn it into a P-Patch.
This design, dubbed “The Web” for obvious reasons, is based on the popular choice among four options shown at the second design meeting, which in turn were crafted from eight concepts roughed out by participants at the first meeting. Its key points include about 50 plots, as well as consideration for having minimal impact on the big birch tree on the site, which is being kept (as we reported 2 weeks ago) because of input from comments made both in person and online (WSB comments were cited as one of the input sources considered) – altogether described as “a community decision.” (To compensate for shade concerns, the largest garden plots have been sited north of the tree.)
Before meeting participants broke into table-by-table discussions for feedback on the design, Nicolas Morin from Barker Landscape Architects explained that their input would be used to create a “final, final” version that then would be given to the project steering committee along with cost estimates for the various elements, so they can prioritize how they want to spend the construction budget (about $35,000).
Some of the elements in the design include entry arbors, tool shed (at the southwest corner), art, maybe even a “children’s refuge zone” under the birch tree – “Children were very vocal about keeping the tree, so we thought we’d give them some of the responsibility,” Morin smiled – possibly some “garden utility nodes” with access to water and compost, to avoid having to pull hoses across the site, and other potentially plant-damaging movement.
A rain garden could be placed along 34th SW, since, as Morin pointed out, the site slopes down a bit, losing two feet in elevation from its highest point (316 feet above sea level) to that side of the lot (314).
When the tables reported back on their individual discussions, no major concerns were raised, but ideas were offered. How could some lighting be added? Maybe LED’s, or something solar powered. Someone else suggested a worm bin.
Next step: The steering committee meets April 13th, and will consider the schematics and cost estimates. Then – to stretch the official budget as far as it can go – volunteer help and donated materials will be sought. The latter probably won’t be hard to drum up – a show of hands was requested at today’s meeting to see how many of the attendees would be interested in helping build the garden, and almost everyone raised a hand.
The full presentation from today’s meeting is too big to upload here, but watch the Barton Street P-Patch’s official city webpage for links with more graphics. That’s also where you can find information on who to contact to get involved with the project, now or in the future.