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UPDATE: Stuff The Bus with diapers for WestSide Baby!

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10:39 AM: The biggest day of WestSide Baby‘s Stuff The Bus diaper drive is on, until 2 pm! Go get diapers and bring them to HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) in The Junction, 41st and Alaska.

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Look for the bus and the emoji-costume volunteers. We’ll be checking back to see how it’s going.

2:14 PM: We just stopped back at the bus, where WS Baby’s Nancy Woodland tells us their diaper donations today alone totaled 37,533 – a partial total for July so far, not counting donation sites like Les Schwab outlets, is 209,833. They’ll update again in early August.

P.S. Our before and after shots, 10 am and a few minutes after 2 pm:

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BUY DIAPERS! It’s WestSide Baby’s big Stuff The Bus week

Even if you don’t have a baby or toddler in your family … this is the one week a year when you should buy diapers, if you can.

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(HomeStreet Bank team with the bus you’ll find there on Sunday)

This is the big “Stuff The Bus” week for WestSide Baby, which makes sure that thousands of our area’s littlest residents get what they need … diapers to stay dry. Sunday is the official Stuff The Bus drive at HomeStreet Bank (41st SW/SW Alaska; WSB sponsor) in The Junction, 10 am-2 pm, but if you can’t bring diapers down that day, you can drop them off at HomeStreet before then, or at other diaper-drive locations (such as another WSB sponsor, C & P Coffee at 5612 California SW, or at Les Schwab Tires in The Triangle. And here’s what you need to know about what to bring:

Last year WS Baby gave out 1.2 million diapers … and that wasn’t enough for all the families who needed help. The organization’s website explains, “Ten thousand children under age 2 live in poverty in King County. If those 10,000 children require an average of six diapers a day for 365 days, the total need is approximately 22 million diapers a year.”

YOU CAN HELP! Donor-registration drive in West Seattle next Sunday

You might be able to save someone’s life. Next Sunday (July 24th), you can find out how, by talking with a fellow West Seattleite during a Be The Match donor-registration drive. Rebecca Harvey says it’s happening on the new patio at Fresh Flours Bakery in South Delridge:

I, along with other volunteers and a representative from Be The Match, will be there from 9 am to 2 pm Sunday to answer any questions regarding being a donor, as well as registering on the spot anyone that would like to join the donor registry. This is an important cause as these donors have the potential to be the cure a cancer patient needs.

Be The Match is a great organization that operates the largest and most diverse donor registry in the world, in order to connect patients with blood diseases to their life-saving marrow or stem-cell transplant. Anyone between the ages of 18 and 44 who is in good health and committed to donating to a patient in need is encouraged to join the donor registry. Joining is simple and takes less then 10 minutes – all you need to do is fill out a form and swab your cheek!

Seattle is a premier city for cancer treatment, with some of the best doctors in the world. In fact, Fred Hutch scientists pioneered the development of bone marrow transplantation to treat patients with blood cancers, and to this day Seattle doctors are considered experts on the treatment and procedure.

The more donors we register, the more patients we can potentially help find their cure.

Fresh Flours is at 9410 Delridge Way SW. If you are interested in registering and can go there on Sunday between 9 and 2, e-mail Rebecca at rebecca_harvey@icloud.com or RSVP via this Facebook event page – she’d like to know how many donor-swab kits to bring. If you already know you can’t make it, but you’re interested in registering anyway, go here for the online version of the donor-registration drive.

YOU CAN HELP: Make ‘Lunches with Love’ on Saturday, and/or donate ingredients now

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Another round of “Lunches with Love” is happening in West Seattle this Saturday. We’ve told you about this volunteer community effort before – most recently, last fall. This announcement, along with the photo, is from Karen Crane of West Seattle Art Nest:

Are you looking for a way to give back to your community, to a stranger, or to commit a random act of kindness? Please join us this Saturday from 10-12 at West Seattle Art Nest (4138 California Ave SW). Community members will gather, prepare sack lunches for our homeless neighbors, and then those who can, will set out around the sound to make deliveries.

If you are not able to make the event but still want to help, we need the following items: brown paper bags, ziplock sandwich bags, peanut butter, jelly, oranges,bananas and soft snack foods. Donations can be dropped at West Seattle Art Nest anytime! Thank you!

YOU CAN HELP: ‘Rides change lives’

Volunteer Drivers Make a Difference

You can change lives by volunteering as a driver for local seniors. The photo and request are from Sound Generations (formerly Senior Services):

Getting to the doctor’s office can seem daunting for many West Seattle seniors. Poor vision or medical conditions prevent them from driving; limited mobility makes it impossible to take the bus; taxis come with prohibitive costs; and loved ones have full-time jobs that render them unavailable to help. Yet, since 1975, Sound Generations Volunteer Transportation has served as a trustworthy resource for older adults in West Seattle and throughout King County. With its force of kind and reliable volunteers, the program provides the missing link between seniors and their necessary medical care.

But the value of Volunteer Transportation extends far beyond the rides themselves. A volunteer driver serves as a friendly escort– a companion– someone to talk to along the way. Volunteers turn previously stressful ordeals into pleasant, meaningful experiences.

More volunteer drivers are desperately needed in the West Seattle area. We are currently unable to serve all seniors in need of transportation, especially those who need to get downtown and First Hill medical centers to see important specialists. Each week we must turn away many seniors because there are just not enough volunteers to help.

That’s why we need you! This FLEXIBLE volunteer opportunity allows you to provide a personalized touch in driving seniors “door to door”– from their home to appointments. You choose the days, times and areas you wish to drive and we work around your schedule.

You can help more seniors get “on the road” to improved health and peace of mind! If you have a reliable vehicle, a clean driving record, and some weekday availability, this is the role for you. Contact Kailan at 206-748-7588, email kailant@soundgenerations.org, or visit www.soundgenerations.org to find out more. Apply online here.

Many stories about the program can be found on the program’s blog. Discover why rides change lives!

YOU CAN HELP! Luna Park neighborhood cleanup next Saturday

One of West Seattle’s “gateway” areas is scheduled for some community TLC next weekend, and organizers – including community members, merchants, and Seattle reLeaf – hope you can help. Volunteers will gather in the lot between The Shack and Luna Park Café at 9 am for “weeding, cleaning up around the street trees, and spreading mulch. Come prepared wearing closed toe shoes and long pants. We’ll provide tools, gloves, and instruction.” They’ll be working until noon – lots of time to go to West Seattle Summer Fest after that! Interested? RSVP here.

P.S. This is intended as the first in a series of work parties to get ready for a potential Neighborhood Park and Street Fund grant to revitalize landscaping in the area north of the business district, under and near the bridge. The community member who wrote the grant application, Roxane Rusch, says the work will include the weedy area along SW Manning.

Junction flags for the 4th: Can you help?

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(WSB photo, Memorial Day 2016)

Decorating the West Seattle Junction for Independence Day is dependent on volunteers … can you spare a little time to help place and/or remove the flags? Neighborhood volunteer Tom Bucy is leading the effort on Monday but needs helpers – for an hour in the morning and/or an hour in the afternoon. You’ll meet on the northeastern corner of California/Alaska (by Cupcake Royale) – 9 am, to bring flags up from the basement storage under CR and install them; 5 pm, to take them down and return them to storage. If you can help, please call Tom at 206-351-1048 to let him know.

YOU CAN HELP! WestSide Baby launches this year’s ‘Stuff The Bus’ Diaper Drive

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(WSB photos)

As June wraps up, we’re looking into July, which is always packed wall-to-wall with good things in West Seattle. Among them: WestSide Baby‘s annual Stuff The Bus diaper drive. This morning, WS Baby’s executive director Nancy Woodland put the “drive” in “diaper drive” by bringing THE official bus into the lot at HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) in The Junction to celebrate HomeStreet’s $5,000 donation to jump-start this year’s drive. With Woodland below is HomeStreet’s West Seattle vice president and branch manager Melodie Van Houten. HomeStreet also is a presenting sponsor of Stuff the Bus.

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While July 24th is the big day to bring boxes and bags of diapers to the bus in HomeStreet’s lot at 41st and Alaska, the entire month is full of more than 50 diaper drives held by local businesses and individuals, to help stock up WS Baby with more than 300,000 diapers. One way you can donate early in the month: Bring diapers to the West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade in Admiral next Monday (10 am, starting at 44th/Sunset, winding through neighborhoods to Hamilton Viewpoint Park). Also look for ongoing drives (we know there’s one year-round at WSB sponsor C & P Coffee Company, 5612 California SW).

WS Baby points out that:

There are more than 10,000 children under the age of three living in poverty in King County. These children will need 22 million diapers per year. Unfortunately, many families are forced to choose between buying diapers and paying bills, as diapers are not covered by any government aid programs, including food stamps.

Last year alone, WestSide Baby helped more than 31,000 local children, while partnering with more than 120 established social service agencies. Meantime, look for the bus around town in July, including its always-festive appearance in the West Seattle Grand Parade (11 am Saturday, July 23rd, down California SW from Lander to Edmunds).

WESTWOOD STREET FAIR: Wyatt’s Jewelers namesake fighting hunger with popcorn

June 18, 2016 10:52 am
|    Comments Off on WESTWOOD STREET FAIR: Wyatt’s Jewelers namesake fighting hunger with popcorn
 |   How to help | West Seattle festivals | West Seattle news

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Happy 16th birthday to the namesake of Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor)! During today’s Westwood Village Street Fair (11 am-5 pm), Wyatt Keppler (2nd from left in our photo, with parents Kirk and Joni and sibling Ryan) is selling popcorn at his family’s shop (along the center drive, north of Barnes & Noble) to raise money for the White Center Food Bank.

HAPPENING NOW: West Seattle Relay for Life 2016

June 17, 2016 10:22 pm
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 |   Health | How to help | West Seattle news

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(WSB photos)

A lap around the track by cancer survivors is a traditional part of the start of the annual West Seattle Relay for Life, under way right now at West Seattle Stadium, until 9 am tomorrow. This year, the lap was followed by the survivors walking under a human arch:

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At the stadium (4432 35th SW), visitors are welcome until the gates close for the night at 11:30 pm, and then again at 5; participants, however, will be on the track all night, or taking breaks for activities including movies at 12:30 and 2:30 am. When morning arrives – remember, it gets light early this time of year! – the schedule calls for special laps including “Bubbles of Hope” at 5:30 am and a “pajama lap” at 7 am, followed by 7:30 am yoga and a closing ceremony at 8:30 am. If you stop by, here’s one way you can help:

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A textile drive is under way throughout the event, collecting clothing and other textile items as part of the cancer-fighting fundraiser. This year, more than 20 teams are taking part in R4LWS, including Key Club members from Chief Sealth International and West Seattle High Schools.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Cancer-fighting West Seattle Relay for Life – with a textile-donation drive this year

June 16, 2016 4:55 pm
|    Comments Off on FRIDAY NIGHT: Cancer-fighting West Seattle Relay for Life – with a textile-donation drive this year
 |   Health | How to help | West Seattle news

(WSB file photo)

Need some inspiration? We know one place you can find it … West Seattle Stadium (4432 35th SW), tomorrow night through Saturday morning, during the annual Relay for Life. It’s a cancer-fighting fundraiser but it’s also a gathering of hundreds of your West Seattle neighbors, starting with the survivors’ lap at 6:30 pm, following the opening lap at 6. Also a highlight: The luminaria ceremony at 10 pm, during which you’re invited to light one for someone you’ve lost to cancer and/or someone who’s fighting the battle. The full agenda for Friday night and Saturday morning, concluding with closing ceremonies at 8:30 am Saturday, is here. Even if you just show up to applaud the survivors at 6:30 pm tomorrow, it’s a stirring sight to see.

P.S. You can donate through a button on that same page. This year, they’re also having a textile drive – clothing, shoes, and more – see the list of donatable items here.

HOW TO HELP: Donate blood, if you can

From the website of Bloodworks Northwest, the regional blood bank: “Our inventory has been low in the past few weeks, yet we have shipped blood components to OneBlood, the blood center in Florida, in response to their emergency appeal. We have now been notified that their immediate needs for blood have been satisfied as a result of additional shipments from us and others.” But that means Bloodworks NW needs to replenish the local supply, and if you can donate, there happens to be a blood drive already scheduled for tomorrow in West Seattle, 1-7 pm at Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood (39th/Thistle) – more information in our calendar listing.

YOU CAN HELP! How to be an ‘Otter Spotter’

(WSB photo, July 2012)

Whenever you see an otter in West Seattle – it’s a river otter, not a sea otter, even if you see it splashing and diving in saltwater Puget Sound. Here’s how to do more than just gawk at them:

Woodland Park Zoo is reaching out to the community to become otter spotters to help collect information on North American river otters, which are virtually unstudied in Washington waters.

Anyone can participate in the new community science project and become an otter spotter. Information and an otter spotter form can be found at www.zoo.org/conservation/otterspotter. Otter spotter tips and etiquette, and how to distinguish a river otter from a sea otter are included.

“This is a great opportunity for our community to get directly involved in science in our backyard. The more reports of sightings we can collect, the more data we’ll have on the range and behavior of river otters,” said Michelle Wainstein, Ph.D., a local ecologist and conservationist, and the field scientist for the project.

The zoo also is launching a new field study, River Otters of Western Washington: Sentinels of Ecological Health, which will focus on otter population biology and the contaminant loads in their scat along the length of the Green-Duwamish River. This river in particular traverses a diverse mosaic of habitats, including wildlands and parks; agricultural, industrial and residential areas; and the highly contaminated Lower Duwamish Waterway.

The Green River flows from undeveloped Washington wildlands through increasingly urbanized areas to become the Duwamish River—Seattle’s major industrial corridor since the early 1900s. According to Wainstein, river otters are an important species in aquatic ecosystems because they can serve as sentinels, telling us about the health of their local environment. Wainstein and the project team hope to determine if river otters are found along the entire 80-plus miles of this important waterway. …

North American river otters are amphibious members of the weasel family and live in water systems all over Washington state. Their habitat ranges over most of North America in coastal areas, estuaries, freshwater lakes, streams and rivers. Otters prey on what is readily available and easiest to catch, with a primary diet of fish, crayfish, amphibians and birds.

All otter species are considered threatened while five of the 13 species are endangered due to water pollution, overfishing of commercial stock and habitat destruction. …

YOU CAN HELP! ‘Community baby shower’ Friday

This Friday night, a local youth group invites you to help do a good deed for the tiniest members of our community. Here’s how:

West Seattle Rainbow Assembly #18 will be hosting a community baby shower on June 10th at 6 pm for the benefit of the Pediatric Interim Care Center. There will be a potato bar, games and dessert. Please come and meet the members of WS Rainbow and help out a worthy cause.

The baby shower will be held at the Alki Masonic Center located at 4736 40th Ave SW. Please enter through the doors on the parking-lot level.

PICC is a center that cares for babies born drug-exposed and medically fragile. A list of items that are on their wishlist include: hand sanitizer; cotton/terry sleepers with snap fronts (size small & medium) in white or pastel colors; disposable diapers (size small or medium); antibacterial soap; latex/vinyl gloves (medium & large; powered & non-powdered); Johnson’s Baby Powder with Cornstarch; Johnson’s baby shampoo; and cash donations are also welcome.

There is a list of items which are also needed on an occasional basis found on their website that do not relate directly to the care of the babies (i.e. bleach, toilet paper, Kleenex, etc)

We would welcome your donations if you are not able to attend. This event counts towards the girls’ community service hours and brings them a lot of joy. Please attend!

Questions? E-mail iorg.ws18@gmail.com.

ARE YOU READY? Simple way to help with big regional earthquake drill

June 6, 2016 11:12 am
|    Comments Off on ARE YOU READY? Simple way to help with big regional earthquake drill
 |   How to help | Preparedness | West Seattle news

You might have heard about the big regional earthquake-preparedness drill that’s under way in a variety of places all week. Here’s how you can help: Join your West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs volunteers this Saturday! Above is the map of all “hubs” – explained here – in West Seattle, but just one needs volunteer help – read on!

Come see what your community is doing to be prepared in the event of a major disaster. Join us in a simulated earthquake neighborhood response drill of the Seattle Emergency Communications Hubs.
We would love for you to stop by as a “put me to work” volunteer or as a Citizen Actor (to give us tasks to perform, you will draw a short script from our bowl of misfortunes). This will help test how we accomplish our mission and to help you learn how you can be ready to help in the event of a disaster!

Participating Hub drill location in West Seattle:

Neighborhood House High Point Center
6400 Sylvan Way SW
9:30 am – 11:30 am

Also on Saturday, separate from the simulation, but ready to meet neighbors and talk preparedness:

New Hub location holding an open-house booth:

Hope Lutheran Church
4456 42nd Ave SW
9:00 am – noon
New Hub! Info table only

For more information about how to be prepared and what the hubs do, visit us at West Seattle Be Prepared.

YOU CAN HELP: Why one West Seattle woman is running today

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(Kate, mom Denise, and son Alex, an Alki Elementary student, atop the Columbia Tower last winter)

One local woman out running today is on a quest – you may already have seen Kate Calamatta out along the Alki Trail if she kept to her original plan:

I’m a West Seattle resident originally from the UK. In March this year my Mum had a very serious road traffic accident in the South of England. I was running along Alki when I got the news. 24 hours later I was by her bedside at Southampton Neuro ICU in the UK. She was in a bad way and it was touch and go for the first few week. After nearly two weeks she began to awake from her coma and begin her long journey of rehabilitation. Now she’s in a specialist unit for traumatic brain injury. Progress is being made but it is a slow and hard fight. There’s no doubting she will be impaired for life.

After the accident my Mum was airlifted by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance to Southampton. Had this service not been available there’s no way she would have survived. The Air Ambulance is a charity and not funded by the UK govt.

I have been running for only 8 months and after Mum’s accident I decided to do something substantial to raise money for the people who saved her life. So, (today) I will be running a half marathon that will begin at Queen Anne and end at my home in West Seattle.

So, if anyone sees (or saw) me, a hunkered down, slow, exhausted looking runner, jogging along Alki, please give me a cheer and some positive vibes! I’ll be easily recognizable by my slow pace, red face, black leggings, grey vest and a black headband! Also, if anyone is moved to do so, please look at my fundraising page:
I know this is a foreign charity for most of the people in WS but it is a very worthwhile cause that makes a real difference.

YOU CAN HELP! Local woman launching ‘Care for Kids’

Want to do a good deed before the weekend’s out? Be part of the first donation drive for a new community group called Care for Kids. Organizer Nicole Jackson explains that the goal is to make sure that kids have access to the hygiene items they need even if their families can’t afford them. Noon-6 pm tomorrow, she’s hoping for donations of the following items:

Please feel free to drop off fresh: toothpaste, deodorant, dental floss, hair care and styling products, cocoa butter lotion, Gold Bond powder, small hand sanitizers (backpack convenient) and anything else you wonderful, generous folks feel like donating.

She says the first goal is to make kits for students at Sanislo Elementary. The dropoff spot is in West Seattle, 1701 SW Austin, noon-6 pm tomorrow (Sunday).

VIDEO: He did it again – Lou Cutler’s first post-retirement Make-A-Wish run

2:25 PM: Retiring last year as PE teacher at Pathfinder K-8 didn’t keep Lou Cutler from coming back for his traditional birthday-month run to raise money for Make-A-Wish. One lap for every year, which meant 65 today – and this time, battling asthma, he walked more than he ran, but nonetheless made it through every one of those laps over the span of five hours, from just after 9 am to just after 2 pm. Above is our iPhone video as his final lap wrapped up, in the company of Pathfinder students who streamed out of the building to finish it with him, chanting “Go, Lou! Go, Lou!” Many were with him at the start:

We’ll be adding photos a bit later. You can still donate to Make-A-Wish, for whom Lou’s been a wish-granting volunteer for more than 20 years – just go here.

ADDED 9:53 PM: Two photos that, like our video above, bookend this year’s inspiring-as-ever event. First, from the morning:

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And then, right after that 65th lap, the group photo:

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Today was the 17th time Lou’s done this, by the way.

YOU CAN HELP! Two Saturday-morning community cleanups

June 2, 2016 7:56 pm
|    Comments Off on YOU CAN HELP! Two Saturday-morning community cleanups
 |   How to help | West Seattle news

Two ways to do a good deed this weekend and leave your community a little cleaner – both happening this Saturday morning (June 4th):

SEAL SITTERS ‘SENTINELS OF THE SOUND’ CLEANUP AT ALKI: As first mentioned here almost two weeks ago, a very-low tide will enable Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network and friends to get out on Alki Beach for a 10 am-noon cleanup. Everybody’s welcome – find out more on the Seal Sitters website, and RSVP if you can, though Seal Sitters stress that you also are welcome to just show up.

ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION ADOPT-A-STREET: Meet at 9 am at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) in Admiral to be part of this quarterly cleanup. Incentive: Treats beforehand, sack lunch afterward – just spend a few hours helping clean up your community. The Admiral Neighborhood Association also invites you to its upcoming monthly meeting, says president Larry Wymer – Tuesday, June 14th, at 7 pm at The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd SW/SW Lander), with the agenda featuring HALA (Housing Affordability and Livability).

West Seattle Memorial Day 2016: Stars & Stripes in The Junction

May 30, 2016 10:26 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Memorial Day 2016: Stars & Stripes in The Junction
 |   Holidays | How to help | West Seattle news

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Thanks to volunteers of all ages, led by West Seattle-based Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2713, The Junction’s flags are up in honor of Memorial Day.

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If you weren’t able to help put them up, there’s one more chance to help – meet at 4:50 pm by Cupcake Royale at California/Alaska to help take them down.
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Between now and then, you’ll find local veterans’ groups at the Forest Lawn (6701 30th SW; WSB sponsor) Memorial Day ceremony at 2 pm, all welcome.

COMMENCEMENT ROBES WANTED: Request for donations from recent West Seattle HS grads

With this year’s commencement ceremony just a few weeks away, we’ve been asked to share a donation request to ensure that all West Seattle High School seniors can participate in this year’s ceremony. Volunteer coordinator Amy Doll has asked the WSHS community if any of last year’s graduates would consider donating the robes they wore in the commencement ceremony: “I have several students that aren’t walking because of the cost of the robes. The PTSA has a budget to help students but I would like to be able to let kids keep their Hat, Stole, and Tassel. I can do that if I have donated robes.” If you can donate one, please drop it off in the school office, which is open weekdays until 3 pm (though not tomorrow, because of the holiday).

P.S. One parent tells us they’re also welcoming used prom dresses. If you have a question about these donation requests, please e-mail asdoll@seattleschools.org. (Prom is next Friday, June 4th; graduation is June 21st.)

Highland Park Elementary plans its playground: Time to ‘get excited’!

May 29, 2016 11:30 am
|    Comments Off on Highland Park Elementary plans its playground: Time to ‘get excited’!
 |   Highland Park | How to help | West Seattle news


(Click image to see as full-size PDF)

At this month’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting, Connie Wolf, vice president of the HP Elementary PTA, gave the group a quick update on progress toward the school’s new playground. It now has a design, with help from students, but also has a long road to reality. Your help is needed – and your enthusiasm for helping them get a place to play! An upcoming open house was mentioned; we asked for more information and design images, and received this update from Elyse Clemens on the playground committee:

Over the course of this school year, the community at Highland Park Elementary School worked together with Pomegranate Center to design a playground for our school. Using input from the students, families, teachers, and community members, the new playground design is full of natural elements for students to play and explore on. There are hill slides, boulder steps, log scrambles, a net climber, and rain and sensory gardens. We are also looking forward to a welcoming entry way on 11th Ave SW that will invite the entire community to enjoy the new space:


(Click image to see as full-size PDF)

This Fall we will be working with Pomegranate Center to develop construction drawings for the design. And throughout the 2016-2017 school year we will be holding community events to raise funds, both direct monetary contributions and community participation matching through Seattle Neighborhood Matching Fund. We hope to have enough money to start the first phase of construction in Summer 2017.

We will be holding an Open House on Thursday June 16th from 6-7 pm at the current playground. This is an opportunity to meet the Pomegranate Center design team and get excited about the future playground. They will map out the design with sidewalk chalk on the blacktop and answer questions. All are welcome to join in the celebration!

We hear there’ll be ice cream! Get it on your calendar – it’ll be on ours. HP Elementary is at 1012 SW Trenton.

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