West Seattle parks 1315 results

Wondering when West Seattle wading pools open? Here’s the plan!

(WSB photo)

That’s the wading pool at EC Hughes Playground, which will soon be full of water and happily splashing kids. Not soon enough for the extra-warm weather we’re having early this week, but soon! Here’s where the pools are and when they open:

Lincoln Park North Play Area (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW), first day June 23rd, open daily 11 am-8 pm

Delridge Community Center Park (4501 Delridge Way SW), first day June 25th, open Mondays, Tuesdays, Sundays 12 pm-6:30 pm

EC Hughes Playground (2805 SW Holden), first day June 27th, open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays 12 pm-7 pm

Hiawatha Playfield (2700 California SW), first day June 27th, open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays 12 pm-6:30 pm

Until then (and beyond), Highland Park Spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale) continues to be open daily, 11 am-8 pm. You can see the citywide Seattle Parks schedule for wading pools and sprayparks here.

TIME TO VOTE: 11 Your Voice, Your Choice projects in District 1

Voting has begun for this year’s Your Voice, Your Choice park and street projects. Voting is broken up by City Council districts, so you’ll be choosing between 11 community-proposed projects in District 1 (West Seattle/South Park). Asterisks, as assigned by the city, denote “projects that are in Equity and Environment Initiative Focus Areas and eligible for an additional $1 million in citywide funding”:

1A. Project # 18-161: Pedestrian Lighting Improvements at SW Morgan St bus stop near South Seattle College

1B. Project # 17-014: Intersection Improvements at Dallas Ave S, 12th Ave S, and Thistle St*

1C. Project # 18-149: Walkway Improvements on S Cloverdale St under SR-99 overpass*

1D. Project # 17-187: Signage Improvements at S Henderson St & 12th Ave S*

1E. Project # 17-125: Improvements between 21st Ave SW and 23rd Ave SW at SW Brandon St

1F. Project # 17-174: Crossing Improvements on California Ave SW and SW College St

1G. Project # 18-167: Improvements on Fauntleroy Way SW & SW Findlay St/SW Brandon St

1H. Project # 17-177: Improvements to basketball courts at Delridge Community Center

1I. Project # 18-1045: Equipment Refurbishment at Puget Boulevard Commons

1J. Project # 18-1043: Benches in Lincoln Park

1K. Project # 17-006: Trail Improvements at Roxhill Park*

(Find the projects on a map here.) To vote online, go here. You’ll be asked for a cell-phone number for a verification code (there are alternate ways to vote if you don’t have one or don’t want to give yours – you can go to a Seattle Public Library branch, for example), and then your name and e-mail address. Voting is open through July 16th.

READER REPORT: Close call in Fauntleroy Park

The photo and report are from Mara:

Today my husband and I went into Fauntleroy Park and were enjoying our packed lunch along one of the trails and sat on one of the park-made platforms. There is a breeze going thru the trees and didn’t seem like much wind really. Then we heard cracking start, and lo and behold, a tree top was heading our way! We jumped up and it didn’t get near us thankfully. But the entire top of a tree came down! Be careful – the trees are dry and we saw bigger branches on the trails as we headed back that were not there beforehand.

It indeed doesn’t take a windstorm to bring down a tree limb – hot, dry weather (today got into the upper 80s) can do it too, according to a variety of references we found like this one.

CLOSURE ALERT: Alki Community Center closed next week for maintenance, accessibility work

Just in from Seattle Parks:

Alki Community Center will be closed Monday, June 18 through Friday, June 22 for major maintenance. During this closure we will also be starting construction of accessibility improvements that will last through the end of the year. Alki Community Center is located at 5817 SW Stevens St.

Seattle Parks and Recreation is partnering with Department of Education and Early Learning to make required improvements for expanded licensed preschool at our community centers by providing ADA compliant preschool classrooms and access.

This project will address 79 documented barriers to accessibility (areas that do not meet the Americans with Disability standards), including accessible parking, accessible routes, accessible kitchen upgrades, door opening forces and closing speeds, addition of automatic door actuator, tactile signs, toilet and shower room upgrades, counter heights and elements not within reach ranges.

Seattle Parks and Recreation will work with the contractor to minimize the construction impacts. The work will require us create some site entrance detours and to close the single user bathroom, kitchen and other parts of the center and parking areas for short periods.

During the closure, the summer child-care program will continue and operate out of the Community Center’s Multipurpose room and gymnasium.

For information on the project, please visit seattle.gov/parks/find/centers/alki-community-center. If you have questions about the accessibility improvements please contact Mike Schwindeller, Project Manager, at mike.schwindeller@seattle.gov or 206-615-1165.

SUMMER CAMP: Still room in West Seattle skatepark camps

Thanks to longtime local skateboarding advocate Matthew Lee Johnston for sending word that Skate Like a Girl still has room in day camps at Delridge and Roxhill Skateparks this summer:

Come shred, West Seattle! Youth of all genders are welcome to join Skate Like a Girl at the Roxhill and Delridge Skate Parks for amazing weeklong skate camps, learning the basics of pushing, riding, ramps, ollies, and more! Take your skate skills to new heights with the folks at Skate Like a Girl!

To register visit skatelikeagirl.com/seattlecamp2018.html

Generous Financial Aid is available! skatelikeagirl.com/financialaid.html

Here’s the full flyer with dates and locations.

Puget Ridge playground overhaul: Here’s the plan

This 21-year-old playground on Puget Ridge, known as the “tot lot,” is getting an overhaul. Community members were invited to stop by this week for a look at the plan.

It’s mostly keeping the same footprint:

But the surface will be leveled so it’s accessible to more users; a trail around the playground is getting some attention too, and of course the play equipment will be replaced. A forest theme was most popular with participants in a previous meeting, so that’s the type of equipment that’ll be provided – some examples were shown:

Among those who stopped by in last Wednesday afternoon’s sunshine to find out about the plan were some present and future users, who even had their own version of the public meeting staple known as a sign-in sheet:

Parks staffers say they expect to start work this fall. If you have any last-minute comments but couldn’t get to the meeting, libby.hudson@seattle.gov is who to contact.

West Seattle weekend scene: Community barbecue sizzles at Roxhill Park

ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:38 PM: The sun made an unforecast appearance and there’s a good crowd at Roxhill Park for the first community barbecue organized by neighbors working to get more community involvement with the park – the cookout tent in our top photo is just part of it. Stop by for not only your free food, but also to find out more about what’s at the park, to share your ideas about potential future events and activities, and to connect with other groups and agencies.

We spotted Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner and West Seattle Emergency Communications HubsCindi Barker, among others.

It’s on until 2 pm, just past the playground along 29th south of Barton. More photos later!

4:24 PM: Photos added above – plus, other barbecue scenes – that was Earl Lee on the grill:

Visitors got a chance to learn about wildlife in the park:

And support from nearby community groups – here’s Highland Park Action Committee vice chair Gunner Scott:

And, courtesy of organizer Kim Barnes, video from local musicians who played after our visit:

Eric and Ludovic, Roxhill Elementary parents, played music from Burkina Faso. Missed the party? Keep up with Roxhill Park’s community-centered future at roxhillpark.org.

Two more ways to meet your neighbors on Saturday – with free food!

Two more ways to meet your neighbors tomorrow!

BARTON STREET P-PATCH PIZZA PARTY: You’re invited to visit the community garden at 34th/Barton between 11:30 am and 2:30 pm on Saturday – not only can you take a self-guided tour of its dozens of plots, mosaics, and concrete sculptures, but they expert to be firing up the community pizza/bagel oven. Free, but donations accepted.

A few blocks east …

COMMUNITY BARBECUE AT ROXHILL PARK: Noon-2 pm at 29th/Barton:

Stop by to meet your neighbors at our first annual community BBQ in Roxhill Park, tomorrow June 9th from 12 noon-2 pm near the playground.

Free hot dogs for the first 100 people, local entertainment, & wetland tours on site. Share your ideas of what you’d like to see in the park. Event is free and open to the public – all are welcome! Join us!

Find out more by going here.

YOU CAN HELP! Improve Puget Park trail, then enjoy a barbecue

A fun and rewarding way to start your weekend if you care about helping make it easier to get around in local parks! From Colin, one of your neighbors who have been working on walkability on the trails in the West Duwamish Greenbelt:

Come join us to improve the Puget Park trail this Saturday (June 9th) from 9-noon, followed by a neighborhood BBQ. Community support is needed to continue Puget Park trail improvements. Several neighbors have come together to lead this Puget Ridge family friendly community event with a BBQ to follow. Please stop by and give whatever time you have; every little bit helps – even just swing by to say “thank you.” Our presence and participation at this event demonstrates to Seattle Parks that we care and appreciate improvements they are making to the parks in our neighborhood.

How you can help: Continue trail improvements, mainly constructing a transition in a steep section of the trail and spreading gravel that has already been staged in the area where it needs to be spread.

When: Saturday June 9th, 9am to noon with neighborhood BBQ to follow

Where: Puget Park trailhead at 19th Ave & Dawson SW. Address: 1900 SW Dawson St

Prepare: Wear sturdy shoes and work gloves. Tools provided

Questions? E-mail Colin at spikescc@gmail.com.

FOLLOWUP: Testing to start as a prelude to Beach Drive seawall work at Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook

(2014 US Army Corps of Engineers photo of failing seawall)

For the first time since last summer, we have an update on the plan for seawall work at Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook. We just received this explanation from Seattle Parks of what’s about to happen:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the City of Seattle, and Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) are collaborating on the Emma Schmitz seawall repair. Together we are ensuring a successful cost-sharing program to restore shoreline protection at Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook in West Seattle. SPR entered into a Project Partnership Agreement with the Corps for the replacement of the seawall. The Corps is responsible for the design of the seawall, and one of the steps in the design process is to take soil borings to inform the final design. Drill equipment will be on site for several days starting the week of June 4.

Built circa 1927, the 450-foot stretch of seawall supports important City and County infrastructure, including a 54-inch sewer main, various Seattle Public Utilities drainage and wastewater lines, and Beach Drive Southwest road. The seawall is badly deteriorated, with a 30 percent chance of failure in the event of severe storm or tidal conditions. The new seawall will be built approximately 2 feet seaward and 2 feet higher than the existing wall, thus significantly improving the grade of this scenic viewpoint for the enjoyment of park users as well as ensuring long-term stability.

The implementation cost of the recommended plan is estimated to be more than $2 million, and will be cost-shared with 65 percent federal funds and 35 percent non-federal funds. The non-federal sponsor, SPR, is responsible for all lands, easements, right-of-ways, relocations, and/or disposal areas which are controlled by the sponsor.

The Corps is designing the seawall, and SPR will be designing the park amenities on top of the wall area. SPR will be holding a public meeting to provide information and gather input on these park amenities.

For more information on the boring and soil collection please visit (here) or SPR Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook page.

GRATITUDE: Dog owner’s thanks after rescue at Lincoln Park

Jann wanted to share this story and gratitude for those who helped search for and rescue their dog last Saturday – from passersby to a search/rescue organization you might not have heard about:

Murphy bolted after a squirrel while we were on a walk at Lincoln Park. I could not catch him and witnessed his little pointed ears disappear over the cliff side. By the time I arrived at the edge, I heard him rolling down the hill through the brush, but was not able to see him. Then there was no sound except kids playing, birds chirping, and waves crashing – it was deafening and I was stunned.

The first help I received was from two women walking a Golden Retriever. They looked all over the top side of the cliff and then walked all the way down the trail to the beach. We searched along the beach trail for any signs of Murphy – nothing. I would like to thank them for the time they spent assisting in the search.

After an hour of searching two times up and down the trail to the beach, with no signs or sounds of Murphy, and a muddled thought process, I phoned the non-emergency number for the Seattle Police Department at around 10:45 AM. I do not recall the dispatcher’s name, but she was very kind and patched me through to the Saturday duty officer for Animal Control. Again, without pencil and paper, I do not recall the officer’s name, but he was equally kind and texted me the contact number for Washington State Animal Response Team.

Gretchen answered for WASART, whose motto is “Helping animals & their Owners in Disasters”. We talked through the scenario and possible consequences which gave me some hope. She advised that 1) the available rescue team was in Enumclaw, and with the I-5 closure, it would a minimum of 3 hours for them to arrive, 2) she needed pics of the area and 3) permission from Lincoln Park Staff to conduct to park the truck with equipment. Gretchen advised me to continue to search as long as possible and that it might be the next day before any help would be dispatched.

Next, I phoned my husband who was working on a project in Everett. He headed home and I met him there at about 1:30. We returned to the LP and the location on the cliff – still no sounds or sight of Murphy, even with the aid of binoculars. We headed down the trail, searched all the way past the accident location, and then we caught a break.

A couple walking a white pit bull/boxer mix asked if they could be of help. The woman said she thought she heard a dog bark on the hillside. We walked to the location, which was just below where Murphy went over the side. My husband could not hear the bark, but I could, It was intermittent and we were now 5 hours after the fall. It was tough to tell if the bark was on the cliff side, the beach, or in the park, but the couple was pretty sure it sounded like the cliff side to them – that was really a ray of hope. The couple took my cell number and said they would text if they saw Murphy on the North beach trail. About 10 minutes later, they returned and advised that the trail they had planned to walk was too steep, but they would keep an eye out along the beach. We want to thank them as we may not have located Murphy or given up without their assistance.

I phoned Gretchen to advise that we thought we knew where to find Murphy on the cliff side. At 2;45, Gretchen phoned and advised us to go home and wait for a call from the rescue team with an ETA of that was at 6:00 PM. We were home for only 45 minutes when Gretchen phoned to say that team members were arriving at LP in about 15 minutes – 3;45.

While we were driving from the Admiral District – trying to not go too fast – Matthew from WASART phoned to say he would meet us at the NE driveway. We arrived, met Matthew and two other team members, Joe and Vallen. We headed to the cliff side to watch for movement and listen for barking. My husband stayed behind to advise the park staff that the crew was onsite.

At first we heard just an occasional bark, but I recognized it as Murphy and the team was sure it was coming from the cliff side. Then we heard some whimpering, and finally, a regular stream of barking. At that point, we were 6 hours and 15 minutes into the emergency. While the team was gearing up, two couples stopped to ask about what was happening, and all four of them stayed with me to provide moral support. My husband was still at the LP maintenance office looking for staff. The moral support from the by-standers was very welcome as I had spent much of the day wracked with guilt and thoughts of never again seeing our dog alive and well.

Vallen volunteered to rappel the cliff which at the lip is 90 degrees with a down slope of 80 to 90 degrees. It is covered with snags and poison oak. At approximately 50 ft below the lip edge, Vallen radioed that he found Murphy. However, he did not advise my dog’s condition. It was not until Vallen was about 20 ft below the top that we saw his yellow safety helmet with my little Toto Dog – he looks just like Toto – tucked under Vallen’s arm – Murphy’s little button eyes and pointed ears.

Once they reached the top, I broke down in tears (teary right now as I write) All of the by-standers applauded and we shook hands. I even hugged the two women who stood by me. My husband arrived just in time to see Vallen and Murphy hit topside. Thank you to the by-standers who waited so patiently with me and kept up conversation in order to keep me calm.

Other than being covered with pollen, a case blood shot swollen eyes, and complete exhaustion, Murphy is good. Thank you to SPD, Animal Control, our unidentified WS neighbors walking through the LP, and WASART!! They all were a part of the rescue and an invaluable network. We are still in a little disbelief that we have our dog – so thankful!!! WASART is non-profit. They are a terrific support and rescue group when a pet owner is hopeful or when all hope seems lost. The WASART website is: www.washingtonsart.org.

West Seattle wildlife: Dead bat found in local park; no need to panic, but here’s what you should know

While at Fauntleroy Park earlier today for the last Salmon in the Schools release of the season (story later), we found out that forest steward Peggy Cummings had found a dead bat in the park this week. It was a very small and likely juvenile bat, and no reason, she stresses, for you to panic, but it did make us realize we should publish this week’s alert from the state Health Department, since bats do turn up in West Seattle parks:

Since May 1, four bats found in Washington have tested positive for rabies, the highest number identified in the state in the month of May since 1998. The Washington State Department of Health reminds people to call their local health department if they, a family member or a pet interacts with a bat.

Health officials routinely test for and find rabid bats, typically during the summer months. DOH wants the public to continue to take appropriate precautions if a bat – dead or alive – is found. Try to avoid contact with bats and other wild animals; do not touch a bat if possible. If you do have contact with a bat or suspect that a family member or pet had contact with a bat, try to safely capture it and keep it contained away from people and call your local health department for next steps.

It is also important to protect your pets by ensuring their rabies vaccinations are current. More detailed precautions and information can be found on the Washington State Department of Health website.

While any mammal can be infected with the rabies virus, bats are the most common animal in Washington that carry rabies. In 2017, 22 bats were tested and found to have the virus. This is up from 2016 when 20 rabid bats were identified. The Washington State Public Health Laboratories tests between 200 and 300 bats per year. Typically, between three and 10 percent of the bats submitted for testing are found to be rabid.

The state says two of those bats were found in King County, but no further specifics. Cummings says she spoke to the county Health Department today and they said she and another park volunteer who briefly handled the dead bat don’t need to worry. “Rabies is serious but very rare,” she notes. But she also wants to remind you that you and your family should steer clear not only of bats but of any dead animal they find.

Wondering why Admiral Way Viewpoint is more like Admiral Way View-less-point?

That’s most of what’s left of the view at Admiral Way Viewpoint, which is technically part of Belvedere Park. Here’s a 180-degree version:

The WSB inboxes have recently yielded multiple questions about whether Seattle Parks plans to trim trees to restore the almost-fully blocked view. We inquired and found out they won’t be doing it any time soon. Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin‘s reply to our inquiry:

Parks & Recreation is pausing any view trimming while we review and update our viewpoint and tree trimming policies. We are assembling a task force to help us with this process.

The longer story is that we are very frequently asked to trim trees to preserve views at various sites, some official viewpoints, some unofficial viewpoints. We are not funded sufficiently to be able to keep up with all these requests, and we’d like to work more proactively and regularly to keep these viewpoints clear. That will require us, along with the task force, to determine which sites require view point trimming and with what frequency.

She promised an update would be available “soon” regarding “the formation of that task force, and its progress.” Official Seattle Parks policy (see page 5) says that “Views from designated public view parks and viewpoints will be preserved through maintenance and management of parks vegetation in front of or below the viewpoint.” (Page 16 of that same document shows that this viewpoint is indeed on the designation list.)

West Seattle weekend scene: Colman Pool’s first day of 2018

May 26, 2018 6:17 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle weekend scene: Colman Pool’s first day of 2018
 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

(WSB photos)

Walking along the Lincoln Park shore this afternoon, we stopped for a few photos between the second and third swim sessions of Colman Pool‘s first 2018 day. The pool is open again tomorrow and Monday, starting at noon each day, the first of four “pre-season weekends” before its short 7-day-a-week season starts on June 18th. The full schedule brochure is here (PDF); the brochure includes the list of fees, including the extra-but-optional slide charge that this poolside sign notes:

You’ll want to remember that Colman Pool closes on five days in July for swim meets – this year those dates are July 12, 13, 14, 20, and 21. Never been? Easiest access is to walk/run/bike on the waterside trail, via the Lowman Beach end of Beach Drive, or the Lincoln Park south parking lot access.

P.S. The historic pool celebrated its 75th anniversary just two years ago.

SPRAYPARK SEASON! Highland Park opens Saturday

(WSB file photo, Highland Park Spraypark)

It’s sunny, it’s warm, and Memorial Day weekend is days away. That means spraypark season is almost here! West Seattle’s only spraypark, at Highland Park playground (1100 SW Cloverdale), opens Saturday, May 26th, and will be open daily, 11 am-8 pm. (That’s also the first day of the first pre-season weekend for Colman Pool, but wading pools don’t start until almost a month later – Lincoln Park wading pool will be the first to open, on June 23rd.)

YOU CAN HELP! Start your weekend with an hour at Roxhill Park

May 18, 2018 2:52 pm
|    Comments Off on YOU CAN HELP! Start your weekend with an hour at Roxhill Park
 |   How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Big spring weekend ahead … and if you can give one hour of your time at the start, you can make a difference: 10 am, meet at 29th and Barton to join your neighbors for Spring Clean at Roxhill Park. You don’t have to bring anything – gloves, bags, and safety gear will be provided. It’s a partnership of community members and city departments including Seattle Public Utilities, Parks and Recreation, Neighborhoods, and SDOT.

WEST SEATTLE SUMMER CAMP: New Camp Long program for teens

(Photo courtesy Seattle Parks)

This weekend we’ll be featuring some of your summer-camp options, since school’s out in just two months. First: Sheila Brown from Camp Long wants to make sure people know about the new Survivor Quest Summer Youth Camp, a day camp to introduce “youth ages 12-15 to wilderness survival, backpacking skills, first aid, environmental science, and more. As explained on Parkways:

In an effort to individualize education, campers are given the opportunity build some of the SurvivorQuest curriculum. On the first day of each five-day session, campers and counselors will plan the week’s activities together to incorporate campers’ goals into the planned survival and environmental learning objectives. Not only will they learn survival skills and environmental science, but they will get to choose outdoor skills to focus on for the week.

Another component of this camp is that six of the eight sessions of SurvivorQuest include Camp Long’s 4-H Challenge Course and the famous Schurman Rock for facilitated rock climbing. … Camp Long’s Challenge Course facilitators follow the principles of Experiential Education, with heavy focus on team-building, communication, decision-making, and accountability.

SurvivorQuest starts the week of July 2nd and runs for eight weeks. Each session lasts five days, Monday through Friday. The camp is held at Camp Long, except for the weeks of July 23rd and 30th, which will be at Schmitz Park, and will not include the 4-H Challenge Course. Sessions cost $325, with scholarships and sibling discounts available. … For more information or to register your teen, call Camp Long at 206-684-7434.

You can also use the Seattle Parks online system – go here and look for activity camps at Camp Long.

FOLLOWUP: What else we’ve found out about Alki Beach’s new fire rings

(Monday photo courtesy Vlad Oustimovitch)

The arrival this past Monday of new, lockable fire rings at Alki Beach Park – replacing all seven of the old ones – raised some questions, and now we’ve received answers from Seattle Parks spokesperson Christina Hirsch:

*Policies for when they’re unlocked and locked? “The exact hours/procedures for locking the lids is being determined with staff. Currently, the lids are unlocked. We will post hours and procedure information on our website in the next couple of weeks once the information has been finalized.”

*Why were the old ones replaced? The closable lid “helps to put out the fire,” Hirsch says, adding “we also ask that folks douse their fire with water.” They hope the lockability “will help prevent fires on off-hours and prevent bonfires during burn bans.” And the previous ones “were old, rusty and beginning to fall apart.”

*How much did the new ones cost? “The new pits were designed and created in-house and are like the pits we installed at Golden Gardens Park. Each pit costs approximately $1,500 (not including delivery and installation).”

NEW AT ALKI: Fire rings replaced

Thanks to everybody who e-mailed to let us know that new fire rings have arrived at Alki Beach. These photos were taken this morning by Vlad Oustimovitch – here’s a closer look at one of the new rings, notably lockable:

One last look at the old ones:

Alki is one of two city-owned beach parks where fires are allowed, as long as they’re in the rings and following the rules, which you can read here. The other park, Golden Gardens, already has these types of rings, which Parks staff unlocks at 4 pm; we’ll be checking with Parks tomorrow about the official procedures planned for these.

EARTH DAY: Potluck celebration at Dragonfly Park on Sunday

(May 2013 aerial of Dragonfly Garden/Pavilion, by Long Bach Nguyen)

We’ve been spotlighting some Earth Day-related events (with more to come!) and here’s a heads-up for Sunday: You’re invited to join Friends of Dragonfly Park and Gardens for a potluck brunch in the park on Sunday, 11 am-2 pm. Laura Bruco says, “Kids and dogs (on leashes) are welcome. Bring a dish of some sort, a camping chair or blanket, and hopefully your sunglasses. We’ll give an update on the mission of our group this year, and folks who want to can pitch in with some basic weeding in the park.” It’s on 28th SW in North Delridge, between Yancy and Adams (map); here’s some backstory about the park and the group in this item from last October.

READER REPORT: Herbicide application at Alki

Judy thought you might want to know, if you are heading to Alki any time soon, that the sign above was up for a while this morning after Seattle Parks sprayed herbicides in the 2800 block:

This morning the parks department sprayed roundup and another chemical on the new landscaping by the obelisk. Picture attached. The worker pulled up the signs after 30 minutes for the inexplicable reason that people panic if they forget and leave them too long. Talked to Brad, the parks employee, listed on the sign. He said he was spot hitting the weeds that popped up. Noticed on the sign afterwards that he also sprayed the sidewalk.

The city has said it is working to use less herbicides and pesticides.

Why students from Edmonds visited West Seattle’s Schmitz Preserve Park

(WSB photos by Leda Costa)

It’s a special spot in West Seattle, unlike any place in the entire city … Schmitz Preserve Park, a 53-acre forested oasis with old-growth trees, streams, and more. So special that it draws visitors from many miles around … including this high-school group from Scriber Lake High School in Edmonds:

Their visit to the park on Tuesday with teacher Chris Brown included work to assess the value of a tree – from a variety of viewpoints. And studying their value leads to appreciation for preserving them. Brown has a special link to this forest – he’s a member of the Schmitz Family, whose donated land created the park more than a century ago. And so another Schmitz Family member dropped by the park to say hi while Brown’s students were doing their work in the woods:

Standing in front of Brown are, from left, Vicki Schmitz Block, Jack Block, and Bruce Stotler – the Schmitz Park neighbor who made news recently for selling his home to the city, far below market price, so it will become part of the park when he’s gone. Its enduring importance was exemplified by the students’ project; Brown explained that the students spent 10 weeks “combining environmental science with art, PE, and (other disciplines).” After we talked with them briefly, they continued northbound on the main park trail to Alki:

If you’ve never visited Schmitz Preserve Park – its main entrances are on the east side of Alki Community Center and from Admiral Way east of the historic bridge. (Here’s a map.)

Explorer West Middle School students present water-saving proposals to Seattle Parks

As Earth Day approaches, the spotlight on environmental consciousness brightens, and today we have a report on how students at Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) are working with Seattle Parks to make a difference by saving water – and money. The report and photo are from the school:

The Seattle Parks and Recreation Department is making an effort to examine park water usage and implement ways to conserve and reclaim water. Seattle has the highest water and sewer rates in the country.

Students at Seattle’s Explorer West Middle School were invited to share their ideas on water conservation and reclamation to the Seattle Parks Department. Four teams of eighth graders researched solutions and brainstormed ways to be more conscious with Seattle park water usage.

Three executive staff members of Seattle Parks attended the presentations at the school. As a result of this meeting, the teams have been invited to present their findings and ideas to the Seattle Parks Department Board of Commissioners on May 10th at 6:30 pm. Interim Parks Department Superintendent, Christopher Williams, will also be in attendance.

One student noted, “The average Seattle citizen uses fifty gallons of water daily. Water is a limited resource that we need to preserve. There are simple ways to preserve water, but these plans need to start somewhere.”

The students wrote comprehensive research essays and collaborated on their live presentations. Their innovative ideas ranged from water irrigation management; low flush and composting toilets; rainwater cisterns; sustainable wading ponds and spray parks instead of pools; and creative ways to reinvent golf course water usage.

“Students volunteered for the opportunity to pass along inventive approaches to water consumption and conservation,” said Explorer West Social Studies Teacher Tim Owens. “It was a stimulating conversation.”

By using these suggestions, the Seattle Parks system could preserve our precious water. Hopefully in the future, these propositions will benefit our park system and move towards ending our ongoing worldwide water crisis.

“I was impressed by how passionate the students were about the subject matter,” said Joelle Hammerstad, Seattle Parks sustainable operations manager. “The presentations were well-researched and engaging. They even introduced us to new products that we didn’t know about, which inspired us to do some of our own follow-up research.”

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