West Seattle wading pools: Hiawatha closed for the rest of the day

July 30, 2015 at 4:30 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 2 Comments

Thanks to Brian for the tip – Seattle Parks has closed the Hiawatha wading pool for the rest of the day, citing “contamination.” They expect to reopen the pool tomorrow, but we wanted to let you know in case you were planning to combine a trip to the wading pool with a visit to tonight’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha (which otherwise is unaffected). If you’re just looking for someplace, any place, to cool off, EC Hughes wading pool is open until 7, Lincoln Park until 8, and that’s also closing time for the Highland Park spraypark – addresses are all in the citywide brochure. (4:42 pm update: Per Parks, the “contamination” was from a child, who had recently been sick, throwing up.)

PHOTOS: Celebrating Westcrest Park’s expansion

July 25, 2015 at 5:45 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 3 Comments

More than six years ago, work began to “bury” West Seattle Reservoir in Highland Park, creating land for a Westcrest Park expansion. And now, the park work is finally done. A ribboncutting ceremony this morning kicked off the official celebration, two weeks after the fences came down to open the expansion to the public. See the man with the white beard helping cut the ribbon? That’s Marshall Dunston, who named the park Westcrest decades ago:

We’re told that was the result of a contest (update: see a 1976 photo on the Parks website). At the podium in the photo above is Brian Hawksford, who represented Mayor Murray’s office today; Michael Shiosaki from Seattle Parks represented Parks Superintendent Jesús Aguirre. Also represented in abundance: West Seattleites having fun at the 20-acre park expansion!

In addition to the newly built features including ziplines and play equipment, Parks brought in a bouncy house for today’s celebration:

Also invited, local food vendors, including White Center-headquartered Full Tilt Ice Cream, whose founder Justin Cline was staffing the truck:

If you haven’t checked out the park, the expansion end is near 8th/Cloverdale.

5 West Seattle stops on new Parks superintendent’s listening tour; also, online survey that’s open now

July 22, 2015 at 9:13 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 7 Comments

Seattle Parks‘ new superintendent Jesús Aguirre is moving into the job with a “listening tour.” As just announced via the department’s Parkways website, it starts July 28th in South Park and includes five West Seattle stops (all 6:30 pm events)

· Hiawatha Community Center, Aug. 11
· Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, Aug. 18
· Alki, Aug. 19
· Delridge, Aug. 25
· High Point Community Center, Oct. 28

All are billed as chances for you to tell Superintendent Aguirre your ideas about Seattle Parks. An immediate way to do that is via an also-just-announced online survey – we just previewed it; just five questions. Go here to take it.

SATURDAY: Westcrest Park celebration to include bouncy house, art dedication, obstacle course, food truck, music…

July 20, 2015 at 2:37 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 4 Comments

2:37 PM: When Seattle Parks officially opened the five-years-in-the-making Westcrest Park expansion almost two weeks ago, they mentioned a July 25th celebration. That’s coming up Saturday, and today Parks shared more details: Music, balsa-wood planemaking, a bouncy house, and an obstacle course from Camp Long will all be part of the 11 am-1 pm party next Saturday. Plus the dedication of Flyers (part of which is in our photo above), the park expansion’s wind-spun public art by David Boyer. If you’re new – this all happened because the city decided to bury what had been an open-air reservoir in this area of Westcrest Park, and that made room for more park space on top, including a new permanent play area.

6:16 PM: We’ve verified a few more details with Parks spokesperson Karen O’Connor: The What Up Dog food truck will be there (maybe you’ve seen it recently at Don Armeni Boat Ramp) and music will be by Correo Aereo.

Don’t ignore what’s on the floor! New Lincoln Park signs to remind you

July 15, 2015 at 2:51 am | In Environment, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 8 Comments

Thanks to Mark Ahlness of Friends of Lincoln Park for the photo of one of two new signs installed at the park, “part of an effort to raise awareness that the forest floor is alive, that the habitat (home to many creatures and essential to our well being) is in the process of being restored by Friends of Lincoln Park volunteers, and that it needs protection and ongoing maintenance.” He says FLP worked with the Seattle Nature Alliance, whose initial membership drive funded the signs, installed by Seattle Parks, as were two similar signs placed in Schmitz Preserve Park last September. (For more on why staying on the trails matters, see this story we reported and published last March, about a student researcher’s work with FLP on the issue.)

The wait is over: Westcrest Park expansion atop West Seattle Reservoir finally opens tomorrow

July 7, 2015 at 2:05 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 11 Comments

(City of Seattle photo by Jason Huff: ‘Flyers,’ installed @ park expansion last year)
More than five years in the making, the Westcrest Park expansion at West Seattle Reservoir finally opens tomorrow.

On Wednesday, July 8, 2015, Seattle Parks and Recreation will open the 20-acre expansion of Westcrest Park at the West Seattle Reservoir, located at 9000 8th Ave. SW in the Highland Park neighborhood of West Seattle. The new park expansion is the fifth reservoir lid-park collaboration between Seattle Parks and Recreation and Seattle Public Utilities (SPU).

The 20-acre expansion of the park captures panoramic views of the mountains and city skyline, while integrating a range of multi-generational amenities. Features include a flexible great lawn, a new play area with two zip-lines and a hillside slides, swaths of native prairie, strolling paths, parking and streetscape improvements, restrooms, and public art.

(Added: WSB photo taken today)
A mix of oak species will provide strategic shading, frame views and contribute to Seattle’s urban forest and habitat for generations to come. Site Workshop collaborated with the community, Seattle Parks and Recreation and SPU on designing the park and Mid-Mountain Construction built the park.

A new public artwork by David Boyer, “Flyers,” was installed in the park [photo above]. The piece consists of 15 bird- and plane-like kinetic sculptures mounted on steel poles. Grouped in three locations around the park, the sculptures will move to face the wind and the articulating tails will pivot as the wind blows. His inspiration for Flyers comes from airplanes in the SeaTac flight path and birds in the Duwamish Greenbelt. The artist worked with Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Parks and Recreation and local community members to develop the wind-driven artwork. Flyers was commissioned with SPU and Seattle Parks and Recreation’s 1% for Art Funds and managed by the Office of Arts and Culture.

In addition, the Department of Neighborhoods constructed a P-Patch in Westcrest Park featured in our park design. This feature is funded by the community garden funding included in the Parks and Green Spaces Levy.

Seattle Public Utilities has replaced open reservoirs with underground structures to improve the quality and security of Seattle’s water supply. That replacement also provided for new park space at Jefferson Park, Cal Anderson Park, Myrtle Reservoir Park and Maple Leaf Reservoir Park.

Seattle Parks and Recreation will host a community celebration for Westcrest Park expansion at West Seattle Reservoir on Saturday, July 25, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

West Seattle 4th of July 2015: Fireworks plea; pet protection

July 3, 2015 at 3:34 pm | In Pets, Safety, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 8 Comments

Two more 4th of July notes:

FIREWORKS PLEA: The photo is from Shelly, who found fireworks debris while running through Lincoln Park the morning after the 4th last year. She warns, “The park is extremely dry now and it wouldn’t take much to set the whole park on fire.” She is hopeful people will heed that and obey the fireworks laws this year – the park is far from the only place that’s full of dry grass, brush, shrubs, and trees. And just as we were writing this – the National Weather Service has just extended the “heat advisory” AGAIN, continuing through Sunday night.

Speaking of fireworks laws, we already published the official reminder from Seattle Police a week and a half ago, but are sharing it here one more time, as conveyed by Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores:

The Seattle Police Department and Seattle Fire Department would like to remind the public that fireworks are illegal in the City of Seattle. The possession, manufacture, storage, sale, handling and use of fireworks are prohibited. Fireworks offenses are gross misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.

Fireworks pose a fire hazard to property and present a safety risk to those who use them. Every year the Seattle Fire Department responds to fireworks-related fires and injuries. The holiday-related fires and injuries are preventable.

On the 4th of July, 911 centers become overloaded with non-emergency fireworks calls. DO NOT call 911 unless you have a life-threatening emergency and need immediate help from police, fire or medics. Unnecessary 911 calls block people with real emergencies from reaching 911 and getting help.

Any fireworks-related fires or injuries should be reported directly to 911. Other fireworks violations may be reported by calling the Seattle Police non-emergency number at 206-625-5011.

Listening to the scanner the past few nights, fireworks calls *are* broadcast, so those lighting fireworks shouldn’t assume they’ll never get caught.

PROTECTING PETS: Another side effect of fireworks – they tend to scare pets, which means that invariably, we get many more lost-and-found pet reports to publish on the WSB West Seattle Lost/Found Pets page. We hope you won’t need to use it, but if you do lose or find a pet, please e-mail a description, phone number, and photo if available (if not, just be sure the description is detailed) to editor@westseattleblog.com. The Seattle Animal Shelter, meantime, has published information on how best to protect your pets at this time of year.

VIDEO: See what the Parks Board heard about proposal for new ‘guidelines’ governing greenbelts & natural areas

June 29, 2015 at 3:47 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 8 Comments

Will the Seattle Board of Park Commissioners – aka the Park Board – recommend approval of new guidelines for the natural areas and greenbelts under Seattle Parks jurisdiction? Intense discussion preceded and followed our preview of the board’s public hearing last Thursday night. Now the video’s available online – embedded above, or watch it directly on the Seattle Channel website here. The board is expected to make its recommendation next month; even if you didn’t get to the hearing, you can get your comment(s) to the board as long as you do it by July 16th.

West Seattle weather: Wading-pool season starts tomorrow; how hot it did, or didn’t, get

June 26, 2015 at 6:39 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 2 Comments

6:39 PM: As the temperature headed up into the upper 80s today … the Lincoln Park wading pool remained empty. But today is the last day you’ll find it that way – tomorrow is opening day! It’s in the upper north-central park and scheduled to be open 11 am-8 pm daily starting Saturday, unless the weather’s below 70 degrees. Also from the citywide wading-pool/spraypark schedule, the Delridge wading pool (Delridge/Genesee) is the next to open (Monday, 4-day-a-week schedule); Wednesday is the first day for E.C. Hughes (2805 SW Holden) and Hiawatha (Walnut/Lander). Of course, you can already take the kids to Highland Park Spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale) every day, 11 am-8 pm – it’s been open for five weeks!

9:42 PM: National Weather Service says today’s high was 89, not a record, but:

However, it is noteworthy to mention that today was the 9th of 80+ degrees this month in Seattle. That is good for 2nd place on the list of occurrences of 80+ degrees in June. It’s all but a foregone conclusion that we will see day 10 tomorrow which would tie the all-time record of 80+ degree days in June. On Sunday, we’re likely to reach new territory with day 11…something that has never happened in 70 years of records at Sea-Tac airport.

New Seattle Parks ‘guidelines’ for natural areas/greenbelts? Public hearing Thursday; petition drive under way now

June 23, 2015 at 5:31 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 49 Comments

(West Seattle section of Parks map showing ‘natural areas’ in purple, parks in green)
Remember the GoApe/Lincoln Park kerfuffle three years ago? In short – Seattle Parks spent one year talking with a commercial zipline operator about a potential facility in Lincoln Park without any public notification/discussion. A local advocate got wind of it, asked us about it, we reported on it, local community advocates organized against it, the proposal was withdrawn.

No specific proposal of that type has emerged since. But natural-space advocates say they’re afraid a new Seattle Parks policy proposal that has a public hearing this Thursday (June 25th) – sparked by the controversy over a mountain-bike course elsewhere in the city – would open the gates for it, and for much more. They are circulating an online petition and sounding the alarm.

You might already have seen discussion of this in the WSB Forums. The “briefing paper” about what’s formally known as “Natural Area and Greenbelt Supplemental Use Guidelines” explains in this preface:

The purpose of the Supplemental Use Guidelines is to provide a transparent tool to evaluate use proposals in Parks’ classified Natural Areas and Greenbelts. (See map, Appendix B of the Guidelines.) The impetus to develop use guidelines came from the difficult process Parks, the Board and the community have been through regarding locating a new use – a bicycle trail – in the Cheasty Greenspace, one of Parks classified Natural Areas. We need to ensure that as an agency, we are meeting the needs of all of our residents and that policies reflect the
changing needs of residents and long-term goals for the city and Parks.

Here’s the full document:

One of the loudest opposition voices is from the Seattle Nature Alliance statement, which has major roots in West Seattle. Its statement includes a link to its petition:

Seattle Parks Department proposes to change the use policy for Natural Areas and Greenbelts, allowing previously prohibited uses in protected areas. After heated community debates over a proposed commercial zipline in Lincoln Park (2012), and more recently, a mountain-bike skills course in the Cheasty Greenspace, Seattle Parks seems to be proposing this policy change to streamline future projects and is ignoring the growing concerns about Seattle’s booming development and its effect on natural areas.

Concerned by equitable access to nature and potential damage to wildlife habitat from overuse, the Seattle Nature Alliance launched a Change.org petition. – ‘Preserve Seattle Parks Natural Areas and Greenspaces’. The Seattle Nature Alliance is opposed to the expansion of ‘specialized’ recreation in our natural areas and greenspaces. Co-director Denise Dahn believes “these revisions give privileges to a select few at the expense of everyone else. This is unfair as well as environmentally unsustainable. Parks are for everyone.

Parks staff is recommending that the Parks Board approve the new guidelines. First comes this Thursday’s public hearing, during the board’s 6:30 pm meeting at Parks HQ downtown (100 Dexter Ave. N.) Their vote is expected four weeks later, on July 23rd.

Morgan Junction Park expansion update: Demolition not likely before 2016, city says

June 18, 2015 at 3:14 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 11 Comments

When you go to the Morgan Junction Community Festival this weekend, you might wonder about the status of the Morgan Junction Park expansion. It’s been a year since the city bought the quarter-acre parcel to the north for $1.9 million in Parks and Green Spaces Levy Acquisition Fund money, after two years of negotiations. And at the last quarterly meeting of the Morgan Community Association, it was reported that the businesses on the site might be vacating this spring. No sign of that so when we noticed a demolition-permit application in city files, we asked the Parks Department about the status. Spokesperson Karen O’Connor tells WSB they’re not likely to be demolishing the commercial building that’s on the site until next year, because the current tenants are looking for new locations:

The businesses are involved in a relocation process which will involve identifying new space that will possibly undergo tenant improvements. The process will take several months. The timetable is based on landlord negotiations at the new site, the scope of the tenant improvements, permitting, etc. In the meantime, tenants are continuing their operations at the Morgan Junction site.

Once the building’s gone, remediation will have to be done, including, according to O’Connor, “soil removal and disposal, importation of clean soil.” Before the city purchase, the site had been up for sale as a potential redevelopment site.

City-run community centers’ future: Two ways to have your say

June 18, 2015 at 11:13 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | Comments Off

Seattle’s city-run community centers have gone through a lot of changes in recent years – particularly dating back to major cuts announced here in 2011. Now, Seattle Parks and Recreation is taking a big-picture look at what’s next, and asking for your thoughts as the department works on a Community Center Strategic Plan. This Saturday, they’re having a citywide community meeting, 10 am-noon at Seattle Center. Since that’s a busy day (two festivals here in West Seattle alone), we asked if this event would be followed up by neighborhood-specific conversations; answer, no. But if you can’t make it to the downtown event (or even if you can!), Parks’ policy manager Susan Golub tells WSB, you can have your say via an online survey that’s open right now – just go here. Its goal, says Golub: To “collect information on what services/ programs people would like to see at community centers, what barriers there are to using centers and much more.”

West Seattle scene: Heavy lifting at Seacrest Pier

June 16, 2015 at 1:40 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | Comments Off

As mentioned in our daily traffic/transit watch, a crane is on site at Seacrest today to help install the new small-boat-launch ramp mentioned in this alert from Seattle Parks last week.

Parks says the old launch had been in use for more than 20 years. P.S. Some of Seacrest’s history is in this section of the Parks Department’s “Sherwood Files,” explained here.

One more day to have your say on new ‘fitness zones’

June 15, 2015 at 12:15 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 1 Comment

As first reported here a month ago, new outdoor “fitness zones” are coming to Delridge and Hiawatha Community Centers‘ parks, and if you haven’t already told Seattle Parks what you want to see in these free workout spots for teens and adults – you have one more day to have a say! For Delridge input, go here; for Hiawatha input, go here. Both surveys close at noon tomorrow.

What’s not at Solstice Park: ‘Missing’ markers mystery solved

June 10, 2015 at 1:43 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 3 Comments

(Photo by Jason Ayres Gift Enevoldsen)
When you join West Seattle’s own NASA Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen for her summer-solstice sunset watch on June 20th at Solstice Park – you might not see the distinctive granite markers that line up with the setting sun at solstices/equinoxes: The city has taken them away to refresh the faded engraved phrases that explain the markers’ purpose.

(2012 WSB photo)
At first, the markers’ absence was a surprise – no advance announcement, and Alice hadn’t even heard about it until a recent park visitor e-mailed her to ask about it; she subsequently asked us if we’d heard anything (no). Hoping it wasn’t a case of theft like the Rotary Viewpoint Park totem-pole saga, she and we launched inquiries, and finally found out what was going on.

The timing could have been better — apparently the city Office of Arts and Culture, which arranged for this, didn’t know that Solstice Park is used for Alice’s signature solstice/equinox educational events, so when we mentioned the upcoming solstice watch to a staffer we talked with on Tuesday, she promised they’ll try to expedite to get the markers back in time. Whether they do or don’t, you’ll want to be at the park (directions are on Alice’s website) 8:45 pm-9:45 pm on Saturday, June 20th, for Alice’s next quarterly viewing event. She points out that “the earthworks are still in place,” so, “It’ll be a great chance to talk about marker placement anyway.”

Why some Seacrest facilities will be closed for two days next week

June 9, 2015 at 8:06 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | Comments Off

Heads up for Seacrest users – here’s what’ll happen during some work next week:

Seattle Parks and Recreation will replace the small craft launch at Seacrest Park after more than 20 years of use. To help increase public safety, part of the park’s parking lot, the bike racks, and the outside seating area on the deck will be closed while work is being performed.

Seattle Parks anticipates the affected areas to be closed from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, June 15 and 16.

UPDATE: Smoking ban for city parks, after board approval. No fine, though.

May 28, 2015 at 10:07 pm | In Health, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 34 Comments

ORIGINAL REPORT, 10:07 PM THURSDAY: City parks will be no-smoking zones if the Board of Park Commissioners‘ recommendation becomes final. That’s according to our partners at The Seattle Times, who report that the board voted tonight to back the ban. As we noted when the proposed ban came to light in March, it’s been five years since Seattle Parks mulled a ban and then decided on restrictions instead. What commissioners voted for tonight is a revised plan explained in this briefing paper – no citation or fine for violators, who would instead be “educated” and warned.

1:58 PM: Parks has announced that Acting Superintendent Christopher Williams decided today to implement the ban, which will take effect in a month. Here’s the news release:
Click to read the rest of UPDATE: Smoking ban for city parks, after board approval. No fine, though….

West Seattle scene: Sunshine finally catches up with spraypark

May 27, 2015 at 4:09 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | Comments Off

Thanks to Alicia for the photo – finally, sunny, warm weather, on the sixth day of the 2015 season at Highland Park Spraypark, open 11 am-8 pm daily at 1100 SW Cloverdale until summer’s end.

West Seattle Crime Watch update: Police search at Lincoln Park after woman reports man grabbed her

May 26, 2015 at 8:15 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 58 Comments

(UPDATED WEDNESDAY MORNING with police report details)

8:15 PM: If you’re noticing Seattle Police heading toward/into Lincoln Park, here’s what’s happening, according to what we’ve heard via scanner so far: Someone called 911 to report a man tried to grab her in the park. The description made public so far is a “Hispanic male, about 18 … white T-shirt, blue gym shorts.” (added) Also: “Thin, about 5’6″, no facial hair.” If you saw anything or have any information, call 911.

8:59 PM: A parkgoer says in comments that the victim told her it happened “on the trail going up from the beach near the pool.”

ADDED 9:34 AM WEDNESDAY: Just obtained from SPD, the narrative from the report, with the victim’s name redacted by SPD (replaced by us with “she” or “her” or “the victim”):

At 2017 hours I responded to a report of an assault with a sexual motive at … Lincoln Park. (The victim) had called 911 to report that an unknown male had grabbed her “butt” while she was walking through the park.

I made contact with (her) on the western side of the park which runs along the Puget Sound. The park has two levels. The lower western side of the park runs along the Puget Sound; the higher eastern side of the park is accessible through several sets of trails and staircases along the interior of the park.

(She) said that she comes to the park every other day to exercise. Tonight,(she) entered the park near the southernmost parking lot. She began running and walking along the trails on the higher, eastern side of the park. (She) said that she had been alternating between running and walking along the trail near the ridge that separates the lower half of the park from the upper.

While (she) was walking along the trail an unknown male approached her from behind and grabbed her “butt” with his right hand. (She) said that she had never seen the male before today. She described the male as approximately 18 years old, Hispanic or possibly Pacific Islander. She said that he was wearing a white t-shirt and dark gym shorts. (She) said the suspect was thin, around 5’6″ in height. He did not have any facial hair that she could recall.

After the suspect grabbed her butt, (she) recoiled away from him. (She) said the suspect then apologized, saying something like, “Sorry, I’ve only got a month to live, I just had to do that”. (She) felt that the suspect did not understand what he did was wrong. She said that the suspect did not leave the area when she asked him what he was doing. After (she) told the suspect that she was going to call the police, he reiterated his apology.

(She) then tried to get a passerby to lend her a cell phone. She stopped a couple who was walking through the area and asked to borrow their phone to call 911. The couple refused and told (her) that she should just leave the area, and that she should not travel alone. (She) said that during this time the suspect left the area but she did not see which direction he went. (She) then walked down the hill into the lower section of the park. She was able to find someone who let her use her cell phone to call 911.

(She) was not certain but said that she might have seen the suspect in the park before he assaulted her. (The victim) believed that he might have been sitting on a bench along the path. (She) believed that he may have been following her through the park but she was not certain.

Multiple units responded to the park and searched the area in vehicles and on foot. King County Metro was notified with a description of the suspect but no one was located. Because (she) did not see the suspect enter or exit the park, his mode of transportation was not known. I provided (her) with an SPD business card with my name, serial number, and this incident number. I asked her to contact the department if she recalled any other details about the incident. I also provided (her) with a victim’s brochure and talked with her about counseling services available.

Sun or no sun, outdoor swim/spraypark season starts Saturday

May 22, 2015 at 9:51 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 1 Comment

(Highland Park Spraypark, WSB file photo)
The forecast right now isn’t looking much like warm sunshine tomorrow – but it’s still the first day of the year for Colman Pool at Lincoln Park and for West Seattle’s only spraypark, at Highland Park. We mentioned this a week and a half ago in a roundup of start dates for Seattle Parks‘ outdoor water facilities in West Seattle; for a citywide perspective, check out this recent update on the city’s Parkways website. To get specific: Colman Pool’s first pre-season swim session starts at noon tomorrow (full schedule here); Highland Park Spraypark will be open daily starting tomorrow, 11 am-8 pm (per the citywide schedule that also includes wading pools, which don’t start opening until late June).

Outdoor gyms planned for parks at West Seattle’s Delridge, Hiawatha Community Centers

May 19, 2015 at 5:49 pm | In Health, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 1 Comment

Announced late today by Seattle Parks: Outdoor gyms called Fitness Zones® are set for installation in the parks adjacent to Delridge and Hiawatha Community Centers, and meetings are scheduled so you can find out more and offer your opinion. Parks’ announcement (read it here in its entirety) says, “Each Fitness Zone, due to be installed in the next eighteen months, will be equipped with top-quality, durable exercise equipment appropriate for teens and adults of all levels of fitness.” Parks says it has three project partners: The Trust for Public Land, The Seattle Parks Foundation, and MOMentum. The Delridge meeting is set for 6:30 pm Tuesday, June 2nd, at Delridge CC (4501 Delridge Way SW), while the Hiawatha meeting is set for 6:30 pm Thursday, June 4th, at Hiawatha CC (2700 California SW). 7 parks in the city already have Fitness Zones.

‘Free’ Seattle Parks programs on school-closure day Tuesday not free for all: Preschool families lose a day, no refund/makeup

May 15, 2015 at 2:16 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks, West Seattle schools | 11 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

After the city announced Tuesday that Seattle Parks would offer “free” drop-in programs for school-age kids during Seattle Public Schools‘ teacher-walkout closure day next Tuesday, one group of Parks clients learned it will come with a cost to them:

Families with children in Parks-facilities preschools have been told their programs are canceled for that day, and that there will be no refund and no makeup date.

Click to read the rest of ‘Free’ Seattle Parks programs on school-closure day Tuesday not free for all: Preschool families lose a day, no refund/makeup…

May 19th Seattle Public Schools closure: City-run community centers offering free programs for kids that day

May 12, 2015 at 11:29 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 10 Comments

ORIGINAL REPORT, 11:29 AM: As announced a week ago, Seattle Public Schools will close one week from today – Tuesday, May 19th – because of teachers’ one-day protest walkout. The city says today that it’s planning to help out families by offering free programs at its community centers, including all of its West Seattle/South Park centers. IMPORTANT: You need to register ASAP if interested. Here’s the announcement:

Seattle Parks and Recreation has announced it will open and staff drop-in activities at 21 designated community centers for Seattle Public School students from kindergarten to 8th grade in response to the May 19 teacher walk-out. The free program will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19 and will include supervised recreation activities, with an anticipated supervision ratio of 20 children to 1 adult leader.

“We’re willing to open Seattle’s community centers for parents needing daycare on May 19,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Our programs for school-age kids offer educational and fun options during the summer and school vacations. It just makes sense for Parks for to step up during this exceptional circumstance.”

Due to space limitations, eligible students will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. All students must have a completed registration form. Registration forms can be obtained at open community centers, at the community centers the day of the drop-in service, or printed from http://www.seattle.gov/parks/. To hold a spot at a center, register in advance; please go online at class.seattle.gov/parks/Start/Start.asp. A registration form still must be brought to the community center on the 19th.

Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Associated Recreation Council will staff these sites. Parents are asked to drop off eligible children by 9:00 a.m. Spaces for parents who have pre-registered will not be held past 9:00 a.m. Once signed in, children will only be released to the authorized contacts listed on the registration form (identification is required).

Parents are asked to send a sack lunch with their child. Snacks will be provided to all students, and lunch will be provided to those students who are unable to bring their own.

The drop-in activities will be available at (editor’s note: we’re just listing the local centers, full citywide list here):

Alki, 5817 SW Stevens St.
Delridge, 4501 Delridge Way SW
Hiawatha, 2700 California Ave. SW
High Point, 6920 34th Ave. SW
South Park, 8319 8th Ave. S.

Parks’ Teen Centers [including Southwest, 2801 SW Thistle] will be open 2:30-8:00 p.m. in order to provide some daytime drop-in activities for teens.

ADDED: As noted in comments (including the comment we procured from Parks), this will mean some originally scheduled programming at the centers is in turn canceled that day.

Speaking of summer: See the schedules for Colman Pool, West Seattle wading pools

May 11, 2015 at 2:52 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | Comments Off

Not as summery today as it was over the weekend but we just checked the pool schedules because of this picture:

Jim Edwards sent the photo from Colman Pool on the Lincoln Park shore, where he says they’re “putting the finishing touches and doing the laser alignment on the pumps.” Less than two weeks now until Colman Pool’s first pre-season opening – May 23rd, which is also when Highland Park Spraypark opens. The wading pools open later (in West Seattle, June 27th for Lincoln Park, June 29th for Delridge, July 1st for E.C. Hughes and Hiawatha). Here’s the citywide wading-pool schedule (PDF, including the pools’ addresses); here’s the Colman Pool 2015 schedule (also a PDF).

West Seattle art: Fauntleroy/Alaska mini-park plaza taking shape, with Lezlie Jane’s art

May 10, 2015 at 9:45 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks, WS culture/arts | 22 Comments

With construction winding down at Spruce, the mixed-use project that filled what for years was “The Hole,” the sidewalk along 39th SW is open and that provides a view of the plaza on what is actually a bit of city parkland along the corner where Fauntleroy/Alaska/39th meet. At the heart of the plaza, art by Lezlie Jane, the West Seattle artist whose creations grace other spots including Constellation, Cormorant Cove, Weather Watch, and Dakota Place Parks.

We first reported her role in this project when the “public benefit” package for Spruce – required because it includes an “alley vacation” – went to the Seattle Design Commission in December 2012. You can see the concept for the “medallion” in our coverage of the meeting, and how it’s turning out, above, and below in our quick walkaround captured in a 15-second Instagram video clip (we focused on the wording around its perimeter, which includes an explanation of the bear, if you don’t know that part of West Seattle history on sight):

Our visit to the site this afternoon was inspired by the announcement of next Tuesday’s Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting – JuNO director René Commons mentioned it while saying the group will talk about the mini-park’s future, as well as other public/green space issues, at 6:30 pm Tuesday, at the Senior Center of West Seattle.

Pet owners, take note: Seattle Animal Shelter back to full patrol strength in local parks

May 6, 2015 at 5:29 pm | In Pets, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 61 Comments

Pet owners thinking about flouting the laws in city parks might want to think twice. Seattle Animal Shelter says it’s back up to full staff and so, as director Don Jordan puts it, “folks not only in Lincoln Park but around the city will see a more-concerted effort back in the parks again to (encourage) off-leash compliance and compliance with our licensing law.”

We contacted Jordan because of Jeannie‘s post in the WSB Forums, saying she’d heard from an officer who said Lincoln Park is now being patrolled. Concerns about off-leash dogs have been a frequent topic in the forums; we also published a report in March after hearing from a student researcher who’s been studying how off-leash, off-trail dogs have affected park restoration efforts.

Jordan says what’s happened is, “We’re finally back up to full staff” – 13 officers, after two years in which various staffing challenges dropped levels to barely half that, as low as seven officers. (If you’re cited for a violation, here’s the list of fees.)

Even more than off-leash violators, though, he wanted to talk about the importance of licensing. “It’s the right thing to do,” he said, pointing out, repeatedly, that licensing revenue supports SAS, and that it has other benefits. It’s estimated, Jordan said, that only about 30 percent of dogs and 15 percent of cats are licensed here (he cited a formula by the American Veterinary Medicine Association for that), “so we know there’s a great opportunity out there for pet owners to help us out.”

For one – if your pet is lost (a circumstance that touches our work via the WSB Lost/Found Pets page), a license provides a way for you to be found, once they’re found, without putting all your personal contact info on their tags.

Jordan says licenseholders also can contact SAS when they’re going on vacation, for example, to provide information on who’s watching your pet, in case it gets loose. Find out more about pet licensing here – and keep in mind there’s a $125 fine if you’re caught without it.

Back to the staffing; Jordan says SAS has “been able to recruit some really stellar staff members with a tremendous variety of backgrounds … vet technicians to wildlife experts to folks who have worked in large animal veterinary practices, a wide array of officers. Best crew I’ve had in the past 25 years I’ve been here.”

We asked if they’re working beats – is someone permanently assigned to Lincoln Park, for example? He would only say that they schedule in advance, and might have to “modify” when something comes up at the last minute – someone out sick, testifying in court, etc. They’re trying “to spread our efforts out, (especially) among the larger, heavily-used parks. Folks should know we’re here to help – call us if you have problems in the neighborhood. We’ll be deployed as much as we can with the leash law and licensing law this summer,” among other things. The SAS animal-control hotline is 206-386-7387 (that’s 386-PETS).

Image by Wonderlane, published to Flickr, licensed for use via Creative Commons)

In case you wondered too: Fairmount Playfield’s new-but-not-open restroom building is almost ready

May 5, 2015 at 7:55 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 20 Comments

Jeff sent that photo on Monday, wondering why the new restroom building at Fairmount Playfield is still closed, though it’s looked complete for weeks. We took the question to Seattle Parks, whose Karen O’Connor replied:

We have a couple of punch list items for the Fairmount Playfield restroom building including locks and the installation of the electric meter. We are working with our shops and Seattle City Light to get this done. In the meantime, the temporary bathrooms will remain on site. … If the final inspection goes well – we anticipate the restrooms opening the weekend
of May 15.

The restroom replacement has been in the works for almost four years; the project finally got going last fall.

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