10:18 AM: We’re at Southwest Community Center, where more than 100 people are at the third public meeting for the West Seattle (Westcrest) Reservoir Park project. First big announcement: An artist has been chosen for the art project that will be at the new park site – David Boyer, from Reno. He makes kinetic sculptures that move in the wind, according to Parks reps (there’s more info about his work at his website). Project manager Susanne Friedman also sought at the start of the meeting to dismiss rumors that the project would take away part or all of the Westcrest Off-Leash Area. She also said the city arborist has turned thumbs down on a disc-golf course in the park’s forested area, though that doesn’t rule out disc golf elsewhere on the site. Now they’re about to unveil the current design concept alternatives, which will be discussed in small groups afterward.
11:07 AM: Attendees are now marking up their thoughts on black/white printouts of the three park-design concepts that have been shown. Key features of all three include a community garden area – which might or might not be a P-Patch site – plus an “expanse” of lawn atop the new reservoir lid, and one option would move the Off-Leash Area’s small/shy dog area, though it was stressed again in response to a question, NOTHING will be taken away from the dog park – one option even calls for an added trail to connect with it. Unless something dramatic happens when the small groups “report back” shortly, our next update will be a full report on the meeting, the discussion, and what’s next, later. 12:45 PM: One addition first – we’d asked for the graphics from the meeting as soon as we could get them, and the project team provided them on a flash drive so we could download them – here’s the “short form” of the presentation, with all three design concepts plus the project priorities. They’ll be broken out individually in the aforementioned full report later. ADDED: We’re adding highlights of the hearing incrementally:
(Photo by Dina Johnson)
Westcrest Park Off-Leash Area steward Steve McElhenney received a hero’s welcome – thunderous applause – when he presented his table’s suggestions for the park in the final section of the meeting.
As with the previous meetings, the format began with a presentation, then broke up into small-group discussions to set priorities and discuss hopes/dreams, and concluded with a representative from each group coming forward to outline what they’d come up with.
At the last meeting, a huge turnout by advocates for a disc-golf course meant that particular sport came up a lot in the concepts presented to the crowd. This time, the predominant interest was West Seattle’s only off-leash dog area. *more to come*