That’s Jennifer Cargal at the dedication of Dakota Place Park one year ago, an exciting occasion for Cargal and other neighborhood advocates who worked hard to get the old substation site (map) turned into a park. Last night, she was at the Junction Neighborhood Organization‘s meeting, requesting support for a possible expansion of the year-old park. She says there’s a chance that money from the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Acquisition Fund could be used to buy a parcel just north of the park, once planned for residential development. According to Cargal, this idea is in a very preliminary stage – negotiations aren’t even under way – but Parks is doing some appraisal work “and trying to get a measure of community support.” One key point, though: Levy money would just cover the costs through purchase of the land and clearing it – actual park development would then require a community campaign (which is what it took to finalize Dakota Place, and other neighborhood park projects such as Junction Plaza Park and Ercolini Park). One park neighbor who came to the JuNO meeting says she’s “amazed” at how many people use Dakota Place Park as it is now; Cargal also mentioned the students at nearby Tilden School, who (as reported here last spring) have “adopted” the park and do regular cleanups there during the school year. “I think there’s a really powerful argument for adding open space while we have this opportunity,” she said. What do YOU think? Comments, she said, can be sent to Chip Nevins, in the Parks Department’s real-estate division (here’s his contact info); Cargal’s making the rounds of community groups asking for their support, and JuNO pledged theirs. One more report from last night’s JuNO meeting – a followup on the Junction Parking Program – coming up later.
West Seattle, Washington