The Gatewood park known as Orchard Street Ravine might soon be a little bigger. Tomorrow, a City Council committee will consider the proposed purchase of a parcel adjacent to OSR, 7137 38th SW, a 5,600-square-foot parcel north of park boundaries (as shown on this map), currently holding the dilapidated century-plus-old house shown in the King County Assessor’s Office photo above. The purchase price would be $235,000, and it would come from Park District levy funds. Documents for tomorrow’s meeting of the Civic Development, Public Assets, and Native Communities Committee show the city expects to spend an additional $25,000 on “staff time, title insurance, and closing cost,” plus “up to $100,000 for demolition of the house.” We’re told that local residents plan to speak in favor of the purchase at tomorrow’s committee meeting, which includes a public-comment period. They will include members of the Friends of Orchard Street Ravine and Morgan Community Association, says MoCA president Deb Barker, who shared a letter that park steward Carol Schultz sent to the committee, saying in part:
We’re excited to hear that the proposal is coming before the committee for review tomorrow. I wanted to contact you and let you know that there are many supporters and users of Orchard Street Ravine. After many years of volunteer work it is now a beautiful green space with a stairway and trails connecting neighborhoods and nature.
With the increasing density of West Seattle the proposed park expansion will be a real benefit to the community and natural habitat. Orchard Street Ravine is an important green spaces connector as well as a beautiful natural area. A stairway built as part of the 2006 bond connects upper and lower parts of the neighborhood. It is a link in the Green Crescent or Morgan Junction Loop trail. The trail connects Morgan Junction, Orchard Street Ravine, Solstice Park, Lincoln Park, and Lowman Beach Park helping to create a total of a 2.5 mile walk. It is listed in the King County West Seattle Trails map.
The 2006 bond also set up a Vegetation Management Plan for reforestation with native plantings that we’ve been following since then. We’ve gradually reforesting what used to be a jungle of blackberries, ivy and clematis vine. We plant hundreds of new native plants every year and it’s now filled with NW native plants and wildlife and birds have returned. … Approving the proposed expansion would be a real benefit to the community and environment.
You can see the slide deck prepared for tomorrow’s meeting (2 pm Wednesday) here. If the committee approves the purchase, it would move on to a final vote by the full City Council.