Nantes Park plan progress presented to Admiral Neighborhood Association

An update on a West Seattle park project headlined this month’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting.

NANTES PARK: Back in 2019, we published word of a survey by the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association, seeking your thoughts on the little west Admiral park that honors the sister-city relationship. The project has proceeded, with a city matching-funds grant announced last November. ANA got an update on where the plan stands.

At the February 9th meeting, Susan Kegel presented that update. She showed Nantes Park‘s original plan, including a walkway that no longer exists – “just little shreds of it in places.”

Recapping the 2019 survey results, she showed some of the reactions they got regarding why people don’t spend much time at the park, and what people would be interested in seeing there. With grant funding, they worked on conceptual designs, and also obtained a West Seattle Garden Tour grant to add some art tiles. The pandemic put planning on hold for a while but they were able to pursue more funding – some from Nantes itself, too – and are hoping to belatedly celebrate the 40th anniversary of the sister-city relationship.

Here is what they are pursuing. Art by French illustrator/writer Claude Ponti will inspire art in Nantes Park to represent a shared connection. Concept 1 would have pots on the ground, concept 2 would have them on the concrete seat wall. Inspiration 2, concept 3, is Plant Mimicry, with art “faces” that could be crafted in a community workshop. Art is the first part of the project; creating the walkway is the second. Kegel said the association has been asked by Parks to pave the walkway, and that could include some embedded art – perhaps “marching insects”:

They would do fundraising to get funding for “as many as possible.” Another concept: footprints:

They would have five or six creatures and include their French names in the walkway. As for the WSGT-funded art tiles, they’re working with students here and in Nantes – West Seattle High School has a well-established exchange program. What do you think? You can see the art ideas and share your thoughts by taking this survey. Kegel also mentioned Parks planned to install some kinetic art at the park,

Other topics from the meeting:

BUSINESS OUTREACH: New ANA president Drew Sowa is reviving the organization’s connection to local businesses. He’s working on setting up crowdfunding to help local businesses (which The Junction, for example, has been doing).

WEST SEATTLE ART WALK UPDATE: Lora Radford from the West Seattle Junction Association, and also an Art Walk founder, recounted its backstory and recent revival. Among other things, it’s an “important way to connect businesses and the community.” She and coordinator Reeve Washburn have worked to expand its reach beyond The Junction. The pandemic threw them a curve, but they’re re-invented it to suit the times – from live online videos to some in-person events. Washburn talked about how the Art Walk works behind the scenes; former ANA board member Sofia Velling continues coordinating Admiral involvement, which started more than a year ago. Participating businesses include West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), West Seattle Grounds, Zelda Zonk Consignment, and Sopranos Antico. Also speaking briefly, another Art Walk founder – and Admiral resident – Dan Jacobs.

SEATTLE POLICE: The Southwest Precinct‘s third watch (swing shift) commander Lt. Chris Johnson was at the meeting. He said property crime is down a bit, violent crime up – mostly related to domestic violence – but overall, he says, “the last year has been really, really weird” so he doesn’t take much stock in stats right now. They’re busy but “no huge, major problems” – the staffing challenges he’s mentioned at other meetings mean he’s “at or below staffing minimums” every night. But please keep calling – the dispatchers will prioritize – “we need to be able to show that we need staff, we need bodies.” He also urged people concerned about police staffing levels to let the City Council know. “If we had support from people in the city, I think things could change … I’m losing my best officers” to departures and retirements. For replacements, it takes a year to train, but if they could get back to attracting lateral (from other department) transfers, that would be helpful.

CRIME STOPPERS OF PUGET SOUND: Jim Fuda – a North Admiral resident – explained the program, which takes anonymous tips and routes them to the appropriate agency. Their tips and arrests have multiplied since they started using an app, and while they’re focused on a four-county area, they’ve taken a bite out of international crime, like human trafficking, too, via Crime Stoppers Global Solutions.

NEXT ANA MEETING: April 13th is the tentative date – the group generally will meet every other month, second Tuesday, 7 pm. (Watch for participation information as the date approaches.)

7 Replies to "Nantes Park plan progress presented to Admiral Neighborhood Association"

  • AlkiFlyer March 1, 2021 (7:53 am)

    Why not just make it into a playground?  Add a crosswalk across Admiral for those on the south side of the street.  Spending money solely on ‘art’ these days seems extravagant…turn those dollars into something useful for the community around the park.

    • weeping willows March 2, 2021 (6:32 am)

      Art isn’t ‘useful’ in the community? Can you imagine if all community art was stripped away, how would that feel, and especially for kids?

      Also, I hope the birds and the bees will be kept in mind with park renovations, anything to enhance it for them too would be great.

  • valvashon March 1, 2021 (9:27 am)

    Have you been to Nantes Park?  It’s tiny so you couldn’t put too much playground equipment in meaning it ultimately wouldn’t be much fun for the kids.

  • jed March 1, 2021 (11:08 am)

    Nantes Park would get a lot more use if you could walk through it into the neighborhood instead of being a dead-end. Put stairs on the far side of the park and it will get a lot more use.

  • Will of Wisp March 1, 2021 (11:22 am)

    There is not a lot of foot traffic on Admiral Way.  It is difficult to access the park from above but with some innovation maybe a way of getting to the park from above would increase its usage.  

  • MrsB March 1, 2021 (12:15 pm)

    It’s never going to be a destination park, it’s just too small and realistically, it’s never had much, if any, use.  I live very close to it and while it’s an improvement on what was there before (a fenced off City Light property), I’ve rarely if ever seen anyone there. Adding artistic elements, while admirable, will not increase its use.

  • Mike March 1, 2021 (4:47 pm)

    I like the idea of a connector to neighborhood above.  That would enhance its use by walkers.

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