Why park grass is so tall, and what else we learned at Alki Community Council’s June meeting

Seattle Parks‘ new regional crew chief and the Southwest Precinct‘s day-shift commander were guests at the Alki Community Council‘s June meeting, held in-person and online last night.

SEATTLE PARKS’ CREW CHIEF: Insights beyond Alki were shared by Kristy Darcy, recently promoted to crew chief for Seattle Parks’ southwest area, a position left open when Carol Baker retired from a 40+-year career. First – for everyone wondering about the tall grass at local parks – for one thing, it’s growing faster than usual everywhere because of the wet, cool weather. For two, even though they’ve just done a lot of hiring, they still don’t have all the staff they need to keep up with the 85 parks and 13 athletic fields for which they’re responsible. They’re trying their best to catch up, though.

They’re also catching up with gardening – two gardener positions have been filled and they have someone working in that role full-time for the first time in two years. This past week, the newly hired gardeners were working to get the grounds of Colman Pool ready for its opening tomorrow (Saturday, June 18th). Next week, they take on the flower beds near the Alki Bathhouse – Darcy, who used to be a Parks gardener, ordered 1,400 annuals, and they’re hoping for volunteers to show up and help plant them next Friday – just show up, noon-4 pm June 24th.

Darcy shared one odd anecdote from Alki (we also heard a bit about this from a reader) – that someone tried to pry the plaque off the Denny Party monument at 63rd/Alki early Thursday. A person driving by apparently scared off the would-be plaque thieves.

In all, the staff has gone from 14 to 30 people, Darcy said, and they have two extra people to help at closing time, particularly helpful now that the early closing time for summer (10 pm) is in effect.

SOUTHWEST PRECINCT: Lt. Michael Watson, second-watch (day shift) commander, was there to answer questions about Alki. He noted that the summertime “emphasis patrol” is back, and also that the 10 pm closure doesn’t just apply to the beach – Don Armeni Boat Ramp is also being closed at 10 pm too, to try to cut down on the racing and other vehicle-related problems. The motorcycle crash earlier in the week near Don Armeni was brought up, but no new information emerged. Lt. Watson did mention something that’s come up at other community meetings – if your security camera captures “criminal activity” and a suspect can be identified from it, that could be enough for “probable cause” for an arrest.

The Alki Community Council meets on third Thursdays at 7 pm most months – watch alkicommunitycouncil.org for updates.

10 Replies to "Why park grass is so tall, and what else we learned at Alki Community Council's June meeting"

  • Elton June 18, 2022 (8:35 am)

    The great irony of the early summer weather than many of us don’t like is that the fauna loves it XD What a great bloom for the neighborhood rhodies this year! I know some plants are exceptions to this (e.g. a bit wet for roses), but in general it seems like plants (and weeds, for that matter) are loving it.

    • WS Res June 18, 2022 (10:28 am)

      Yeah I happen to like it myself, but even if I weren’t a fan, the color show this long, long spring has been EXCEPTIONAL.  (And my roses may all have black spot, but their blooms are STUNNING.)

  • Alki Jack June 18, 2022 (9:13 am)

    Do the SPD officers ever wonder what causes all the circular burn-out marks and the spin out marks on the payment between the Don Armeni Park boat launch and Anchor Park? They must not because I have not seen anyone pulled over by SPD at this end of the beach IN YEARS. Speeding, super loud exhaust and getting louder, constant breaking of the anti-cruising law, music that is so loud that it shakes your windows, motorcycles doing wheelies, un-licensed off-road vehicles etc etc. OH and the Harleys. None have street legal exhaust anymore, they are caught up on how cool they think their noise is. BUT ask them and it’s always the same….Loud pipes, save lives. Then why do most have black bikes, where black jackets and have flat black helmets. If they wanted to be sure they are noticed how about florescent colored helmets and jackets, that will get them noticed. No, Zero, None, fear of enforcement has brought this on. This has ruined the enjoyment that us property owners deserve. 

    • Chris June 18, 2022 (9:35 am)

      You live in Seattle where hard working, good citizens, are considered the problem. We are the cause of homeless issues and crime because we worked hard to earn a living, make mortgage payments that are never easy for most people, pay taxes and still be civil and keep our neighborhoods looking good. Playing by the rules in Seattle only applies to those that can afford to pay the fines. Drug addicts, criminals, people claiming they never got a fair chance, they can do whatever they want. It’s sad but that is what Seattle has become.

    • Auntie June 18, 2022 (10:43 am)

      Yes AJ! And for those who say “Alki has always been this way,” I beg to differ. When I was young (a long, long time ago) there was “cruising” and partying, but there were always cops to tone it down. People got warnings and tickets. Not so now.  I can’t remember the last time I saw a cop pull somebody over around Alki and I go down there every day and see all those things to which Alki Jack refers. 

    • Rocket June 18, 2022 (1:36 pm)

      My favorite part of Alki posts is watching all the rich boomers complain about how so many people love their neighborhood.  It’s almost like there is a reason it’s so expensive to buy there, people like it there.You all chose to live in a neighborhood that gets wild during the summer and has done so for decades if not centuries.  Don’t like living in a paradise that you don’t want to share?  All of you have means to correct your miserable living situation beyond complaining about the people who congregate there for their fun.  I personally think the cruising and motor fun people have down there is childish and stupid.  But when I lived there I knew that I was signing up to live in an area that has mad energy 3 months of the year. Also to assume that the people who were steered into tech, medicine, dentistry, law, engineering, and finance by their upbringing and as such can afford to feel like they own the point because they have a property title for a small piece of land are anymore hard working than the blue collar people and their loud cars is absurd and a loud dog whistle.  Let me guess, you assume they get their tricked out cars and bikes from stealing, drug dealing, and welfare fraud?keep it up boomers, this kind of comedy gold is hard to find.

      • Julian June 20, 2022 (10:54 pm)

        This argument is so out of touch and tiresome.  No one cares who comes to the park as long as people aren’t jerks to everyone else who is currently enjoying the park…..this includes homeowners, renters, as well as visitors from other areas. Stop excusing disruptive, illegal behavior. Period.

  • Runner June 18, 2022 (9:35 am)

    Thank you Alki Jack!  It’s a shame the way Alki has become out of control. Thousands of people a day walk along Alki Avenue to enjoy the view.  I worry that one of these days an out of control car or motorcycle is going to crash and seriously hurt innocent people.  There are no barriers between the reckless driving vehicles and the pedestrians.  If the laws are not enforced to protect the people walking, running and biking along Alki sooner or later something terrible could happen.  This is a huge safety issue!

    • Alki Jack June 18, 2022 (11:46 am)

      Thank you. On nice days I see family’s from all over the city just trying to enjoy themselves. I see little babies being pushed in strollers. Young children running a bike for the first time, couples strolling holding hands. Just yesterday I was halfway across Alki in a cross-walk. Very light traffic and no rain. Just as I was about to hit the centerline a young guy gunned his little car with a huge muffler and roared by me. Of course there are never any cops anymore and they know it, so the laws and common courtesy are just out the window. 

  • Mj June 19, 2022 (4:00 pm)

    How much training is involved for a Gardener or for someone to cut grass?  It seams like an opportunity to connect with unemployed homeless and take care of two issues with one stone!

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