West Seattle, Washington
(added Wednesday afternoon, Junction Plaza Park rendering)
(Susan Melrose of the Junction Association and Isaac Cohen of Seattle Parks Foundation)
From Tuesday night’s first meeting of Friends of Junction Plaza Park, designed to get the long-semi-dormant park project across the finish line: Three women are giving the group a jump start: There’s Susan Melrose, who’s been helping Junction merchants bring new energy to the business district in her role as director of the West Seattle Junction Association; Erica Karlovits, who helms the Junction Neighborhood Organization and co-chairs the Southwest District Council; and Katie Hjorten, who we last heard from publicly when, as chair of Friends of Ercolini Park, she helped celebrate that park’s dedication west of The Junction last July. After the meeting, we asked her, why get involved with another park? Read More
It’s the rectangle of grass on the northwest corner of Alaska/42nd, at the foot of one tall building now, with more in the works across Alaska. Tonight, you are invited to share the next step toward turning Junction Plaza Park from future park to developed park: The newly energized Friends of Junction Plaza Park will gather at 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle, a block away from the park site. Recent reports here about the project have drawn comments wondering why the price tag to finish the park is $350,000; even if you’re among the skeptics, bring your questions and ideas – what’s needed even more than money is a pledge of volunteer time to get the job done. (Park-vision rendering, above left.)
A week ago, we told you about the new campaign to enlist community support in pledging volunteer time to help Junction Plaza Park qualify for a Neighborhood Matching Fund grant. An update now from West Seattle Junction Association‘s Susan Melrose:
As you may know, the effort to build Junction Plaza Park have been underway for several years. But this is the year we make it happen! We are in a good position to complete fundraising for the park this year. A brief update – we ‘value engineered’ the cost down to $350k, have already raised $55k mostly thanks to the Seattle Parks Foundation, and have a solid plan for securing large donors and grants. We are currently asking for $100k from the Neighborhood Matching Funds Grant.
Now community volunteer hours are needed to build support for the park and help win our grant from the Neighborhood Matching Funds. Friends of Junction Plaza Park is hosting its first meeting on Tuesday, March 3 from 6:30-7:30 pm in the Nelson Room at the Senior Center.
If you’d like to help build community support, please see the attached information and volunteer opportunities. And most importantly… Take the pledge by April 6th! It’s easy for individuals to pledge a handful of hours and the results are satisfying. Businesses and organizations can take the pledge too.
(August 2008 photo of park site at 42nd/Alaska)
Earlier this month, in our coverage of the Southwest District Council‘s latest meeting, we mentioned a preview of the upcoming Junction Plaza Park campaign, from West Seattle Junction Association executive director Susan Melrose. This morning, we have full details of the plan to finish the park – purchased with city ProParks money in 2005 — and how you can help. Susan says a group called “Friends of Junction Plaza Park” is being formed to head up the project, with leaders including Junction Neighborhood Organization president Erica Karlovits and Friends of Ercolini Park chair Katie Hjorten. The group will apply for a city Neighborhood Matching Fund grant of $100,000, to be applied toward the $350,000 needed to finish the park. Where you come in: Commitments of community support and volunteer hours are needed, to qualify for the grant – just like so many other projects that have benefited from the NMF, including Ercolini. And Susan says they only have about a month to get those commitments lined up; you don’t have to make a big commitment, she says: “We have exciting ways for people to help out with the park, and we’re looking to bring the community together – looking for small commitments of volunteer time to involve a wide section of the community.” You’ll see volunteers out at places such as the West Seattle Farmers’ Market to talk with people about volunteering for the Junction Plaza Park project, and you are invited to the first Friends of Junction Plaza Park meeting: 6:30 pm March 3, Senior Center of West Seattle. Susan stresses, they’re not looking for “huge” commitments – a little help from a lot of people will turn the long-planned park from dream to reality. If you have any questions in the meantime, or want to extend an offer of help ASAP, please contact her by e-mailing email@example.com.
Updates constituted most of the highlights from Wednesday night’s Southwest District Council meeting — representatives from neighborhood groups and other key organizations dealing with the section of West Seattle that the city calls the SW District (map). In the photo above is Dante Taylor, who’s traveling the West Seattle meeting circuit to remind everyone that the city’s Junction parking review is getting under way (all our coverage is archived here). Regarding the big question, whether pay stations will be the result, Taylor stressed nothing is settled – the study is supposed to determine whether they would be needed anywhere to keep cars moving and create a steady flow of people through the business district. One of his previous appearances (WSB coverage here) was at the January meeting of the Junction Neighborhood Organization, whose president Erica Karlovits is co-chair of the SWDC; she reiterated concerns her group wants to keep on the front burner – “park and hiders,” who drive to Junction neighborhoods and leave their cars while catching buses to downtown, and construction workers parking in neighborhoods. Ahead, another Junction item – the latest on the 42nd/Alaska park – and more SWDC notes:Read More
We dropped by the Seattle Parks Foundation‘s “park” in The Junction thinking it was a quick photo op – and instead, we found out a lot of new information that answers a question asked every time we show the site of Junction Plaza Park (northwest corner of 42nd/Alaska): “When is it going to be done and how much more money do they need?” Read on for details plus the latest park plan:Read More