West Seattle parks 1699 results

From the ‘in case you wondered too’ file: Here’s why Hiawatha Community Center won’t be reopening any time soon

(WSB photo)

The closure of Hiawatha Community Center has ripple effects this summer – including these two: When wading-pool season starts tomorrow, Hiawatha won’t be opening because of the center closure; also, the Admiral Neighborhood Association can’t resume its summer-concert series because Hiawatha’s unavailable as a venue. A few readers asked us recently for a status report on the community center, so here’s what we have found out from Seattle Parks. They’ve been waiting for approval of a half-million-dollar federal grant (via the Federal Emergency Management Agency), according to Parks’ Kelly Goold, who says that’s about a quarter of the funding for the work to be done at Hiawatha. Rules of the grant, Parks says, prohibited work from starting before the funding was received. Goold says they “believe we will have approval shortly.” Then they can put the project out to bid. If they don’t get the grant? “We will proceed with the project but will complete less project work.” A bit of preparation has been done, Goold says – primarily “hazmat removal.” Once construction starts, it’s expected to take about nine months – so if all goes well from here, Hiawatha might be ready to reopen next summer. The project as described by Parks will include “electrical repairs, water and sewer pipe replacements, furnace and water heater repairs, roof replacement, and more.”

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.

SATURDAY: What you’ll see at two-hour Morgan Junction Community Festival

(WSB photo from Morgan Junction Community Festival 2019)

for the return of its volunteer-powered Morgan Junction Community Festival tomorrow (Saturday, June 18th), the Morgan Community Association decided to keep things short and sweet. So it’s a two-hour event, 11 am to 1 pm, at Morgan Junction Park (6413 California SW), starting with the ever-effervescent Bubbleman at 11 am, followed by acoustic music by Gary Benson, with community tabling throughout. So far seven organizations are tabling – including us – so you’ll have a chance to talk with:

The Whale Trail
Southwest Seattle Historical Society
CleanupSEA
/Poogooder
34th District Democrats
Westside HEY
(Healthy Empowered Youth)
Board & Vellum (designers of the future Morgan Junction Park Addition, so you can learn about what’s up with that)

No shopping/food booths this year, but Morgan Junction has plenty of cool places to explore within a few blocks – come to the festival and then go have lunch and/or a beverage! See you there, rain or shine.

FOLLOWUP: What workers are doing at future West Seattle Junction park site

Thanks to Desiree for sending the photo and tip that work is happening at the long-“landbanked” West Seattle Junction park site on 40th SW between SW Alaska and SW Edmunds. No, this isn’t actual park development, according to Seattle Parks’ Kelly Goold, who we contacted to ask about the work. Goold explains that what’s happening is “installation of a temporary irrigation system and a temporary lawn – something to make it usable and accessible to the neighborhood.” This work should be done in about a week. So when will the site then be unfenced and “usable”? Goold told us, “When we can pull the fence down depends on how fast the grass establishes. Generally after 3 mowing cycles grass is established enough for use. So hopefully sometime mid-July.” Goold says the “long-term” plan for the site remains park development, but that was paused two years ago (along with the other two West Seattle “landbanked” park sites, 48th/Charleston and the Morgan Junction expansion) when the pandemic put city finances into question. The city bought the site nine years ago for $1.4 million; at the time of the last public design meetings in 2018, cost of developing it into a park was estimated at almost $2 million.

WADING POOLS: Here’s when they’ll open in West Seattle

(WSB file photo, Delridge wading pool)

The city is finally out with this year’s schedule for wading pools. The list indicates four wading pools in West Seattle and South Park will be open:

JUNE 25-SEPTEMBER 5
Lincoln Park wading pool
(8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)
7 days a week, 12 pm-7 pm

JUNE 27-AUGUST 21
EC Hughes Playground wading pool
(2805 SW Holden)
Mondays, Tuesdays, Sundays, 12 pm-7 pm

JUNE 27-AUGUST 17
South Park Community Center wading pool
(8319 8th Ave. S.)
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, 12 pm-7 pm

JUNE 29-AUGUST 19
Delridge Community Center wading pool
(4501 Delridge Way SW)
Wednesdays, Thursdays, Friday, 12 pm-5:30 pm

The Highland Park spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale) is already open, 11 am-8 pm daily through September 5th.

You’ll notice that the Hiawatha wading pool is not on the list, likely because of work at the center and upcoming work at the play area, but its absence is not explained in the city announcement, so we’re following up. It hasn’t been open since 2019.

P.S. Take note, especially in this cooler-than-usual-so-far season, that the city generally opens pools on days when sunny/70-degrees-or-more weather is expected.

City sweeps Rotary Viewpoint Park, West Seattle Stadium encampments

Thanks for the tips. One of West Seattle’s most visible tent-encampment sites, at Rotary Viewpoint Park (35th/Alaska), has been swept, the city confirms, saying campsites at nearby West Seattle Stadium were swept too. This notice was still up on a pole by Rotary Viewpoint Park when we went over Wednesday for a look:

Several tents had been in view around the park’s totem-pole plaza for at least the past several months, but as of yesterday, they were all gone:

The grassy area around the plaza had a few obviously cleared spots in view:

The question is, what kind of notice did people living at the park get? Keith Hughes, who runs West Seattle’s only severe-weather shelter barely a block away, says the park’s residents did not get notice: “No prior notice posted. No warning on the day of. No first thing in the morning while the residents are there to gather their personal belongings. Middle of the day. More police on site than residents – suddenly the police have nothing to do?? – No offers of alternative shelters/living spaces for their stuff to be moved to. Just everything confiscated and thrown into compacting type garbage trucks and hauled away, and huge red ‘Park Closed’ signs put up.”

The city says it did give notice. We sought comment yesterday and received this statement from Seattle Parks and Recreation this morning (published below exactly as received – we are asking for clarification on the notice date, as Monday was June 6th, not 3rd; 6/3 is the date on the notice we showed above, but we have no independent verification of when it was actually posted):

On Monday, June 3, 2022, the City posted a notice at West Seattle Stadium (4 tents) and Rotary Viewpoint (1 tent) that all personal items must be removed by June 7, 2022, when tent obstructions were removed.

The HOPE Team, a City of Seattle program within the Human Services Department that coordinates homelessness outreach and referrals to shelter, and outreach providers intensified outreach to these two locations to connect those residing onsite with offers of shelter and services. They began visiting these sites on May 26 and visited several other times leading up to the removal.

On the day of the removal, the HOPE Team identified four people experiencing homelessness onsite, all were offered shelter, and resulting in three referrals to 24/7 enhanced shelter options.

Any personal items remaining on June 7, 2022, were stored per City policy. People can retrieve their items by calling 206-459-9949, and we will work with individuals to make arrangements for delivery.

Though the city statement says one tent was at the viewpoint, we’ve consistently noted a higher number when driving by in recent months. Meantime, this sweep came exactly one week after Mayor Bruce Harrell went public with a new “dashboard” for data including “verified” and “closed” RV and tent encampments; it’s clearly missing some West Seattle sites but lists a “tent encampment” at Roxhill Park as having been swept last month.

SUMMER SWIMMING: How lifeguard shortage will affect Southwest, Colman Pools

(Texted photo peeking at Colman Pool seasonal preps, last month)

Seattle Parks and Recreation‘s latest announcement about summer swimming focused on how the ongoing lifeguard shortage will affect the city’s swimming beaches. West Seattle doesn’t have any of those beaches, but city-run aquatic facilities will be affected. We’ve already reported that our area’s only city-run outdoor pool, Colman Pool on the shore at Lincoln Park, will open this year – for the weekend of June 18-19, and then seven days a week from June 25th through Labor Day (except for July 7-9 and 15-16 swim-meet closures). Aquatic-center coordinator Matt Richardson explains that much of this area’s public summer programming will happen at Colman; there’ll be a limited schedule at Southwest Pool (2801 SW Thistle), focused on those who might be “limited in their ability to access Colman” – seniors, day camps, and lessons for infants/young children. At Colman Pool, which is much larger than Southwest, they’ll focus on “swim lessons for school-age youth, lap swimming, and open format public swimming. The lesson-schedule brochure for both pools is available online (and, we’re told, in print soon).

Person found dead in Schmitz Park

Lots of questions after Seattle Police and a King County Medical Examiner’s Office crew were seen on SW Admiral Way outside Schmitz Park on Tuesday afternoon. As we told several people who have inquired, the call classification indicated no foul play suspected, but we verified that today to be sure before writing about it. Police say the person was found dead “on the stairs” into the park, and that there’s “nothing suspicious at this time,” but it will be up to the ME to determine how/why the person died. So far, we don’t have any information about the person – but will add anything we do find out.

FOLLOWUP: New timeline for Lincoln Park’s long-closed South Play Area


(WSB photo, July 2017)

Next month will mark five years since Lincoln Park‘s south play structure was closed for safety concerns after deterioration was found in its wooden components. Over those ensuing years, Seattle Parks has repeatedly revised the timeline for replacing it. And now there’s a brand-new update: Parks is bundling this project with the play-equipment replacement at Westcrest Park, and says, “Both projects will be bid together for construction by the same contractor. We anticipate the bid advertisement in summer 2022, with construction starting in fall 2022.” (That’s a delay for the Westcrest Park project too, previously expected to happen this summer – it was closed a year ago.)

FOLLOWUP: Lowman Beach project ‘substantially complete’ but still fenced off

Nice afternoon to walk on the beach. You can do that along the entire stretch of Lowman Beach now – but aside from the beach, most of the rest of the park remains fenced off, though the work to remove its seawall and restore its shore is done. It’s been eight months since work started in earnest on the $1.2 million project, which matches the duration estimate Seattle Parks gave at the time. Asked about the project’s status, Parks spokesperson Karen O’Connor told WSB, “The project is substantially complete. The park is partially fenced off to allow lawn to establish. This year we had such a cold spring so it’s taking longer for lawn to establish. We anticipate removing the fence around the turf this summer. The new beach area is currently open to the public. People can access from the street-end access point.” (That’s on the south side of the park and requires clambering over driftwood to get to the water.)

READER REPORT: Fighting back at Solstice Park

If you play tennis at the Solstice Park courts (near the north end of Lincoln Park), you know they’ve been hit repeatedly by vandalism, particularly tagging. Chris just sent the photo and report of one person’s way of fighting back. Chris says the artist, James Egan, is a local attorney who told him he paints “to relieve stress.”

READER REPORT: Suspicious sighting at Hiawatha

E sent this after family and friends urged her to tell others:

This morning at about 5 am, I was running at Hiawatha track. I had a fairly unnerving encounter around 5:15 am. I was doing my warm-up run, and suddenly noticed a guy watching me, hanging out by the portapotty, hadn’t been there on my previous laps. When he saw me notice him, he pretended to be reading a sign, but then went back to watching me and took something out of his backpack. I started switching directions and he kept standing there, doing odd things, but watching me. There was something not right about it. Then, luckily, I was getting near him but trying to stay clear and he looked intentional about approaching me. As if by magic the wonderful group of guys who normally do boot-camp class showed up. They seemed like they might have noticed something was off too, as they stopped and stared at him, and he looked between us and kind of shuffled off. He then moved to some other bushes at the end of the track and watched for a bit longer before finally disappearing.

I don’t want to be an alarmist, but something was very off about it. Just wanted to warn other early Hiawatha frequenters to be on the lookout. Like I said, nothing concrete, but I’d feel terrible not saying and finding out something happened and I could have warned others.

WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: Hundreds volunteer for ‘Day of Service’

(Photo sent by Althea Chow)

Junction Plaza Park was one of the hubs of volunteer activity in West Seattle today during the first One Seattle Day of Service decreed by Mayor Bruce Harrell. The Junction Association‘s executive director Chris Mackay reported more than 200 volunteers signed up for beautification work.

Co-sponsors of the Junction cleanup included Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate (WSB sponsor). Other West Seattle events on the citywide Day of Service lineup ranged from Alki in the north to Highland Park in the south, as shown on this map.

Speed bumps at the beach? Precinct commander talks summer plan and more @ Alki Community Council

(WSB photo, Thursday @ Alki)

One day after Seattle Parks announced the start date for early closings at Alki, the beach’s summer plan was the main discussion topic for the Alki Community Council.

Seattle Police Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Martin Rivera was the only guest at the hybrid meeting, held online plus in-person at Alki UCC.

Capt. Rivera said SPD is working on a contract with Parks regarding the early Alki Beach closure (10 pm starting May 27th). Parks covers the cost of two officers to assist at closing time, he said, and SPD provides an additional four officers for an emphasis patrol in the area “when staffing allows.” Starting this week, Alki and other West Seattle “hot spots” will see the extra patrols Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, possibly also Sundays.

What about traffic enforcement on Alki/Harbor Avenues? Capt. Rivera said SPD and SDOT have been talking about ways to deter speeding and racing via road design, primarily the possible addition of speed bumps. He said so far it’s just a matter of funding – he likes the idea of raised crosswalks but says those are estimated at around $80,000, about eight times the cost of a speed bump. Asked about the potential location, Capt. Rivera suggested “each end” of Alki; data collection was planned to further shape a plan, and he suggested contacting Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner if you want to be involved. Could private money be raised to fund speed bumps? one attendee asked. Capt. Rivera wasn’t sure. They’re also in talks regarding the angle-parking area and how that can be reconfigured to minimize problems. “Maybe it needs to go back to lateral parking,” he mused. (Aside: In a discussion of Alki as a regional draw despite the bridge closure, he said he heard “end of July the bridge might be open again.”) Other road issue: Regarding the Alki Point “Keep Moving Street” status, he said they’re just “waiting for the mayor to say yes” to making it permanent. (Later a community member who’s been advocating for permanence mentioned a recent meeting with a mayoral rep.) Someone asked about Parking Enforcement; Capt. Rivera reminded attendees that those officers now work for SDOT. Bike officers? No bike officers, no Community Police Team, “we just have 911 (responding) officers,” he said.

That led into a brief discussion of police staffing: “Every shift is missing five or six bodies,” Rivera said. For those keeping track of personnel, acting Lt. Dave Terry, who had attended many West Seattle community meetings as a shift supervisor, has been promoted to the SPD Audits section. The precinct is now missing 1st and 3rd Watch lieutenants – Lt. Terry had been 3rd, and the 1st watch lieutenant has now been moved to the citywide intradepartmental group dealing with homelessness. He also said the precinct had added three new officers recently but also lost three, so is currently about 15 people below where staffing should be.

The ACC had hoped to have a guest from Seattle Parks but they were a no-show. One more note – Parks is running a survey about the early closing time at Alki (and Golden Gardens) – here’s the link.

NEXT MEETING: Third Thursdays at 7 pm most months – so the next one will be June 16th.

RETURNING: Emerald Water Anglers Summerfest at Me-Kwa-Mooks this Saturday

(WSB file photo)

We’re days away from another spring/summer event that’s making a comeback this year: Emerald Water Anglers (WSB sponsor) will gather vendors, guides, and fly-fishing fans at Me-Kwa-Mooks Park on Saturday (May 21st) for EWA Summerfest. 9 am-3 pm, visit the park to try new rods and lines, see demonstrations (EWA proprietor Dave McCoy talks Puget Sound fly fishing at 10), and enjoy food that’ll put you in the mood for a fishing trip. Everything’s free but the food. Me-Kwa-Mooks is in the 4500 block of Beach Drive.

Want to see wading pools open this summer? Help Seattle Parks find attendants!

(WSB file photo, Lincoln Park wading pool)

Two weeks ago, we gave you a sneak peek at Seattle Parks‘ plans for summer swim season. At the time, they weren’t ready to announce the wading-pool schedule for this year, because of staffing concerns. Today, Parks formally announced most of the summer aquatics schedule, including the details we published in early May, but they say the wading-pool situation remains unsettled:

Our goal is to open as many wading pools as possible this summer, but we need wading attendants to make that happen. We plan to release the wading pool schedule in the next few weeks as we bring staff on board.

YOU CAN HELP! Apply to be a wading-pool attendant or share this opportunity family, friends, and neighbors.

Little ones love the cool, shallow water and your grown-up feet will too! We are currently determining which wading pool sites we can operate this summer. Wading pool schedules will be impacted by our ability to hire wading pool attendants.

West Seattle has four city-run wading pools – Delridge, Hiawatha, Lincoln Park, and EC Hughes – plus a spraypark at Highland Park Playground, which is unattended so not affected by the staffing crunch – it remains set to open May 28th.

VIDEO: World music celebration at Roxhill Park

You still have a few hours to enjoy free, live world music at Roxhill Park. as outdoor-music season begins. Deseo Carmin was onstage while we were there, playing a mix of Latin, Flamenco, and Funk music. “Sounds from Around the World,” produced by Janean Wjvold of Urgent Africa, is part of the city-supported Arts in the Parks. Also on the performer lineup: Naby Camera, Comfort Food, and the Lion of Judah Band (which recently performed at The Skylark in West Seattle). The music is scheduled to continue until 7 pm.

Now that it’s May, get ready to dive into peak Seattle Parks swim season

May is here and peak swim season for Seattle Parks is approaching. We asked Parks about this year’s plans – here are key points:

-Spray parks (including the one in Highland Park, 1100 SW Cloverdale) are expected to open Saturday, May 28th.

-Wading pools don’t have an official start date yet, likely “closer to when school lets out,” Parks tells us, adding, “We’re hopeful that we can staff all the sites as we did in pre-COVID years.”

-West Seattle’s only city-run outdoor pool, Colman Pool on the Lincoln Park shore, is scheduled to open the weekend of June 18-19, going 7 days a week starting June 25th.

-Swimming lessons will be offered this summer at both Colman Pool and Southwest Pool (the indoor pool at 2801 SW Thistle), though Parks warns that some other offerings at Southwest might have to be reduced so they can staff Colman. Maybe you know someone who can help with the swim-staff shortage? Here’s the Parks pitch:

Pools, wading pools, and outdoor pools require staff and we continue to struggle to fill aquatics and lifeguard positions. (Here’s) how folks can apply for these jobs (we reimburse for lifeguard certification training!). For more information or to apply, click here.

SUMMER CAMP: Seattle Parks programs now open for registration

Two months until summer! Families that haven’t locked in summer-camp plans yet might be interested in the programs for which Seattle Parks just opened registration this afternoon. They’re offering summer camps at multiple West Seattle locations, including Delridge, High Point, and Alki Community Centers as well as Camp Long and Dakota Place Park. There are opportunities for kids with disabilities, too, as well as preschool-age camps. You can browse the citywide brochure here, and register online here.

VIDEO: Eggs-citement at Delridge Community Center egg hunt

April 16, 2022 7:47 pm
|    Comments Off on VIDEO: Eggs-citement at Delridge Community Center egg hunt
 |   Delridge | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Big day for the little ones as another annual tradition returned from its pandemic hiatus: Seattle Parks egg hunts. One was in West Seattle, this morning at Delridge Community Center, starting with the littlest egg hunters on the tennis court:

Older kids were turned loose on the grass – we recorded video as they began:

If you’re still looking for egg hunts, several local churches are having their own events after or between Easter Sunday services tomorrow – check our list.

Nantes Park party celebrates friendship spanning 5,000 miles and 42 years

April 10, 2022 7:20 pm
|    Comments Off on Nantes Park party celebrates friendship spanning 5,000 miles and 42 years
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks | WS culture/arts

(WSB photos)

The new art tiles at Nantes Park (5062 SW Admiral Way) found their intended audience this afternoon during a visit by a delegation from the park’s namesake French city, celebrating its 42 years as a sister city to Seattle.

The Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association led the art/beautification project over the past three years, involving students in both cities and French writer/illustrator Claude Ponti.

A message from Ponti was read during this afternoon’s reception in the park, saying he hopes the park and its art will help people find “a sliver of joy and happiness.” The ~50 people in attendance heard from, left to right below, Susan Kegel of the Seattle-Nantes SCA, Christena Coutsouboss of City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s office, acting Seattle Parks superintendent Christopher Williams, Adiam Emery from Mayor Bruce Harrell‘s office, Franck Coutant from the Nantes park department, and Nantes deputy mayor Pierre-Emmanuel Marais.

Marais offered poignant remarks about the importance of international friendship at a time when part of the world is at war; he noted that Nantes, like Seattle, is opening its arms to Ukrainian refugees, and offering help. After speeches, today’s event also included music and refreshments. You might not be surprised to see the source of treats offered to the French visitors:

The park project, made possible in part by a Department of Neighborhoods matching-fund grant, isn’t entirely done – a walkway with inset art is incomplete because of the just-concluded concrete strike. But the park is fully open to visitors.

World-music festival planned for Roxhill Park on May 7th

On Saturday, May 7th, Roxhill Park will fill with the sound of world music during a daylong festival just announced:

URGENT AFRICA, a non-profit, is producing an ethnic musical event, “Sounds From Around the World,” at Roxhill Park, West Seattle, on May 7th from 11 am-7 pm. This music fest is in conjunction with the Office of Arts and Culture and Seattle’s Parks and Recreation. This is a family event and FREE to the public. Bring a blanket or dance on the grass.

(Photos courtesy Urgent Africa)

The groups being featured are: NABY CAMERA, West African traditional djeli’s/historians/storytellers/praise singers/poets with special guest Boka Kouyate, DESEO CARMIN, Latin/Flamenco/Funk music …

Also COMFORT FOOD (Afro Funk/Soul/Nu Jazz/Fusion), & The LION of JUDAH BAND (Dancehall/Ska/Reggae/and Calypso):

All musicians presented have played on World stages!

International celebration at West Seattle’s Nantes Park this Sunday

As first reported here last month, Sunday (April 10th) will bring a celebration at Nantes Park (5062 SW Admiral Way) honoring the anniversary of Seattle’s sister-city relationship with the French city after which the park is named. Seattle Parks just announced the details:

The Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association and the City of Seattle, through Seattle Parks and Recreation, invite the community to reaffirm our Sister City relationship with Nantes, France at a park celebration on Sunday, April 10 at 4 p.m. at Nantes Park in West Seattle, 5062 SW Admiral Way. The event welcomes delegates from Nantes and the Pays de la Loire region, and celebrates the Nantes Park Beautification Project that has transformed the park into a fun, family-friendly, and accessible community gathering space.

The beautification project of the park includes sculptures from Claude Ponti (beloved and prolific French children’s author and illustrator), a new paved, accessible walkway with more Ponti art embedded in the cement, and an art tile project embedded into the park seat-wall designed by students in Nantes and Seattle. Some of the work is not yet complete due to the concrete strike, but visitors to the park can see examples of Claude Ponti’s whimsical world and future park features.

Ponti draws on his experience with the Jardin des Plantes and the Parc de la Beaujoire in Nantes and brings his French-influenced art to Seattle’s Nantes Park, symbolizing the intersection of the two cultures. Nantes Park also represents Ponti’s first art installation to be showcased in the United States.

The Nantes Park project is part of a year-long celebration on both sides of the Atlantic recognizing the 42nd anniversary of Seattle’s sister-city relationship with Nantes. The park project is led by the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association (SNSCA) in partnership with the Admiral Neighborhood Association, and is funded by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, the City of Nantes, the West Seattle Garden Tour, and volunteers. More information on the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association, the Nantes Park project, and the events planned to commemorate the 42nd anniversary can be found at www.seattle-nantes.org.

The park-beautification project mentioned above happened through a community-led process over the past few years.