West Seattle parks 1749 results

FOLLOWUP: Long-delayed Don Armeni Boat Ramp project opens bidding

Six years have passed since we first reported on Seattle Parks‘ plan to replace the floating docks at Don Armeni Boat Ramp in West Seattle. At that time, the project was expected to start half a year later, in fall 2017. But by fall 2018, it hadn’t, and that delay was blamed on a “late state budget signing” holding up grant money to fund part of the project. In a 2019 update about related environmental work, Parks said construction would happen in 2020. Next time we checked in on it, in early 2022, a federal permitting delay got the blame for the ongoing holdup. Though those permits hadn’t been finalized by the time Parks posted this update last month, the city said it would go ahead and put the project out to bid because they can’t work in the water until July anyway. And now the city’s bidding site indeed shows they’ve opened the project to bids this week, which are due February 15th. According to online documents, the new docks will be bigger than the ones they’re replacing: “The new docks will increase in width from 6 to 8 feet and extend out an additional 4.25 feet, increasing overwater coverage by 691 square feet.” Parks has said previously that the work would take about three months and that they would install the new docks one at a time so that one would remain open for boaters to continue using during the work.

Here’s how another park-to-be is getting used while waiting

We’ve been reporting on the Morgan Junction Park Addition site, bought by the city in 2014, planned for park development until the pandemic led Parks to put this and other projects on hold. In the short run, the former dry-cleaner/mini-mart site is supposed to get soil cleanup, but even that plan’s been dragging on. So community members set up an unofficial skatepark on the site – and that got relatively swift Parks action, shutting it down. We updated the situation in coverage of this past week’s Morgan Community Association meeting. That’s one of three “landbanked” future park sites in West Seattle. Today, an update on another:

Development of that park-to-be site on 40th SW between SW Edmunds and SW Alaska is also on indefinite hold but getting interim use as an unofficial dog park. As explained in a recent West Seattle Junction Association newsletter:

The Parks Department has this space slated to be turned into a beautiful park several years from now, so it has been fenced for some time. The fence is now down. We are asking that everyone who uses the green space clean up after themselves so we can continue to use it. We will have monthly cleaning crews of volunteers the first Saturday of each month at 10 am. Just show up and pitch in! Keeping the space looking good ensures the fence does not go back up. It will be a great place to walk your dog – just remember to clean up after your pooch, and take that doggy bag with you. The city is not supplying garbage cans right now. We are hoping with a lot of active use we can prevent any negative use of the space.

This one’s been owned by the city even longer, more than a decade; it was purchased even as the city asked for feedback on whether the site “made sense” as a park. Hundreds of apartments have since been built around it – Broadstone Sky to the south, The Whittaker across 40th to the east. There are many dog owners among their residents, noted WSJA executive director Chris Mackay in a conversation about this interim use for the site. She stresses that the city will put the fence back up if the site’s not kept clean. She also notes it’s irrigated and has lighting.

Two West Seattle parks offering concession spots this summer

Seattle Parks has opened its annual call for vendors interested in concession spots, and two West Seattle parks are on the list: Alki Beach (two spaces) and Lincoln Park (one). Approved vendors will be able to start selling in May. Parks says it’s seeking both food and non-food concessionaires. You can get specifics via the Request For Proposals document on the Parks website; proposals are due March 2nd.

VIDEO: See West Seattle’s Puget Ridge Edible Park through a newcomer’s eyes

It’s the only “edible park” in West Seattle – Puget Ridge Edible Park – and it’s right here on the peninsula. A recent arrival to Puget Ridge who has been chronicling her family’s journeys on YouTube, Melissa Smith, discovered PREP (18th SW and SW Brandon) and wanted to tell its story. After she sent us the link to the resulting video (embedded above), we asked her for the backstory about her storytelling:

Since summer 2022, we have been traveling by van across the West Coast from Santa Cruz, California, where I first converted a 1/10 acre property into a micro food forest. As former middle-school science teachers, my husband and I decided to pursue our dream to start a regenerative farm and are now on the road searching for where to buy land and immerse ourselves in a community with our farm and education center.

In late October, we decided to settle for the winter and looked around the Seattle area. We fell in love with West Seattle after experiencing the Halloween bash downtown. We found a furnished space to rent and have started to explore areas locally. I just so happened to walk by PREP and immediately fell in love. I met Stu [Hennessey] and asked if it would be possible to share all he and this community have done to create such a powerful place.

It is a dream to help others create similar spaces like PREP in their communities.

PREP itself is the fruition of a dream dating back into the ’00s, finally funded in the ’10s by the city Parks Levy Opportunity Fund, transformed and maintained by community volunteers,

UPDATE: Here’s why the new Alki Beach restrooms were out of service

ORIGINAL TUESDAY REPORT: The city’s year-old restroom building at 57th/Alki has portable toilets outside because it’s out of service. Several people have asked about this; we took the question to Seattle Parks. One reader said they’d been told it was a “plumbing problem,” so we started by asking Parks about that. Spokesperson Rachel Schulkin replied, “We were having a plumbing issue but it’s fixed = now we’re having an issue with the remote locking system. The doors are locking whenever closed, and have to be manually unlocked each time. We are working on a fix now, no timeline on reopening just yet.” Remote locking was also blamed for the delay in opening the comfort station after its completion in 2021; the city is using the technology to cut down on after-hours vandalism citywide.

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Parks says they’re open again. …. And our crew has just confirmed it.

FOLLOWUP: Stadium trees inspected after 35th SW fall

(Reader photo, last Wednesday)

Last Wednesday night, that tree fell onto 35th SW between Avalon and Snoqualmie, taking down utility wires/cables and closing the street for 10 hours. The tree was on West Seattle Stadium property, so the next day we asked Seattle Parks about its inspection history and what would be done to check out the trees alongside it:

(Reader photo, looking southwest toward the tree stand that had included the one that fell)

We received the information today. Here’s what Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin told us about the tree that fell: “Based on our records, the trees were last inspected in 2017.” She also told us that Parks staffers inspected the site the day after the fall – last Thursday – “and also inspected the adjacent row of trees along the northwest stretch of West Seattle Stadium, to ensure that there was no other conditions of immediate concern.” Though 35th is a busy street and the tree fell in the heart of PM-commute time, it did not hit anyone or any vehicles.

FOLLOWUP: What happens to logs left on shore post-king tides?

(WSB photo, this morning)

Last week, we published photos of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers debris-recovery vessel at work off Alki, picking up some of the many logs left afloat after the king tides and heavy rains. So what about all the logs that went the other way, now strewn across park shores at beaches like Alki, or piled up like the ones above at Don Armeni Boat Ramp? We asked Seattle Parks, whose spokesperson Rachel Schulkin replied:

We have a plan to reuse as much of the driftwood as possible in the parks. Some to use as log and saddle replacements where needed. And if there are any interesting ones, they may be used for interest in shrub beds.

So far, we are just moving what we can out of the way where necessary. Such as Don Armeni, so the boat ramp is accessible (hence the pile farther up in the parking lot, which was moved last week by the heavy crew). And we will come back in February after we see the next round of high tides this month to start removal/relocation.

We also have plans to go onto Alki Beach to move and remove some of that driftwood before peak season, since so much washed up so far on the sand. But that must wait until the tides settle a little bit for the sand to be a little safer to get our tractors in.

The final round of major winter “king tides” is due January 22-26, with high tides around 13 feet, which is what last week’s high tides were supposed to be (but ended up higher because of weather conditions)

‘We hope more people … run, walk, or hike these trails’: Local group creates new map of West Duwamish Greenbelt

(Newly finished West Duwamish Greenbelt trail. Photos by Matthew Clark unless otherwise credited)

By Judy Bentley
Special to West Seattle Blog

There’s a stretch of woods in West Seattle that is teeming with life, full of trails, and lots of room for hiking, walking and rolling. But, for years, a seemingly impenetrable façade of overgrowth and lack of knowledge of the trail system has kept many people out. A new map of the West Duwamish Greenbelt is promising to change all that.

The West Duwamish Greenbelt is Seattle’s largest remaining contiguous forest, covering 500 acres spanning more than four miles north to south. There’s a whole network of trails that one can traverse from the Duwamish Longhouse to Riverview Playfield and down to Highland Park Way, passing the South Seattle College campus, Puget Park, and Pigeon Point Park.

The new map reflects the growing trail network and connections with the community. After more than six months of work, hundreds of volunteer hours and the patient consultation and craft of a West Seattle cartographer, the map is ready to guide users through the greenbelt.

(Christine Clark leads a group of volunteers in Puget Park working on finishing up a new section of trail)

The West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails Group (WDGT), a collection of neighbors who guide creation, maintenance and promotion of walking and hiking trails in the greenbelt, has been working in partnership with the Duwamish Tribe to activate the park and draw people to the vast open space. In April, the group won a $5,000 volunteer match grant for the mapping project through the City of Seattle’s Small Sparks Fund.

Previous iterations mapped the trails, but this is the first time a geo-located map has defined the greenbelt with newly created trails and an overall revision of the legacy trails represented.

(A handmade sign directs hikers along a trail near South Seattle College in the West Duwamish Greenbelt)

Matt Dressler, Cartographer and GIS Analyst at Mountains To Sound GIS in West Seattle, crafted the map from several sources of data including city and state topo and lidar maps along with GPS tracks recorded by WDGT members. Dressler knew the greenbelt existed but didn’t know the many features hidden behind the lush curtain of forest. “I was surprised at the extent of the existing trail system in the Greenbelt. Another learning for me working on this map was the range of trail types in the Greenbelt — from easier & improved trails to more steep and challenging trails. The map identifies these trail types so visitors to the Greenbelt can choose those trails most suited to the experience they are looking for.”

Craig Rankin, WDGT group member and co-chair of the Highland Park Action Coalition, pointed out that the trails are fun and challenging, but conditions and quality of the various trails can really vary based on time of the year, moisture and terrain. “Use common sense when choosing your personal level of risk. Hike with a friend, start with the Parks built gravel trails and branch out only with knowledge of risks at hand. Slipping is a risk on all of the more adventurous trails.  Poles can help during wetter conditions, but logs and planks over creeks, and slippery mud need to be hiked with caution.”

Hikers and walkers can traverse the slopes of the greenbelt and find Lost Pond. Or, they can meander along streams in Puget Park. A set of granite steps from the Holly Street trailhead may challenge or delight hikers depending how fast you can climb them, but luckily a granite bench at the top gives the intrepid adventurer a place to rest and a view of the Duwamish valley, in season.

(Photo by Craig Rankin)

Throughout the map, users will find names of different areas in both English and Lushootseed, the language of the Coast Salish. WDGT worked with Ken Workman of the Duwamish Tribe to identify recognizable physical characteristics of distinct areas in the greenbelt and name them for easy identification. Seven Cedars — c̕úʔkʷs x̌payʔ — is a favorite spot long known by many Pathfinder students as a place where Fluffy and Sleepy, two Barred owls, reside.

(Photo by Buzz Shaw)

Craig Rankin sees the map project as a big step forward to making the space more inviting: “Healthy communities are connected, walkable, and cared for. After over a century of challenges within the West Duwamish Greenbelt including dispossession of the Duwamish Tribe, deforestation, mining, landslides, and toxic dumping, local stakeholders have made great progress in restoring the health of the largest remaining forest in Seattle.”

The greenbelt is making a comeback with life bristling in the canopy and on the forest floor. On any given day, or night, an array of animals from coyotes and fox to Barred owls and Redtail hawks to salamanders and frogs might be seen. Birders from around the region can be spotted in the greenbelt waiting for that unique photo opportunity with fledgling owls or raptors on the hunt.

Ongoing preservation and reforestation is happening thanks to work from the Duwamish Tribe, WDGT, Green Seattle Partnership, Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, Washington Trails Association volunteers and neighbors throughout Seattle.

“The biggest thing about having a truly useable map of the greenbelt is the ability to invite people in to explore this amazing place,” said Matthew Clark, WDGT group member. “We want to help build community, and this is one step to help do that here in West Seattle. We hope more people come out to walk, hike or run these trails.”

Matt Dressler feels the mobile friendly feature of the new map will entice new visitors. “I hope the map encourages people to visit and explore the Greenbelt by providing the information they need to plan, access and navigate the trail system.  For visitors comfortable using their mobile devices for navigation, the map has a QR code so it can be downloaded and will use the phone's GPS to show people their current location in the trail system as they move around.”

The map can be found on the West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails group website:

FYI: Many Seattle Parks facilities closed Thursday for staff training

December 14, 2022 6:15 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

The announcement is from Seattle Parks:

Many Seattle Parks and Recreation facilities and programs will be closed Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022 due to a Recreation Division in-service day.

These facilities and services are CLOSED:

All recreation programs
Community centers and teen life centers
Environmental learning centers
Indoor swimming pools
Green Lake Small Craft Center
Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center

These facilities are OPEN on regular schedules:

Amy Yee Tennis Center
Seattle Japanese Garden and Volunteer Park Conservatory
Boat ramps
Golf courses and ranges

FOLLOWUP: Checking again on long-closed Hiawatha Community Center

(WSB file photo)

We’ve received a new round of questions about the status of Hiawatha Community Center, where the pandemic closure segued into a closure for what was supposed to be an imminent upgrade project – which still hasn’t started. For many months, Seattle Parks‘ reply to “why hasn’t the work started yet?” has been “we’re waiting for a federal grant” but that approval was believed to be imminent. That was the answer when we asked back in June, and it’s what the Admiral Neighborhood Association was told in September. (One big reason it matters to ANA – they’re still trying to bring back their summer-concert series, which has historically been held at Hiawatha.) So we asked Parks again – and “waiting for the grant” is still the answer. The grant has been described as half a million dollars, about a quarter of the project’s funding, Previously, Parks had said they couldn’t start work because that might affect their eligibility for the grant but now, Parks spokesperson Karen O’Connor tells WSB, “We are moving forward with the project and hope that FEMA grant approval comes before bidding. We are making building code updates to the design and anticipate the project will go out to bid in early spring 2023 with construction starting in May 2023.” The previously announced expected duration of the project is nine months, so even if work does start next spring, that means Hiawatha wouldn’t reopen any sooner than early 2024. The upgrades it’s supposed to get have been listed as “electrical repairs, water and sewer pipe replacements, furnace and water heater repairs, roof replacement, and more.”

FIELD NOTES: What’s going up at NCSWAC; city’s offer of free places to play

December 8, 2022 2:03 pm
|    Comments Off on FIELD NOTES: What’s going up at NCSWAC; city’s offer of free places to play
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks | WS & Sports

Two notes about local athletic fields:

NINO CANTU SOUTHWEST ATHLETIC COMPLEX: Nearby resident David tipped us to work under way on the ball fields. Since NCSWAC is a Seattle Public Schools facility, we asked SPS about it. Spokesperson Tim Robinson replied, “Baseball field netting is being installed to prevent foul balls from landing in neighboring yards. The work should be complete by December 23.”

We found this rendering for the project online.

FREE FIELDS: Seattle Parks announced this week that some of its synthetic athletic fields around the city will be open through the end of February for free drop-in play; using them would normally require a paid reservation. Delridge, Hiawatha, and Walt Hundley Playfields in West Seattle are on the list; available hours/days for each field can be seen here.

FOLLOWUP: Southwest Pool back to normal operations

After staff illness led to limited operations and closures on some days last week, Southwest Pool is back to normal operations today, confirms its coordinator Matt Richardson: “We are open for normally scheduled programs today. On track to operate full programming tomorrow as well.”

FOLLOWUP: Southwest Pool’s plan for next two days

December 1, 2022 8:04 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

After being closed Tuesday and Wednesday for a staff shortage caused by illness, Southwest Pool opened for limited operations today. Now we have an update on the next two days:

Southwest Pool will run normal programs Friday, December 2nd, but we are closed for Saturday, December 3rd.

We still have multiple staff members out sick and are unable to operate full programs safely.

Friday normal operations.

Adult Swim 12-2:30 pm.
Seattle Public Schools Swim Meet 3-6 pm.

Saturday closed.

Lessons and programs cancelled. Lesson participants will receive a refund for the missed lesson.

We are working to return to full operation as soon as staffing allows. Check Southwest Pool’s webpage or call 206-684-7440 for updates.

FOLLOWUP: Southwest Pool to reopen Thursday with ‘limited operations’

November 30, 2022 9:22 pm
|    Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Southwest Pool to reopen Thursday with ‘limited operations’
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

After a two-day closure because of staff illness, Southwest Pool will reopen tomorrow, but not yet on its full schedule, according to the announcement we received tonight:

Southwest Pool will run limited operations on Thursday, December 1st.

We still have multiple staff members out sick. We are able to run limited programming including our afternoon swim lessons. The day will look like:

12-3:30 Adult Swim – No WX or 3pm Lap
4-5:30 Lessons
5:45-6:45 Lap Swim
Public Swim Cancelled

We are working to return to full operation as soon as staffing allows. Check the pool webpage or call 206-684-7440 for updates.

CLOSURE ALERT: Southwest Pool to close Tuesday, Wednesday

Just in from city-run Southwest Pool:

Southwest Pool will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday, November 29 and 30.

Due to staff illness, we are unable to field enough staff to operate programs or lessons safely. All Programs and lessons are cancelled. Lesson participants will be issued a refund for the missed lesson.

We hope to return to full operation on Thursday, December 1.

We’ll update here on Thursday, and you can check the pool’s status any time via 206-684-7440.

SURVEY: Last call to answer Seattle Parks questions about community centers

Seattle Parks says it will expand hours at community centers and Teen Life Centers in the next few years, with funding from the Seattle Park District. So it’s asking you what programs you value now, what days/times you use the centers, and what you’d like to see in the future. West Seattle has four centers that could be affected – Delridge, High Point, and Hiawatha (once it reopens) Community Centers and Southwest Teen Life Center; some of the questions could also apply to Southwest Pool. The survey closes this week, so if you haven’t answered it yet, you can start the survey here.

UPDATE: Sewage leak closes Lincoln Park beach

3:25 PM: Thanks for sending the tips and photo. A crew is working along the Lincoln Park beachfront trail, with signage warning that the problem involves “raw sewage.” We have inquiries out to try to find out what happened.

4:34 PM: Seattle Public Utilities spokesperson Sabrina Register tells WSB it’s a King Cpunty Wastewater Treatment issue – SPU “responded to the overflow earlier today and checked all of our assets in and around pump station 42, and crews did not find any issues. We are working with our County partners as they take over the response and regulatory reporting.” So now we’re checking with KCWTD.

6:30 PM: We talked briefly with KCWTD spokesperson Marie Fiore, who said the problem was with the Barton Pump Station (north of the ferry dock) but she was still awaiting more information on what exactly had happened.

10:08 PM: No additional major details but KCWTD just sent a statement:

King County Wastewater Treatment Division workers quickly responded to a combined sewer leak on Sunday afternoon. Seattle Public Utilities, who had initially responded to the issue, alerted county staff. The leak caused a combination of stormwater and wastewater to enter the beach at Lincoln Park, along a public trail. 

A King County wastewater crew responding to the incident was able to locate the breach in the line and begin temporary repairs to stop the leak. Crews also began cleanup efforts and will post additional caution/closure signs.

King County reported the overflow to health and regulatory agencies and will begin water quality testing near Lincoln Park Beach and the Barton Pump Station. The beach is expected to be closed until several days of water testing confirm the water is safe.

Looking for a Seattle Parks restroom that’s not ‘closed until spring’?

That’s the newest Seattle Parks restroom building (aka “comfort station”) in West Seattle, and it’s also one that Parks plans to keep open through the winter. The department is wrapping up its fall/winter closure of most restroom buildings and drinking fountains, but published a citywide list of which outdoor-accessible restrooms it’s planning to keep open. Here’s the West Seattle list:

Alki Beach 63rd
Alki Beach 57th (shown above)
Alki Beach (Bathhouse)
Don Armeni Boat Ramp
Lincoln Park (Beach)
Riverview Playfield
Seacrest Park

Parks currently has 129 restrooms around the city and says it’s hoping to have all in year-round use by the end of the next Park District funding cycle in 2028.

HELPING: See what Friends of Lincoln Park did on Green Seattle Day

Lincoln Park is a little greener today thanks to the work by those volunteers, led by Friends of Lincoln Park, during Green Seattle Day on Saturday. FLiP forest steward Lisa McGinty sent photos and video with this recap:

50 volunteers helped put 365 native trees and plants in the ground. Add to that, it was just a great opportunity for community to gather and to feel a bit more connected to the land and our relationship to nature.

While we worked, we were treated to acoustic music by three WSHS students of the band The Potholes (their full band played the last set at the Junction Harvest Festival yesterday).

And members from the WSHS Earth Club helped with setup/volunteer sign-in and planting! The weather was great too. A Perfect day all around and I’m still smiling

Watch here for future opportunities to help!

UPDATE: Here’s what was being filmed at Camp Long Friday, and West Seattle Stadium Saturday

FRIDAY NIGHT: Thanks for the tips! We finally made it over to Camp Long a short time ago to see what was being filmed there. Security told us it’s a TV project titled “Penelope.” According to productionlist.com, this is the plotline: “Feeling out of place in a society that seems to be moving on without her, a 16-year-old is drawn to the wilderness where she begins forming a new life for herself.” Brothers Jay and Mark Duplass are listed as the producers; they are midway through a “first-look deal with HBO,” according to trade publications.

SATURDAY MORNING: After more tips, we confirmed that’s what the crews at West Seattle Stadium today are for, too.

HELPING: Rotary Viewpoint Park gets TLC from its namesakes

Rotary Viewpoint Park is cleaner this afternoon thanks to local Rotarians. Martha Sidlo sent the photos and report:

This morning, the Rotary Club of West Seattle spruced up Rotary Viewpoint Park at 35th and Alaska.

The project was coordinated by Gina Topp, the club’s Community Service Chairwoman. Rotarians planted new plants provided by the City of Seattle, weeded, and picked up debris and trash.

The park now looks spiffier than it has in a long time.

You can learn about the park’s history on the West Seattle Rotary’s website.

FOLLOWUP: Petition drive to keep unofficial skatepark at landbanked Morgan Junction Park Addition site

7:07 PM WEDNESDAY: We’ve been reporting for a decade on the site north of Morgan Junction Park that was bought by the city in 2014 and “landbanked” as a future addition to the park. As noted here over the summer, the actual park development won’t have funding until the next Park District cycle. (The city was working on design just before the pandemic – and then the project got shelved.) The site has been awaiting soil remediation from its past incarnation as a dry cleaners. In the meantime, you’ve probably noticed the guerrilla mini-skatepark that’s turned up on the previously long-idle site. Tonight we heard from supporters of skating at the site who are gathering petition signatures to ask the city to let them keep using it that way while the site awaits development. If you’re interested in supporting their campaign, the petition page is here. (Photo from August, sent by CJ)

ADDED 11:12 AM THURSDAY: We asked Seattle Parks about the situation. Here’s the response:

Unfortunately, this site is not safe for public use of any type and we’ll have to remove any skate equipment and re-lock the site. SPR has submitted for a grading permit (6924009-GR) to remove the hazardous material left over from the former dry cleaner. Included in the removal of HAZMAT will be some landscape improvements. We anticipate completing this work and opening the site to the public Spring 2023.

There was a substance poured on the ramp; this was not done by SPR staff.

READER REPORT: Schmitz Park hazard

Another reader report with an alert for parkgoers – this time from Rosalie Miller, whose park visits often have yielded photos featured on WSB. This time, her photo serves as a warning:

East entrance off 49th near Schmitz Park Elementary. It’s a large pothole. More cracks in the trail on both sides of the hole. This has been reported on Find It Fix It app.

We’ll check with Parks tomorrow to see if they’ve addressed it yet. The forested park has had hole trouble in the past; back in April, we reported on the rescue of a 4-year-old from a “mud hole” at the park.