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Longtime Camp Long supervisor Sheila Brown has died

One of Seattle Parks‘ best-known leaders in West Seattle has died. Sheila Brown was 59. Here’s the remembrance sent to us this afternoon:

Sheila Brown
1962-2021

Sheila Brown, longtime West Seattle environmental activist and Education Program Supervisor at Camp Long for the past 17 years, has died. Sheila was responsible for initiating the partnership with 4H that resulted in the building of the Challenge course at Camp Long. She was active in race and social justice issues at the City, and committed to getting kids of all backgrounds to appreciate and experience the natural world. She helped create the Leaders in Environment, Equity, and Facilitation (LEEF) program for developing BIPOC youth leadership in environmental education. The program has recently been expanded so that youth leaders will be employed to lead environmental programming for the Parks Department.

Sheila’s career in environmental education and youth recreation included managing education programs for EarthCorps. She was known as a great mentor and courageous leader of teams. She was a Board member for the Common Acre, a nonprofit involved in community agriculture habitat restoration and bee keeping projects. Prior to working for the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, Sheila was a volunteer in the development of the Longfellow Creek Legacy Trail, and in open space preservation in Delridge.

Her personal hobbies often involved music. She sang with the Northwest Chamber Chorus, and went to Eastern Europe on a tour with that group. She was a staff person at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop for many summers, and is remembered as the lively host of many open mikes that went into the wee hours. She was a longtime fan of the Vancouver Folk Festival, even when it involved sitting in the rain wrapped up in a tarp.

She was a seeker of spiritual truth and community all her life. She was active in a successful effort to save Camp Gallagher, a Catholic Youth Organization camp at which she worked in her 20s, which was transferred to a new nonprofit owner and reopened recently. She was also very involved in the Non-Violent Communication (NVC) community. NVC is a theory and practice of communication based in Buddhist principles and seeking to resolve conflicts in ways where everyone gets their needs met. She dreamt of promoting NVC and Awareness Through the Body (ATB) principles to help youth enhance self-knowledge and to facilitate reconciliation between people disconnected by vastly different perspectives.

Sheila lived in Rio de Janeiro during high school, and stayed in touch with many former students from the Escola Americana there throughout her life. She planned to attend the 40th reunion for her class of 1980 in Rio last summer that was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID.

Sheila received the news that her third bout with cancer was terminal late last year. She decided to leave a legacy by raising funds for the construction of a gateway at the eastern entrance of Camp Long, designed to match the main entrance on Dawson Street. Nearly 80 donors contributed over $22,000, and the new gateway will be installed later this year. Remembrances for Sheila can be made to the Gateway Project c/o Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association. Donations will support trail and habitat restoration in Camp Long and the Longfellow Creek Watershed. Sheila’s memorial website is here.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

SUMMER: Get moving! Outdoor and online Lifelong Recreation options from Seattle Parks

So maybe you’re not ready to take it (all) outside. Or maybe days like today (89 degrees at Sea-Tac tied the record) remind you it can get hot at times. Seattle Parks Lifelong Recreation – geared toward people 50+ – is offering online AND outdoor classes this summer, with registration happening now. First, outdoors:

Yoga in the Park (Delridge)

Stretch and move with awareness, correct alignment and focus on breath to increase strength and stamina, improve flexibility, and develop better balance, posture, poise and peace of mind. Class meets at the front entrance of Delridge Community Center. Bring a yoga mat and large towel for padding in kneeling poses. 7 classes. #42021 – Mondays, July 12- August 23 – 10 am-11 am – Register HERE!

Zumba in the Park (Delridge)

Ditch the workout, join the party! Fun is the key ingredient in this low-impact Latin-inspired dance fitness class. No rhythm or equipment required. You’ll leave exhilarated and energized! Appropriate for all fitness levels. Meet at the front entrance of Delridge Community Center. 8 classes, #42022 – July 6- August 24 – Tuesdays 10 am-11 am. Register HERE!

Pickleball Drop-in at Delridge Courts

FREE! Come find out why pickleball’s the fastest -growing sport in the U.S. No registration or equipment required – beginners welcome. This is a partnered program between Lifelong Recreation and Rec ‘N The Streets. Meet at the courts, adjacent to the Delridge Community Center – 11 am-1 pm Wednesdays, July 7- August 25.

Now the online highlights:

Seattle Parks & Recreation is offering summer online dance classes geared toward people 50+, starting July 8. (See a video preview here.) Scholarships available – apply here.

Virtual Soul Line Dance

Not just country! Line-dance to an assortment of music genres, including soul, rhythm and blues, and country. Work out your mind and body. Learn new dance patterns to all kinds of great music. 8 classes. #42024 – July 8- August 26 – Thursdays 9:30-10:30 am. Register HERE!

Virtual Aerobic Dance

If you love listening and dancing to a variety of music, then you will love this class. Instructor leads routines that are fun and easy to learn, yet challenging enough to give you a sense of accomplishment. Class includes a warm-up to music, cardio (aerobic dancing) and a cool down with some stretching and conditioning. 8 classes. #42023 – July 8-August 26 – 11 am-noon Thursdays. Register HERE!

Find out more about Lifelong Recreation here.

SEEN IN THE PARKS: Abandoned bags, bike

Two sightings in local parks, abandoned items that might have been stolen:

The photo is from Dave, one of multiple readers who’ve reported seeing those abandoned bags on a bench in Lincoln Park, where they’ve reportedly been for several days. Dave says the bench is “near the north end of the upper level of Lincoln Park, facing the water. Meantime, in Schmitz Park:

Theo sent the photo and reported seeing the bike “at the dead end of Hinds at the east end of Schmitz Park.”

For smaller, less-likely-stolen-and-dumped lost/found items, see this section of the WSB Community Forums.

LOWMAN BEACH: What happens after tennis court is removed? Next meeting June 29

When Lowman Beach‘s failing seawall is removed, the tennis court next to it will be removed too. That’s already settled, but what remains to be decided is, will a new sport court be built elsewhere in the park? A community group called the Seattle Sports Complex Foundation has been advocating for that, and with grant funding, it’s been leading a design process. The third meeting has just been announced for June 29th, 6:30 pm online. The announcement says that since the second meeting in October (WSB coverage here), “important discussions and much feedback” have led to development of two concepts that will be shown at this meeting. Video/phone participation information is on the project webpage, along with links to information and visuals from the first two meetings. P.S. The seawall-removal project is expected to start by midsummer.

FOLLOWUP: Schmitz Park slope stairway to be ‘delayed’

(WSB photo, proposed stairway site at 57th/Stevens)

Earlier this week, we reported on Seattle Parks reps meeting with neighbors near the Alki entrance to Schmitz Park to discuss their concerns about a stairway planned for the slope at 57th/Stevens. Parks reps promised to let the neighbors know by week’s end what would happen next. We’ve just received their followup email to neighbors, much of which recaps Monday’s site meeting, then concludes:

… Once again, we appreciate your willingness to meet with us to hear about the project and voice your opinions. It is important that we pause and take the time needed to address your concerns. In order (to) accomplish this, we will do the following:

-We will delay the installation of the stairs but will continue with the tree planting, vegetation management and invasive plant removal at this time.

-We will continue to coordinate with SDOT to address the safety concerns which were raised at the meeting. An addition of a staircase in the future will be dependent upon this coordination.

-We will keep you informed of any progress, changes or general information as we shift our focus to address your concerns.

As an interesting side note, we are working closely with the Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks to prepare for the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted in 2022. The replacement trees in this corridor will be the first of 200 trees that are intended to be planted to commemorate this celebration. Here is more information on this effort at olmsted200.org.

Stairway construction had been scheduled for August, Parks said at Monday’s meeting. Meantime, there was one update during the meeting recap in today’s email, addressing the neighbors’ contention that, contrary to Parks’ claim, there was no historic unofficial trail on the slope at the proposed stairway site: “(A neighbor and the two Parks managers) walked further east along the slope and found what appears to be the goat path in question. It has a fallen tree blocking at the upper elevation and has become overgrown but is still visible.”

COUNTDOWN: 3 days until Colman Pool reopens

Thanks to Brian Hawksford for the photo. That’s a sneak peek through a gate at Colman Pool on the Lincoln Park shore as its reopening approaches – this Saturday at noon. If you’re new, Colman Pool is West Seattle’s only city-owned outdoor pool, and its sole saltwater pool – water is pumped in from Puget Sound, which is steps away. After staying closed last summer, it’s reopening this Saturday, June 19th, and will be open daily through September 6th. The schedule will be the same every day – one-hour public sessions with part of the pool open for lap swimming, part for family swim, with sessions starting at noon, 1:30 pm, 3 pm, 4:30 pm, and 6 pm – more info here.

Neighbors hope to derail surprise Schmitz Park stairway

(WSB photos)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Back in April, we reported briefly on tree-cutting along the northwest approach to Schmitz Park. When asked, Seattle Parks told us that it was part of a “restoration project” that also would “make permanent an informal pathway up a steep hillside for safety.”

Now, with construction imminent, neighbors suddenly learned that plan involves building a full-fledged stairway up a slope where they insist there is no “informal pathway” – a stairway that would lead to and from a spot where there isn’t even a sidewalk, the corner of 57th and Stevens [map].

Outreach on the project was minimal, admitted two Parks managers who came to the site Monday afternoon for an outdoor meeting with upset neighbors, but they blamed that on the project proceeding in the early months of the pandemic, when public entities (among others) had to figure out new communications methods.

Michelle Whitfield and Kim Baldwin told the neighbors they were there to “hear your voices.” One clear voice promptly rang out: “Are you able to change the plans?”

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SUMMER: Two wading pools, one spraypark will be open in West Seattle this year

(WSB file photo, Lincoln Park wading pool)

The city has finally announced this year’s plan for wading pools and sprayparks. Here’s which ones in West Seattle will be open, and when. From the citywide announcement:

Seattle Parks and Recreation is opening wading pools and sprayparks this summer from Saturday, June 26 to Monday, September 6. In all, 15 locations around Seattle will be available seven days a week to provide fun, activity and relief for kids, parents, and guardians this year.

Wading pools operate when there is no rain in the day’s forecast and the air temperature is expected to be 70 degrees or higher. If unsure, you can call the Wading Pool Hotline for same-day updates at 206-684-7796. The recording is updated by mid to late morning each day.

Here’s a link to a map to see which wading pools or sprayparks are near you.

WADING POOLS that will be open from noon to 7 pm each day of the week:

Lincoln Park (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)

Open from noon to 5:30 pm each day of the week:

Delridge Community Center (4501 Delridge Way SW)

SPRAYPARKS that will be open from 11 am to 8 pm each day of the week:

Highland Park (1100 SW Cloverdale)

For the rules – and the list of wading pools/sprayparks that will be open off-peninsula – see the full announcement.

Hot weather on the way, but Seattle sprayparks and wading pools aren’t opening yet

(WSB file photo, Highland Park Spraypark)

The forecast for two days of hotter weather might have you wondering about the status of West Seattle’s city-run spraypark and wading pools. Seattle Parks had told us that this year’s schedule would be announced before the holiday weekend, but that didn’t happen. Here’s what we know so far: June 26th is the tentative start date for some, but not all, sprayparks and wading pools around the city. West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold said in a newsletter last month that she’s been told that the Highland Park spraypark – the only one in West Seattle – and the Lincoln Park and Delridge wading pools are among those that will open. We’ll publish an update as soon as the official info is out. And a reminder – outdoor Colman Pool at Lincoln Park opens June 19th (here’s the schedule).

One last look at what this round of low-low tides revealed on West Seattle beaches

A little low-low tide exploring can give you new appreciation for what you don’t see when walking Puget Sound beaches the rest of the time. We have photos from Friday that we didn’t get to show you last night because of breaking news – first two, from Michelle Green Arnson, show a Moon Snail above, an Ochre Sea Star and Christmas Anemone below:

She was out at Constellation Park and has rave reviews for the volunteer Seattle Aquarium beach naturalist, too. Elsewhere on the West Seattle shore, Stewart L. photographed this Great Blue Heron (yes, with a long lens, at a distance):

And we were out along Duwamish Head, just east of Luna (Anchor) Park, looking out at the former site of its namesake amusement park:

Not everyone was looking for wildlife:

Tomorrow’s low tide is still fairly low but not nearly as much as the past three – it’ll be out to -2.5 feet at 2:37 pm Sunday; the naturalists will be out at Constellation and Lincoln Parks again (12:45-3:45 pm). Then set a reminder for 11:54 am June 25th, when the lowest low tide of the summer arrives, -4.0 feet.

ADDED: One more photo – this one from Gill, taken at Constellation Park, looking toward Alki Point:

COUNTDOWN: Getting Colman Pool ready to reopen

(Seattle Parks photos)

Four weeks from today, West Seattle’s only city-owned outdoor pool will reopen. Historic Colman Pool is at Point Williams on the Lincoln Park store. Today, Seattle Parks tweeted photos of work being done to get it ready to open for the first time since September 2019.

Parks says, “Crews made plaster and pool-shell repairs, tested a new filtration system, and started filling it up with salt water.”

One bonus photo: “A couple of orcas even swam by to see the action!”

Parks announced in April that Colman Pool would reopen this year, then said earlier this month that June 19th would be opening day. More details on this year’s season (set to last through September 6th) are here.

Westcrest Park play structure closed, to be replaced

Thanks to everyone who’s messaged us about the fence that has suddenly appeared around that play structure at Westcrest Park (thanks to Jon for the photo). We asked Seattle Parks about it – reply: “The playground has deteriorated and we have closed it. We will be replacing it, in-kind, as part of our Westcrest Off-Leash Area Project.” The reply did not mention a timeline, so we’re following up. It’s one of several Seattle Parks play structures closed in recent years for safety concerns; the south play area at Lincoln Park is still awaiting its replacement 4 years after its sudden closure (construction now set for this fall).

FOLLOWUP: Here’s when you’ll be able to swim again at Colman Pool


(Colman Pool, photographed in 2017 by Long Bach Nguyen)

Last month, we reported Seattle Parks‘ announcement that Colman Pool – the outdoor saltwater pool on Lincoln Park‘s shore – would reopen this year, after skipping 2020. At the time, the dates weren’t set. Now they are: June 19 through September 6 “at reduced capacity,” says Parks, with “operational changes … to ensure public and staff safety as we recover from the pandemic.” Lap and family swims will be offered, but no group lessons; swim sessions will last an hour, with a half-hour break following “to facilitate cleaning.” Pre-registration will be offered a day in advance, with “limited drop-in admission.” Masks will be required when you’re not in the pool. On-deck seating will be limited, and the slide will be closed. But Parks will offer party rentals for 30 or fewer people, Fridays through Sundays at 7:30 pm. Rental bookings will open at noon May 26th. More details in the full announcement, here.

P.S. No word yet on when/whether indoor Southwest Pool might reopen.

FOLLOWUP: Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook seawall path now open

April 28, 2021 2:02 pm
|    Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook seawall path now open
 |   West Seattle beaches | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Thanks to Steve for sending the photo and tip! The path atop the new seawall on the south end of Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook [map] is now open – just in time for a view of this week’s low-low tides. The path was completed this month after a few months of delay attributed to ADA compliance. The new 400-foot-long, $3 million seawall was built adjacent to the failing old one after years of planning.

HELPING: Undaunted by drizzle, West Seattle volunteers dig into Puget Park trail work

Puget Park got some TLC on this soggy Saturday – and you can help next time. The photos and report are from Matthew J. Clark (thank you!):

Amidst the towering cedars, hemlock, and alder, with a slight drizzle, a small group of volunteers worked in Puget Park today clearing brush and invasive species to make way for a new trail. The Forest Steward for Puget Park, Christine Clark (below right), led the group as they methodically worked through the process of clipping, digging, pulling, and cutting debris.

The goal of today’s work is to reroute the existing trail to avoid a muddy section. Clark was happily surprised by the turnout. “I was worried that the little bit of rain would scare people away from showing up.” But eight volunteers did show up, and the group made quick work of clearing over 140’ of new trail.

The trail improvements in Puget Park have been on going for the last 4-5 years. Through volunteer work, partnerships with Green Seattle and guidance by Seattle Parks, the trail has taken shape to be a draw for the neighborhood and the broader West Seattle Community affording a great path for walking and running.

The Puget Park trail connects with trails between Pathfinder K-8 to the north and Highland Park to the south. You can easily stitch together an 8-mile round-trip walk in the woods and never cross a road.

What are the next steps for the Puget Park trail? Clark says they’ll work on drainage along the new path, then add a top layer of gravel. There will be work parties throughout the summer.

Check with the Green Seattle website for future volunteer opportunities. “You don’t need any experience or tools,” Clark say. “Just show up and we’ll help you learn the ropes. It is so much fun meeting new people from around the neighborhood and from around the community.”

The next event on the schedule for the greater Duwamish Greenbelt, which Puget Park is a part of, will be on Sunday, May 2nd. This will be a fun trail-cleanup work party. The group will meet up at 14th Ave SW and SW Holly.

From the ‘in case you wondered too’ file: About the tree-cutting in Schmitz Preserve Park

(Added: WSB photo; trees were removed along the left – north – side)

Katherine emailed to ask what we could find out about “all the tree cutting that happened along Schmitz Park Boulevard between the entrance at Whale Tail Park and the bridge? They cut down about 5 or 6 big trees.” We took the question to Seattle Parks and Recreation, since Schmitz Preserve Park is a city park, 51 forested acres between west Admiral and Alki, donated to the city more than a decade ago.

(Satellite image from Google Maps)

A Parks spokesperson explained that the tree-cutting is part of the Olmsted Parks and Boulevards Restoration Project, one of three sites around the city, the only one in West Seattle. The project overview says the specific goal is “to make permanent an informal pathway up a steep hillside for safety.” Specifically, Parks told us in response to our inquiry, their crews are “in the process of removing eleven Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Sycamore maples’ along Schmitz Boulevard. The trees being removed were assessed as being in poor condition and host to a number of fungal pathogens. These trees are being replaced two for one through a generous donation by the Friends of Olmsted Parks.” The project has its roots in a study and survey we featured two years ago.

West Seattle’s outdoor Colman Pool will open this summer, city says

(WSB file photo)

West Seattle’s only city-run outdoor swimming facility, Colman Pool on the Lincoln Park shore, will open this summer. That’s according to a preliminary Seattle Parks list of “summer fun” plans. No schedule announced yet, neither days nor hours; Colman Pool did not open at all last summer. No word yet on when/whether indoor Southwest Pool will reopen, and Parks is still deciding what to do about wading pools, but it looks like Highland Park Spraypark will reopen – the announcement says Parks is “planning to operate 11 unstaffed sprayparks this summer,” with the same hours as in the past, 11 am-8 pm. More info on summer plans when it’s available!

FOLLOWUP: Nantes Park improvements and artistic options – your input needed

By Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Additions and improvements with an artistic focus and international flair are coming soon to a small park in west Admiral.

At an online “community review” meeting on Tuesday night (as we previewed here), attendees discussed the proposed plans for Nantes Park (5062 SW Admiral Way), which was established in 2006 in honor of Seattle’s “sister city” relationship with Nantes, France. The launch of the Nantes Park Beautification Project this year will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Seattle/Nantes partnership, with a goal as follows: “The project will transform a small, rarely used pocket park… into something that is fun, family-friendly, accessible, and reflective of the sister city relationship with Nantes, France.”

Project organizers want to hear from you: In case you missed the meeting, this online survey is still open, but closing soon.

On Tuesday, the plans for temporary art installations and permanent walkway improvements were presented by Susan Kegel, president of the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association (SNSCA), with assistance from project manager Pam Kliment from Seattle Parks. Go here to see the presentation.

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FOLLOWUP: Port of Seattle has questions for you about Jack Block Park

(March photo, sent by James)

Three weeks ago, we reported that the pier at port-owned Jack Block Park in West Seattle [map] – closed for months because of safety concerns – might need to be rebuilt. Our report included the port’s promise that a survey would be launched to get the community’s thoughts about options. Today, that survey is open – starting here. It’s short, asking how often you visit the park, what you do there, and what you would consider important (or not); a potential new pier and/or new boardwalk are on the list. There’s also an open-ended question about what facilities and features you’d like to see. The survey will be open all month, and the port will come up with a proposal after that. Meantime, though the pier at the 15-acre park remains closed, the rest of the park is open, including the overlook with expansive views of Elliott Bay.

FOLLOWUP: Here’s when Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook walkway work will resume

10:43 AM: Another “you asked, so we checked” followup: A reader emailed photos from the Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook seawall project site, noting:

For several months, this site has featured an increasingly sagging wood fence (plus a short stretch of chain link fence) blocking access to the apparent gravel base for a paved walk, a few scattered construction materials, and an upended wheelbarrow. There is a small section of cement walkway in the center.

Nothing seems to be being done to complete the walkway and return this public space to the public. Or, at a minimum, whatever is being done is happening at a snail’s pace.

Our last update was in January, when the project appeared close to completion, and at the time on schedule.

Though the waterfront site at 4503 Beach Drive SW belongs to Seattle Parks, the project has been led by the US Army Corps of Engineers, so we asked spokesperson Andrew Muñoz about the situation. His reply:

The US Army Corps of Engineers expects work on the unfinished walkway to begin the week of April 5. Final grading should happen shortly thereafter. Once USACE has completed the seawall project, Seattle Parks and Recreation will work on restoring the park area at the top of the seawall to make park improvements (irrigation, grass, and plantings).

We anticipate this will be complete by early summer.

What his reply didn’t say was – why the long pause in the project? We’re still pursuing that answer. The main part of the work involved building a new section of seawall to replace the old, failing one and protect a major sewer main that runs next to it.

3:09 PM: Here’s Muñoz’s reply to our followup: “In our walkthroughs of the site, we discovered the walkway had slopes steeper than our design called for. As a result it was not fully compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Correcting the issue has taken a little longer than we would have liked, however; that’s caused the delay.”

FOLLOWUP: Lincoln Park beach restroom renovations almost done

(September 2020 photo from Shelly)

Also from the “you asked, so we checked” file — we have a status report on the Lincoln Park restroom renovations toward the south end of the beach. Janet emailed this week, wondering how much longer before the comfort station reopened. The work started more than six months ago. We asked Seattle Parks project manager Kelly Goold for an update – here’s his reply:

We are using an epoxy floor for Lincoln Park Comfort Station – similar to what is used in commercial kitchens and many other Parks Comfort Station buildings. The flooring requires that the existing concrete slab meet moisture level requirements before we can install. That is proving to be a challenge given the existing building is built into a hill near water. The contractor thinks with recent good weather we will be able to meet moisture level requirements by next week. Approximately 3 weeks left to install flooring, partitions, and accessories and have final inspection with our maintenance staff. Roughly that would be the week of April 19th when the building could potentially reopen.

JEM Contractors is handling this project and the 57th SW restroom rebuild on Alki Beach.

SIDE NOTE: When we last mentioned this project in September, we also noted the long-awaited South Play Area project was supposed to get going this winter. Checking that project website – now construction isn’t expected before fall.

DANCE! New classes offered by Seattle Parks

Seattle Parks and Rec is offering new online dance classes geared toward people 50+, starting April 2nd. (See a video preview here.) The announcement:

Virtual Soul Line Dance

Not just country! Line dance to an assortment of music genres, including soul, rhythm and blues and country. Work out your mind and body. Learn new dance patterns to all kinds of great music. 5 classes. Instructor: S Simmons – #41374 – Apr 1- Apr 29 – 9:30-10:30 am Thursdays. Register HERE!

Virtual Aerobic Dance

If you love listening and dancing to a variety of music, then you will love this class. Instructor leads routines that are fun and easy to learn, yet challenging enough to give you a sense of accomplishment. Class includes a warm-up to music, cardio (aerobic dancing) and a cool down with some stretching and conditioning. 5 classes. Instructor: S Simmons – #41368 – Apr 1- Apr 29 – 11 am-noon Thursdays. Register HERE!

This is part of Lifelong Recreation.

FOLLOWUP: ‘Community review’ next Tuesday for Nantes Park plan

Last month, we reported on the Admiral Neighborhood Association getting a preview of planned additions to Nantes Park (5062 SW Admiral Way). Today, the date was announced for a “community review” of the plans, in the context of an anniversary for the sister-city relationship the park honors. From the city’s announcement:

Mayor Jenny Durkan of Seattle and Mayor Johanna Rolland of Nantes, France signed a joint proclamation committing to a continued partnership between Seattle and Nantes and celebrating 40 years of the Sister-City relationship: “Our cities are places of experimentation and knowledge, incubators of creativity. They can be a source of proposals in many areas. We, the Mayors of Nantes and Seattle, are committed to sharing our experiences, fostering constructive dialogue, working together within the framework of our public policies, by 2030, and developing partnerships between Nantes and Seattle in all areas that can contribute to the well-being of our communities, and respect and protection of the fundamental values ​​of freedom and equality that inspire us.”

The City of Seattle, through Seattle Parks and Recreation and the community, reaffirms its Sister-City relationship with Nantes, France with the launch of the Nantes Park Beautification Project to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Sister-City relationship.

Nantes Park, located at 5062 SW Admiral Way in West Seattle, will get a facelift that includes a paved loop walkway with embedded French art, temporary French art installations and student-submitted art tiles along the seat wall. The project, led by the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association (SNSCA) in partnership with the Admiral Neighborhood Association and funded by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, the City of Nantes, the West Seattle Garden Tour and volunteers, will transform the park into a fun, family-friendly, and accessible communal area reflective of the sister-city relationship.

The SNSCA is collaborating with Claude Ponti, beloved and prolific French children’s author and illustrator, on art for the park. Ponti’s experience with the Jardin des Plantes and the Parc de la Beaujoire in Nantes will highlight French-influenced art in the Seattle’s Nantes Park, symbolizing the intersection of the two cultures through the Sister-City relationship. Nantes Park will also represent Ponti’s first art installation to be showcased in the United States.

“We are thrilled to work with Monsieur Ponti. He has created more than a dozen whimsical, interactive works of art in the Jardin des Plantes in Nantes that capture the attention of children and adults alike. Interacting with his fantastical creatures sparks imagination and creative play,” explains Susan Kegel, President of the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association.

The park will also feature art-tiles lining the seat wall. The art tiles will showcase art submitted by students in Seattle and Nantes who participate in the Passe Partout high school exchange program between the two cities.

A community review is scheduled for Tuesday, March 30th at 7 pm. This is an opportunity for SNSCA to gather feedback on designs and for the community to provide input on the final art installations that will be featured in the park. Please visit the SNSCA website for more information on participating in the community review. …

The Nantes Park project is part of a year-long celebration on both sides of the Atlantic recognizing the 40th anniversary of Seattle’s sister-city relationship with Nantes. This spring, look for the release of a special Seattle-Nantes Sister City beer created in an international colla-beer-ation between Seattle’s Lantern Brewing and Nantes’ Bubar. This celebratory beverage, brewed and bottled in each city from a common recipe, will be a gose-style beer featuring Washington State cranberries and Guérande salt from the Nantes region. To capstone the year-long program, Seattle will welcome the delegation from Nantes in fall 2021 to celebrate the grand re-opening of Nantes Park and discuss ideas for future partnerships.

The Nantes community will be celebrating with a “Seattle Orchard” in the Jardin du Grand Blottereau, a sound installation at le Muséum by La Maison des Etats Unis, film screenings, lectures and much more. …

The link and phone number for participating in next Tuesday’s meeting can be found here.