West Seattle, Washington
12:47 PM: Looking for something to do in the hours ahead? Here are the announced plans for Seattle Parks facilities in West Seattle:
Southwest Pool – via email:
The Seattle Parks Department has again made the decision to operate on a limited schedule due to snow and challenging road conditions. Swim lessons and all evening programs are cancelled. Swim lesson participants will receive a credit on their Parks account for the missed lesson.
Consider coming in to swim today. A workout for the adults or a Public Swim this afternoon for the kids. (Children under 6 or under 48 inches need to have an adult in the water with them.)
o (Now until) 1:30 Adult Swim
o 1:30-2:30 Water Exercise
o 2:30- 4:30 Public Swim
o 4:30-6:30 Lap Swim
(Regular admission fees apply)
Community centers are open for drop-in activities – Hiawatha, South Park, High Point, Delridge, Alki until 6 pm.
West Seattle Golf Course – “closed for golf but are open for sledding and snow play.”
Camp Long visitor center – open until 3 pm.
As for what’s closed/canceled, see the Parks update here.
4:36 PM UPDATE: Southwest Pool has had to close early because of a non-weather problem.
The city says it has a preliminary design for Lowman Beach Park‘s future, minus the failed seawall – and it will mean removal of the park’s tennis court. The design will be shown at a community meeting just announced for February 28th. The announcement from Seattle Parks today:
The Lowman Beach Park seawall is failing and needs to be removed. As visitors to the park have seen, the existing seawall is slowly falling over/sliding toward the water. It is Seattle Parks and Recreation’s goal to remove the remaining seawall and continue the shoreline restoration work that began when the south half of the seawall failed in the mid 1990s.
In May 2017, together with our design consultant Environmental Science Associates (ESA), we presented design options. We hired ESA as a design consultant in 2018 to continue the design process that began with the feasibility study, listed below. The design will take into consideration both the habitat benefits of the seawall removal and the coastal engineering ramifications of that seawall removal. Given the design constraints of the project, the existing tennis court will be removed. A remnant of Pelly Creek that currently flows under the seawall will be daylighted as part of the project.
The last community meeting was May 31, 2017; here’s our coverage. Documents from that meeting, and a feasibility study made public in December 2017 (covered here the following month), are also available via the project website. The February 28th meeting will be at The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW; WSB sponsor) at 6:30 pm.
Just last week, we published a followup on one of the three future “landbanked” parks in West Seattle. Today, the Parks Department has sent an update on one of the other two, the 48th/Charlestown site:
Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is hosting a booth at the West Seattle Farmers Market, 44th Ave. SW and SW Alaska St., on Sunday, February 10, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is an opportunity for the community to learn about the new park project at 48th Ave. SW and SW Charlestown St., meet the design team from Cascade Collaborative and provide input on the design of this new neighborhood park.
SPR will work with the community on the park design and encourages community participation. Please visit our booth on Sunday, participate in this short survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D7T5HPM) and post design ideas on your social media with the hashtag #48thandCharlestown.
SPR purchased the .23-acre property in 2014. The design of the park will incorporate accessibility features in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and provide access to open space for the neighborhood.
This park project is made possible by the voter-approved Seattle Park District, which provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding for SPR, including maintenance of parklands and facilities, operation of community centers and recreation programs, and development of new neighborhood parks on previously acquired sites.
For more information or for meeting notification translations please (go here).
For questions about the project or if you need an interpreter or accommodations please contact Ed Pottharst at 206-386-4232 or Ed.firstname.lastname@example.org
$1.2 million in Park District levy funding has been earmarked for developing this site.
Almost a year after the last public meetings about the West Seattle Junction park site on 40th SW, across from the Alki Masonic Center, a WSB reader wondered about the project status. As they pointed out at the time, the project website hadn’t been updated in months. So we checked with Seattle Parks, which tells us the project is at 65 percent design – the renderings above and below are two views from project architect GGLO:
They expect to have one more public meeting, date TBA, when they’re ready to discuss the construction timeline. (And after our inquiry, they updated the project website. It also reflects a change in project managers since last year’s meetings – Kelly Goold is now in charge.) This two-thirds-of-an-acre site is one of three “landbanked” sites set for city park development in West Seattle.
7:36 PM: Police are at Hamilton Viewpoint Park, reportedly closing it off while they investigate an incident. We’re on our way to find out more but we’ve heard via radio communication so far includes that an injured man is getting treatment, and that police are looking for a vehicle last seen heading downhill northbound from the park, possibly a white Dodge SUV. The injured man will be taken to Harborview Medical Center. Just as we published this, the incident was described by the dispatcher as an assault. More when we get it.
8:05 PM: Police haven’t been available to talk with us so far but firefighters tell us the injured person was a man in his 20s who likely had been hit with some sort of blunt object.
ADDED 9:59 PM: The only additional detail we were able to get from police is that the initial report is that someone saw a man down on the ground, being hit by someone. We’ll see if we’re able to get the report on Monday.
They’re cabins in the woods … in the city. 2019 reservations for cabins at Camp Long (5200 35th SW) start next week – here’s the Seattle Parks announcement:
For a taste of the great outdoors without having to stay in a tent, the cabins at Camp Long are a great solution. These 10 privately-situated, rustic huts are each equipped with three double bunk beds, a sink and faucet, overhead lights, windows, 2 doors, a BBQ, and picnic tables. Showers and restrooms are nearby. Tell stories around the fire ring, explore 68 acres of trails or climb rocks during the day, and reconnect with the natural world – without the trip out of town.
Camp Long will begin taking 2019 reservations on January 2; cabins open March 1. The cost is $50 per night. (Plus a $50 damage/clean-up deposit of $50 per cabin.) For more information and to reserve, please call Camp Long at (206) 684-7434./blockquote>
The montage and message are from Lisa McGinty of Friends of Lincoln Park:
A grateful thankYOU to the awesome volunteers who came out last Sunday! 100 more trees and shrubs planted and a large patch of invasive plants removed!
If you get a chance to visit the park over the holidays, don’t forget to take a deep breath and thank the forest for all the hard work it’s done for us this year! See you in 2019 🌿✌️🌲
FLiP and other organizations kindly share work-party announcements with us for the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – so you know when and where to help out!
That’s the “before” photo … and here’s the “after”:
Don’t recognize the site? It’s the Wildlife Garden at Camp Long. This reader report explains what happened:
The Wildlife Garden at Camp Long was restored to its former glory as part of an Eagle Scout project completed last weekend. Despite the dismal weather conditions, over 30 volunteers pitched in to clear weeds and brush, reconstruct pathways, lay bark and gravel, build two planter boxes and plant new foliage.
Jackson Carney of West Seattle Boy Scout Troop 282, who organized and led the project, would like to thank West Seattle Nursery, Talarico’s, West Seattle Thriftway, John Demyanovich Construction, and West Seattle Fence Company, who supported this endeavor.
11:55 AM: As noted here over the weekend, Seattle Parks-owned Southwest Pool had to close because of damage caused during Friday night’s windstorm/power outage. The closure continues today, according to this newly posted update:
Until further notice this week, SW Pool is closed due to boiler heat exchanger damage during a power outage. A new system is being ordered Monday 12/17 and we will reopen as soon as we can.
The pool was one of 10,000-plus homes, businesses, and other buildings that lost power for hours when 50+-mph winds blew through on Friday night.
12:45 PM: Via Twitter, Seattle Parks says the pool is expected to reopen around 3 pm today. We’ll check on its status then.
In our windstorm-followup report earlier today, we included tweeted word from Seattle Parks that Southwest Pool is closed because of a boiler problem related to the storm. Tonight, Erin Bruce from pool management sent word that the closure could last longer than the rest of the weekend:
Southwest Pool will be closed for the rest of the weekend and possibly into early next week.
Due to damage from Friday night’s windstorm, we have no domestic hot water, and cannot re-open until the problem is fixed.
We have no estimate for the repair timeline, but Parks staff are working as fast as they can to get the pool up and running as quickly as possible.
Southwest Pool is the city’s only year-round aquatic facility in West Seattle. Evergreen Pool in nearby White Center is also closed right now, for resurfacing work that’s scheduled to continue until early January.
A request for you, from Friends of Lincoln Park:
The Friends of Lincoln Park (FLiP) would like to ask for some help from the community. The 300+ trees and plants species that were carefully planted and flagged on Green Seattle Day (Nov 3), will need continued monitoring and care over their first years of life in the park.
The flagging (colored flag tape) helps us locate the newly planted trees and plants for watering during summer droughts and track their survival. Removing the flagging often damages the plants and limits our ability to help them survive. Please help the trees and plants at Lincoln Park live long and healthy lives. REMEMBER: If you see a flagged tree, please leave it be!
For more info on forest restoration efforts with FLiP, please (go here).
Every day is a GREAT day to support your local nonprofits. But today is extra-great for some that have special donation drives going as part of Giving Tuesday – here’s the announcement we received from Roxhill Park Champions:
Roxhill Park Champions works to restore and transform the social and environmental climate of Roxhill Park — Our new fiscal sponsor, Seattle Parks Foundation, has created a $1,000 challenge award if we receive gifts — of any size — from at least fifteen (15) unique donors on #GivingTuesday. Your donation will cover budget gaps or non-qualifying expenses in our grant-funded projects coming in 2019. Learn more and donate to Roxhill Park, by going here.
You can donate either by scrolling down that page to “support this project,” or by going directly here.
(Other Giving Tuesday West Seattle spotlights to come!)
Thanks to the texter who noted that an informational sign is finally up at the “landbanked” future park site at 48th SW and SW Charlestown. When last we checked in, earlier this year, the timeline was for planning to happen in the first half of this year, but now it’s expected to last into next year, and construction is still two years away, according to the newest update. Since the website doesn’t mention what kind of public process – meeting, survey, etc. – will be part of the design phase, we checked today with Seattle Parks. We’re told the project is in the middle of a change in planners so it’ll be a few weeks before that info is available. The park-development budget remains listed at $1.2 million.
Thanks to Lisa McGinty from Friends of Lincoln Park for the photos and report on the Green Seattle Day work party:
32 volunteers came out in the rain this morning to help 323 native trees and plants find their forever homes.
Friends of Lincoln Park want to thank everyone for their amazing efforts to help keep our urban forest healthy!
Missed this chance to help? Keep an eye on our calendar for other upcoming West Seattle work parties, at Lincoln Park and elsewhere!
Seattle Parks sends the reminder that West Seattle’s Camp Long is moving to winter hours and will be closed Sundays starting this weekend, continuing through November, December, January, and February. Also:
Camp Long will begin to take cabin rentals starting on January 2, 2019. Cabins are available for use beginning on March 1. More information is available here. Questions? Please contact Camp Long at 206-684-7434.
More than a year and a half after first word of a renovation project at Don Armeni Boat Ramp, it’s finally ramping up. The ramp’s floating docks are set to be replaced. Early this year, the city announced it had received a state grant to help pay for the project, and an update was promised by summer, but none followed. Then a related notice turned up in the newest city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin, so we checked the project’s status with Seattle Parks, whose senior capital-projects coordinator Garrett Farrell replied with this update:
The City of Seattle Parks and Recreation Department is really happy to be getting the renovation of Don Armeni back underway.
The long delay is tied to the late state budget signing last year that held up our grants from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO)
RCO project 16-2356D provides $374,950 in grant funds allowing Parks to move ahead with the $500,000 project to replace the aged floating docks at Don Armeni. We were happy to see a budget get passed at the state level but really had nothing to report until that grant agreement was signed this quarter.
With the agreement in place we are working to secure our permits and move the project through design. We immediately started with those efforts as they will dictate when we can bid and perform the work.
When permit approvals are in, Farrell adds, there will be a public meeting about the project. Too soon to estimate the start date, but once the work gets going, he says, it should last about three months, and during that time, “we will keep one ramp open while we work on the other.” He expects a website for the project to be up and running next month.
P.S. The new notice we mentioned above is a Determination of Non-Significance – saying that a full environmental-impact review is not needed. The publication of that notice opens a window for comment/appeal – this explains how.
Later this week, the Seattle City Council starts getting down to specifics in potential changes/additions to the mayor’s proposed budget plan. One group of West Seattleites thinks a little money could be spent to get a little more use out of a public asset in West Seattle: Colman Pool. If you agree, now’s the time to speak up. The 77-year-old, city-owned outdoor saltwater pool on the Lincoln Park shore is open less than three months a year – it opens for weekends from Memorial Day until mid-June, then daily until Labor Day, and usually a post-season weekend.
The photo above was shared by Venkat Balasubramani, one of a group of Colman Pool fans who gather for an end-of-season picnic and talked about campaigning to add some operating days to the pool as well as some funding to address its maintenance backlog. He says the issues brought up by pool users ranged from pump maintenance (you might recall that the pool was closed for four days this summer because of pump trouble) to the need for better, more thorough cleaning of dressing areas and pathways, as well as the restrooms, which the swimmers say also are desperately in need of toilet seats.
They’ve contacted our area’s Councilmember Lisa Herbold as well as Councilmember Debora Juarez, who chairs the committee that oversees parks and other public assets. Herbold’s staff told the swimmers that she has “submitted a ‘Form A’ in the budget process which requests additional funding to extend the use of the pool by one month every year and to add any funds necessary to fix the maintenance backlog.” But public support is required for changes to the budget, so if you’re interested in more use of/support for Colman Pool, there are two ways to show it:
-Send e-mail that goes to the entire council, email@example.com
-Show up at the next major public hearing on the budget, 5:30 pm Tuesday, October 23, at City Hall downtown
For the request to move forward, Herbold’s staff told the swimmers, they need at least two other councilmembers to sign on as co-sponsors by the day after that hearing, October 24th.
Back in May, when reader questions led us to ask Seattle Parks about the almost-viewlessness of some viewpoints like Admiral Way, they told us they were “pausing any view trimming while we review and update our viewpoint and tree trimming policies.” That process is happening now, and the city’s advisory Board of Park Commissioners got a briefing at its meeting this past week:
It’s the last big topic of the meeting, 1 hour and 33 minutes into the video (which you also can watch on the Seattle Channel website if the embedded version above doesn’t work for you). The briefing was presented by Parks’ Kathy Nyland and Jon Jainga, who brought along this document explaining where things are at:
They explained that a Viewpoint Advisory Team has been convened and has already met twice. It’s focusing on the 16 officially designated-by-the-city viewpoints (five of which are in West Seattle – Admiral Way [Belvedere], Charles Richey, Emma Schmitz, Hamilton, Rotary), though a fair amount of discussion at the meeting kept sidetracking to issues such as how to get other parks treated as viewpoints. But Parks can barely take care of what they already have: “We’ve got a maintenance problem and a capacity problem,” said Nyland. She and Jainga explained that not only does Parks have too few maintenance crew members for the 280,000 trees in the system, the work at some steeply sloped parks is too dangerous and requires hiring specially trained tree experts. Plus, they added, rules and practices have changed, and even if they had enough staff, they couldn’t do some of what used to be OK for maintaining views (tree-topping was mentioned). So they’re talking about what they can do, and where. Maybe figure out ways to have environmentally sustainable and not-labor-intensive landscaping in some areas, Jainga suggested, noting that Seattle is now a Bee City and a Bird City, among other things.
Interim Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams elaborated on the cost issue, saying Parks has to make decisions such as, maintain viewpoints or maintain ballfields? Money also factors into those considerations, he said, because organizations pay to use fields, while “views are free.”
The briefing document says Parks is considering using four viewpoints as “pilot” sites to try out whatever they come up with, adding, “This will allow us to ‘course correct’ as necessary before implementation across all designations.” The proposed “pilot” list includes Admiral Way and Hamilton Viewpoints.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Viewpoint Advisory Team is meeting again on October 10th and 24th (6 pm at Parks HQ downtown, open to the public) and after that is expected to return to the Parks Board with a final report and recommendations.
Three sightings of note, in case you wondered too:
CAMP LONG: We received multiple questions late today about a big gathering at Camp Long that has police directing traffic. Hundreds of members of Ethiopian Orthodox churches from around the region are at the park for the annual observance of Meskel (Finding of the True Cross). The city’s Special Events Committee agenda from August notes that this is an annual event that has “grown to require (a) Special Event Permit.” Erika J. Schultz of The Seattle Times photographed the celebration at Camp Long two years ago (scroll down this page).
BEACH DRIVE: Beach Drive Blog noted a sizable turnout of motorcycle riders at Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook this morning. The occasion: The local edition of the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, raising money and awareness for men’s health issues.
PUGET SOUND: Thanks to JayDee for this Saturday photo:
That’s the SS Cape Intrepid, a ready-reserve ship long moored in Tacoma, headed out on sea trials, last seen on the MarineTraffic.com tracker as it entered open ocean outside the Strait of Juan de Fuca last night. (JayDee also contributed a photo of this ship almost exactly nine years ago!)
The sun is setting on 2018’s PARKing Day – when parklets pop up along city streets. Earlier, we showed you the Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) setup at Westwood Square. At midafternoon, we stopped in the 5900 block of Delridge Way SW, across from Louisa Boren STEM K-8, where West Seattle Bike Connections had a helmet giveaway going, courtesy of Bell:
Boren’s three 1st-grade classes helped plan the parklet.
Thanks to co-organizer Doug Ollerenshaw for letting us know!
Seattle Parks is considering changing the hours at Riverview Playfield (7226 12th SW) in hopes of enabling more police enforcement in response to problems there. Next Thursday, the city Board of Park Commissioners‘ meeting will include a public hearing on changing the hours from 4 am-11:30 pm to 6 am-10 pm. Here’s the rationale as listed in the city briefing paper for Thursday’s meeting:
At this site, there have been continuous complaints about illegal behavior occurring at the park. Drinking and vandalism occur in the evening hours and people congregate at all hours. Neighbors and Parks staff cite four specific reasons for requesting the change in hours:
1) Maintenance workers are burdened with cleaning beer cans, broken glass, and laden trash. The park benches were often found damaged.
2) Tagging is pervasive especially late at night and after the park has closed. At sites with similar issues, changing the closing time to 10:00 p.m. enabled SPD to do a sweep through the park and enforce the closure time.
3) Neighbors frequently call 911 because of the late night activities which often include loud and boisterous behavior, in addition to illegal activity.
4) Community members do not feel safe confronting those who loiter in the park after hours and the earlier closure time enables the police to enforce the rules.
Perhaps the biggest incident in recent years – the 2016 arson that left a new restroom/storage building at the park closed for a year (top photo). The Parks Board hearing is during its regular meeting at Parks HQ downtown next Thursday (September 27th), 6:30 pm, 100 Dexter Ave. N.
As reported here Friday, Seattle Parks cut short the planned monthlong closure of Southwest Pool, citing permit/contract trouble. But it’s operating on a limited schedule during the month instead. So what IS being worked on during that time? Parks has updated this post with info, including:
SPR will take advantage of the pool’s reduced operating schedule to conduct a complete interior LED conversion to the facility, including changing approximately 430 fluorescent tubes to LED. This effort will reduce the facility’s lighting energy consumption by 55%. This project will help us meet the City’s goal of reducing energy consumption by 20% by 2020, as set out by the Seattle Climate Action Plan. SPR will complete this project prior to the pool returning to its full operating schedule on Monday, Oct. 15.
The limited schedule, meantime, can be seen here (PDF).
Today was supposed to be the second day of a monthlong closure of Southwest Pool for accessibility renovations. Instead, we’ve just received word that the closure plan has changed dramatically because of permit problems – the pool will instead reopen Monday, and will be on a “limited schedule” for the next month. The announcement:
Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) will be making a variety of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements to Southwest Pool (2801 SW Thistle St.). Most of the work will take place this fall and will include improvements to the restrooms, driveway, entrance, and parking lot.
SPR originally planned to close Southwest Pool from Sept. 13-Oct. 14; however, contracts and permits were unable to be secured in time to meet the planned closure dates. Instead, Southwest Pool will now operate on a limited schedule from Monday, Sept. 17 to Sunday, Oct. 14 to facilitate this work. The pool will resume operating on its normal schedule on Monday, Oct. 15. Details on Southwest Pool’s limited schedule can be found on their website.
SPR will continue ADA improvement work on Southwest Pool’s restrooms throughout October and November; however, this work will not impact facility hours. SPR will also work on improvements to Southwest Pool’s front driveway, entrance, and parking lot in October and November, which will require users to access the facility via the rear entrance. ADA improvements to the pool locker rooms will occur in spring 2019.
The “limited schedule” that will be in place starting Monday can be seen here (PDF). Southwest Pool is at 2801 SW Thistle.