Gregory J. Nickels, Mayor
No. 28. July 30, 2002
A periodic electronic newsletter
about Parks and Recreation news, programs, projects and events
from Seattle Parks & Recreation Superintendent Ken Bounds
The View from Denny Park: News and Views from the Superintendent
TURNING THE CORNER AT GOLDEN GARDENS PARK
Last Thursday night, for the first time in several years, my
staff reported that there were no illegal fires at Golden Gardens
This is progress!
Just a few weeks ago, dozens of illegal fires were blazing at
the beach on any given night. Fires are allowed only at designated
fire rings on a first-come, first-served basis and users must
burn clean firewood. For the past few years, we've seen an increase
of people burning painted wood, wooden warehouse pallets, or
even home furniture in massive bonfires. As the problem escalated,
both Seattle Parks and the Police Department were understaffed
to adequately monitor the beach at night and enforce the rules.
Early this summer, however, we decided to tackle the problem
head on. Together with Police, the Seattle Fire Department,
Seattle Public Utilities, Animal Control, the Puget Sound Clean
Air Agency, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and a number
of community groups and volunteers, we have increased our collective
presence and stewardship of the beach.
Kicked off by Mayor Nickels' Clean Seattle event on June 30,
we have removed a huge amount of debris from the beach, designed
and installed new fire pits that will be easier to clean, added
a new bargeload of new sand, and are creating better signs to
explain the park rules about fires.
These efforts are beginning to make a difference and we will
continue to refine them as the summer goes on. If you have any
questions about Golden Gardens and our efforts there, please
call Kathie Huus, Northwest Manager, Seattle Parks and Recreation,
at (206) 233-3960 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
"STEP" PROGRAM TRAINS INNER CITY TEENS
This summer, the STEP program is taking giant strides in giving
teens from low-income neighborhoods good job experience and
education while providing valuable improvements to the trails
system in city parks.
Steps Toward Environmental Partnership (STEP) is employing 23
teens age 15-17 from July 8 to Aug. 16. Participants earn a
minimum wage of $6.90 per hour and work a 30-hour week restoring
trails, removing and replacing "invasive" plants,
and more. The STEP teens have already done great trail work
at Seward Park, where they laid down six telephone poles creating
a "bridge" over a wet and muddy area of a park trail.
In the classroom once a week, the young people are also learning
some basic life skills such as first aid and CPR, drug and alcohol
prevention, resume writing and job interviewing, and personal
finance skills, including how to open and keep a bank account.
Our partners in this pilot program are the Seattle Rotary, the
Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, SAFECO Insurance and other
organizations and businesses. For more information about this
innovative program, please call Peggy Pullen, Seattle Parks
and Recreation, at (206) 386-1916 or e-mail her at email@example.com
PRO PARKS PROJECTS AT GREEN LAKE, BELVEDERE VIEWPOINT
One of the many and varied benefits of the Pro Parks Levy is
improved landscaping at selected Seattle parks. Two striking
examples are the improved "esplanade" at the east
entrance to Green Lake Park and Belvedere Viewpoint in West
Seattle. I invite you to stop by and take a look!
At Green Lake, the esplanade entrance across from 72nd NE and
E. Greenlake Way N. was originally designed as a connection
from the Green Lake business district and the park's community
center. The newly planted beds of common annuals draw visitors
visually into the park in an attractive paisley pattern.
At Belvedere Viewpoint on Admiral Way, Parks staff have created
a colorful and welcoming entry to the park. The plantings include
cherry trees, dogwood, smoke trees and other trees, plus hundreds
of flowering perennials.
To view these beautiful landscapes, please visit the web page
www.seattle.gov/parks/proparks or better yet, see them in person!
For more information about the projects, please call Lisa Chen,
Parks Horticulturist, Seattle Parks and Recreation, at (206)
233-3777 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
TWO GREAT DEBUTS IN AUGUST: THE WIZ AND THE PERGOLA
I am looking forward to two greatly anticipated debuts in the
month of August: the annual musical produced by teens and staff
at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center on Aug. 15 and
16, and the reopening of the reconstructed Pergola in Pioneer
Square on Aug. 17.
The end of summer would just not be the same without the sixth
annual All-City Teen Summer Musical. This year, Langston Hughes
will present an adaptation of The Wiz called "The Wiz with
a Renaissance Swing," set in the Harlem in the Harlem Renaissance
era of the 1920s. The production is part of a year-long celebration
of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great poet and
artist Langston Hughes.
Tickets to performances are FREE and available at all Rite Aid
TicketMaster outlets. For more information about the summer
musical, please call Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center,
at (206) 684-4757.
Felled by a wayward truck a year and a half ago, the Pergola
in Pioneer Square will return stronger than ever. It will have
the same stately appearance, but will be infinitely stronger,
reinforced now with an internal steel skeleton necessary to
make it structurally sound and up to current seismic standards.
Workers at Seidelhuber Iron Works, our expert consultant in
the reconstruction, did the painstaking work of custom casting
each of the thousands of the steel parts of the skeleton. Seidelhuber,
Anthony Construction and Corona Steel are now installing the
structure on site.
For more information on the Pergola project, please call Dan
Johnson, Project Manager, at (206) 684-7318 or e-mail him at
DESIGNER SELECTED FOR SOUTH LAKE UNION PROJECT
The redevelopment of South Lake Union Park took a giant step
forward with the selection in early July of nationally respected
Hargreaves Associates as the principal designer for the project.
Hargreaves' successful projects include Louisville Waterfront
Park, Crissy Field in San Francisco and the National Museum
of Innovation in Tokyo, and we expect them to bring the same
kind of innovation and environmentally sustainable design to
South Lake Union. The firm and its main design team of Arup,
Mithun Ralph Applebaum Associates and Moffatt and Nichol Engineers
will revise the South Lake Union Master Plan update and develop
designs for the high-priority elements of the plan that are
SAND POINT MAGNUSON PARK SPORTS FIELDS AND WETLANDS
An update on this project: Earlier this month, we issued the
Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Sand Point Magnuson
Park's wetlands/sports fields project. The proposal envisions
a complex of 15 sports fields, 11 of them with synthetic turf
and lights, drainage improvements and a 65-acre natural wetland.
On July 25, the Board of Park Commissioners held a public hearing
on the FEIS. On July 29, three appeals were filed to the City's
Hearing Examiner, one by the Low-Income Housing Institute, one
by Seattle Audubon Society and another by the Citizens for Wildlife
and Neighbors. We expect final City Council action on the proposal
this winter. Please keep checking our web site for updates.
I will be in touch soon.