The View From Denny Park
Gregory J. Nickels, Mayor
Kenneth R Bounds, Superintendent
No. 29. August 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
RECLAIMING BAKER PARK
Earlier this summer, Crown Hill's Baker Park was the site of a
spate of criminal activity: two shootings, the discovery of a loaded
gun, and reports of nocturnal boxing matches and other violent confrontations.
Nearby neighbors and Parks staff were understandably alarmed and
Over the past few weeks, Parks staff, working with neighbors and
the Police Department, developed a strategy for remedying this disturbing
situation. After a public meeting in early August to brainstorm
ideas for improved park security, Parks crews improved sight lines
and hiding places by pruning shrubs and trees, and increased the
intensity and duration of lighting in the park at night. We will
also be installing signs that explain park rules. We're hopeful
that these measures will work to keep Baker Park a safe place for
all to enjoy.
COLMAN PARK TREES CUT DOWN
Like many of you, I was first astonished, then outraged, to learn
that dozens of trees were cut down in Colman Park, overlooking Lake
Washington. This was first discovered by a City sewer inspector
on Aug. 5. Soon afterwards we filed a complaint with the Police
In subsequent days, Parks urban forestry staff determined that
a total of 108 mature trees, mostly big-leaf maples, were cut down
on three quarters of an acre of park land. The estimated value of
the trees is approximately $137,000, which doesn't include site
cleanup, restoration or staff time.
Staff have provided information to the Police and the King County
Prosecutor's Office for the filing of possible criminal charges.
City Attorney Tom Carr and Mayor Nickels are equally appalled. We
are encouraging the Prosecutor's Office to aggressively pursue the
case, and are also considering civil action to recover damages.
GREEN LAKE LIVES UP TO ITS NAME
Green Lake is as beautiful as ever this summer, but not a good
place to swim. In early August, on the advice of the Public Health
department, we closed the lake to swimming and "wet-water"
activities because of a high level of liver toxin in the water and
in live algae cells. The lifeguarded swimming beaches at East Green
Lake and West Green Lake were not reopened as they were due to close
soon for the summer anyway.
A series of tests on the lake water showed a level of the liver
toxin above the one milligram-per-liter level considered safe by
the World Health Organization. The toxin is produced by lake's blue-green
algae, especially when the algae grows or "blooms" in
warm weather and calm waters.
The Green Lake Small Craft Center and Green Lake Boat Rental remain
open for most types of boating; however, no small boat sailing and
sailboarding are being offered. The greatest risk is to pets that
drink or swim in the water. If algae is ingested the toxin could
be released in the digestion process.
The long-term prognosis is not good. We will revisit the use of
alum to treat the water and the removal of bottom feeding fish from
the lake in order to control the algae growth.
PARK ACQUISITION NEWS
This has been a big summer for Parks acquisitions. We purchased:
- A 3.5-acre property at Northgate for a new park, community
center and branch library. The park portion of the property was
funded by the Pro Parks Levy and King County matching funds, the
community center portion was funded by the Community Center Levy,
and the library portion was funded by a library bond measure.
- A 3-acre property along Delridge Way SW for green space preservation.
This was a cooperative effort with affordable housing on an adjacent
- Three properties along Thornton Creek at 100th NE for creek
- The first property to be acquired through the Pro Parks Opportunity
Fund, Fremont Peak park, on Aug. 23. The site offers panoramic
views in a densely developed neighborhood.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
I'm pleased to announce that three Seattle parks received new names
- I officially renamed the "cloverleaf" of softball
fields at Lower Woodland Park, formerly known (not very poetically)
as "Fields 3, 4, 5 and 6." The new name is "Leo
Lassen Fields at Lower Woodland Park" after the local radio
announcer who called about 5,000 minor league baseball games between
1931 and 1960. Lower Woodland Park is located on the west side
of Green Lake Way N. just north of N. 50th St.
- A new park located at 5th N. and Blaine St. on Queen Anne will
be known as Trolley Hill Park after the trolley lines that used
to run along 5th Ave.
- At Taylor Ave. N. and Newton St. a new park will be called MacLean
Park after the family who settled in the neighborhood at the turn
of the 20th century.
UPCOMING NEXT MONTH: AMY YEE TENNIS CENTER CELEBRATION
Also last month, I was honored to rename the former Seattle Tennis
Center after the late local tennis legend Amy Woo Yee. A community
event to celebrate the renaming will be held on Sept. 15 at the
center, which is located at 2000 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S.
Yee, who passed away two years ago this month, was the dominant
women's tennis player in the state during the 1950s. She was a longtime
instructor at the Seattle Tennis Center and taught tennis to generations
of Seattle young people. The Amy Yee Classic Tennis Tournament has
been held for the past 23 years.
I can think of no more fitting tribute to Amy Yee than to name
the tennis center after her.
I will be in touch soon.