VIEW FROM DENNY PARK
News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 66 September 1, 2005
Kenneth R. Bounds, Superintendent
A periodic electronic newsletter about Parks and Recreation news, programs,
projects and events from Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken
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In this issue:
STEPs in the Right Direction | Youth
Track Athletes Honored | New Park Names | Northgate
CC Progress | Aquarium/Pier 59 Project | Partnering
With Sonics and Storm | Mariners Donation | Summer
Satisfaction | Upcoming Events
STEPS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
STEPs teens at work
Our environmental stewardship and job training program called STEPs (Steps
Towards Environmental Partnerships) added a new wrinkle this summer. In
response to recent violence in the South Park neighborhood, Parks and
the Seattle Police Department teamed to sponsor 11 teens from South Park
to participate in the program. We recruited them from South Park Community
Center and a nearby boxing club.
Now in its fourth year, STEPs provides "at risk" and economically
disadvantaged teens with environmental training and practical hands-on
work experience in local parks. While this job readiness program emphasizes
environmental stewardship, participants also learn basic life skills that
can help guide future choices and paths. These skills include health/nutrition,
money management, resume writing, interview skills, time management and
A total of 62 youth, age 14 to 18, from all over the city participated
in this summer's STEPs program, working at Queen Anne Community Center,
South Park Community Center and various other parks and community events.
The program ran for six weeks from July 11 to Aug. 20. Upon completion
of the program, each youth received a $599 stipend.
YOUTH TRACK ATHLETES HONORED
Councilmember David Della and the Rainier Beach Track Club
We are mighty proud of a group of young people who excelled this summer
on the national stage.
On Aug. 15, the City Council honored the accomplishments of these Seattle
athletes who participated at two recent 2005 national track and field
At the 39th USA Track and Field (USATF) National Junior Olympic Track
and Field Championships, in Indianapolis, more than 51 young athletes
from the Seattle's parks programs at Rainier Beach, Van Asselt, Rainier
and Miller community centers competed. Several young athletes won several
track and field events, including 11 athletes who won medals.
Young athletes from Garfield and Van Asselt community centers also participated
in the North American Hershey's Track and Field Meet in Hershey, PA, several
of them medaling.
Congratulations to one and all!
NEW PARK NAMES
In late July, I decided to name four parks as follows: I-5 Colonnade
in Eastlake; Solstice Park and Dakota Place Park in West
Seattle; and Plymouth Pillars Park in the Pike-Pine neighborhood.
- Located beneath I-5 in an area south of E. Howe St. between Lakeview
Blvd. and Franklin Ave. E, I-5 Colonnade is a 7.8-acre piece
of property that we leases from Washington State Department of Transportation
for open space purposes to connect areas west and east of I-5.
- Located across from the north side of Lincoln Park on Fauntleroy Way
SW, the land for Solstice Park was purchased by the City in 1922.
"Solstice" was chosen for the design feature of the park that
aligns three pathways with the solstices and equinox.
- A former City Light substation, Dakota Place Park, located
at 4304 SW Dakota St., consists of a 2,418-square-foot building and
a surrounding park site that will include a grassy open space surrounded
by native plants, demonstration gardens, and a plaza.
- Located on Boren Ave. between Pike and Pine streets, the 0.3-acre
of land for Plymouth Pillars Park was constructed by the Washington
State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) in 1966 as part of the I-5
construction. Plymouth Pillars Park was chosen to reflect the
history of the park's most prominent feature, the four limestone columns,
which once marked the entrance to the nearby Plymouth Congregational
NORTHGATE CC PROGRESS
If you've driven along 5th Ave. NE recently, just across the street from
the Northgate Mall, you've surely noticed the new community center, library
and park taking shape.
The contractor, Absher Construction, has completed installing the foundations
for the community center and library and three of four walls for the community
center gym are up. Most of the underground utilities for the site have
Despite an earlier difficulty with the supply of steel for the building,
the project continues to be on time and on budget with an anticipated
opening date of June 2006. Just to remind you, the project includes a
10,000-square-foot library, a 20,000-square-foot community center and
a 1.67-acre park.
Funding for the new facilities and park comes from the Libraries for
All bond, the 1999 renewal of the Seattle Center and Community Centers
Levy, and the 2000 Pro Parks Levy. For more information on the project,
please visit: www.seattle.gov/parks/centers/current/Northgate_Community_Center.htm
AQUARIUM/PIER 59 PROJECT
Welder adds pile length.
I reported in an earlier newsletter about this important project to shore
up Pier 59 and the Seattle Aquarium. We have been busy installing new
piles around the apron areas (walkable surface around the edge of the
building) and beginning to demolish the old wooden aprons so new concrete
ones can be poured.
Please note: beginning the Wednesday after Labor Day, Sept. 7, the Aquarium
will close to the public for nine days while we carefully remove the facade
and then demolish the front end of the structure. The Aquarium will re-open
to the public on Sept. 17 with a new entrance through Pier 60 (the mammal
and dome area).
Construction work after this re-opening includes finishing the apron
pours, new piling and a new front end of the building.
For more information, please visit www.seattle.gov/parks/maintenance/pier59
PARTNERING WITH SONICS AND STORM
Playing on the new court
with Seattle Sonic Nick Collison.
We appreciate the continuing partnership with the Seattle Sonics and
Storm which this summer has given back to the community on three park
At Benefit Park, the Sonics installed asphalt and hoops with glass backboards.
At Van Asselt Community Center, two existing tennis courts are being converted
to basketball courts, including new asphalt and four new hoops. At the
Playgarden at Colman Field the Sonics are putting in a new concrete basketball
court with hoops.
This greatly enhances the ever popular sport of outdoor basketball in
Seattle and especially in the central and south part of the city.
We've also been the fortunate beneficiary of a generous gift from the
Seattle Mariners. The Mariners donated used baseball equipment brought
by fans to a recent game to Seattle Parks and Recreation. The donation
was part of Baseball Tomorrow Fund Equipment Collection Day on Sunday,
Aug. 14. The donated equipment, including 26 gloves, 17 bats and 63 baseballs,
will be used by our T-ball and softball programs.
I was gratified to receive this letter from a park user late last month,
though I wasn't surprised by its content. Our parks and programs are many
things to many people, particularly during our busy summer months. Thanks
to our staff (and volunteers) who make good things happen!
Dear Mr. Bounds,
I am a very happy parent of a two and a six-year old who have both
participated in programs sponsored by Seattle Parks and Recreation over
the summer. It occurred to me that we are always very quick to complain
when things don't suit, but that we rarely speak up when we are satisfied.
My children have participated in a wealth of activities through the
Montlake Summer Camps, visited various wading pools around the City, and
have thoroughly enjoyed several performances sponsored jointly by the
Parks and Libraries departments.
I just want you to know that although you may not hear it often enough
there are lots of very grateful and happy parents, not to mention a whole
load of kids having a wonderful time thanks to your Department's planning,
preparations and hard work. I especially commend the outstanding efforts
by everyone at Montlake Community Center and the camp staff and counselors.
Hats off to all of you and a huge thank you from me and my family.
Beer Sheva Dedication
On Saturday, Sept. 11, we will dedicate the improvements completed at
Beer Sheva Park in southeast Seattle at 3 p.m. at the park, located at
8650 55th Ave. S. Improvements include a new play area, ADA paths, tables
Cal Anderson Park Grand Opening on Sept. 24
The improvements at Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill are numerous and
dramatic, and combined with new and varied programming in the park, they
will go a long way in "reclaiming" the park from its recent
doldrums, which included vandalism and other illegal activities.
I'd like to invite you to a grand opening ceremony at the park on Saturday,
Sept. 24, noon to 3 p.m. We'll have a community celebration with tours
of park, information on park improvements, music and other entertainment.
Thanks to Groundswell Off Broadway and Friends of Seattle's Olmsted Parks
for their help in organizing the ceremony. I hope to see you there!
Aerial Photo of Cal Anderson
We are now putting the finishing touches on the various projects. The
most stunning feature is the lidding of the Lincoln Reservoir at the north
end of the park. Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) installed a hard cover
over the reservoir. Then Parks, in coordination with SPU and the Seattle
Office of Arts and Culture, made park improvements above and adjacent
to the rebuilt reservoir. These include a large water feature (fountain,
texture pool, and reflecting pool), promenade, paths, landscaping, irrigation,
and site lighting.
Also at Cal Anderson, we built a new play area, added a basketball court,
made improvements to the park entries, replaced the surface of Bobby Morris
Playfield with synthetic turf. Earlier phases at Cal Anderson Park included
a new shelterhouse, plaza and public toilets.
Funding for the above projects came from the Pro Parks Levy, SPU, Parks
Cumulative Reserve Fund, the State Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation
(IAC), the Department of Neighborhoods, and Seattle Central Community
I'll be in touch soon.