Seattle Parks and Recreation Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent
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Ravenna Creek Daylighting
within Ravenna Park
Pro Parks Project Information

Location: 5520 Ravenna AVE NE (Ravenna Park)

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The grand opening was held on Sunday, May 14, 2006.


Ted Holden
800 Maynard Ave S. 3rd Floor
Seattle, WA 98134
Ravenna Creek
Ravenna Creek
Ravenna Creek
Ravenna Creek


Thank you, Seattle! This project is complete.

This project included excavation of 650 lineal feet of new creek channel and enhancing a total of 850 lineal feet of the Ravenna Creek channel.

Other project work elements included clearing and grading the site, installing new pathways, stairs, railings and a pedestrian bridge, installing artwork, restoring the stream corridor, revegetation with native plants, and seeding. The project will be complete in late spring 2006.
5520 Ravenna AVE NE (Ravenna Park)
$185,000 planning and design (Pro Parks) and up to $1,700,000 construction and art work (King County)

Allocation by Year:
2001 2002 : $145,000
2002: $ 40,000
2003: Up to $1,700,000 (King County Dept, of Natural Resources)
Planning: 2001- 2002
Design: 2002
Construction: 2005 - 2006
Completion: 2006


The Ravenna Daylighting project included work on two segments of the creek (one in Ravenna Park, and one in Cowen Park).

See separate fact sheet for daylight project in Cowen Park.

Within Ravenna Park, the project daylighted the creek, bringing new creek corridor habitat an additional 650 feet.

The creek had been diverted into a sewer, but now connects to a culvert that takes the creek into a stream flow transfer pipeline, which was constructed by King County Metro. The pipeline takes the water to Union Bay Slough -- its natural outfall.

Restoration provides a variety of associated benefits including increased habitat, drainage improvements, and aesthetic opportunities.

Seattle Parks and Recreation coordinated this project with King County Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wastewater Division, which funded the construction of creek daylighting through the park. Artwork within the park and along the route of the King County conveyance pipe will serve as a memorial to the former creek.

Project History/Background:
Ravenna Creek
At the turn of the century, Ravenna Creek flowed from Green Lake, along what is now Ravenna Boulevard, into Cowen Park. It carved a deep ravine through what is now Cowen and Ravenna Parks. As the watershed was developed, most of Ravenna Creek and its associated wetlands were gradually reduced, diverted and filled. Green Lake was lowered by seven feet in 1911 to create more park shoreline. The remaining stream above Cowen Park was directed into a sewer pipe, leaving only the springs within the parks as source water. Springs within Cowen and Ravenna Park continued to feed the stream.

Today one branch of Ravenna Creek starts out as a wetland in Cowen Park just below the park entrance at 62nd and Brooklyn. A second branch begins near NE 65th Street and 23rd Ave NE. The branches join in Ravenna Park. The creek is fed by several springs throughout Ravenna Park.

In 1990 Metro proposed a new pipe conveyance project to separate Ravenna Creek from the sewer system. The Ravenna Creek Alliance (RCA) formed in 1991, with the alternate proposal of daylighting the creek from Ravenna Park to Lake Washington. Metro/King County delayed construction of the conveyance pipe while the feasibility of daylighting through the neighborhood was studied. Ultimately, the City decided against the full daylighting proposal but supported daylighting the creek within Ravenna Park. In spring of 2000, the City and King County exchanged letters agreeing on the scope, funding, and responsibility for the project.


The original scope of the project was limited to the lower playfield at Ravenna (based on funding restrictions from King County). During the public process, King County agreed to allow their funding to pay for ballfield relocation, and a search for alternative athletic sites was conducted. Several alternate sites were suggested, but all sites with the exception of the upper Ravenna playfield were eliminated as candidate sites due to a variety of constraints (size, previous programming, etc). The preferred alternative that emerged based on public input at Workshop #3 involved relocating the Little League field to the upper playfield (Alternative #3). However, significant opposition from users of the upper playfield, who were not in attendance at Workshop #3, led to an extended public process to resolve issues which threatened to split the community.

Two additional workshops were held to bring all users into the discussion. The final workshop was held on September 5, 2002. Eighty-five people, representing a cross section of interest groups, attended the final conceptual design workshop. There was consensus on preserving the upper playfield as open space - no one supported a ballfield there. There was not consensus on the other options. The board of Ravenna Creek Alliance advocated that the ballfield be removed from the park entirely so that the creek can be "the best creek it can be". Given that there is no alternative for baseball replacement outside Ravenna Park, most of the attendees were in favor of accommodating the ballfield on site. Most in the room felt they could live with Alternative #2.
> Minutes of March 14, 2002 workshop You will need adobe acrobat reader to view this document
> Minutes of April 18, 2002 workshop You will need adobe acrobat reader to view this document
> Minutes of June 20, 2002 workshop You will need adobe acrobat reader to view this document
> Minutes of August 20, 2002 workshop You will need adobe acrobat reader to view this document
> Minutes of September 5, 2002 public meeting You will need adobe acrobat reader to view this document
> Minutes of October 9, 2003 Public Meeting You will need adobe acrobat reader to view this document


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Updated  6/5/2007 10:43 
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