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Celebrate Lower Kinnear Park at grand opening on Saturday

April 25th, 2014 by Laura

Lower Kinnear Park has received quite a facelift thanks to a park improvement project that has revamped the park, added a dog park, refurbished the tennis court, and more – and now it’s time to celebrate the snazzy improvements with a grand opening tomorrow, Saturday, April 26.

Kinnear PosterLower Kinnear Park is a 10-acre sustainable forest that boasts one of five madrone forests in Seattle. A Seattle city landmark, the park has been updated with a widened pathway through the forested grounds planted with native plants – the removal of invasive non-native plants was also part of the forest improvements.

FOLKpark (Friends of Lower Kinnear Park) raised nearly $1 million for the renovation, and they’re co-sponsoring the celebration event with Seattle Parks and Recreation.

All are welcome to attend the celebration, and FOLKpark is encouraging people to bring non-perishable food items to benefit the Queen Anne Food Bank.

Join the celebration from 1pm to 3pm at Lower Kinnear Park (601 W Roy St) and take part in games, a scavenger hunt, pickle ball, a native bird tour, dog park tour, tree talk, and more. Live music will help set the festive stage for the community event, and all are welcome!

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Hot kids? Take them to the East Queen Anne Playground wading pool, open three days a week

June 30th, 2013 by Laura

Little Howe Wading PoolOh, it was hot today, no doubt about it. And, tomorrow (Monday) is going to be a repeat. So, what can you do? Well, if you have little ones, the Little Howe Park wading pool is open for the season. It operates 3 days a week – Sunday, Monday, Tuesday – the perfect days this week since they fall during our heat wave.

Little Howe Park (or, as Seattle.gov calls it, East Queen Anne Playground) is at 1912 Warren Ave N, and the wading pool hours are noon-7pm.

The season is definitely here, let’s just hope our heat waves restrict themselves to 3 days a week!

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Public meeting to celebrate and discuss dog parks is scheduled for May 8

May 6th, 2013 by Laura

The Seattle Parks department is joining with Citizens for Off-Leash Areas (COLA) for a general meeting this Wednesday, May 8th, and the public is invited to join in the discussion. The meeting takes place at the Park Board Room (100 Dexter Ave N), 6:30pm-8:30pm.

LKP OLA approach

Lower Kinnear Park Off-Leash Area

COLA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was formed to obtain and maintain off-leash dog exercise areas in Seattle. Along with Seattle Parks, the COLA Board of Directors will be celebrating the openings of two new off-leash areas – one at Magnolia Manor Park and the other at our local Lower Kinnear Park.

In addition, the meeting will be a forum to share important updates and upcoming events, as well as hold a roundtable discussion on key topics such as events, fundraisers, marketing, education, volunteers, partnerships, and newsletters. Attendees will also be able to learn about the benefits of COLA membership and how to join. COLA member dues help improve existing off-leash areas, support the newsletter, phone line, and creation of educational brochures and materials.

All are welcome – although, please note, dogs must stay at home and sit this one out.

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Register for Green Seattle Day 2012 and Be a Volunteer for the SW Queen Anne Greenbelt

October 23rd, 2012 by Laura

Green Seattle Day, an all-volunteer effort to plant native trees and shrubs in Seattle parks, kicks off on November 3rd. The SW Queen Anne Greenbelt is on the list and so far only 3 of 20 volunteer slots are filled – so there’s an opportunity for you to register and help out the sole Queen Anne park on the list.

The Green Seattle Partnership is a joint effort by the City of Seattle, Forterra, other local nonprofit organizations, and volunteers to restore and steward Seattle’s parks and green spaces. Over 150 Earth Corps and AmeriCorps volunteers have cleared the area so the SW Queen Anne Greenbelt team will have a clean slate for planting 200-400 trees and shrubs. The team will also remove invasive ivy and create survival rings to protect trees from ivy.

Key Details:
What: Green Seattle Day at SW Queen Anne Greenbelt
Where: 1154 Elliott Ave W at W Lee, meet behind Super Supplements
When: Nov 3rd, 10am-2pm
Registration: RSVP online so the coordinator can plan for supplies

What Should I Bring?
Tools, gloves, and restoration supplies will be provided. If you have gloves or clippers, please bring them. Volunteers should also bring their own water. Wear warm clothes and rain gear, and note that since some areas are sloped, sturdy shoes or boots are recommended. Removal of blackberry vines will be one of the activities, and that task requires long sleeves and tough clothing.

RSVP online and mark your calendar!

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Links for Little Ones

September 3rd, 2012 by Elyssa

Program for Early Learning Support, PEPS, is offering a “Baby Peppers” group for the fall:

PEPS – The Program for Early Parent Support is offering Queen Anne Baby Peppers – a group for parents of 5-12 month old babies starting September 12 at the Twirl Cafe. In a PEPS Group, parents meet (with their babies), share, and learn in informal sessions facilitated by a trained volunteer. Each meeting includes time for sharing parenting highs and lows, followed by a discussion of a topic related to the joys and challenges of parenting. Baby Peppers meetings take place over 11 weeks and also include break time for informal socializing and connecting with other parents.

Baby Peppers is open to all families with babies 5-12 months old when the group starts. Some families have participated in a PEPS Newborn group but many are new to PEPS. The Queen Anne Baby Peppers group will meet every Wednesday from 12:30 to 2 p.m. starting September 12 at Twirl Café – located at 2111 Queen Anne Ave N. The program fee for the 11 week facilitated session is $155. Scholarships are available.

Local Hazardous Waste Management Program, King County, has put together a list of pesticide free play grounds/parks.  This new map enables you to search by city or zip.  A quick search showed that the crown of Queen Anne is lucky enough to have the majority of their parks to at least be in the low-pesticide category.

The location of SP&R’s wading, spray and beach closures for anticipation of the fall are listed below.  Quite a few have already closed so the only ones I’ve listed are those that are still open for business today (September 3rd) or are closing on a later date.

Wading Pools

Last day Monday September 3: Green Lake, Lincoln, Van Asselt, Volunteer

Sprayparks

Last day Monday September 3: Beacon Mountain at Jefferson Park, Georgetown, John C. Little, Lower Judkins, Northacres, and Pratt

Last day Sunday September 15: Lake Union Park

Last day Monday October 15: Ballard Commons and Miller Community Center

Summer Beaches

Last day Monday September 3: Matthews Beach, West Green Lake, Madison, Mount Baker, Seward

Outdoor Pools

Mounger Pool: Last day is Sunday September 9

Colman Pool: Last day for daily operation is Monday September 3. The pool is open Saturday and Sunday, September 8 and 9, and Saturday and Sunday, September 15 and 16.

We’re always looking for more to add to our weekly “Links for Little Ones”.  Have an idea or a tip for a post?  Send us an email at tips@queenanneview.com

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Rock sculptures going up at Counterbalance

June 4th, 2012 by Cory Bergman

Contractors working with Uptown Alliance and Seattle Parks and Recreation have begun installing five stones in Counterbalance park, the outcome of a controversial decision to add the rock sculptures. Work begins today (Monday) to install two sculptured basalt columns and three basalt sitting stones, and Seattle Parks expects the project will take two weeks to complete.

Two areas have been fenced off to prepare for the installation.

Some neighbors objected over worries the addition will spoil the minimalist artistic integrity of the park. Seattle Parks agreed with Uptown Alliance, and the city gave the project the green light last month.

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Development planned next to Queen Anne Bowl

May 24th, 2012 by Cory Bergman

A Redmond company plans to build a senior assisted living center next to Queen Anne Bowl, surprising some neighbors who believed the land was part of the city park. The plot in question sits just to the northwest of Queen Anne Bowl, immediately west of the Northwest Center Kids facility.

Here’s a sketch of the proposed development (.pdf), which is currently in design review. If approved, the three-story facility will feature about 100 apartments, a center square, outdoor gardens and roof terraces. You can see the playfield immediately to the right of the development.

The lot is currently home to four abandoned tennis courts, a house, large trees and a couple trails that wind through the property. While some neighbors believed the city owned the land, the lot was owned by Seattle Pacific University, which sold it to Aegis Living for $9.5 million.

Several neighbors told our partners at the Seattle Times that the sale came as a surprise, and they wished SPU would’ve worked with the city to preserve the land as a natural extension of Queen Anne Bowl and David Rodgers Park. The Times reported that both Seattle City Parks and Seattle Public Schools (which leases the former North Queen Anne Elementary School to Northwest Center Kids) had expressed interest in owning the land before, and SPU said it notified both about the impending sale — but didn’t hear back.

The view from the entrance of Queen Anne Bowl, looking toward the lot.

Queen Anne Community Council’s Don Harper told the Times that SPU didn’t give the city enough time to react. “There’s so many things that could have happened here,” Harper said. “A basketball court, a playground for little kids while their siblings are at the bowl. I just don’t think SPU gave the community enough time.” Added neighbor Denise Derr, “This is a significant loss of parkland for the entire city.”

The university provided Queen Anne View with a timeline of its communication with the city and the neighborhood. In October, SPU says it contacted each member of its advisory committee — some of which are neighbors — that the land was going up for sale. SPU also contacted Seattle Parks and the Seattle School District but “neither party responded back with any interest.” On November 14, the SPU advisory committee met with a number of Queen Anne neighbors in attendance. A few days later, a summary of the meeting was emailed to “lengthy neighborhood email distribution list.” On March 2, the committee was notified the land was sold.

Nevertheless, SPU Senior VP Don Mortenson told the Times that the university may not have notified enough people: both the Queen Anne Community Council and Northwest Center Kids right next door say they were not told about the impending sale.

The lot is heavily wooded in parts, and Aegis Living says an arborist has determined that seven of them are “exceptional” per the City of Seattle’s tree preservation program. The preferred design option, shown above, would preserve all seven of the trees, but the rest would likely be removed. The house on the property would be demolished, as well.

SPU says the plan is to use the funds from the sale to fund a new facility planned just to the south of SPU including a “performance auditorium, classrooms, faculty development center and facilities for SPU music and visual arts academic programs.” You can see more details on that project here.

The plan is currently in the design review process. We’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, what do you think of the planned development?

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West Thomas overpass running a bit behind, will still open this summer

May 15th, 2012 by Cory Bergman

SDOT was aiming for this spring to open the West Thomas St. pedestrian and bicycle overpass — the one over Elliott Ave. that links Lower Queen Anne to Myrtle Edwards Park — but the city says it’s now scheduled to open in July.

You may have noticed slow progress recently, and SDOT blames construction delays as well as the late delivery of new handrails for the overpass. The overpass begins at 3rd Ave. W, twists across Elliott near Big Fish Games, and drops down into Myrtle Edwards Park:

As the weather warms up, Lower Queen Anne residents and employees have been excited for the overpass to open. Currently, accessing the park involves a healthy walk south to the park’s entrance. We’ll keep you updated.

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City approves controversial addition to Counterbalance Park

May 14th, 2012 by Cory Bergman

Seattle Parks and Recreation has given the green light to an Uptown Alliance plan to add five stones to Counterbalance Park to honor Raj Shah, who helped finance the park. The plan, which has been revised since it was first proposed, has been opposed by several neighbors who worry the addition will spoil the minimalist artistic integrity of the park.

“Counterbalance Park is in danger of having its elegant, zen-inspired design be spoiled,” explained Flora Ninelles, a dissenting member of the Uptown Alliance Parks Committee, in an earlier story on Queen Anne View. The park was designed by landscape architect Bob Murase, who passed away in 2005.

Today, a Seattle Parks spokeswoman confirmed the stones will be added to the park assuming the Uptown Alliance meets several conditions, including paying for the installation and the insurance. “The Alliance is working to meet all these conditions, and as soon as they do the work will proceed,” Seattle Parks spokeswoman Dewey Potter told Queen Anne View. “Parks will bring the boardwalk back to its original condition.”

The plan is to add three smaller stones in the central part of the park and two larger vertical stones (pictured above) in the northwest corner. (Photo provided by Seattle Parks.)

“Although realizing that not all community members are in agreement on this, Seattle Parks has decided to approve the addition of the stones to Counterbalance Park,” explains Christopher Williams, acting superintendent of Seattle Parks, in a letter sent to a concerned resident last week. “Placement and details for the stones’ installation were reviewed by Seattle Parks landscape architects. Seattle Parks staff members have taken into account the aesthetics of the current park design, and the needs and wishes of a segment of the community closely involved with the history of the park.”

Seattle Parks does not have an estimate when the work will begin. We’ve reached out to Uptown Alliance for more details.

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Parking spaces transform into parks this Friday

September 13th, 2010 by Cory Bergman

Temporary parks will be popping up all around Seattle this coming Friday for a global event called “PARK(ing)” day.

A 2009 “PARK(ing) spot in Greenwood.

The event, sponsored by Feet First, allows people “grow” parks out of parking spots. “The average city dedicates about 20 percent of its public land to the movement and storage of automobiles, including roads and parking,” the press release from Feet First states. “PARK(ing) Day shows city residents what urban space can look and feel like when more public land is allocated for parks, art, recreation, social interactions, and other people-centric pursuits—rather than vehicles.

It doesn’t look like there will be any Park(ing) parks in Queen Anne this year, but other “PARKs” around the city can be found here (.pdf.)

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Playground parents, put this # in your cell phone

August 5th, 2010 by Marina Gordon

During the summer we spend a lot of time at playgrounds. With all the camps, daycares and neighborhood kids who put the playgrounds through their paces every day, equipment is bound to break. We see broken and sometimes dangerous structures and equipment fairly often.

If you’re at a playground and see something that should be fixed, call the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department’s 24-Hour Maintenance Request Line at 206-684-7250 to request a repair.

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Queen Anne community center and pool safe, East Queen Anne wading pool cut to 3 days a week

June 14th, 2010 by Doug Alder

The Queen Anne Community Center and Pool will stay open as normal for the rest of this year, but the East Queen Anne wading pool is being cut back to only 3 days a week.  That news came down this morning as the mayor announced his mid-year budget cuts.  The only areas that took a big hit in the Parks budget were wading pools and park maintenance.  The East Queen Anne wading pool will be open Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays from noon to 7pm (June 27 – August 22).

The mayor also decided against any cuts to the fire department budget in the wake of the deadly weekend fire in Fremont.  You can see the complete list of cuts here.

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