Seattle Parks and Recreation hosts fall festivities for Fido in Bell Street Park, Oct. 31

You may have outgrown trick-or-treating, but what about your four-legged friend? This Halloween, we’re celebrating a dog day in October and inviting all pooches to Bell Street Park for some festive fun.

Join Seattle Parks and Recreation from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, for Bow Wow Bibbity Bobbity Boo in Bell Street Park. We’ll be hosting a Dog-o-ween costume contest, pet mini pedicures, photo opportunities, arts and crafts for kids and will have food, music and more on site. All activities are free.

For more information, please call 206-684-7710. The event is located at the intersection of Third Avenue and Bell Street. Sponsors include the Belltown Business Association, Citizens for Off-Leash Areas, Belltown Community Council, High Paw Dog Walking, Buckley’s in Belltown and Friends of Bell Street Park.

Imagination Foundation presents ‘2015 Cardboard Challenge’ at Bell Street Park

Kids participate in a ‘Cardboard Challenge’

When you’re little, a refrigerator box isn’t just packing material; it’s a castle, cave or new car. From noon-9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10, the Imagination Foundation is sponsoring the 2015 Cardboard Challenge featuring the movie “Boxtrolls” at Bell Street Park. Children are invited to create cardboard creations and take part in other activities from noon-6 p.m. The outdoor movie starts at 6:30 p.m.

Seattle’s Cardboard Challenge is about encouraging the people of all ages to come together and foster creativity in children. Children are encouraged to build things from their imagination, to be doers, to explore interests and passions, to learn how to be resourceful and persevere and to see every day recyclable objects in new ways. 

“My hope is that this event inspires children and their parents to continue exploring interests and ideas throughout the year through child-led creative play,” event organizer Page Olson said.

In the case of inclement weather all activities will take place in the Belltown Community Center next to the park.

For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/GlobalCardboardChallengeSeattle.

Take your lunch break, celebrate parks

It’s Park and Recreation Month! Take your lunch outside!

 

Not to brag, but the entire month of July celebrates us. And we want you to join in the party. July is Park and Recreation Month and this year’s theme is “OUT is IN.”

The National Recreation and Park Association is challenging everyone to spend the month of July doing typical indoor activities outside every day.

Our suggestions:

Surveys show that many Americans are forgoing their lunch breaks because they feel guilty spending time away from the office. But, studies show that employees who take frequent breaks throughout the workday are more productive.

So in honor of Park and Recreation Month, take your lunch break and spend it with us. You’ll be more productive, and you’ll help us make the city a safer place.

Scattered throughout downtown parks in the summer you’ll find a variety of programming sponsored by Seattle Parks and our partnership organizations catered specifically for the lunch hour. The idea is that the more positive activities we bring in, the more negative activities will move out.

Seattle Tilth staff lead a gardening workshop in Freeway Park.

Freeway Park Association Executive Director Riisa Conklin described it well when she said, “It’s like we’re creating small interventions. We want people to know there’s always something going on.”

Conklin said her association has increased programming in Freeway Park by 50 percent this year. If you stop by the park around noon, you’re apt to find the Friends of Seattle Public Library book carts, kite painting parties, Seattle Tilth gardening classes and yoga.

Friends of Seattle Public Library books carts in Freeway Park.

“Too many people don’t know the park here, and we want to draw in residents,” Conklin said. “This is their park.”

But what’s that you say? You work further south or west and don’t care to climb up to Seventh Avenue? No problem.

Tucked away in Occidental Park beneath the dappled shade you’ll find free, classical chamber performances at noon every second and fourth Tuesday through September. These pop-up concerts feature University of Washington School of Music graduates who play in unique venues all over the city.

If you’d like a little more brain stimulation, play a drop-in game of bocce at Occidental, or really get the juices flowing at a game of drop-in chess at Bell Street, Westlake or Hing Hay Parks.

We’re working hard to create a more inviting atmosphere in our parks, but we need your help. So to celebrate Park and Recreation Month, get some grub and come visit us. Your city and your stomach will thank you.

For a more complete list of our outdoor summer activities, visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/downtown/.

Seattle Parks’ projects honored by Design Commission

Seattle Parks and Recreation has been honored for two of its recent park development projects by the Seattle Design Commission.

At the Design Commission’s Design Excellence Awards on Thursday, June 26, Commissioner Osama Quotah admitted that the Commission isn’t easy on designers.

“We ask project managers to do better, make changes and make a difference in the community,” Quotah said. “We push our design teams hard.”

The Commission reviewed 29 projects for this year’s awards and said that though each displayed merit, they were looking for projects that went above and beyond the expected. Seattle Parks projects were among the final seven projects that were recognized.

Planning and Development Director Michael Shiosaki accepted Kirke Park’s Design Excellence Award on behalf of Project Manager Kelly Goold.

Kirke Park – Design Excellence Award

Seattle Parks Project Manager Kelly Goold received a Design Excellence Award for Kirke Park.

The site for Kirke Park, in Ballard, was purchased with 2000 Pro Parks Levy funds and developed with 2008 Parks & Greens Spaces Levy funds. The park was originally named 9th Avenue NW Park and renamed Kirke Park which means “church” in Norwegian. This name pays tribute to both the Norwegian heritage of the neighborhood and the history of the site. This site was home to the Church of Seventh Elect in Spiritual Israel for more than 90 years.

Design Excellence Awards attendees admire Kirke Park display

Commissioner Megan Groth said the Commission was impressed by the designers’ ability to overcome the 20-foot grade change in the landscape and their incorporation of both passive and active recreation elements.

“The variety of spaces and programming that the designers fit into three-quarters of an acre is amazing,” Groth said. “They took into account the needs of the community. It is an exceptional example of a well-designed neighborhood park.”

Bell Street Park – Honorable Mention

Seattle Parks Project Manager Patrick Donohue received an Honorable Mention for Bell Street Park, located in downtown Seattle. Bell Street Park opened in April 2014. It converts one traffic lane along Bell Street and reconfigures parking to create a

Project Manager Patrick Donohue (left) receives an honorable mention for Bell Street Park

corridor through the heart of Belltown. The four-block area is improved with landscaping, better lighting, art and more open space. It welcomes bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists and provides the neighborhood with a new community gathering space.

“Bell Street recognizes the pedestrian quality of the neighborhood and integrates it safely with the road and cycling,” Commissioner Bernie Alonzo said. “It created new design standards for storm water and street integration. We’re excited to see future projects stem from the approach.”