Kirke Park recognized for its sustainable landscape


Kirke Park


Kirke Park was recently named a two-star certified site by the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) program, making it one of only 34 projects to be certified nationwide.

SITES was started through the United States Botanic Garden, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin and the American Society of Landscape Architects. The program encourages healthy ecosystems and has developed a comprehensive rating system for sustainable landscapes.

The site of Kirke Park before it was developed.

The rating system is broken into categories such as human health/wellbeing, education/performance monitoring and soil/vegetation. Projects must meet 18 prerequisites to be eligible for certification. If a project is eligible, it receives points for every category requirement it satisfies and based on its point value becomes a one-, two-, three- or four-star certified site.

Kirke Park after it was developed.

The rating system was developed in collaboration with dozens of sustainability experts, scientists and design professionals from across the nation.

SITES Program Director Danielle Pieranunzi said it’s a great achievement for Kirke Park to receive so many points, considering the park is less than an acre in size.

Kirke Park earned points for its promotion of urban agriculture through its community garden, native plantings, healthy soil and stormwater management and its incorporation of the historic building structures found on-site.

To read more about Kirke Park’s certification, please visit

The site for Kirke Park was purchased with 2000 Pro Parks Levy funds and was developed with funding from the 2008 Parks & Greens Spaces Levy. SiteWorkshop landscape architects designed the park. It was officially opened in August 2012.

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.”