Community encouraged to review site improvement plan for Magnuson Park’s Building 11

Seattle Parks and Recreation invites the community to discuss the site improvements proposed by Cascade Bicycle Club near Building 11 in Magnuson Park during a public meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. The meeting will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Belvedere Terrace Room at The Brig in Magnuson Park, 6344 NE 74th St.

The Cascade Bicycle Club is a long-term partner in Magnuson Park. The group is proposing to construct:

  • Wood post and beam canopies on the east and west sides of Building 11.
  • Building 40 (Paint Shop) renovations for bicycle repair and storage.
  • A planter wall to capture groundwater seepage from a hillside retaining wall.
  • A traffic garden layout for conducting safety classes in a portion of the west alley.

Almost 15 years ago the North Shore Recreation Area Master Plan proposed habitat and boating facilities. Those were constructed in 2006 and included a pedestrian-bicycle path to Sand Point Way NE. Between 2011-2013 major improvements were constructed in Building 11, including an upgraded electrical system, ADA ramps, fire hydrants and a boat trailer turnaround. Since then long-term partners Seattle Waldorf High School, CBC, and Sail Sand Point have completed major renovations.

For more information on the project, please contact Seattle Parks and Recreation Senior Planning and Development Specialist Kevin Bergsrud at 206-684-5831 or kevin.bergsrud@seattle.gov.

Deadline Approaches for Matching Funds to Support your Neighborhood Project

September 2 workshop for interested applicants
Application deadline is October 5

If your group needs funds to do a neighborhood project, our Neighborhood Matching Fund may be able to help. However, you’ll need to be quick because the application deadline for the Small and Simple Projects Fund is Monday, October 5 at 5:00 p.m. This fund provides awards of up to $25,000 to for community-building projects that are matched by community contributions.

To learn about the Small and Simple Projects Fund, visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/smallandsimple.htm. This is the last opportunity in 2015 to apply to this fund.

The final workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at University Heights Community Center (Room 209), 5031 University Way NE. The workshop provides an overview of the Neighborhood Matching Fund, the qualities of a good project, and the application process and requirements. To RSVP, go online at surveymonkey.com/r/ZHM36BJ or call  206-233-0093. The workshop is open to all.

Our Neighborhood Matching Fund staff is available to advise groups on ways to develop successful applications and projects. You are strongly encouraged to call 206.233.0093 or email NMFund@seattle.gov to discuss your project idea with one of our project managers.

The Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) Program awards matching funds for projects initiated, planned, and implemented by community members. Its goal is to build stronger and healthier neighborhoods through community involvement and engagement. Every award is matched by a neighborhood’s contribution of volunteer labor, donated materials, in-kind professional services, or cash.

Seattle Parks’ gardeners teach hands-on learning in Magnuson Park

Students in Magnuson Park. Photo by Jessica Levine

Seattle Parks and Recreation believes that parks make excellent classrooms, and this June, we tested that theory with the help of 300 students.

Students pull invasive plant species in Magnuson Park. Photo by Jessica Levine

On June 9, 10 and 11, Seattle Parks Northeast District Gardeners led approximately 300 sixth graders from Eckstein Middle School on field trips throughout Magnuson Park. The event was the culmination of their sixth-grade science unit on stormwater.

The gardeners shared the history of the site’s transformation from pristine wilderness, to naval airstrip and base, to constructed wetlands. The students learned about invasive weeds, native wetland vegetation, resident wildlife, and how they all relate to cleaning up stormwater before it reaches Lake Washington.

The gardeners trained a group of 50 students every two and a half hours on safe tool usage and uprooting invasive plants.  The kids were extremely productive, and many were surprised how much fun it was working in the park.

“Thank you for our memorable experience in Magnuson Park this week,” Eckstein Middle School teacher Jessica Levine said. “Removing invasives to help natives thrive is important for stormwater management. Glad we could help!”

Magnuson Park Advisory Council hosts community visioning workshop for future of Building 2

The Magnuson Park Advisory Council invites the community to a visioning workshop for Building 2 in Warren G. Magnuson Park from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, June 6. Join the advisory council for a lively day of community interaction around a historically significant building in Magnuson Park.

Registered attendees will receive maps to the locations. The event begins promptly at 1 p.m. with a 40-minute tour of Building 2. For safety reasons, late arrivals will not be accommodated, and all tours will be guided. Participants should wear sturdy shoes and consider bringing a flashlight. The tour is not ADA compliant.

The rest of the event is ADA compliant and takes place in the Officers Club of Building 30. There will be coffee and light refreshments, development experts from various fields and the opportunity to share your opinions and problem solve around the building’s future. The collective and individual visions of attendees will be recorded and shared with Seattle Parks and Recreation to use as they support redevelopment of the building.

To register, please visit http://building2.brownpapertickets.com/. The event is free. Magnuson Park is located at 7400 Sand Point Way NE.

Making parks enjoyable to people and wildlife through creative compromise

Beaver in Magnuson Park. Photo by Robert Vandenbosch

Seattle was recently named one of the top 10 cities for wildlife and we take that title seriously. Every day Seattle Parks and Recreation works at stewarding a healthy environment for people and nature. Recently our creative environmental stewardship efforts have led beavers to establish their habitat in Magnuson Park.

Seattle Parks’ staff started noticing beaver activity in the central wetlands last spring, and by December 2014, the water level in the north Promontory Pond was 4 feet above the designed level. Staff were challenged with protecting the trails and vegetation, without destroying the beavers’ habitat. In order to keep beavers in residence, staff had to come up with a compromise between human and natural use of the wetlands.

Enter the Clemson Beaver Pond Leveler.

Seattle Parks worked with the designer of the wetlands, an environmental consultant and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to lower the water level of the pond down between what the beaver created and what the design of the wetland intended. Staff coordinated the installation and monitoring of three water-level-control devices in the wetland to lower the water level about two feet. At this level, flooding to the adjacent trail is reduced and some of the shoreline and upland vegetation are saved. Most of the beaver’s dam was left in place while work was completed, and the beaver has already repaired the dam with the new water-level-control devices in place.

Photo by Mike Schwindeller

The Clemson Beaver Pond Leveler works by discreetly lowering water levels. It minimizes the sounds of rushing or dripping water, catalysts for dam construction. Additionally, since most of the device is submerged underwater, it lessens the probability that the beavers will detect current flow, another trigger for dam building.

Because of this work, Seattle Parks is able to allow beaver habitat in Magnuson Park, and give the public a unique viewing experience.