Community invited to celebrate the new Yesler Terrace Park

Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Seattle Housing Authority invite the community to celebrate the new Yesler Terrace Park on Saturday, August 25, 2018, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This new park provides a much-needed outdoor community gathering place and is located at 835 Yesler Way, immediately adjacent to Yesler Community Center. At noon there will be an official dedication ceremony. Over the entire celebration Yesler Terrace Park will be filled with music, art, and food trucks. The Seattle Sounders’ RAVE Foundation will sponsor activities at the soccer field, and the Seattle University men’s basketball team will be hosting activities at the basketball court. Community-driven activities will continue until 7 p.m. with a neighborhood movie night at 8 p.m.

With sweeping views to downtown, Elliott Bay and Mount Rainier, Yesler Terrace Park is the new heart of the Yesler neighborhood. The park offers something for everyone in its two-acre footprint. An expansive plaza can accommodate community events, while providing a variety of smaller-scale spaces for gathering and play.

Taking advantage of the site’s topography, the playground below the plaza includes play structures that straddle the grade change and a slope for climbing up and sliding down. Sports amenities include a soccer field that was developed in partnership with the RAVE Foundation and a basketball court.

“We are so happy to be opening this new park that truly reflects our values of healthy people, healthy environment and strong communities. The design team collaborated closely with this diverse neighborhood and held many listening sessions to create a community-inspired park,” said Christopher Williams, Seattle Parks and Recreation Interim Superintendent. “We listened and heard that the community wanted small and large gathering areas plus active recreation spaces. Yesler Terrace Park delivers all this. This park is a great collaboration with the community and the Seattle Housing Authority.”

“Opening the new Yesler Terrace Park represents a major milestone in the redevelopment of Yesler into a model new mixed-income community with a significant increase in affordable and other housing for Seattle,” said Andrew Lofton, Executive Director of the Seattle Housing Authority. “The park will inspire and enable healthy living, and will provide an important civic gathering place for residents, neighbors from the surrounding areas and visitors from within and outside of Seattle to connect with each other. It is truly a jewel for the city.”

In addition, the multi-layered stone sculptures in the park by artist Christine Bourdette are inspired by the rich diversity of communities and cultural experience in the neighborhood. Towers of Burble, the spraypark sculptures in the central water feature, and Conversation Clusters the sculptural seating areas throughout the park, derive from the shapes of vessels, baskets, and stools from the cultural traditions of those who have migrated to this neighborhood. The artwork is funded by Seattle Parks and Recreation’s 1% for Arts Funds and administered by the Office of Arts and Culture.

The new park is the result of a successful partnership with Seattle Housing Authority and public-private donations that include Seattle Parks Foundation, RAVE Foundation (the official charitable arm of the Seattle Sounders), Wyncote Foundation Northwest, Pendleton and Elisabeth Carey Miller Charitable Foundation, The Community Parks Fund, Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, and the Office of Arts and Culture. Local landscape architecture firm, Site Workshop, designed the project, and Seattle Parks and Recreation awarded the construction contract to Wyser Construction.

For more information about the project and event please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/yesler-terrace-park or contact Karen O’Connor at karen.o’connor@seattle.gov or 206-233-7929.

 

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Harborview Medical Center Children’s Holiday Party brings joy to hundreds of children at Yesler Community Center

Yesler Community Center saw hundreds of happy children on Dec. 6 at Harborview Medical Center Children’s Holiday Party. Community children and the hospital’s pediatric patients received gifts and enjoyed visits from local superheros. The event was made possible with the help of volunteers from UW Medicine, Safe Kids Seattle, Toy for Kids, Seattle Mariners RBI Club and scores of individuals!

Seattle Mariners Rick Rizz, Dave Henderson and Dan Wilson helped sponsor the event.

 

Spider-Man shares his superpower with children.

 

Seattle police share in the fun.

 

Children practice crossing the street safely.

 

See more event photos here.

Design team changes outreach strategies for a changing community in Yesler Terrace

Monthly Vietnamese Senior Tea held at the Yesler Community Center, March 26, 2014.

 

When Seattle Parks and Recreation Project Manager Pamela Kliment began conducting outreach for a new park in Yesler Terrace, she had to rethink her outreach strategy. After presenting the project at three different Yesler Community Council meetings, she often found that there were only a few English speakers in attendance, and some community members couldn’t read in their own languages.

Shwu-jen Hwang and Frank Robinson are the designers for the project.  Both are Seattle Parks landscape architects.  Toby Ressler will be the project manager.  They are working as a team to make sure the park design will meet the community’s recreation and gathering needs, and be suitable for cultural traditions and future uses.

The team realized that if they were going to plan, design and build a park that reflected the people of Yesler Terrace and surrounding neighborhoods, they’d have to immerse themselves in those communities. During the last two months Kliment attended the First Hill Improvement Association Open House, and aided by interpreters, the monthly Vietnamese Senior Tea at the community center and an East African reading and singing event for children.

Reading and singing time sponsored by the Seattle Public Library held at the Yesler Community Center, April 9, 2014.

 

“Neighborhood discussions revealed that people will use the park to play games and to meet with friends,” Kliment said, “but we want to know the types of games they play in their cultures and the types of gathering areas they’d use. Do we put in benches and tables or have more open space? How close should these elements be to each other?  How can we add as much walking as possible?”

The design team faces a unique challenge because the park is part of the Yesler Terrace Redevelopment. Yesler Terrace is being redeveloped from a low-income housing development to a combination of low-income housing, market rate housing, offices and community spaces. All the existing housing will be demolished and the street grid will be altered.

The designers must try to satisfy current residents, future residents, business people, children, seniors and all of their diverse needs.

Yesler Terrace Community Council meeting April 15, 2014.

 

According to a report conducted by Seattle Housing Authority, African Americans/Africans and Asian Americans/Asians make up more than 80 percent of the Yesler Terrace population. Additionally, the disability rate in the community is nearly 50 percent higher than the overall Seattle population, meaning almost one in five residents is disabled.

“Yesler Park is the convergence point of many different cultures in a location that is close to downtown and is very connected to surrounding neighborhoods,” landscape architect Frank Robinson said.

In addition to attending already established events to do outreach, the Seattle Parks team sent out mailers in five languages and put up posters in the neighborhood inviting residents to attend three public meetings and give input on the park design. The first meeting was held in late April and the other two are scheduled for June 26 and Aug. 28 at the community center.

“Working with many different ethnic groups is very exciting and challenging, but we have found good ways to communicate with them and are very impressed with their level of engagement,” landscape architect Shwu-jen Hwang said.

The park will be 1.7 acres and will be adjacent to the Yesler Community Center on the west side. The 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy provides $3 million for the planning, design and construction of the park.

“The park is part of a changing community, and there are so many details to keep in mind,” Kliment said.

Design team changes outreach strategies for a changing community in Yesler Terrace

Monthly Vietnamese Senior Tea held at the Yesler Community Center, March 26, 2014.

 

When Seattle Parks and Recreation Project Manager Pamela Kliment began conducting outreach for a new park in Yesler Terrace, she had to rethink her outreach strategy. After presenting the project at three different Yesler Community Council meetings, she often found that there were only a few English speakers in attendance, and some community members couldn’t read in their own languages.

Shwu-jen Hwang and Frank Robinson are the designers for the project.  Both are Seattle Parks landscape architects.  Toby Ressler will be the project manager.  They are working as a team to make sure the park design will meet the community’s recreation and gathering needs, and be suitable for cultural traditions and future uses.

The team realized that if they were going to plan, design and build a park that reflected the people of Yesler Terrace and surrounding neighborhoods, they’d have to immerse themselves in those communities. During the last two months Kliment attended the First Hill Improvement Association Open House, and aided by interpreters, the monthly Vietnamese Senior Tea at the community center and an East African reading and singing event for children.

Reading and singing time sponsored by the Seattle Public Library held at the Yesler Community Center, April 9, 2014.

 

“Neighborhood discussions revealed that people will use the park to play games and to meet with friends,” Kliment said, “but we want to know the types of games they play in their cultures and the types of gathering areas they’d use. Do we put in benches and tables or have more open space? How close should these elements be to each other?  How can we add as much walking as possible?”

The design team faces a unique challenge because the park is part of the Yesler Terrace Redevelopment. Yesler Terrace is being redeveloped from a low-income housing development to a combination of low-income housing, market rate housing, offices and community spaces. All the existing housing will be demolished and the street grid will be altered.

The designers must try to satisfy current residents, future residents, business people, children, seniors and all of their diverse needs.

Yesler Terrace Community Council meeting April 15, 2014.

 

According to a report conducted by Seattle Housing Authority, African Americans/Africans and Asian Americans/Asians make up more than 80 percent of the Yesler Terrace population. Additionally, the disability rate in the community is nearly 50 percent higher than the overall Seattle population, meaning almost one in five residents is disabled.

“Yesler Park is the convergence point of many different cultures in a location that is close to downtown and is very connected to surrounding neighborhoods,” landscape architect Frank Robinson said.

In addition to attending already established events to do outreach, the Seattle Parks team sent out mailers in five languages and put up posters in the neighborhood inviting residents to attend three public meetings and give input on the park design. The first meeting was held in late April and the other two are scheduled for June 26 and Aug. 28 at the community center.

“Working with many different ethnic groups is very exciting and challenging, but we have found good ways to communicate with them and are very impressed with their level of engagement,” landscape architect Shwu-jen Hwang said.

The park will be 1.7 acres and will be adjacent to the Yesler Community Center on the west side. The 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy provides $3 million for the planning, design and construction of the park.

“The park is part of a changing community, and there are so many details to keep in mind,” Kliment said.