Posted by: Neighborhood Updates | June 22, 2009

Opportunities on the Horizon

At the celebration this weekend we announced a few things we are working on and also forgot to mention another.   In the interest of keeping people updated and informed, here’s what’s brewing:

A Park Sign — We are working with the Parks Department to ensure a sign is installed in the park so that all who pass by know it to be a PUBLIC park, open and accessible to all.   It has been ordered, and is just a matter of time before we see it in California Place Park.

Buffer Plants – Based on input and community concerns, we are working to plant “buffer plants” in the right of way area along California Ave SW.   This will create a natural border for the park and California Ave and help to enclose park users.  This is an element of the design that Karen Kiest created.  Her team will help us with placement and plant selection.  All plants will be from the list of approved plants for right of way areas to make sure visibility is not impaired.

We need your help to make this happen – we’re looking for community volunteers to help install these plants and also donations to help purchase plants.  If you’re interested in pledging time, money or seek more information please email us at info@californiaplacepark.org.  We’ll post more details on this as we have them!

Community Survey — Look for a survey from “Friends and Neighbors of North Admiral” in your mailbox in the next day or so.  We are seeking feedback from the community on outdoor community spaces.  This survey was sent to most residents North of Admiral Ave SW – about 1900 households and businesses.  Please take the time to answer these questions and return the survey in the enclosed envelope either by using a stamp or dropping it off at Barnecutt’s Admiral Service Station (the Shell station on the corner of Admiral Way SW and 41st Ave SW.)  We’ll post our analysis of the feedback as soon as possible.

As always, thanks for your input and support!

Posted by: Neighborhood Updates | June 22, 2009

A BIG Thanks to Everyone!

We had a great time at the park on Saturday!  Thanks to everyone who came to enjoy the celebration and music.  Eric Ode put on a fun and energetic show — the kids were jumping around, dancing and singing and I even found myself following along to “Simon Says.”

We had an opportunity to thank those who helped us to this point and want to call those people, organizations and businesses out:

  • Department of Neighborhoods for the grant that allowed us to hire our Landscape Architect – this includes Emma Moreno,  SuJ’n Chon, Patricia Lopez and the rest of their fabulous team.
  • Seattle Parks and Recreation department for their partnership especially Kellee Jones for her tireless support for our project.
  • Karen Kiest Landscape Architecture for facilitating the community discussions and creating a beautiful design for the park – this includes Karen Kiest, Christine Harrington and Peter Nelson.
  • Urban Sparks, particularly Jack Tomkinson for acting as our fiscal sponsor, advisor and mentor through this process.
  • Metropolitan Market for dontating the food and drinks at our celebration
  • The Admiral Congregational UCC church for allowing us to use their tables and power for our celebration in the park.
  • And most importantly all of the volunteers and community members who helped advise, create and post signs, write letters, develop our website, canvass the neighborhood, talk to their neighbors, by attending input and design meetings, and by offering words and emails of support.

THANK YOU ALL, for without you we would not have gotten this far.

Click here to read the West Seattle Blog’s coverage of the event.

I’ll add photos shortly and a separate post to discuss a few opportunities on the horizon.

Posted by: Neighborhood Updates | June 2, 2009

Thanks for Your Input, Join Us for the Celebration!

Join us at a celebration to thank all of the volunteers who dedicated time to this project, the community members that provided input and our city and community partners who helped us through this grant process!  We’ll be gathering at California Place Park on Saturday, June 20th at 3:30 PM.  Musical entertainment by kids musician and poet, Eric Ode and snacks for all, can’t wait to see you there!

Eric Ode

Eric Ode Songwriter, author, poet, music entertainer for kids

Posted by: Neighborhood Updates | April 18, 2009

Design Workshop #3 Complete!

Thanks to all who attended the third and final design workshop for the park! We are excited to be at this point and expect to have a final design within the next month or so and will continue to work with Karen as she puts together her final report. We are working on a celebration and appreciation event to be held next month at the park. The entire community is welcome to join us and details will be posted as they are finalized.

As always, the West Seattle Blog did an excellent job covering the meeting. Their summary of the workshop is at this link: http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=15826

We will post more information as we have it to share!

Posted by: Neighborhood Updates | April 14, 2009

Final Design Workshop THIS Thursday at 7PM

Please join us for the third and final design workshop for improvements to California Place Park, this Thursday, April 16 at 7PM at Alki Community Center. Karen Kiest, the Landscape Architect who has facilitated all of the workshops for this project will present a site concept for the park and the adjoining empty parcel (45th and SW Hill St) based on the collective input from the community. Attendees will have an opportunity to discuss with their neighbors what they like about the concepts and offer their feedback.

Please show your support by attending and providing your constructive input. We are also looking for people to help with next steps. Please send us an email or sign up to help out at the meeting.

Bring your family, friends, neighbors and community spirit to this critical meeting!

Alki Community Center, 5817 SW Stevens Street
Thursday, March 16, 2009 from 7-8:30PM

See you there!

Posted by: Neighborhood Updates | March 9, 2009

Design Workshop Summary by the West Seattle Blog

Tracy Record from the West Seattle Blog did a great job covering the meeting. Please take a read through her story, it’s a great way to view the design concepts along with Karen’s commentary on each.

If you haven’t already had the opportunity to provide feedback on the concepts, please send along an email and they will be routed to Karen Kiest. Send feedback by end of day on Wednesday, March 11th.

Thanks for the support!

Thanks to everyone from the community who came to the second Design Workshop for California Place Park this morning at Alki Community Center. We had about 100 people, a great presentation of potential design elements by Karen Kiest and her team, Christine and Peter, and lots of positive feedback from the attendees. Karen is still taking input from the community – please send your thoughts in an email by Wednesday, March 11th. Do it today so you don’t miss the chance!

You can view the design concepts through the West Seattle Blog – unfortunately I can’t figure out how to upload documents to this website. There are five options including an idea for the southern triangle as a point of reference.

After Karen’s presentation, people had an opportunity to discuss amongst their table. Each table then reported back on their discussion. Many were in favor of extending the park out to its natural boundaries which means reclaiming the asphalt on the north end as green space. It would also serve to shorten the crossing distance through the adjacent parking lot. Karen proposed moving the bus stop north about 30 feet which would open up visibility in and out from the bulkier south side of the park – more research would be needed to determine if this is feasible. Seating was also a common request and many were very interested in seeing the history of the area incorporated. One gentleman proposed renaming the park in honor of a local principal who was killed crossing the street about 25 years ago. Lots of other great feedback which will be distilled into the final design presented on April 16th at 7PM at Alki Community Center.

Many were concerned about costs and funding the construction. The grant we have right now is funding the design only. Once we land on a final design we would be able to determine implementation costs. We would then need to raise money within the community and seek out funds from both private and public sources — both of which are available even in a down economy. This process will take time but it can be done and should not be the reason to abandon a wonderful public project that would provide work opportunities for local businesses!

A point to note is that Karen has met with the Parks Department and reviewed the designs that were shared today with the Pro View team. This ensures that any potential changes meet the standards set forth by Seattle Parks and Recreation. She will meet with them again prior to presenting a final design. This should help to alleviate concerns about if and how Parks would maintain any changes to the area. They won’t approve anything that they can’t maintain.

For additional information about the meeting and the project, check out the rest of the website and extended coverage on the West Seattle Blog.

Posted by: Neighborhood Updates | March 7, 2009

Childcare Available at Tomorrow’s Design Workshop

I neglected to mention in our earlier post that there will be supervised childcare available in the Alki Community Center playroom for parents attending the design workshop. Meeting and childcare begin at 10:30AM tomorrow morning – we look forward to seeing you there!

Posted by: Neighborhood Updates | March 5, 2009

Design Workshop #2, THIS Saturday at 10:30AM

Reminder! We’ll be reviewing the new designs for the park this Saturday at Alki Community Center from 10:30AM – 12 Noon. Karen Kiest has done a wonderful job representing the feedback from the community and has created several beautiful options that contain ideas for the neighborhood to review and provide input. We are very excited about what she has to share. There are no plastic playstructures, no climbing walls on the church, no holes or giant sand pits and the trees are all intact! The design options are natural, open, welcoming and timeless – a perfect compliment to the Admiral neighborhood.

Your attendance and participation at this meeting is vital! As I’m sure you’ve heard there are some very vocal opposers to any change. Most of these people believe we intend to destroy the natural beauty of the park which is completely false – see our previous post for the myths that are circulating. We need your support at this meeting to show that the Admiral neighborhood believes in creating spaces that support community interaction! It doesn’t matter if you haven’t been to any of the other meetings, now is the time to show your support.

Bring your family, friends, neighbors and community spirit to this critical meeting!

Alki Community Center, 5817 SW Stevens Street.

Saturday, March 7, 10:30 – 12 Noon

Look forward to seeing you there!

Posted by: Neighborhood Updates | February 25, 2009

There is NO PLAYGROUND DEVELOPMENT at California Place Park

The signs you may have seen posted around the neighborhood, signed by Jan Bailey and Dennis Ross, only serve to incite fear and spread misinformation about FANNA’s intentions and ideas for California Place Park. Click here to read about our goals. FANNA has rebuffed the talk of plastic play structures and typical playgrounds from the very beginning. Ms. Bailey and Mr. Ross continue to use this characterization of the project as way to drum up anger and to obtain signatures for their petition.

Our original application to the Department of Neighborhoods uses the word “playground”, however in all subsequent meetings, documents and conversations we have been very clear to describe the project as a natural playscape with the goal of enhancing the green space and incorporating natural elements to entice children of all ages. Both Ms. Bailey and Mr. Ross have been in nearly every one of these meetings.

The ideas expressed by many of the residents of the Admiral neighborhood show there is a strong desire to create a natural and green space that welcomes and accommodates a cross section of its residents and yes, that does include children. California Place Park as it exists now is merely an extension of the yard for the church it sits next to – at least that’s what most residents we spoke with believed about the area before we applied for our grant.

We encourage all residents to do their own research, form their own opinions based on the facts and attend the Design Workshops to listen and respectfully contribute ideas. This is not a fight, this is not a conspiracy — we are all neighbors, made up of individuals and families who enjoy living in Admiral and have the best intentions for our families and community in mind.

Project Contacts and Information
Parks Department — Kellee Jones, 206-684-7052
Department of Neighborhoods — Emma Moreno, 206-386-4123
Neighborhood Volunteers and Project Co-Chairs — Ann Limbaugh and Manuela Slye
Historical Media Coverage of the Project — West Seattle Blog

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