A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Annual Festival of Fruit at Carkeek Park’s Piper’s Orchard is Saturday

September 9th, 2014 by Doree

The Friends of Piper’s Orchard is hosting the annual Festival of Fruit from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, at Carkeek Park‘s historic orchard. Events begin at Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center, 950 NW Carkeek Park Rd. There will be a cider pressing and tasting, live music, activities for kids, and guided tours of the orchard.

All are welcome to join for:

  • Informational presentations: Experts including the renowned Dr. Bob Norton, retired research scientist from WSU Extension in Mt. Vernon, and Shaun Shepherd from Portland’s Home Orchard Society will give talks on apple varieties and identification.
  • Apple identification: Bring apples from your home orchard for variety identification.
  • Fresh pressed cider: Visitors are encouraged to try out making cider the old-fashioned way, with a hand cranked cider press.
  • Homemade pie: Visitors can donate homemade pies. Fresh warm cider and slices of homemade pie will be available for a nominal cost, with proceeds to support ongoing maintenance of the orchard.
  • Orchard tours: Expert volunteers who have restored the orchard will lead tours, pointing out the heirloom varieties that are going strong as well as younger trees and newly planted grape vines.
  • Apple Tasting: Visitors will have the chance to taste heirloom apple varieties that are grown in the orchard.
  • Kids’ crafts: Little ones will enjoy organized arts and crafts activities.
  • Cider making presentation: Watch and learn how to make cider during a presentation starting at 2:30 p.m.

The festival is free and open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to park below the learning center. Volunteers will be directing guests. For more information, please call 206-684-0877 or visit www.pipersorchard.org.

The Festival is sponsored by Friends of Piper’s Orchard, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Carkeek Park Advisory Council, Seattle Tree Fruit Society and City Fruit.


13 rotting alder trees to be removed at Carkeek Park starting Monday

September 5th, 2014 by Doree

Beginning Monday, Sept. 8, Seattle Parks and Recreation will fell 13 failing alder trees at Carkeek Park. A 24-inch diameter alder tree fell and destroyed the bridge adjacent to the Salmon Imprint Pond this spring. Crews will take down nearly two-dozen more that have trunk decay and undermined root systems.

When Seattle Parks tree crews fell the 13 trees, where practical they will leave the trunks’ lower portions as wildlife snags. Hydraulic lifts will be used to remove 12 of the trees in sections, and one tree will be felled from the base. Using the lift will limit the amount of woody debris getting into the stream and help protect the tree workers. The remaining stumps will help create wildlife habitat. This plan was created in collaboration with Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.

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Carkeek Park entry road closed again today for repaving

May 13th, 2014 by Doree

Seattle Department of Transportation crews have closed the entry road into Carkeek Park again today to finish repaving work. The road should reopen by 5 p.m.

Bicycle and pedestrian access will be curtailed on the entry road on May 13th but unpaved trails into and through the park will be open as usual.

The repaving of NW Carkeek Park Road is part of a larger repaving project by SDOT in the immediate surrounding neighborhood, including 8th Ave. NW, NW 114th Pl., NW 116th St., 6th Ave. NW and NW 117th St.

The repaving project is expected to be completed over a period of two weeks beginning May 6, 2014 and ending on Friday, May 16th. Typical working hours are between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

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Call for temporary outdoor artworks at Carkeek Park

March 24th, 2014 by Doree

The sixth installation in the “Heaven & Earth” series of outdoor artwork at Carkeek Park just north of Greenwood will be on display from July 12-Oct. 29. This year’s theme is “As Above so Below.”

The exhibition is a collaboration with Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Carkeek Park Advisory Council, and the Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA). Artists will receive a $500 honorarium.

CoCA will accept proposals for a wide variety of media for placement in a series of suggested locations viewable online (http://www.cocaseattle.org/carkeekphotos.htm). As Above so Below is open to all artists (whether established or emerging), local, regional, national, or international. All work should have a minimal impact on the park and eventually leave “no trace” following removal. Working in conjunction with its partners, CoCA will select up to 12 artists and/or artist’s teams from the pool of applicants and offer an honorarium of $500. CoCA will also publish a map and full color catalog of the exhibition, create a shared blog, archive the work on www.heavenandearthexhibition.org, and offer participating artists a one-year membership in CoCA. The 2014 exhibition will be guest-juried by Thendara Kida-Gee, Artist/Curator, and Paula Hoff, Strategic Advisor, Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent’s Office. There is no fee to apply.

As Above So Below: Heaven & Earth 6 is one of the region’s only venues for site-specific artwork in an urban forest setting where part of the exhibit includes a walking tour of an hour or more. Spread throughout Carkeek Park’s 200-plus acres of urban forest in a series of clusters linked by trails, As Above So Below affords a prime opportunity to explore a broad range of contemporary interpretations of art and nature, including performance, new media, landscape interventions, installations, sound art, biomimicry, ephemeral work, and other interdisciplinary perspectives.

Deadline for final entries by midnight Saturday, May 1, 2014 PST. Please send submissions to http://www.cocaseattle.org/submission.php. View 2009 – 2013 exhibitions at www.heavenandearthexhibition.org.

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Main access road in Carkeek Park closed so crews can repair water line

January 15th, 2014 by Doree

Part of the main access road into Carkeek Park is closed as crews repair a water line. Repairs should be done on Friday.

The road past the Environmental Learning Center is closed while crews work to repair the pipe. Carkeek Park is located in northwest Seattle at 950 NW Carkeek Park Rd.

To protect public safety, the road to the lower meadow, beach and wetland areas is closed to traffic. Pedestrians can still access these areas via trails from the upper parking lot at NW 100th Pl. Flaggers will be in place during work hours to direct traffic.

The pipe supplies potable water needed to operate King County’s Carkeek Pump Station and Wet Weather Treatment Facility. Crews are working to repair the leak and anticipate completing work by the end of the day on Friday, Jan. 17. Affected areas of the road will be repaired and repaved.

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Meat stuffed with rat poison found on Carkeek Park trails

December 16th, 2013 by Doree

Kevin tells us he found meat stuffed with rat poison on the trails at Carkeek Park on Saturday. The piece of meat he found was on the Clay Pit Trail, on the south side of Pipers Creek. He said it appears someone was trying to poison dogs.

The piece of meat was about 3″ long and maybe 1.5″ thick – too big I think to be intended for crows or anything small. The right size, however, for a dog to scarf down before its owner can stop them, on-leash or off. We did not find any more poison anywhere else, but we didn’t check every trail or grassy area.

We warned several folks we saw with dogs, and one family immediately headed off to the vet because their dog had eaten something they thought looked like a strip of meat before they could stop her.

One early sign of rat poison ingestion in dogs is green poop (from the dye in the poison) – if you see that get to the vet immediately. Much more info on symptoms can be easily found online, but short version is that it can take days for symptoms to appear, it does not cause vomiting, and it attacks the blood, causing lethargy and impairing clotting, so often there will be copious bleeding from the mouth and nose or from small injuries.


And here’s what the underside looked like.


KOMO has a story about someone else who found tainted meat at Carkeek this weekend.

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Celebrate the return of Carkeek Park’s chum salmon on Nov. 23

November 13th, 2012 by Doree

Seattle Parks and Recreation is celebrating the return of chum salmon to Pipers Creek at a special celebration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving, at Carkeek Park. Besides a good opportunity to see salmon, they’ll also have children’s activities, music, treats and hot drinks.

Those chum are a gift to the people of Seattle from the Suquamish Tribe for the Piper’s Creek salmon stock supplementation program.

The chum and a few coho return each year to the natural beauty of Carkeek Park. From Saturday, November 10 to Sunday, December 9, Salmon Stewards will be on hand at the park each Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to enhance visitors’ understanding of the life cycle of the salmon. The Salmon Stewards Program is a community volunteer program funded and collaboratively run by Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Restore our Waters program at Seattle Public Utilities. To date, volunteer salmon watchers have recorded 145 live chum and 17 live coho.

Pipers Creek has a long and spotted history with salmon. Historically the creek and its tributaries most likely supported runs of steelhead, sea-run cutthroat, and coho salmon. In 1893, the Great Northern Railroad was built over Pipers Creek, and in 1906 the railroad built a rock seawall and placed the creek in a culvert under the tracks. The last of the virgin timber in the watershed was logged in 1921. Development in the watershed also contributed to water quality and habitat degradation and in 1927, local residents reported seeing the last pair of spawning salmon in the creek.

Fortunately, in 1929 much of the Pipers Creek watershed became Carkeek Park. This preserved the land surrounding Pipers Creek (currently 223 acres). The park land, the existing open spaces, nearby back yards and large trees act as buffers to help protect the creek and its spring-fed tributary system. Though the historical salmon populations vanished, the creek system has continued to provide habitat for an ancestral, resident cutthroat trout population.

Because of the potential for salmon production in the watershed, in 1980, volunteers from Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project began a salmon enhancement project in Pipers Creek in partnership with the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW). Today the Suquamish Tribe’s Grover’s Creek Hatchery provides chum salmon as fingerlings for release into Pipers Creek and eggs for local schools to raise.

About 70,000 chum fingerlings are first introduced into the Les Malmgren imprinting pond at Carkeek Park each winter, and 5,000 additional eggs are provided to approximately 25 elementary schools that raise and release their salmon into the imprint pond at Carkeek Park each spring as an activity of the Salmon in the Schools Program. The young chum are held in the pond under the care of diligent volunteers and fed for about three weeks to imprint them to the “smell” of the creek system, which helps them return as adults to spawn.

After two to five years at sea, the chum salmon return to Pipers Creek as 10 to 22 pound adult fish, ready to spawn. The returning chum salmon include fish released through the stock supplementation program and potentially, descendants of fish that spawned naturally in the creek. typically, between 100 and 600 chum salmon spawners return to Pipers Creek between late October and mid-December.

The peak of spawning generally occurs each year around Thanksgiving. Stay up to date on fish sightings in Pipers Creek by following the Carkeek Park Salmon Stewards on Facebook, or call 206-684-5999.

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Festival of Fruit at Carkeek Park next weekend

September 9th, 2012 by Doree

Piper’s Orchard is hosting the Sixth Annual Festival of Fruit from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15 at Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center, 950 N.W. Carkeek Park Road. All festival events are free.

Tree fruit expert Tim Smith will speak at 10:30 a.m. Smith is an internationally known WSU extension educator from Wenatchee, who will discuss how to grow fruit trees organically.

Competitive bakers can enter the home-made fruit pie contest; entries are due at the festival by 10 am.

Other activities include kids’ crafts, live music, cider pressing, orchard tours, apple tastings, and special talks about the orchard’s history and fruit. Fresh cider and pie will be sold.

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Man falls 60 feet off a bluff at Carkeek Park

July 19th, 2012 by Doree

From our sister site, My Ballard:

A man fell 60 feet from a bluff at Carkeek Park, according to a report from KIRO-TV. The man is 48 years old and rescuers had to descend into a ravine to get him out. He is now out of the ravine, and a live video stream from KIRO showed him being carried on a backboard out of the park and to the hospital.