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


May 19 teacher walkout – what to do with your kids

May 12th, 2015 by Doree

Seattle Public Schools’ teachers will stage a one-day walkout on Tuesday, May 19, to protest the state legislature’s current underfunding of public schools. That is leaving many working parents scrambling for what to do with their kids.

Coding with Kids, a Redmond-based academy teaching computer programming to elementary and middle school children, is offering a discounted day camp on May 19 at the Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Ave. N. Camp will run from 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., and is for ages 7-14. Cost is $89.

One day of coding fun! Tech-savvy instructors will guide small groups of campers as they unleash their creativity. Both beginners and experienced coders are welcome! (Students will be grouped by age and experience.)

Campers will receive personalized instruction and collaborate with new friends. Everybody will learn something new and build a game or two of their own. After camp, students will be able to share their work with family and friends and continue development through online access. (Programming environment: Scratch) The camp will include off-line activities and multiple breaks. Please, send snacks, lunch and water with your children.

Seattle Parks and Recreation will have free drop-in activities for students from kindergarten to 8th grade from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 21 community centers, including Ballard, Loyal Heights and Bitter Lake.

Due to space limitations, eligible students will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. All students must have a completed registration form. Registration forms can be obtained at open community centers, at the community centers the day of the drop-in service, or printed from http://www.seattle.gov/parks/. To hold a spot at a center register in advance please go online at https://class.seattle.gov/parks/Start/Start.asp. A registration form still must be brought to the community center on the 19th.

Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Associated Recreation Council will staff these sites. Parents are asked to drop off eligible children by 9:00 a.m. Spaces for parents who have pre-registered will not be held past 9:00 a.m. Once signed in, children will only be released to the authorized contacts listed on the registration form (identification is required).

Parents are asked to send a sack lunch with their child. Snacks will be provided to all students, and lunch will be provided to those students who are unable to bring their own.

The drop-in activities will be available at the following community centers:

  • Alki, 5817 SW Stevens St.
  • Ballard, 6020 28th Ave. NW
  • Bitter Lake, 13035 Linden Ave. N.
  • Delridge, 4501 Delridge Way SW
  • Garfield, 2323 E Cherry St.
  • Hiawatha, 2700 California Ave. SW
  • High Point, 6920 34th Ave. SW
  • Jefferson, 3801 Beacon Ave. S.
  • Loyal Heights, 2101 NW 77th St.
  • Magnolia, 2550 34th Ave. W.
  • Magnuson, 7110 62nd Ave. NE
  • Meadowbrook, 10517 35th Ave. NE
  • Miller, 330 19th Ave. NE
  • Northgate, 10510 5th Ave. NE
  • Queen Anne, 1901 First Ave. W.
  • Rainier, 4600 38th Ave. S.
  • Rainier Beach, 8825 Rainier Ave. S.
  • Ravenna-Eckstein, 6535 Ravenna Ave. NE
  • South Park, 8319 8th Ave. S.
  • Van Asselt, 2820 S Myrtle St.
  • Yesler, 917 E Yesler Way

Parks’ Teen Centers will be open 2:30-8:00 p.m. in order to provide some daytime drop-in activities for teens. Geographically located Teen Centers are Meadowbrook, Garfield, and Southwest. See http://www.seattle.gov/parks/tlc/.

If you know of any other special childcare programs on May 19, please let us know below in Comments.

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Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center to be named after longtime volunteer Nancy Malmgren

April 21st, 2015 by Doree

NancyMalmgren-resizedSeattle Parks and Recreation will name Carkeek Park’s Environmental Learning Center after longtime volunteer Nancy Malmgren, who has spent the last four decades helping to restore the park and Piper’s Creek watershed.

The Nancy Malmgren Environmental Center will be dedicated at 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, at 950 NW Carkeek Park Rd.

Nancy Malmgren first visited Carkeek Park in northwest Seattle in 1945 at the age of 16, and she’s maintained a strong connection to the park ever since. Ms. Malmgren’s daughter attended Carkeek Park’s annual Girl Scout Day Camp for six years and Nancy led different scout groups on expeditions throughout the park. In 1965, she began making restoration improvements to the area.

Ms. Malmgren has spent the last 40-plus years restoring Carkeek Park and the Piper’s Creek watershed. After securing funding from the Clean Water Act in 1979, Nancy and her husband Les started the Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project in partnership with Ted Mohldendorph. The watershed group organized educational, habitat restoration and outreach activities in the area and the Malmgrens often spent full work weeks reinforcing stream channels and creating sustainable paths for salmon. By the late 1980s, the couple’s efforts were repaid when hundreds of chum salmon returned to the stream.

Ms. Malmgren has received an Environmental Excellence Award and Denny Award from Seattle Parks and Recreation along with recognition from the Washington State Department of Ecology and the Washington State Ecological Commission.

The event will be part of the larger Pioneer and Garden Celebration hosted by the Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Please RSVP to Cheryl Eastberg at Cheryl.Eastberg@seattle.gov or 206-386-4381.

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Kickoff for ‘Save Seattle’s Apples’ is Sunday at Linden Orchard

April 16th, 2015 by Doree

City Fruit, Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and Greater Good Granola are joining forces for a campaign to save all the apples from neighborhood trees that go to waste. The kickoff to the “Save Seattle’s Apples” campaign is from 12-3 p.m. Sunday at Linden Orchard Park, North 67th Street and Linden Avenue in Phinney Ridge, near Green Lake.

The Save Seattle’s Apples campaign seeks to build awareness about Seattle’s urban canopy, the proper care and management of apple trees, and provide opportunities for the public to protect apples. Additionally, the project aims to reduce waste that unnecessarily ends up in the compost bin.

The kick-off event will begin with opening remarks about the goals of the campaign. Volunteers will then walk door-to-door in the Phinney neighborhood educating and assisting homeowners in protecting their apple trees from pests. The event will also feature samples from Greater Good Granola, prizes, and opportunities for the public to pledge to reduce waste.

City Fruit promotes the cultivation of urban fruit in order to nourish people, build community and protect the climate. We help tree owners grow healthy fruit, provide assistance in harvesting and preserving fruit, promote the sharing of extra fruit, and work to protect urban fruit trees.

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Earth Day Work Party at Greenwood Park on Sunday, April 19

April 10th, 2015 by Doree

Volunteers are organizing an Earth Day work party at Greenwood Park, 602 N. 87th St., from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sunday, April 19. Work with staff from the Seattle Parks and Recreation to plant new vegetation around the park, clean up beds and generally take care of the park.

Tools and work gloves will be provided. Please email visiongreenwood@gmail.com if you plan to come.

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Greenwood neighbors begin process of designing new park by library

February 4th, 2015 by Doree

About 30 Greenwood neighbors met at the Greenwood Community Council meeting two weeks ago to discuss what the neighborhood’s new park could look like.

Seattle Parks and Recreation purchased the land directly north of the Greenwood Library, on the northeast corner of North 81st Street and Greenwood Avenue North, in 2011 with funds from the 2008 Pro Parks Levy. But since Parks didn’t have any development money, the three businesses in that small strip mall stayed, then slowly started moving out (they’re receiving city relocation assistance funds). The only remaining business is Manna Teriyaki, which is looking for a new spot in the neighborhood.


Bill Farmer, who lives in Phinney Ridge and has been involved in recommendations for the parks levies, spoke at the January GCC meeting about the process to date.

After voters passed last year’s parks measure, the Parks Department now has money to develop the site, along with 13 others throughout the city. Farmer said all 14 park sites will be developed sometime between 2016 and 2018. He explained that the sites will be developed in the order they were acquired, so the Greenwood site, which is about one-quarter acre, is about halfway down the list.

Community members, including two students from Greenwood Elementary School’s architecture club, weighed in on initial ideas for the park. Here are a few of their ideas and comments:

  • The park needs a safer street crossing, both North-South to the library and East-West across Greenwood Avenue. Perhaps a pedestrian bridge over 81st Street?
  • It would be nice to have the same kind of boulders that are at the library entrance and in the children’s area to tie the library and park together.
  • A place to sit similar to Ballard Corners Park’s concrete “sofa” that would tie in to reading/library. One little girl suggested a slide shaped like a book.
  • An active playground would be heavily used by all the families coming to the library’s weekly story times.
  • A gazebo or shelter would keep the park active even in winter or other rainy times, and could provide a place for bands to play during community events, or for the annual holiday caroling event.
  • Teenagers are often forgotten in the planning of parks – make sure to have something that appeals to them as well.
  • A small garden geared for young kids to teach them how to garden.
  • How would the park mitigate street noise and air pollution from cars?
  • How can we use the space while it’s in transition? After the building is torn down, would a fence go up keeping people out, or would neighbors be able to use the empty lot somehow?

Designing the park will be a community-wide process. If you’d like to be on the Greenwood Community Council’s email list to be notified of future park and GCC meetings, click here.


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Green Lake closed to swimming and all water contact due to toxic algae

September 12th, 2014 by Doree

Seattle Parkes and Recreation today closed Green Lake to swimming and water contact for people and pets because of toxic algae.

People and pets should not swim, wade or play in the lake. Dog owners should be especially cautious not to allow animals to go in or drink from the lake. If there is water contact for a pet, it is important to rinse well to remove all algae.

Symptoms of illness from contacting the toxins in water are eye, nose, and mouth irritation and skin rash. If accidental contact occurs, use clean water to promptly rinse skin. Swallowing the toxins may cause abdominal pain, diarrhea vomiting and in severe cases liver damage. If symptoms occur after swallowing lake water, park users should consult a health care professional or veterinarian immediately. Pets are at highest risk.

Tests have revealed that high levels of toxins are currently found in the algae and are higher in areas where algae collect. King County Department of Natural Resources has been conducting weekly testing of water at various locations around Green Lake as well as scum samples submitted through the State Toxic Algae Program. After each test, the information is reviewed by Public Health – Seattle & King County.

The lake remains open to fishing (though fish should be thoroughly cleaned) and boating in stable boats. Avoid areas of scum when boating.

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s lifeguarded beaches closed for the season on Sept. 1.

A warm, dry summer has promoted the algae bloom, and continued warm weather continues to promote it. Blooms have been known to last into November in particularly warm autumns, and typically disappear as the weather gets colder.

Toxic algae blooms appeared at Green Lake in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2012 and in 2013, resulting in warnings to the public about exposure to the algae. Intense blooms of blue-green algae have occurred in Green Lake since 1916. Phosphorus released from the bottom sediments stimulates algae growth. Treating the lake with alum inactivates the phosphorus that is released from the bottom sediments and prevents stimulation of the algae growth. Green Lake was successfully treated with alum in 1991 and 2004. The water quality improved for several years following treatment on both occasions, and has been mostly good since 2004.

Green Lake is home to cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae that are regularly present in small numbers. When nutrients are plentiful and the weather is warm, the conditions are right for an algae bloom to take place. Winds can concentrate the buoyant cyanobacteria into accumulations or scums along the shoreline, which may increase the amount of toxin that could be ingested by pets or people using the lake recreationally.

For more information on cyanobacteria, please visit Washington Department of Health toxic algae website.

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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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Aloha Ramen moving to Lake City

February 3rd, 2014 by Doree

Aloha Ramen, at 8102 Greenwood Ave. N., is moving to Lake City. According to a sign in the window, the restaurant will move on Tuesday, and reopen at its new location at 3004 NE 127th St. on Friday, Feb. 6.

Aloha Ramen and its neighbors, Manna Teriyaki and Greenwood Quick Stop, are moving because the land was purchased two years ago by Seattle Parks and Recreation for an eventual park. The site is between the Greenwood Library and Bleachers Pub.

Here’s what the site looks like now (Aloha Ramen is to the left of Greenwood Quick Stop):


Greenwood Quick Stop is constructing a new space at 8409 Greenwood Ave. N.

We’ll update this story when we know more about the Parks Department’s and Manna Teriyaki’s plans.

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Reminder: Meeting Thursday on possible parks levy

January 28th, 2014 by Doree

Seattle Parks and Recreation is looking at sponsoring a new levy in August to fund more facilities, services and programs. They’ve already held two community meetings; the third is this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave. N.

Parks is looking at more funding for Woodland Park Zoo and Seattle Aquarium, more maintenance funds, Park Rangers to improve park safety, increased funding to keep community centers open longer hours, more P-patches, and acquiring more land for future parks.

Meeting participants will help Parks staff determine how to prioritize the list of possibilities, what exactly should be on the ballot, and what tax mechanism should fund it.

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