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


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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Join others 50+ to train for a half-marathon walk

January 23rd, 2014 by Doree

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Sound Steps program is once again hosting free half-marathon walk training to active adults age 50+. The info session is from 2-4 p.m. next Wednesday, Jan. 29, at the Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N. 85th St.

Participants work toward a 5K, 10K or half-marathon walk. Join others on Saturday mornings for a group training walk from February through June, meeting at Ampersand Café, 424 N. 85th St. at 9 a.m. Ampersand offers a 10 percent discount to Sound Steps walkers.

Members of the group will train for three walk events:

  • St Paddy’s Day 5K on Saturday, March 15 at Jefferson Community Center
  • Green Lake Loop 5K/10K on Saturday, April 19 at Green Lake Community Center
  • Lake Union Loop 10K/Half Marathon on Saturday, June 14 at Gasworks Park.

If you can’t attend the info session but would like to join the training group, please RSVP to Mari Becker, mari.becker@seattle.gov.

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Community meetings on new Parks levy in August

January 20th, 2014 by Doree

Seattle Parks and Recreation is sponsoring a new levy in August to fund more facilities, services and programs. So they’re hosting three community meetings to determine what exactly should be on the ballot, and how to fund it. One of the meetings will be close to Greenwood-Phinney Ridge, at the Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave. N., at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30.

Meeting attendees will be asked how they would prioritize the list of possibilities, and what tax mechanism should fund it.

Ideas that Parks is looking at include 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.

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Woodland Park Play Area renovations to start in January

December 5th, 2013 by Doree

Renovations to Woodland Park Play Area on the corner of North 59th Street and Phinney Avenue North are scheduled to begin Jan. 6. Seattle Parks and Recreation expects the work to be completed sometime in April. The play area will be closed during renovations.


Play equipment will be replaced and access will be improved. The work will be done by A-1 Landscaping and Construction.

Check out the project website for renderings of what the completed play area will look like.

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All Seattle Parks community centers, indoor pools and teen life centers are now a Safe Place for teens in crisis

November 27th, 2013 by Doree

All 26 Seattle Parks and Recreation community centers and eight indoor pools (including Green Lake Community Center and Evans Pool) plus three teen life centers are now part of the Safe Place network in King County, where teens can ask for help when in crisis.

Community center doors now bear the distinctive yellow decal that signals to young people that they can find help and safety inside. Facility staff have been trained in the protocol to follow when a young person asks for help: offer the young person a safe and quiet place to wait and rest, and call the Safe Place hotline to notify the Safe Place coordinator of the situation. Within 45 minutes, a Safe Place coordinator will arrive to assess the teen’s needs, helping them either return home or go to a youth shelter, as appropriate.

The King County Safe Place network is run in partnership with YouthCare in Seattle, Friends of Youth on the Eastside, and Auburn Youth Resources in South King County. Each agency has a Safe Place coordinator on staff, and has emergency shelter beds available to teens in crisis. This partnership ensures that no matter where a young person is, help is always close at hand.

The goal of the program is to prevent youth homelessness by preventing a young person from spending their first night on the streets, and to help youth who have been on the run for some time to reconnect with family and other services.

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s community centers join a network of agencies and organizations providing more than 1,800 Safe Place sites throughout the county, including King County Metro Transit, King County libraries, YMCA facilities, United Way of King County, and the City of Snoqualmie. Launched in 2011, the program has expanded in 2013 thanks to support from the United Way of King County.

King County Safe Place is part of a national network of more than 20,000 partnering businesses and community locations that display the yellow diamond Safe Place sign.

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