SDOT Soliciting Proposals for 5 New Neighborhood Parklets

Parklet LogoDo you have a creative idea for a small public space in your neighborhood? Now is your opportunity to pitch that idea by applying to become a parklet host!

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has just released a call for new parklet applications, and you’re invited to apply. Parklets convert one or two on-street parking spaces into public open space and help to activate the right-of-way, promote economic vitality, and support vibrant neighborhoods. They are privately funded and maintained but open for everyone to enjoy.

Seattle’s Pilot Parklet Program launched in summer 2013 with the opening of the Montana Bar parklet on Capitol Hill and the approval of parklets in Belltown and Chinatown/International District. The pilot program explores how well parklets serve Seattle neighborhoods; extending the program through 2014 will allow SDOT to evaluate parklets in diverse neighborhoods and conditions before making recommendations on a permanent program.

SDOT will permit five new parklet locations this year, and you could be one of those five! Completing an application is easy. You’ll need to prepare a simple site plan showing the ideas for your parklet, collect at least two letters of support from businesses or residents near the proposed parklet, snap a few photos of the parklet location, and write a paragraph or two explaining why you want to host a parklet. Visit the program website for more information and to download the application guidelines.

Need a little more inspiration? Check out our parklet gallery to see photos of parklets in other North American cities. But don’t wait too long to develop your own park let idea.

All application materials must be emailed to by 5:00 p.m. on February 28, 2014.

Work at Lowman Beach Park Continues with Tree Removal and Grading

Murray Site PlanDuring the week of January 27, 2014, King County contractor crews will continue survey work around the project area and begin clearing the project site east of Lowman Beach Park to prepare for site stabilization activities in February.

Some of the survey work will occur in streets and sidewalks near the project sites. Traffic control personnel will be present to assist passage through the work areas and avoid congestion.

Crews will remove some trees, brush, underground tanks and building foundations from the eastern work area over the course of the week.

Crews will also install an entrance to the project site in Lowman Beach Park, spreading rock and grading within the fenced area.

This work supports the County’s project to build a one million gallon underground storage tank that will help keep sewage and polluted stormwater out of Puget Sound during storms.

What to expect

  • Work hours will be weekdays from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Beach Drive and Lowman Beach Park remain open
  • Increased activity and noise from both project areas
  • Crews operating heavy equipment including excavators and dump trucks
  • Traffic control personnel directing traffic during survey work in nearby streets

Please avoid accessing the project sites at all times. Pedestrians are encouraged to use Beach Drive’s western sidewalk to pass by the project sites.


Seattle Parks Hosting Community Meetings On Possible Ballot Measure

ParksNoticeDatesSeattle Parks’ citizens committee will be hosting meetings with the community about a potential park funding ballot measure.

Seattle Parks and Recreation will host three community meetings in January to get feedback on the work done by the Parks Legacy Citizens’ Advisory Committee in preparation for a potential 2014 park and recreation funding ballot measure.

Seattle Parks and Recreation began working on the Park Legacy Plan, which forms the basis of a ballot funding measure, more than a year ago. The process began with a series of community and park-user surveys, and culminated with six public meetings throughout the city to gather input. The process has focused on bringing a chorus of voices into the conversation about how Seattle Parks and Recreation can meet the growing needs of a vibrant city. After Seattle Parks published the second draft of the Parks Legacy Plan in June 2013, the Mayor and City Council convened a volunteer Parks Legacy Citizens’ Advisory Committee to advise them on what a park funding ballot measure should pay for and what type of funding mechanism it should be – a levy or a metropolitan parks district.

In December, 2013, the committee released its preliminary report and a first draft of a prioritized list of programs and services it believes should be funded. At each of its meetings, the committee took public input, and it held a public hearing in November.

At the community meetings in January this year, the public will learn more about the committee’s recommendations, become educated on the possible funding options, and meet and talk with committee members.

The meetings will be held:

  • Thursday, January 23, International District/Chinatown Community Center, 719 8th Ave. S, at 6:00 pm.
  • Saturday, January 25, High Point Community Center, 6920 34th Ave. SW, 1:00 pm. (free childcare will be provided)
  • Thursday, January 30, Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave. N, at 7:00 pm.

The meetings will feature a brief presentation that describes how the committee has prioritized a list of potential investment initiatives. That will be followed by professionally facilitated workshops that seek community input in three specific areas.

  1. Priorities: Did the Committee find the right balance among: 1) taking care of the park and recreation assets that the City already owns; 2) funding programs, classes and services for the community; and 3) preparing for the future by developing “land banked” park properties into new parks and acquiring new park land?
  2. Size: Attendees will learn how different levels of funding affect homeowner taxes, and then give feedback on which size of funding package seems appropriate.
  3. Funding mechanism: Facilitators will explain the differences between short-term, long- term, and permanent levies, and how those compare to the formation of a metropolitan parks district (MPD). Attendees will then be asked to give feedback on which mechanism is most suitable for Seattle, and will be offered the chance to express thoughts or concerns about each option.

After the January community meetings, the committee will reconvene in February to review, and perhaps revise, its preliminary recommendations based on the public input; and they will discuss and make a recommendation on the size and type of the funding measure. The committee will send its final recommendations to the Mayor and City Council on March 12.

Committee members are: Barbara Wright, Co-Chair; Charlie Zaragoza, Co-Chair; Thatcher Bailey; Steve Daschle; Juli Farris; Bill Farmer; Thomas Goldstein; Jessie Israel; Diana Kincaid; Michael Maddux; Brice Maryman; Yalonda Gill Masundire; Mustapha Math; Erika Melroy; and David Namura.

To learn more, read the Legacy Committee’s Interim Report. It’s available at, or in hard copy at community centers and pools. The Interim Report details the committee’s process, rationale, and interim recommendations.

Detailed information about each proposed investment and possible funding mechanisms is also available on the Parks Legacy Citizens’ Advisory Committee website, and will be available at the meetings.

Those who want to give input, but are not able to come to the meetings can give written comments, which bear equal weight to verbal comments. Please email comments to

For interpretation services or special accommodations at the meeting, please email or call Susanne Rockwell (206-733-9702). For more information contact Joelle Hammerstad at

Sustainable West Seattle Seeks New Board Members for 2014

SWStablingHelp make West Seattle more sustainable and resilient!

Sustainable West Seattle (SWS) is seeking new board members for 2014. We seek individuals who can commit 8 to 12 (or more) hours monthly to help us in growing SWS. Our mission is to “educate, create and advocate for sustainability in our local community.”

Board members meet once a month as a steering committee and often serve either as an officer or play a leadership role in one of our major projects, or board members lead with grantwriting, fundraising, or membership. Our board is both informal, friendly and committed to improving our community.

SWS seeks in 2014 to focus on improving our innovative projects –

We are also aiming to improve our volunteer support, fundraising, and outreach to diverse communities.

If supporting this important non-profit is appealing to you by committing to our board for a 1-year term, please contact Bryan Fiedorczyk at We would love to hear from interested parties before our annual Membership meeting on January 21, 2014.

Seattle Parks To Pilot Dementia-Friendly Programs at Several City Park Locations

Dementia-friendly_leftSeattle Parks and Recreation will pilot new Dementia-Friendly recreation opportunities starting in January 2014.

Throughout 2014, Seattle Parks and Recreation will pilot a variety of recreation programming geared to persons who live with memory loss. These “dementia–friendly” activities are intended to enhance the lives of those living with early stage memory loss. Care partners are also welcome to participate. Programs offer participants a chance to engage, create, learn, and be active, all in a stimulating and supportive environment.

Seattle Parks and Recreation will work with other innovative community partners such as Greenwood Senior Center, the Alzheimer’s Association, Aegis on Madison, Elderwise and Outdoors for All, to offer a variety of dementia-friendly recreation programs such as a vigorous fitness class at Miller Community Center, watercolor painting at the Seattle Japanese Garden and Volunteer Park, a snowshoe hike near Snoqualmie Pass, a memory loss walking group at Woodland Park Zoo, and a volunteer program at Cherry Street Food Bank.

“The Memory Loss Zoo Walk is designed to get us out into the fresh air so we can have fun and socialize, and to help us feel we’re part of a supportive community,” says one participant who lives with memory loss.

Dementia-friendly recreation programs are being piloted in response to the growing number of people living with dementia in the community, and the recognition that persons with dementia can lead full and meaningful lives.

“The food bank volunteer program is a fun way for my dad to keep engaged and be social without any expectations or pressure,” says the daughter of a man living with memory loss.

Over 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is expected to triple by the year 2050. Many who are diagnosed feel fearful, lost and alone. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Many living with memory loss are finding opportunities to stay connected and enjoy life.

“It’s exciting that we’re working with community partners to expand opportunities for people living with memory loss,” says Parks Recreation Specialist Mari Becker. “Even more exciting is that people living with memory loss are engaged in designing the kind of programs they want to see happen. And it’s exciting to be part of a movement, momentia, telling a new story about what it means to live with dementia. For too long, the dementia story has been all about fear, loss of purpose, and isolation. The new dementia story is about hope, meaning and connection. And the entire community can play a part in making that happen!”

The concept for dementia-friendly recreation programs was developed through the leadership of Lifelong Recreation (recreation programs for people age 50+) alongside a task force of staff and community members, including people living with dementia and their care partners. Seattle Parks and Recreation is proud to participate in a citywide coalition dedicated to building a dementia-friendly Seattle.

To get more information, to volunteer or to register for a program, please contact RecreationSpecialist Mari Becker, 206-684-4664, For additional information “like us” on Life Long Recreation Facebook page and stay-up-to-date on programs such as Minds in Motion, Memory Loss Zoo Walk and Snowshoe Hike or visit

Neighborhood Match Fund Workshops Offered; Learn To Apply for $25K Grants

DoN 25th Anny LogoSeattle Department of Neighborhoods is offering workshops  to learn about the Neighborhood Matching Fund.  Matching funds support community-initiated projects in Seattle.

The Neighborhood Matching Fund, a program of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, is hosting three workshops for those interested in applying to the Small and Simple Projects Fund on February 3. The Small and Simple Projects Fund provides matching awards of up to $25,000 to neighborhood groups for community-building projects.

At each workshop, participants will get an overview of the Neighborhood Matching Fund, the qualities of a good project, and the application process and requirements. To RSVP, call 206-733-9916 or go online Childcare and interpreters can be arranged if participants RSVP and request these services at least 72 hours in advance. The workshops are open to all.

Workshop dates and locations:

  • Saturday, January 11; 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
    • Garfield Community Center, 2323 E. Cherry Street
  • Tuesday, January 14; 6 pm – 8 pm
    • Ravenna Community Center, 6535 Ravenna Ave NE
  • Thursday, January 23; 6 pm – 8 pm
    • Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Ave S

To learn about the Small and Simple Projects Fund, visit The deadline for applications is Monday, February 3 at 5:00 pm, but be sure to register first on the Department of Neighborhood’s web-based application system now. There will be two more opportunities to apply to the Small and Simple Projects Fund later in the year on June 2 and October 6, 2014.

The  Neighborhood Matching Fund staff is available to advise groups on ways to develop successful applications and projects. We are eager to help you, so call 206.233.0093 or email NMFund@seattle.govbefore applying to discuss your project idea with one of our project managers.`

The Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) Program awards matching funds for projects initiated, planned, and implemented by community members. Its goal is to build stronger and healthier neighborhoods through community involvement and engagement. Every award is matched by a neighborhood’s contribution of volunteer labor, donated materials, in-kind professional services, or cash. The Fund is a program of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

SWS January Annual Membership Meeting @ C&P Coffee; Includes 2013 Review & 2014 Look Forward

Come have dessert with the Sustainable West Seattle board of directors as part of our annual membership meeting.

West Seattleites, we need your energy and talents to reinvigorate the Sustainable West Seattle (SWS) board!

Please join us on Tuesday, January 21st from 7:00 – 8:30 pm at C&P Coffee (5612 California Ave SW) for our annual membership meeting.  The evening’s activities will include:

  • Dessert hosted by the current 2013 SWS board
  • Recap of SWS 2013 activities, projects and events
    • Tool Library new hours
    • Tox-Ick continues to draw support
    • Instant Edible Garden demonstration
    • GreenLife presentations continue to grow
  • Nomination and voting for new 2014 board members
  • Voting for minor bylaw amendment (see below)
  • Idea sharing by attendees for consideration by incoming 2014 board


Proposed bylaw amendment: [pertains to membership meetings, the change would reduce to a minimum of 6 the number of scheduled meetings annually.  This does not change the ability to host special meetings or to schedule more than 6 annual meetings. Existing paragraph is below and proposed change is below that.]

2.5 Membership Meetings – The CC [Coordinating Committee] shall set a regular time and place for monthly SWS membership meetings, which shall be open to the general public. Any changes to the regular monthly meeting shall be communicated to the membership with no less than fifteen days prior notice. The January regular meeting shall serve as the Annual meeting of the membership, for the purpose of reporting the state of the organization and to elect a new CC.

Change from “…set a regular time and place for monthly SWS membership meetings…” to “…set a regular time and place for regular SWS membership meetings (at least six per year)…”