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West Woodland celebrates re-opening of playground and new rain garden

West Woodland Elementary students, teachers and parents will dedicate the school’s new and improved playground and rain garden from 9-10 a.m. on Wednesday. The public is invited. The West Woodland student choir will perform, and alumni from the class of 1933 will attend.

West Woodland students help plant their new rain garden.

Playground improvements include a running track and new play equipment. The track is made of porous asphalt that significantly reduces rainwater runoff. The rain garden – an eco-friendly bioretention area that diverts runoff from the city sewer system – features a number of native shrubs and plants and will be incorporated into the curriculum of fourth and fifth grade students.
The playground improvements were funded by the Seattle School District’s Businesses Technology and Academics Department and a matching grant from the city’s Department of Neighborhoods. The rain garden was donated by Seattle Public Utilities.
The celebration caps a two-year effort spearheaded by West Woodland parent volunteers, who donated hundreds of hours to procure funding, coordinate design, gather volunteers and oversee work parties. Parent Jodi Freeman chaired the grant committee, helped plan the overall design of the improvements, and coordinated hundreds of volunteers. David M. Guthrie, a freelance landscape architect and West Woodland parent, created preliminary drawings of the rain garden and worked with the city and volunteers to install the system and served on the committee throughout the project.

West Woodland Elementary is at 5601 Fourth Avenue NW in Ballard/Phinney Ridge.