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Greenwood neighbors begin process of designing new park by library

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.