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New Community Boathouse Will Make Green Lake More Accessible to All

A new community boathouse that will make Green Lake more accessible to people of any background or ability level will open in 2021. Community volunteers in partnership with Green Lake Rowing Advisory Council, Associated Recreation Council, and Seattle Canoe and Kayak Club have raised a total of $5.4 million from public and private sources towards the $6.5 million goal.

“Our city is surrounded by water, but not everyone can safely or affordably enjoy it, including Green Lake, the most widely used park in our state” said Mike Stanley, president of Green Lake Rowing Advisory Council. “The new community boathouse will be a permanent public gateway to access Green Lake for generations to come.”

The current Green Lake Small Craft Center (GLSCC) houses the 70-year-old Green Lake Crew.  Started by storied UW rowing coach Al Ulbrickson in 1948, it is believed to be oldest public junior rowing program in the nation.  In 1963, long before Title IX, the crew added a girl’s program, another first for the region.  In its seven decades, the crew has introduced thousands of Seattle youth to rowing, opening doors to a diverse community, and even launching some to success on the national and international stage.

The 10,600 square-foot facility will increase capacity for programs through a combination of expanded and more efficient boat storage and additional instructional space. It will be fully accessible, which makes possible the launch of Seattle’s first public adaptive rowing program and expansion of a parapaddling program.  Specialized programs of Seattle Parks and Recreation will also be able to expand their work with individuals of differing physical and cognitive abilities.

User safety will be improved through restrooms, locker facilities, and areas for off-water instruction and community meeting space.  In addition, the new boathouse will better engage with Green Lake Park and the heavily used adjacent walking trail.