Category Archives: Parks & Greenspace

Crown Hill Park Meeting Wrap-up

Crown Hill Park Meeting

On April 28th, 2010, more than 50 community members gathered in room 4 of the Crown Hill Center (formerly Crown Hill Elementary School) to hear about, see and provide community input on the latest plans for the soon to be Crown Hill Park. Kim Baldwin, Pamela Alspaugh, and Shwu-Jen Hwang of the Seattle Parks and Recreation Dept presented the latest version of the schematic for the new park. Lynn Wirta (former director of Small Faces) presented the latest version of the schematic for the playground which will be on the adjoining Crown Hill Project/Small Faces property.

April 2010 Schematic Park Plan
April 2010 Schematic Park Plan (click to view full size)

The last schematic (developed in 2006) was out of date, and needed to be updated to reflect the change in ownership of the park and school land. When the plan was last looked at, the future park land and buildings were owned by the Seattle School District. Subsequently, the School District surplussed the property and the Crown Hill Project acquired the building(s) and associated land on the northern portion, while the city acquired the actual park land on the southern portion.  In the map below, the park property is shown in green while the Crown Hill Project property is shown in red and blue. Additionally, the project has suffered delays due to the temporary relocation of SFD Fire Station #35 to the southernmost portion of the property. The fire station will be relocating to its newly revamped headquarters in late summer or early fall, clearing the way for the development of the new park.

Continue reading Crown Hill Park Meeting Wrap-up

New Playground Plans for Small Faces

Lynn Wirta unveils the new playground plans
Lynn Wirta unveils the new playground plans

At the recent Seattle Parks and Recreation Dept. community meeting to present the proposed plan for the new (as yet unnamed) Crown Hill park, Lynn Wirta presented the conceptual drawings for the new Small Faces playground. Lynn is the recently retired director of Small Faces, and she now serves as a volunteer on the playground renovation project.  Small Faces recently received a Small and Simple Grant from Seattle for $17000 to update the playground. The working group has been meeting on alternate Thursdays for a number of months now, and recently asked for community input in the form of a survey. Community input and especially volunteers are always welcome — contact Small Faces (206.782.2611) or simply come to one of the meetings.

Below are closer views of the actual proposed plan the first is visionary and the second is bare-bones:

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Campaign to Save Ballard and Loyal Heights Community Centers

We received an appeal from Mindy Terence of the Loyal Heights Block Watch. The appeal concerns the impending possible closure of one of the two Ballard Community Centers due to the looming Seattle Parks and Recreation budget crisis.  Mindy has created an online petition at Please read, and if you agree, consider signing the petition. More extensive coverage of the budget crisis and links to other articles is available on the Crown Hill Neighbors website at

Seattle Parks & Recreation Budget Crisis

Seattle Parks and Recreation Dept is facing a budget crisis. There is a $2.5 million shortfall this year, and this may force a closure of one or both of Ballard’s Neighborhood Community Centers (Loyal Heights Community Center at 2101 NW 77th, or Ballard Community Center at 6020 28th Ave NW).

In part this may be due to the opportunities for new and improved parks afforded by the two Parks Levy funds approved by voters. Establishing new parks adds to the base of parks the department must maintain, but adds no funds to maintain them once built.  The current city budget situation aggravates the situation by cutting the budget to service and maintain all parks city-wide.

The City is holding budget hearings to solicit public input on the whole city budget:

2011 Budget Public Hearings
Wednesday, April 28, 2010  AND  Tuesday May 4, 2010:

Wednesday, April 28 at New Holly Gathering Hall
7504 32 Ave South, Seattle, 98108
5  PM Sign-in
5:30 PM Public Hearing

Tuesday, May 4, 2010 North Seattle Community College Cafeteria
9600 College Way North, Seattle, 98103
5 PM Sign-in
5:30 PM Public Hearing

In Tim Gallagher’s resignation letter as the Director of Parks and Recreation,  he states:

Voter approval of several recent levys shows  the tremendous public support for parks and recreation, unfortunately operation and maintenance resources have not been provided to the department to match the public’s request.  The result is a park and recreation system that is now unsustainable and in jeopardy of collapse.

NPR’s Gary Davis interviewed Tim Gallagher this morning (April 28) and you can hear or read a transcript of  the interview here.

More information on the community centers is available in the MyBallard article, and the King 5 article The Seattle Times article covers Gallagher’s resignation and the budget crisis.

Continue reading Seattle Parks & Recreation Budget Crisis

Our New Crown Hill Park Needs a Name….

We received the following press release from Seattle Parks and Recreation about naming 3 new parks in Seattle. One of the parks is our new Crown Hill Park.  They are actively seeking submissions of names from the community now until June 2nd, 2010. Please submit suggestions for park names in writing by June 2, 2010, and include an explanation of how your suggestion matches the naming criteria. Send suggestions to Seattle Parks and Recreation, Park Naming Committee, 100 Dexter Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98109, or by e-mail to

Guidelines for park names:

  • Park names can be based on geographic locations, historic or cultural significance, and natural or geological features.
  • A park may be named after a person deceased for a minimum of three years who made a significant contribution to parks and/or recreation.


Seattle Parks and Recreation invites the public to submit potential names for parks in the Ballard and West Seattle neighborhoods. Suggestions for names are due to the Park Naming Committee by Wednesday, June 2.

Continue reading Our New Crown Hill Park Needs a Name….