Category Archives: Volunteers

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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Combined Sewer Overflows Sounding Board

A volunteer opportunity (received from Ray Hoffman at Seattle Public Utilities):

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is seeking community members who would like to serve on a Sounding Board to help guide the development of a long-term plan (LTCP) to control Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) in the City of Seattle.  The Clean Water Act requires that Seattle reduce CSOs. Seattle Public Utilities is developing a comprehensive Long-term Control Plan (LTCP) to lay out the capital investments necessary to meet that goal. These actions will include retrofitting the system for greater efficiency, building storage facilities, and green stormwater infrastructure where appropriate. The Sounding Board will provide a diverse set of perspectives from across the City. We seek individuals who can see the big picture, as well as effectively represent a particular point of view and provide constructive advice about important investment decisions. We hope to identify people from each quadrant of the city (northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest) to represent interests in those geographic areas.

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Earth Day 2010 in Crown Hill

Crown Hill neighbors are urged to join the Earth Day event on April 17 in our neighborhood. Carkeek Park is setting up teams that will fan out on our streets surrounding the park and do three things: (1) stencil on storm drains the caution about dumping waste, (2) distribute one-page flyers to homes regarding pet waste, and (3) pick up trash along roadways and in public spaces.

What’s up with stenciling drains? There are over 100 storm drains in the Piper’s Creek watershed that send stormwater through the Park and into Puget Sound. Runoff from roads and gutters contributes lots of gunk to Puget Sound every year. Studies show that marking storm drains with the message “Dump No Waste, Drains to Stream” doubles community awareness.

Come to the Park’s Environmental Education Center at 8:30 a.m. to get matched up with a 3-5 person team, pick up supplies, and get your assignment of streets to cover. Just a few hours of work, then an Earth Day celebration with pizza at noon.  Bring work gloves and remember to dress for all sorts of weather.

It is helpful if you register in advance by calling 386-9154 to help Park staff figure appropriate numbers of stencils, trash bags, etc.

Street Light Repairs

At the December Ballard District Council meeting, Council President Jennifer Macuiba called for volunteers to address poor illumination and impaired pedestrian safety along major thoroughfares in Ballard and Crown Hill. Seattle City Light does not automatically check for street light operation, leaving that up to citizens like us to initiate a repair by reporting the outage.  During the week before Christmas, the volunteers fanned out along Market, 15th, 8th, Holman Rd, 85th, 65th and other areas with high pedestrian traffic, and identified a total of 198 malfunctioning (either completely or intermittently out) street lights. Each of the lights was entered into Seattle City Light’s online trouble report at: Some of the lights were already repaired by the first week of January 2010.

The volunteers covered the major streets and arterials, but there are many streetlights which were not surveyed by this effort, and are on the much darker interior streets of our neighborhood. This is where we would like to enlist your assistance in this effort to improve pedestrian safety. As you walk, bicycle or drive on our neighborhood streets, make a note of any lights which are malfunctioning, and report them. You will need the pole number (a reflective number affixed to the pole), the closest street address, and a description of the issue (light out, light intermittent, vegetation blocking the light, etc.). Report any lights which are out promptly using the online form at: Seattle City Light will endeavor to fix the lights within 10 days of first report. A less than 5 minute investment of your time can make a difference for both you and your neighbors!

Small Faces Fences

Lynn Wirta, Small Faces Emeritus Executive Director, has asked for community input and assistance in designing the play field fences east of the school building.

Small Faces is slowly moving towards renovating the playground, (including the fence issue) now that the building has been secured.  We have several draft drawings that are a result of children, family, staff and neighborhood input. Now we need someone to take the ideas and create a formal picture that can be used for marketing our plan.  Are there any neighbors who might have the architectual skills we need who would be interested in helping?

The fence model we like is patterned after the one at the Phinney Neighborhood Association.  It has planters as the safety barrier and will include a people gate and a vehicle gate for access to the future City Park.  See the attached pictures.

What do you think?

Phinney Fence 1
Phinney Fence 1
Phinney Fence 2
Phinney Fence 2

Interested in contributing ideas or skills to this project, contact Small Faces at or John Otto (the new executive director) at or phone at (206) 782-2611.