On Dec 9, Groundswell NW was honored to participate in a focus group hosted by Seattle Parks to discuss the 2017 Development Plan and Gap Analysis Update. Current board members, Renee Dagseth, myself and former board member, Davidya Kasperzyk, participated, along with other Seattle Park advocates. The meeting focused primarily on the new story map format that uses GIS mapping technology to identify parks and open space opportunity through the lens of access, walkability, opportunities, equity and density. As a whole, Groundswell NW is very pleased to see that Parks is now taking into consideration opportunities for open space based on access to the entrance of an existing park and taking into consideration major obstacles for access, e.g. major arterials. This approach is getting Seattle Parks closer to Groundswell NW's vision of a park within every arterial quadrant. We are currently drafting a comment letter, which we'll share with our community shortly. We encourage you to review the plan yourself, provide comment to 2017DevPlan@seattle.gov and please share with us a groundswellnw@gmail.com so we can better represent you. 

  Rain gardens at the NE corner of 14th Ave NW and NW 58th in 2009 (left) and today (right)

Rain gardens at the NE corner of 14th Ave NW and NW 58th in 2009 (left) and today (right)

Looking forward to January, there's some new activity in the East Ballard neighborhood. The EBCA will be hosting a rain garden restoration and planting event on January 21, guided by Cari Simson, for the street side rain garden located at the NE corner of 14th Ave NW and NW 58th. The plantings in the NW rain garden have been thriving since 2008, but the NE garden just never worked well as you can tell by the before and after pics above. We're encouraged that Cari will be applying her expertise to help the community bring this rain garden back to life. We invite you to join the EBCA for this event. It will be a great opportunity for you to get your hands dirty and learn how rain gardens contribute to environmental and habitat health. 

Wishing you a very happy New Year!
Dawn Hemminger
Groundswell NW President