Happy New Year to all Groundswell NW friends, followers, volunteers and supporters! 2018 came to an end on a high note with one of our long-time fiscal sponsor groups, the East Ballard Community Association, receiving a Denny Award from Seattle Parks for the 14th Ave NW / Gemenskap Park project. You can help keep that momentum going by voting for 14th Ave NW, Seattle for a Streetsie Award by Streetsblog USA. The vote closes January 2, so act now.


Ballard Holiday Fest

Ballard Holiday Fest

Happy Holidays Groundswell Friends and Neighbors!

The end of 2018 is coming to a close, and we are thrilled to end on several high notes:

  • The East Ballard Community Association has been recognized by Seattle Parks with a Denny Award for their incredible work to complete the first phase of Gemenskap Park, an effort they began back in 2005. Congratulations to Groundswell NW Past President, Board Advisor and Local Hero Dawn Hemminger, Peter Locke and all the other EBCA stalwarts who had the vision and perseverance to see this complex project through to reality. Here's to seeing the vision of expanding these two blocks and connecting all the way from Ballard High to Salmon Bay!

  • Beginning in 2019, we are also happy to welcome a new team member to the Groundswell organization—David Traylor. David will work with the Groundswell NW board as bookkeeper and administrative assistant. David is a landscape architect and artist who comes with experience helping other non-profits like Urban Sparks and Seattle Parks Foundation. Many thanks to Chris Hemminger for his past efforts as a volunteer bookkeeper.

There are many exciting activities and celebrations taking place this season. Now through January 15, 2019, Groundswell NW has created an outdoor activity to peak your interest:

Mystery Park Bench Scavenger Hunt

Do you live in NW Seattle and have a natural urge to explore?  A good scavenger hunt in the neighborhood can satiate that urge while burning a few calories during the holiday season. Groundswell NW, in collaboration with Seattle Parks, recently completed the installation of a park bench in NW Seattle.  Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to find this bench by January 15, 2019. We will be offering clues throughout December and January on our Facebook Page and a randomly drawn winner will be announced January 16, 2019 to receive a $25 REI GIFT CARD. If you have found the bench, please post either a selfie or a photo of the lone bench to our Facebook page (do not reveal the location to others!)  With your post, tell us if the bench location inspires you and if not, what would you like to see happen to make this space more engaging? 

Your First Clue: TRIANGLE

Groundswell NW Board


2018 Gemenskap Park Grand Opening

2018 Gemenskap Park Grand Opening

Last Saturday, October 27th, the sun came out to bless the dedication of the first phase of Gemenskap Park. The Ballard High School band and project stalwart Peter Locke, lead a parade around the park with local neighbors and children in costume. The festivities continued with presentations by Peter, Interim Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams and former Groundswell President Dawn Hemminger. The latter two held the ends of the ribbon while Peter wielded the giant scissors. Warmest congratulations to Dawn Hemminger who stuck with this project from it’s inception over 10 years ago!

Gemenskap Park fills a gap identified in Groundswell’s 1996 open space inventory and represents what we hope is the first “blossoming” of a seed planted in our 1997 North Salmon Bay Community Forest Plan, which called for greening 14th Ave NW. The East Ballard Community Association, with Dawn and Peter in the lead, took that idea and created a bold vision of park blocks all the way from Ballard High to Salmon Bay. Kudos on completing these first two blocks!

FNF donation.jpg

The good vibe continued during the grand opening when Groundswell NW was presented with a check for $8,000 from the Fremont Neighborhood Fund, a small non-profit whose missions was making grants to improve the quality of life in our community. FNF has decided to dissolve and distribute its remaining assets to other similar non-profit groups. Susanne Daniell, Dave Boyd and Dawn Hemminger accepted the check on behalf of Groundswell, and we all thank FNF for their generosity!

Do you want to be a part of our energetic community with a mission to grow green spaces in NW Seattle? Groundswell NW is looking for a part-time bookkeeper, with an estimated started date of January 2019. Application information can be found on our website, with resume submissions due by November 5th.

On a more somber note, we would like to recognize the contributions of two community members who helped make NW Seattle a greener place and have left us far too soon. Bruce Hale was one of the forces behind ReTree Ballard’s efforts to plant over 2,000 new trees in Ballard, improvements to the Salmon Bay Park play area and creation of the Salmon Bay School Playfield. Barbara Hainley was one of the volunteers who lead the community efforts to design and build Kirke Park. Both will be missed, but their contributions are lasting.

Groundswell NW Board


Groundswell Booth at the 2018 Sustainable Ballard Festival

Groundswell Booth at the 2018 Sustainable Ballard Festival

Happy Fall Groundswell Supporters!

September saw another successful Groundswell NW participation at the 15th Annual Sustainable Ballard Festival. We continued our support of the NW Seattle Community Wildlife Habitat Project helping dozens of neighbors of all ages build their own "pollinator hotels" to take home.

October presents a chance to celebrate a major accomplishment with the grand opening of GEMENSKAP PARK. Hurray!
Join us and the East Ballard Community Association (EBCA) to celebrate the Grand Opening of the Park: Saturday, October 27, 2018, 10:30am-12:30pm.  Groundswell NW planted the seed of an idea to "green" 14th Ave. NW in our 1998 North Salmon Bay Community Forestry Plan. EBCA took the reigns 13 years ago, developing a vision for park blocks all the way from NW 65th to Salmon Bay. It is an ambitious vision, and even these first two blocks have been a complex undertaking, making for a major cause for celebration. If you cannot attend the grand opening, get outside and enjoy the park now to experience fall seasonal changes.

And while we reflect upon the change of seasons, we also are saddened by the recent passing of Rob Mattson, former long-time Ballard Neighborhood District Coordinator. Rob was instrumental in facilitating the development of many Groundswell projects over the years, connecting community members with City staff and helping cut through red tape. He will be missed.

Groundswell NW Board

2018 Gemenskap Park

2018 Gemenskap Park


Lauren Croxton, GNW Summer Intern

Lauren Croxton, GNW Summer Intern

Summer is showing signs of turning to fall--temperatures are cooler and students are returning to school.  One of those students is our summer intern, Lauren Croxton.  Lauren grew up in Ballard and now attends the University of Michigan during the school year studying environmental education.  Lauren provided support to the Groundswell Board on a variety of projects.  Through Lauren’s leadership, creativity, enthusiasm, and diligence, she moved Groundswell forward in a number of areas and we are immensely grateful.  Lauren helped build pollinator hotels for Groundswell’s booth at the upcoming Sustainable Ballard Festival, worked on a walking tour guide for Ballard’s parks (available soon), and worked with Board members on a variety of other outreach projects. It was a real pleasure to work with Lauren and we hope she will join us again next summer.   

Daniel Satterthwaite, a senior at Blanchet High School, also built pollinator hotels for both this year and last year’s Sustainable Ballard Festival. He introduced the board to the proper and safe use of power tools and we finished the work without any mishaps. Thank you Daniel!  Lauren’s and Daniel’s work supports Groundswell Northwest’s efforts to educate our community about the importance of creating habitat, whether in a park, a garden or apartment balcony. 

Support both nature and your creative yearning, by visiting the Groundswell Northwest booth at the Sustainable Ballard Festival, September 22nd.  Build your own pollinator hotel using recycled materials to create habitat! Food, water and shelter are important habitat resources for our local pollinators. Ask us about ways you can create habitat  or kick start a green space idea to enrich the NW Seattle community.  Even better, volunteer at our booth!  Sign up HERE.  

Other summer news---Salmon Bay Park Stewards hosted a big outdoor movie event August 17th in collaboration with the Parks Dept and sponsorship from Groundswell NW.  About 150 people showed to watch Pixar's ‘Coco’ and munch on yummy popcorn!  Salmon Bay Park Stewards also received funds from ‘Your Voice Your Choice’ for $12,550 in improvements at Salmon Bay Park, including replacement of benches and tables.  Salmon Bay Park Stewards’ next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday September 5 at 7:30 pm at the picnic tables. Future meetings are planned for the first Wednesday of the month at 7:30 pm, locations to be determined.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is holding a series of meetings this summer
to gather feedback and suggestions on their planting projects. An area meeting is scheduled Saturday, September 1, 2018, 10:00 am – 11:00 am, at the Loyal Heights Community Center.  SDOT will be planting trees along SDOT maintained arterials in the fall of 2018 and spring of 2019.  Contact Sherry Graham at 206-615-1569 or with questions.

Groundswell NW Board