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Groundswell NW Events

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Sat, Apr 26th, @11:00am - 05:00PM
See RainWise Homes
Sat, May 3rd, @10:00am - 02:00PM
Carkeek Park Restoration
Wed, May 7th, @5:30pm - 07:30PM
Ballard Urban Design Open House

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Become a Groundswell NW Member!

Take a more active role in your community by supporting the work of Groundswell NW! Please become a 2011 Groundswell NW member. Simply print out this membership form and mail it with your tax-deductible contribution today or click on the "Make A Donation" button on this page to contribute online! Thank you very much to the people who have already made a generous contribution.

Board Member Search

Groundswell NW is seeking new board members, committed to making NW Seattle a greener, more livable community. We could use positive, creative individuals with skill in a number of areas, including database management, compiling our e-newsletter, law, real estate, marketing and community organizing. In particular, we are seeking a person who has the skills and energy to help with the duties of treasurer. Please contact David Folweiler, (206) 714-4271.
Seattle Parks and Recreation 2011 Development Plan Print E-mail

The draft Seattle Parks and Recreation 2011 Development Plan is now available on-line for your review at this website: http://seattle.gov/parks/Publications/DevelopmentPlan.htm.

Seattle Parks and Recreation 2011 Development Plan updates the 2006 Development Plan. This plan is specific to acquisition and development efforts that will be pursued over the next five to six years, primarily for outdoor recreation and open space. The Plan includes goals and policies, analyzes demands and needs, and identifies capital improvement projects that help implement that Development Plan. 

Troll's Knoll Project Funded Print E-mail

The Troll's Knoll Project has been FUNDED and awarded $685,000 from the Seattle Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund!!!!  The Seattle City Council unanimously passed the Opportunity fund final list on March 10th.  See the video at the "Parks and Seattle Center Committee 3/10/2011" link under videos on the left of the page. The committee addresses the opportunity fund around minute 50 and passes the recommended projects list around minute 65.



This project entailed endless hours of community meetings and coordination with our neighbors.  We were pleased to find out that the project proposal was uncannily similar to original project designs from 20 years ago when the Troll was first introduced.  More details on the Parks Levy proposal, the original 20 year old project designs and much more at our facebook page:


Seattle Parks Need Your Input! Print E-mail
Seattle Parks Foundation and their partners have prepared a report on parks maintenance and are asking for our input on a how we should address the chronic funding shortfall faced by Seattle’s park system.  They have prepared a short survey here to voice your opinion, as well as a webpage where you can download a copy of the report.  Since the results of the survey are available to those who take it, it is not only a great opportunity to voice your opinion on this important issue (and maybe win a $50 REI gift card!) but also to see what others have to say.  Please take a moment to share your opinion now.  Thank you!
Groundswell NW to Fund Bike Share Pilot Project Print E-mail

The Bike Share Group is a Ballard collaboration with the vision to create the first Seattle bike share system that will support the community's long term goals for livability by providing transportation alternatives that reduce our environmental impact. A shared bike system reduces our dependence on fossil fuel sources, creates efficient movement from place to place, and improves vehicular congestion. A pilot bike share project in Ballard will enable a new experience with public transportation that is healthy, fun and easy to use.

Mark Hulscher, head bike share groupie, plans to implement a 20-bike pilot system in Ballard by November to encourage alternative forms of transportation for getting around and to demonstrate the value of these public transit systems in a high-density urban area. The Bike Share Group recently received a $5,000 matching grant from Groundswell NW, a non-profit organization in Ballard dedicated to creating parks & preserving habitat.

Corners Park, Proof that "Build it and They will Come" Print E-mail

The sun shone on Ballard Corners Park on a recent Saturday, bringing with it ardent volunteers and joyful revelers. Eighteen enthusiastic people helped with weeding and spreading 5 cubic yards of wood chip mulch. This level of community support is all the evidence anyone needs to show that pocket parks create vital urban neighborhoods. Ballard Corners Park has become a neighborhood gem in these past months since opening in October 2009. Passers by come to take photographs of themselves sitting in the "living room," children climb and spin on the play structure, families play ball and picnic on the lawn.

On this particular Saturday, after volunteers had completed the bulk of their work, along came a group, several of whom were dressed in Star Wars outfits, to celebrate a 5 year old's birthday. They festooned the "corner store" with balloons, streamers and a piñata; spread cake and goodies on the countertops; and set up face painting and games on the lawn. For an afternoon the park was their outdoor home away from home. The delightful spectacle brought joy not only to the party-goes, but also to those lucky enough to witness it.

Help keep this park an attraction for all who come at a work party, 9am-2pm Sat. March 5.

Annual Meeting features Sally Bagshaw, Local Heroes Print E-mail

Thanks to all who attended our March 2 annual meeting, and especially to Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, Chair of the Parks and Seattle Center Committee, for coming to discuss the state of parks in the current tough budget situation (see Sally's blog and this KOMO story). Catherine Darley was elected President, following two years of service by Andrea Faste, and Lydia Marshall and Dawn Hemminger were elected to continue their roles as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.

Three Local Heroes awards recognized volunteers who go well beyond the call of duty, which is truly what makes an organization like Groundswell work (more in this article by 2010 Local Hero Michael Harthorne). We recognize two volunteers for their hands-on efforts, one through Groundswell work parties and one on her own initiative, and another for his leadership on a number of fronts in the community.

Carol Duescher lives in Magnolia and on her own initiative does a daily sweep of parks and public access sites, typically starting in the wee hours at Discovery Park and working her way along Commodore Way, over the Ballard Bridge and around to Salmon Bay Natural Area, picking up trash and sorting out recyclables. Thank you, Carol, for your remarkable efforts to help keep the shores of Salmon Bay clean!

Mark Blitzer has been a steady volunteer at the Salmon Bay Natural Area, where he came to one of our early work parties and just kept coming back. Organizing volunteer work parties can be a lonely task, so it is very heartening to find a volunteer who can nearly always be counted on to show up and do whatever is needed. Mark is that kind of volunteer, and he also pitches in at other work parties, whether for other Groundswell projects or other environmental organizations.

Robert Drucker has emerged as a community leader, serving as a trustee for the Sunset Hill Community Association, representing it at the Ballard District Council, then representing Ballard at the City Neighborhood Council. He served on the Neighborhood Matching Fund Citywide Review Team, helping award grants for community project throughout the city. He was recently elected to his 2nd term as Sunset Hill Community Association President, where he has overseen the creation of a successful raingarden at their clubhouse. More recently, he spearheaded the Sunstation Park design project, co-sponsored by Groundswell, which resulted in an innovative concept for transforming a surplussed City Light substation into a solar generation park and community gathering space.

Volunteer Survey Opportunity Print E-mail

Hello Volunteers.

Although you volunteer your time and effort to help environmental and community conditions, those efforts are not well understood and therefore, not well appreciated. The University of Washington Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Management research group is conducting a joint study with the U.S. Forest Service to enhance our understanding of volunteering and stewardship in the Seattle-Tacoma region. In order to elucidate the important roles that volunteers play in improving their communities and environments, we are requesting that past and present volunteers complete a short electronic survey.

The survey will take about 15-20 minutes and attempts to understand why you volunteer, what constrains you from volunteering as much as you would like, what your commitments, if any, are to volunteering, and who volunteers are in terms of demographics. The survey also has a few measures of loyalty to volunteering. Your participation will greatly help efforts to give volunteering and volunteers the status they deserve in our society. The results of our study and analyses will be shared with every participating volunteer coordinating organization that is interested in knowing how motivated, committed, loyal, and constrained their volunteers are.

Sunset Substation Study Wraps Up Print E-mail

Groundswell NW joined forces with the Sunset Hill Community Association on a Neighborhood Matching Fund project to study potential public uses for the Sunset Substation, 3209 NW 65th Street. The project gathered community input on how the site could be used and hired a team of experts to analyze potential uses, including a solar array mounted over a neighborhood gathering space.

A kick-off meeting was held on December 19, with over 50 neighbors attending to learn about the project, see examples of other pocket parks and solar installations and give their ideas on possible uses of the site. After hiring CAST architecture to lead a team to help develop plans, a second meeting on Feb. 23 engaged nearly 30 neighbors in exercises to develop a vision statement and site layouts, and a third Community Workshop on March 24 presented three alternate schemes. A fourth Community Workshop was held on April 20th to present a preferred scheme. The final design was presented at a Solstice Party on June 19 - see the article in the Ballard News Tribune and the presentation graphics by CAST architecture.

2nd Edible Garden Tour June 26 Print E-mail

The 2nd Annual Edible Garden Tour was on June 26th - thanks to all who came, and especially all who shared their gardens! The theme this year was "Start with a Pot, or Start with your Lot!" and focused on East Ballard.



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