Already a new neighborhood favorite, Kirke Park will keep getting better with the addition of a trellis, thanks to a Neighborthood Matching Fund Grant. See more in this KOMO Ballard article.
A month and half after a very successful grand opening, Kirke Park has proven very popular and it's P-Patch was officially opened and garden plots assigned on June 26, with preference going to those who volunteered to help prepare it. See this Ballard News Tribune article for more info and photos.
Groundswell NW honored Kirke Park as our August 2012 Park of the Month and thanks all who helped celebrate Ballard's newest neighborhood park at its Grand Opening on August 11. See this Ballard News Tribune article on the event.
The former site of the Seventh Elect Church in Israel, this 39,000 square foot parcel has long been a welcome block of green in the Whittier Heights neighborhood, and drew attention as a potential park as long ago as the early 90s. In 2007, Groundswell leaders received an anonymous email indicating that the surviving members of the church had a realtor quietly marketing the property. We contacted the realtor and Seattle Parks to express our interest in the property, then continued to facilitate negotiations over the following months. It appeared that the effort was unsuccessful, and that the property would be subdivided and filled with 11 or more homes. Then at our March 2008 Annual Meeting, then Mayor Greg Nickels announced to our surprise and delight that the property had been purchased for a park.
Whittier Heights neighbors quickly mobilized to begin discussions about what the park should be and how to make it happen. Groundswell advocated for development funds as part of the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy, which was generously supported by Seattle voters. The first fences came down on July 19, and the park has been an instant hit in the neighborhood as kids scrambled over the playground at the south end and P-Patchers started preparing the gardens at the north.
Thanks to Seattle Parks for negotiating the purchase then managing the park construction, to Site Workshop for leading the design, and to the Whittier Heights community for spearheading the effort to make this a neighborhood asset for generations to come.
Visit the Kirke Park page for more info.