When I first moved to Green Lake I had a heck of a time remembering the name of the pool. (I won’t leave you in suspense if you don’t know… its Evans Pool). But I kept googling Green Lake pool when I tried to find out the pool hours and classes. While most of the other pools in the city are named after the location Queen Anne Pool, Meadowbrook pool etc, Green Lake was not. Hmm… very mysterious.
Little information is on the Evans Pool site about its history. So we dug into the Seattle Municipal Archives and found that the pool, which was built in February 1955 was named after two Recreation Directors of the Parks Department, Ben and Lou Evans.
Ben Evans is shown on the right in this undated photo via Seattle Municipal Archives
According to the Seattle Municipal Archives “Over 50,000 signatures were gathered in 1952 in support of a pool at Green Lake. Voters approved money for the Green Lake pool in a Park Department bond in 1952 and ground was broken in 1954. Designed by Lamont & Fey, unique features of the pool at the time were port- holes allowing underwater viewing of swimmers.”
It’s almost summer which, for many of us, means more time spent at Green Lake. But for all of its beauty, Green Lake can be hard to capture in a photo – the glare of the lake, the rays of sunshine (they will come back!) and well, the crowds. So we asked a local expert, Jenn Ireland, owner of Bar Dub Studios, for some advice. Jenn spends quite a bit of time in Green Lake taking senior high school and family photos for her clients. She says Green Lake is one of her favorite spots in the city.
Seattle Greenlaker: Why do you take photos at Green Lake?
Jenn: There are so many reasons I shoot senior photos here! The diversity of available backgrounds is a big one. Within a very short walking distance I can shoot in the woods (Woodland Park), in an urban environment with walls, doors and concrete stairs (Aqua Theater), and out on the docks with the lake as my backdrop. Also, it may seem silly, but I love the access to clean restrooms! My clients always come to their session with multiple outfits and need a place to change, so having that is key!
Seattle Greenlaker: What’s your favorite time to take shots at Green Lake?
Jenn: About 3 hours before sunset is typically when I start my sessions.
Seattle Greenlaker: Can you give us tips on how you get those beautiful shots?
Jenn: It’s all about the light and knowing how to use it to your advantage. I do each senior shoot in a similar order so that I can take advantage of the best lighting in each spot. For example, in the woods, I shoot earlier when the sun is still high enough to make streaks through the trees. I wait until the end of my session to shoot on the docks because the lower sun reflects off the water and creates a few magical minutes where my seniors are perfectly lit against a darker background of trees and shoreline (I use the docks on the south side of the lake, in between the golf course and the Aqua Theater).
Seattle Greenlaker: How do you take photos and make it look like its a quiet day at Green Lake, when in reality the park is crowded?
Jenn: Really, really great question. There are definitely crowded spots I LOVE to shoot in (for example, on the west side of the lake there is a large stretch of trees right on the water that erupt with color in the fall). To combat this problem, I’ll have my client stand at the water’s edge and I’ll do the same and shoot along the shoreline. It’s all about the angle and how you position yourself when you are trying to avoid something in the background (aka the crowded Green Lake walking path 5 feet away full of hundreds of people). I also always use a longer lens for these shots (which for me is an 85mm), stand back further from my subject (about 10 feet), and change my angle and position until there is nothing distracting behind my subject.
There you have it! And if you capture some beautiful shots, be sure to share it with us on Facebook or email.
Disclosure: Jenn Ireland is the owner of Bar Dub Studios and an advertiser for Seattle Greenlaker.
On Wednesday April 5, District 6 Councilmember Mike O’Brien will be hosting office hours at the Ballard Public Library. All District 6 neighbors (that’s us!) are encouraged to attend and bring questions and concerns directly to our councilmember. If you are new to these Office Hours events (there are several throughout the year) you should know that they are a one-on-one format and you will get a chance to speak directly to him.
While any concerns, comments or questions are welcome at this meeting, we’ve heard from several Greenlakers that are planning to discuss the proposed plans to privatize the Green Lake Community Center and Evans Pool with O’Brien.
So we asked Councilmember O’brien about his role in the Green Lake Community Center and plans for the future, here’s our conversation:
Seattle Greenlaker: Will you be taking the comments you hear from this meeting to future conversations/meetings with the Parks Department?
Councilmember O’Brien: Everything I hear from community influences how I move forward, so yes, next week’s conversations will be part of the body of knowledge I call upon as I continue to engage with parks. To date I have heard unanimous skepticism from community members about a partnership model for the Greenlake Pool. This is the baseline from which I am operating.
Seattle Greenlaker: Do you have a proposal or action plan to help the Community Center in the near term (ie. the leaky roof and broken boilers etc.)
Councilmember O’Brien: I am working with the parks department so they can present a clear plan to maintain current, uninterrupted operations for the pool. I don’t yet have clarity on the scale of investments needed to achieve that level of service, but hope to have clarity within a number of weeks.
Seattle Greenlaker: Is there anything else you would like to add about the Community Center?
Councilmember O’Brien: I’d just reiterate what I said in my blog post: While the Greenlake Community Center itself is showing signs of age, the community it continues to foster is as powerful as ever. I deeply value this community space and want to ensure it remains enjoyable and accessible for all the members of District 6 and the larger community.
To talk to Councilmember O’brien in person, be sure to attend the upcoming meeting:
Ballard Public Library 5614 22nd Ave NW
Wednesday April 5
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Please note this meeting is first come, first served, so no official sign up is needed.
There are several Spring and Easter activities in Green Lake this month.
Spring Time Fun
Bring your kids to either of the Green Lake PCC stores for a morning of crafts geared around spring. Enjoy snacks provided by PCC. Free for children 12 and under.
Saturday, April 8, 2017, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Greenlake Village PCC, and Saturday, April 8, 2017, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Greenlake Aurora PCC
For more information, go to PCC.
Spring Egg Scramble
Bring a bag or basket to hunt for eggs.
Green Lake Community Center, come rain or shine.
Saturday, April 15: 10 a.m. ages 1-3; 10:30 a.m. ages 4-6; 11 a.m. – ages 7- 10
It’s coming… free cone day at Ben & Jerry’s Green Lake is next week! That means single scoops and sugar cones are free from 12 – 8 p.m. April 4.
For the event the Green Lake store is partnering with local non profit organization Sound Experience to spread the word about their historic schooner sailing vessel Adventuress, which they use to educate, inspire, and empower an inclusive community that works to improve our marine environment and celebrates our maritime heritage.
Ben & Jerry’s Green Lake
7900 East Green Lake Dr N #104
Free cones will be served from 12 – 8 p.m. Tuesday April 4
You might be surprised to know that Seattle, a city known for being ‘green’ is falling short in that very area. Specifically in its tree canopy. That matters for several reasons, but most of all for migratory birds that use the city’s trees to rest and refuel. Seattle Audubon Society developed a 4-year Neighborhood Flyways campaign and is hosting a free event at Seattle Town Hall with some pretty dynamic speakers and conversation.
The free symposium will include speakers from the Seattle Audubon Society, the City of Seattle, Seattle Public Utilities, the Nature Conservancy, Seattle Parks Foundation, and Urban Forest Carbon Registry. Discussion topics range from urban forestry opportunities and challenges; Seattle’s density policies and tree ordinances; environmental justice and community engagement; restoring urban and natural habitats for birds, wildlife, and human communities; and more.
2:00-4:15 Introductory presentations
4:15-5:00 Social time, snacks and networking
5:00-6:00 Panel discussion and audience
6:00-7:00 Define advocacy priorities and next steps
Continuing our spring events post (there’s a lot to see and do this spring in Green Lake!) Here’s whats coming up in April.
Run As One ’17 – Seattle
In its 6th year, the Run As One event takes place in various locations around the nation, in honor of Marine veteran Clay Hunt, an original member of Team Rubicon, Mission Continues Fellow, and avid sportsman, who took his own life after battling PTSD and depression. Meant to raise awareness and build strong communities around veterans, the short race (one loop around the lake) is free to join, or $20 to get the participant shirt. There will be a picnic in the park following the race.
Saturday, April 1, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Address: Starts at Greenlake Park, in the area under the trees across from Super Jock n Jill and Starbucks (E Green Lake Dr. N and NE 72nd St.)
Spring Safari: African Wildlife Conservation Day at the Woodland Park Zoo
Educational keeper talks and special enrichment sessions bring light to issues like illegal poaching and habitat loss. Find out how you can help save giraffe, lions, ostrich, and other savanna animals.
Saturday, April 8, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Free with zoo admission or membership.
Address: Woodland Park Zoo (West Entrance – 5500 Phinney Ave. N; or South Entrance – 750 N 50th St.)
“The Magic Flute” Seattle Opera Preview Lecture at the Green Lake Library
Opera lecturer and tour guide Norm Hollingshead gives an entertaining preview lecture of Mozart’s fantasy opera celebrating the power of love and music. A handsome prince and his comical sidekick are given enchanted musical instruments and are tasked with rescuing the Queen of the Night’s daughter from a mysterious group of priests, but not everything is as it seems. Free, but space is limited, so come early to make sure you get a seat.
Sunday, April 9, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Address: Green Lake Branch Public Library (7364 E Green Lake Dr. N)
A recurring monthly event (second Wednesday of every month), the group meets for discussion around that month’s chosen book. In April, the book is The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. In it, Oscar, an overweight ghetto nerd in New Jersey, dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and finding love, but an ancient curse haunting Oscar’s family may stop him.
Spring dates: April 12 and May 10, 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Address: Green Lake Branch Public Library (7364 E Green Lake Dr. N)
The event is still going strong in its 16th year, featuring egg hunts for children ages 1-8, crafts, bunny encounters, and various programs throughout the day. Even the animals get specially made Easter baskets, lined with flowers, berries and other favorite treats as part of the zoo’s animal care and enrichment program.
Saturday, April 15, 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Free with zoo admission or membership. Egg hunts are first-come, first-served.
Address: Woodland Park Zoo (West Entrance – 5500 Phinney Ave. N; or South Entrance – 750 N 50th St.)
It’s like an art walk, but edible! Created by the Green Lake Chamber of Commerce to introduce local businesses that make the community unique, food walkers will enjoy several hours of samples of new and favorite menu items, followed by a beer garden. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. For tickets and more information, visit the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The annual 5K Run/Walk supporting Childhaven returns, for its eighth year. Participants get free doughnuts and coffee after the race. Kids can also participate in the fun with an untimed half-mile (1K) kids dash. Early registration ends March 31, but last-minute participants can continue to register online or in-person on race day.
Sunday April 30, Registration, bib and chip pick up starts at 7:00 a.m., 5K starts at 8:30 a.m., Kids Dash starts at 9:30 a.m.
Address: Starting line near the Green Lake Community Center and basketball courts (7201 E Green Lake Dr. N)
If you use the Green Lake Path, especially the bike lane, you may have experienced the congestion that occurs here, especially on sunny days. This guy has a brilliant idea. Hard to get angry with someone who is politely singing. And just in case you want a little friendly reminder of the rules of the Green Lake path, please feel free to share this with a friend.
The first week of spring often feels like the weather missed the calendar’s memo. It’s rainy and cold again, and the ground – which ideally would look like fluffy chocolate cake, looks more like the batter. Fortunately, although the forecast may not fit our spring dreams, this time of year offers great gardening opportunities for those ready to brave some muck and chill.
As Dustin Guy’s post on frost pointed out, Seattle benefits from several conditions that add up to give us a precious early start on the growing season compared to much of the country.
That’s because, believe it or not, some plants actually love it on the cooler side. If you still need a jacket, it’s a great time to plant these veggies and flowers as seeds or starts.
Edibles: Greens and more
First think traditional “winter veggies,” which include greens like kale, spinach, chard, collards and lettuces, as well as great soup stars like cauliflower, carrots, brussel sprouts, onions, and leeks. Beets can actually work both categories – if you’re not a fan of the root flavor, the greens add a tasty nutrition boost to stir-fries, smoothies, or salads. Some of these, like lettuce and spinach, can bolt in hot weather, so grab your chance to grow some before summer hits.
‘Kosmic Kale’: superfood gorgeousness from Territorial Seed.
For a literal taste of spring, look to any pea or bean. Whether pole or bush beans, or shelling or snap peas, they all adore this weather.
Peas just need a trellis and some water to get climbing. Territorial Seed.
Just the flowers
More interested in bouquets than bushels of produce? Sweet peas (yup, they’re related) offer armfuls of spicily fragrant blossoms in almost any color but true red. Nasturtium flowers, like the hardworking beets, do double duty – they can be enjoyed in a vase or in your salad. They hang on the hotter side of the color wheel in oranges and reds, and sport an arugula-like, peppery flavor.
Sweet peas offer fragrance and blowsy beauty. Territorial Seed.
Although you may be wooed by displays like these at a local supermarket this week, don’t be tempted to add heat-lovers like tomato, sunflowers or basil to your beds just yet.
These”Sweet 100″ tomato starts are likely to sulk until temps reach 50 degrees at night. Photo by Erica Grivas.
They need it to be closer to 50-55 degrees at night to grow, and that sweet spot usually saunters in approximately late April/early May. I’m hoping the kale, spinach, collards and cauliflower I planted this week will be done just in time to make room for tomatoes.
While your new plants are growing, you can flex your gardening muscles by dressing your beds with compost, cutting back warm-season grasses and cleaning up dried perennials. You’ll be harvesting in no time.
Narcissus ‘Geranium’, Muscari ‘Valerie Finnis’ and a species tulip. Image: Erica Grivas
Editor’s note: With spring upon us, we asked our expert contributors Dustin Guy, a meteorologist, and Erica Grivas, our garden writer, to weigh in on kicking off the Green Lake garden season. Today is the first of the two part series about when to start planting your garden. More specifically, has Green Lake had the last freeze for this season? (Please, let it be so!) The last frost is a time that often signals its safe to start planting. Stay tuned tomorrow for Erica’s post about what to plant. Happy gardening Greenlakers!
Last winter was more than a bit of an aberration from the typical growing season in Seattle. In 2016, the last freeze was recorded on January 9th and it didn’t freeze again until December 6th. That’s an incredible freeze-free period of 331 days and a major departure from the long term average of 251 days. As you can probably guess, we’ve been brought back closer to reality given the snow events and extended periods of hard freezes we had this past winter. The good news, at least if you are an avid gardener in the city of Seattle, is that we have passed the date of what is typically the last freeze … March 12th. Thanks to the “urban heat island effect” of the city, our proximity to water, and, yes, a changing climate, Green Lake and much of Seattle have a longer frost-free season that outlying communities in nearly every direction on the compass.
Here are some stats on the first and last freezes in Seattle from records dating back to the 1890s. The earliest first freeze of the fall/winter season occured on October 16, 1946. The latest first freeze of the fall/winter season was January 10, 1935. The earliest last freeze of the fall/winter season was January 2, 1946. And the latest last freeze of the season was May (!) 1 of 1951 and 1954. The first half of the 1950s must have been a brutal period for gardeners in Seattle. From 1950 to 1956, the last freeze never occurred before mid April. And that should make this spring feel comparatively balmy!