Parks Department Tanks New Pool Plan

June 1, 2022 4:54pm

The Parks Department has decided not to commit to the estimated $120 renovation including a new pool and recreation center for Green Lake, instead favoring a renovation of existing elements that may still cost $50 million. The decision was announced at a recent Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners meeting.

A rendering of the $120M renovation proposed in 2020

The center dates back to 1927, and the pool to 1955. In 2015, the Parks Department slated the building for renovation, and in 2020 it unveiled a plan including a 90,000-square-foot replacement complex. This included a gym, two swimming pools, both child care and activity rooms, and an open porch with a lakeside view. Seattle Times’ columnist Danny Westneat reports that Councilmember Dan Strauss says he will fight for funding the new rec center and pool as Parks and Recreation funding is determined for the next cycle of budgeting.

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Green Lake a Fishing Paradise

May 18, 2022 8:00pm

Green Lake is close to Heaven on Earth for Seattle sport anglers, says bestfishinginamerica.com.

Among the benefits: the fishing season is open year-round, there’s easy park access around the lake, and several fishing piers, two-pole fishing is allowed, and while watercraft like cartoppers or kayaks are allowed, no motorboats are permitted.

Smoky angling in fall of 2020. Image: Erica Grivas

Mid-March through June offers some of the best prospects, but fishing is viable all year thanks to the generous stocking of Rainbow and Brown Trout and Channel Catfish by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, which offers seasonal prizes in an annual Trout Derby.

Since April, 10,563 Rainbow Trout have been planted in Green Lake. You can find graphs of peak seasons here.

One of the most impressive seen: a self-reported 45-pound Channel Catfish was caught in 2018. Anglers may also find Common Carp – for which no license is required, Largemouth Bass, Rock Bass, Pumpkinseed Sunfish, and Brown Bullhead. 

Stocking of immature fry in fall gives them time to grow well during the off-season.

The Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife calls Green Lake one of Western Washington’s best urban fisheries.
Image: Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

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Gardeners, Get Ready: Seattle’s Massive Plant Sale is Back!

April 19, 2022 5:45am
The May Edible Plant Sale returns May 7 & 8. Image from Tilth Alliance website.

Tilth Alliance’s Edible Plant Sale is the unofficial kick-off to spring for gardeners who like to grow their own (food, that is). Held traditionally at Meridian Park Playground, 4800 Meridian Ave N, on the first weekend of May, it became so popular that waiting in line for a timed ticket became the hallmark of spring. It can bring as many as 4000 very excited gardeners to the cozy park. Remote last year, with pick-ups in Rainier Beach, the sale is back in the neighborhood for 2022.

Billed as the “largest selection of organically, sustainably and locally grown vegetable plant starts in the Puget Sound region,” varieties are selected that perform well in the PacNW. You’ll also find pollinator plants, herbs, edible flowers, fruit trees, and garden supplies available in the vendor marketplace.

Go early for the best selection of organic plant starts. Image Tilth Alliance website

A paid ticket to the Early Bird Sale on Friday, May 6 from 5:00 p.m -7:00 p.m. promises lighter crowds and the best selection. Hot tip: sign up now as a volunteer for free access to the Early Bird Sale.

Weekend shopping is free, Saturday & Sunday, May 7 & 8, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Did we mention it’s popular? If you’re headed to the sale, it helps to get there early. Face masks are encouraged to be worn at the sale.

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A New Tangletown: Businesses Sprouting

April 13, 2022 12:43pm

As a burgeoning spring landscape explodes with new life, the winter months have transformed the small business district of Tangletown. Beginning with Restaurant Christine’s fall opening, a cascade of change has hit the area, bringing a host of exciting offerings to the area.

Tangletown’s first book store

You never have enough books – or bookstores, in our opinion. Wise Owl Books opened in early December at 2223 N. 56th St. bringing a curated, eclectic selection of titles mostly hovering in the sci-fi, mystery, and romance genres, as well as albums, gifts, and cards. At the back, a warm nook awaits with cozy armchairs, where owner Christina Gilbreath hopes to host game nights and live music.

Ready for treasure-hunting at Wise Owl Books. Credit: Erica Browne Grivas

Massage Clinic Brings the Aah

If you want to fully unwind – and who doesn’t? – check out Still Point Massage Therapy a block east at 2265 N. 56th Street, #2B. Owner Diedra Roesijadi and five other therapists offer sessions from 60-120 minutes long in a light-filled, mid-century “retreat space” hand-built and designed by visionary Seattle architect Folke Nyberg, a driving force behind Westlake Center and Pioneer Square. For a first-person account, see this piece from our friends at the Wallyhood blog.

Image from Still Point Massage Therapy

Come Play with Color at this Mosaic Studio

Okay, we’re cheating on this one. Claire Barnett’s Seattle Mosaic Arts moved to Tangletown from Wallingford in 2021, but we have yet to feature it. At this mosaic studio, you can try your hand at mosaics via one-off kits, an at-home class, and a studio membership which gives you access to advanced tools, storage, expert finishing, and instruction. Kits start at $65 and range from pendants to mirrors, garden stakes, wall art, and custom projects. You can even create a wall hanging of your house using one of your photos.

Image from Seattle Mosaic Arts.

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Freeway Estates Plant Sale Supports Food Banks

March 22, 2022 6:00am

Tucked in next to I-5 between NE 58th- 60th Streets grows a remarkable, little-known community garden. The official name is Northeast 60th St. Park, but members call it “Freeway Estates Community Orchard (FECO).”


In 2010, a group of neighbors worked to transform 12,000 SF of highway right-of-way from scrub growth and trash into a productive, welcoming oasis of fruit trees, native plants, garden beds, benches, and garden art. Unlike most “p-patch” community gardens, most volunteers do not have their own garden beds – they are tending and maintaining the garden for the community. Over half of the planting beds are dedicated to growing food bank produce. With a focus on sustainability, it features Washington’s only gravity-led drip irrigation system, thermal (no-dig) composting, and pollinator-supporting plants grouped in cooperative “guilds”.

Fremont Estates Community Orchard looking North. Courtesy Fremont Estates

Community events are a big part of the garden’s mission to bring people together. The annual fall Cider Fest featuring the garden’s fruit is one. Kicking off spring, on Saturday, March 26, FECO is hosting a plant sale featuring vegetable and flower starts, as well as native plants and seed giveaways. Note the sale goes from 10:00 am through 1 pm or “until we run out”!

Stop by early for the best selection!

The garden welcomes volunteers and donations of needed supplies.

Work parties are held:

Every Thursday and Friday at 10:00am

The 2nd and 3rd Saturday each month from 10:00am – noon

Learn more at https://freewayestates.org/contact/.

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Seeking New Voices for Greenlaker

March 3, 2022 12:00pm

We are looking for local writers to add their voices to Seattle Greenlaker. Are you passionate about the scene in food, fitness, real estate, or exploring local history? We’ll walk you through the posting process – it’s easy! Photographers, if you have some iconic shots to share, get in touch.

Drop us a note at seattlegreenlaker@gmail.com and let’s talk!

Creative Commons Image: David Mulder
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Green Lake Outer Loop Plan Finalized

February 24, 2022 6:44pm

Following input from a November survey, the Seattle Department of Transportation announced its plan to complete a biking/walking loop on the outer path circling Green Lake this week. Construction could begin as early as summer.

The plan, comprising parts of Aurora Ave. N and Greenlake Way N., maintains road access within the southern edge of the park and the on-ramp to Aurora Ave., but does remove Northbound traffic along Greenlake Way N. Another traffic impact is that cars will no longer be able to turn right from Aurora Ave. N onto Greenlake Way N.

Map courtesy of SDOT

You can view the survey data, traffic and parking analyses, and alternative plan options that were proposed in a virtual public meeting Tuesday here .

According to SDOT’s email announcement, the Vision Zero Program prioritized this project “due to its safety benefits and potential to address recent collisions that have occurred in this area.”

Here’s what it should look like along Aurora Ave. where an unused buslane is being converted into a bike/walk lane:

Courtest SDOT

and along Greenlake Way N.:

Looking north along Greenlake Way N. Courtesy SDOT.
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Seattle’s Flower Show Returns

February 8, 2022 4:43pm

The Northwest Flower and Garden Show went dark after 2020 – in fact, it was the last big public event Seattle hosted before the pandemic lockdown in March. Color-lovers and gardeners will be thrilled to hear it’s back this year, with all the display gardens, shopping, and seminars that have made it one of the nation’s most beloved shows for over 30 years.

At the Washington State Convention Center from Wed. Feb 9- Sunday, Feb. 13, the show marks Seattle’s unofficial start of spring. Wearing masks as well as proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or proof of having received a negative COVID-19 test conducted within 72 hours of the event are required to attend.

Today’s press premiere of the 24 display gardens revealed a focus on exuberant, unapologetic color, repurposed materials, vertical gardening, and a merging of home and garden decor. The City Living gardens – smaller indoor and patio settings – have moved to the main room, where you can view them all together.

The popular Fleur de Villes exhibits from 2020 are back, in support of breast cancer research. These life-sized floral mannequins are jaw-dropping in their intricacy and handiwork. Here’s a preview:

A note on the workshops: because of some pandemic-related schedule shifts, it’s best to check the online schedule for the latest information.

Experienced gardeners and new houseplant parents alike will find inspiration in the expert-led seminars, live design competitions, and workshops, not to mention the shopping. Crafts, greenhouses, clothing, gifts – and many, many, plants are available for sale, from dahlia and lily bulbs to houseplants and seeds. One of those collapsible fabric carts like you might bring to a farmer’s market would be perfect to corral your purchases.

Tickets can be purchased online, at the show, or at local nurseries like Ravenna Gardens. As for logistics, parking can be challenging – not to mention pricey – but the light rail from Roosevelt to Westlake is about 12 minutes followed by a five-minute walk.

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A Complete Bike Loop for Green Lake?

November 2, 2021 4:54pm

You may have yearned for a less crowded way to circle Green Lake – especially if you are a cyclist. Since the city took bikes out of the inner path to allow social distancing at the start of the pandemic, cyclists had to patchwork their way around the lake. Now is your chance to make your voice heard and learn about the options on the table. Seattle Department of Transportation is opening community input in the Green Lake Outer Loop project, starting with a virtual “open house” on Tuesday, Nov. 9. from 6:00-7:00 p.m. Sign up here for the virtual meeting. The city is proposing a protected path for bikes and walkers.

This map shows the area to be completed in two sections.

Proposed protected walk and bike path. Courtesy Seattle.gov

SDOT says:

“The Green Lake Outer Loop envisions a connected outer walking and biking path around Green Lake Park. This outer loop would provide more travel options for people walking, running, biking, and create better connections to surrounding neighborhoods. Over the next few months, we will be collecting community feedback on designs for the Aurora and Green Lake Dr N segments outlined below.  

As a part of this effort, we will also work with Seattle Parks and Recreation to plan for better biking, walking, and rolling alternatives to the inner park loop.” 

The work could be completed by spring of 2022 according to SDOT.

If you’d like to be in the loop – haha – add your name to the dedicated email list here.

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Are you Halloween-Ready? Find Trick-or-Treat Spots or Add Yours on this Map

October 28, 2021 3:12pm

Wondering where to bring the kids this Sunday? Or want to let folks know to visit your place? This crowdsourced map shows all of Seattle, and breaks down variables from whether treats are in bags, if a COVID-distancing candy chute is involved, and whether the chocolate bars are giant-sized. Let’s see some more Green Lake representation!

The Grivas family Tube of Wonder Photo: E. Grivas

For more inspiration on distancing Halloween ideas, see my Seattle Times article.

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