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Send off Summer with Flare – the Luminata is Back!

September 20, 2022 6:33am

On September 24, Green Lake will again become a fantasy landscape alight with hundreds of lanterns to celebrate the autumnal equinox, the tipping point between summer and fall, light and dark. On the autumnal equinox, the Sun is directly above the equator, and day and night are the same lengths. It is traditionally a time to celebrate the harvest and wind down into winter’s rest for the following year

Image, Fremont Art Council

Sponsored by the Fremont Arts Council , the evening lantern parade is free and begins officially at 7:30 at the Aqua Theater (by the Small Craft Center) and weaves along the lake eastward to the Seattle Public Theater. The event runs until 11:00 p.m. You can join anywhere along the path. A band leads the parade, and there is an illuminated art display near the theater.

Image, Fremont Art Council

You can make your own lanterns at free lantern-making workshops, or buy some to support the event. The lantern shoppe at the Aqua Theater will open at 6 PM on Saturday September 24. Proceeds benefitting the Fremont Arts Council, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Find the schedule and more information at https://fremontartscouncil.org/luminata

Why walk when you can paddle? Image, Fremont Arts Council

Here’s a map of the route:

Fremont Arts Council

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Green Lake Gets a New Boathouse

September 13, 2022 6:00am

This month, construction begins on a larger, updated Boathouse (also known as the Small Craft Center) at 5900 West Green Lake Way N, 98103 for Green Lake.

Image, Mithun/Seattle Parks and Recreation

The 10,800 square-foot building will be fully accessible, preparing to launch Seattle’s first public adaptive rowing program and expansion of a paracanoing program. The design increases and maximizes boat storage and creates new instructional space for educational programs.

The new facility will also provide restrooms, locker facilities, areas for off-water instruction, and a community meeting space. According to the Seattle Parks and Recreation, the adjacent Massart Shellhouse building and restrooms will be minimally updated as well and utilities for both buildings will be repaired/replaced. 

Image, Mithun/Seattle Parks and Recreation

As the current building is demolished, parkgoers will encounter detours to the surrounding paths. Construction is estimated to take about a year.

The project’s estimated cost is $12,500,000 and SPR says it is being funded in part by private donations and grants from the Land & Water Conservation Fund, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, King County, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, and Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Major Projects Challenge Fund.

Image, Mithun/Seattle Parks and Recreation
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Art in the Garden Free Festival Back in Ballard

August 2, 2022 6:50am

Not in Green Lake, but the return after two years of this free family-friendly garden art festival with music is too good to pass up!

When: Saturday, August 6, 2022

10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Where: Ballard P-Patch NW 85th St and 25th NW.

Benefitting the Ballard P-Patch, which recently won a two-year struggle to buy the garden’s land for $2 million dollars through donations and grants, the festival and garden are celebrating its 20th anniversary this year after a COVID hiatus. Highlights include:

  • Crafts, art, and plants from local makers, artists, and growers
  • Two music stages
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Wine grab
  • Bubbles Shug’s Ice Cream Cart
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Buy Nothing Free Day in Wallingford and Fremont Saturday

July 28, 2022 7:40pm

What’s better than a garage sale? A free one!

It’s a free-for-all this Saturday, July 30, 2022 from 9am-3pm in Wallingford and Fremont, according to flyers popping up near Meridan Park recently. For searchers, no need to win a Facebook lottery, and for givers, no need to arrange and wait for the pickup that may never come. Just leave the stuff out during the appointed time, and see what’s left after the dust settles.

The map includes homes in Meridian, Wallingford, and Fremont so far. Scan the QR code in the picture below for a map of participating homes or go to this link, and let the loot-hunting commence!

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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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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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