West Green Lake Way to Sort of Reopen

February 23, 2021 8:26pm

Seattle Department of Transportation says as soon as this week the Northbound lane of W Green Lake Way – a “Keep Moving Street” since last April – will reopen, but NOT the Southbound lane.

This will open access to the tennis courts (and their parking) across from the Pitch and Putt, and the dog park, but will not allow drivers to go through the park to Aurora near 63rd St., Phinney Ridge, and parts west.

Commenters on Next Door South Green Lake were divided, it seems by whether their goal is to walk around the lake and enjoy its activities, or to use that busy byway to get to Ballard.

S. Kopf of Phinney Ridge, wrote: “How disappointing they are reopening this street to cars. A real loss.”

While C. Michael, of E. Phinney, said, “They [SDOT] really didn’t think about how many people from all over the county and frankly further than just the neighborhood use this space for recreation. Which means drivers.”

Still others expressed frustration that the northern section of Green Lake Way is currently filled with campers and RVs.

SDOT anticipates keeping that northern section closed, in part to enable access for cyclists who are currently not allowed on the inner lake path.

We anticipate keeping this Keep Moving Street open longer than others, because Green Lake is a popular destination even during the fall and winter along with the challenge of reaching vaccine levels of 70 to 85% by spring. With bikes currently restricted on the inner loop inside the park, this setup helps people walk, bike, and roll into the colder seasons and spring at a safe distance.

Seattle Bike Blog hopes it does become permanent, with additions to make it even safer to bike up to Aurora.

What do you think?

The current closure of West Green Lake Way

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Free COVID-19 Testing Opens in Woodland Park

January 28, 2021 11:37am

By Erica Browne Grivas

Free COVID-19 testing is now available at the baseball playfields in Lower Woodland Park at 5201 Greenlake Way N. The initiative is part of three new testing kiosk sites announced by Mayor Jenny Durkan in late December, including at Seattle Center and in South Seattle, to help stem the novel Coronavirus pandemic.

Time slots for the self-administered oral swab tests must be reserved and results are expected within 48 hours. The site is open from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm and bookable online through or the city’s testing site up to three days in advance. At the time of writing, there are 441 slots open three days from now. asks two questions in the booking process but was ready to let me book a test even though I indicated I had no symptoms and did not work or live in a high-risk situation.

The city’s web site explains the procedure:

The new kiosks allow clients to use an observed and directed self-collected oral fluid swab COVID-19 test. A Curative staff member will be available at each location to walk clients through the quick and painless process. Results will be delivered electronically within 48 hours. As with other City-sponsored no-cost testing sites, individuals must pre-register online….Clients will not be charged and will not receive a bill, regardless of insurance status. For uninsured clients, Curative will seek reimbursement from state and federal resources including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Relief Fund for the cost of the test. 

To learn about your place in the vaccine roll-out, read about the current phases here. 

See the latest on phase restrictions on gatherings and business openings here.

New COVID-19 testing kiosk open in Woodland Park ballfields. Free; by appointment only. Photo: Erica Browne Grivas

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Changes at Seattle Greenlaker

January 8, 2021 8:22am

Hi Greenlakers, 

You may have noticed that Seattle Greenlaker has been quiet for the past few weeks. That’s because our family moved out of Seattle late last year. Since then I have been wanting to find a home for Seattle Greenlaker. Or maybe I should say a caretaker, because I feel like Seattle Greenlaker’s home should always be in Green Lake, or at least cared for by someone who lives in the community and keeps a pulse on what’s happening. 

The good news is I have found that person, and she is someone you are probably familiar with: Erica Browne Grivas. Erica was the first contributor to the Greenlaker site. Erica is an amazing writer and longtime journalist, who, in addition to contributing to several local blogs, has written stories for Real Simple, The Seattle Times and many other acclaimed publications. She is also an avid gardener, but if you have read her work, you probably already know that. (In early 2020 she began writing a garden column for the Queen Anne & Magnolia News.) She has a passion for Green Lake, her home where she raised her family and hundreds of tomato plants over the past 11 years.

Seattle Greenlaker started 7 years ago, shortly after my husband and I moved to Green Lake and found that the previous blog, My Greenlake, was no longer operating. I missed my former job as a journalist and really wanted to get to know the community. And my husband, being a designer, wanted to create something. So, my husband created the blog’s look and feel and I started with the content and finding contributors for a new Green Lake blog. This was never supposed to be a full-time job or a money making venture for either of us. It was always a passion project for helping to promote and create community around the Green Lake area. And what it gave us has been so enriching over the years. It allowed us to meet our community. To get to know our neighbors and the small business owners around the lake in such a unique way. 

I want to thank you for trusting us these 7 years with your news. You emailed us news tips, you sent us photos and amazing stories and shared pieces of yourself with us and the entire Green Lake community.

I will miss Green Lake. My kind neighbors and picnics with them at the park. My quiet walks or paddles around the lake on SUP and kayak. But I’m so grateful that Green Lake exists and will always be there and while I can’t walk to it anymore, I love visiting.  

Over the next few weeks you will notice some changes to Seattle Greenlaker. Erica is relaunching the site. Be on the lookout for more amazing stories. And please continue to share ideas and photos. The email for news tips is the same

Thanks, and I look forward to seeing you someday around the lake. 

-Sarah Lemmon 


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“Trump/Pence Out Now” Protest In Green Lake Saturday

October 23, 2020 9:24am

A protest called “Trump & Pence OUT NOW!” is planned at Green Lake Park this Saturday at 4 p.m. Protesters are meeting at East Green Lake Way N & NE 71st St. across from Gregg’s Cycles.

Part of a nationwide movement #TrumpPenceOutNOW, the group plans to use the time to “assemble in protest, to plan and organize.”

The group is encouraging all to wear face masks for the protest.

For more on the event, go to their Facebook page.

If you plan to attend the protest, why not drop off your ballot at the ballot box too? Green Lake’s ballot box is at the Community Center.


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Signs of Fall At Green Lake

October 20, 2020 1:04pm
Photo by Bob Birnbaum

It must be Autumn in Green Lake. If you’ve been to the lake recently chances are you’ve seen (or heard!) the return of the American Coots to the lake. See our story for more on these interesting red-eyed birds.
And special thanks to Bob Birnbaum for the photo!


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Green Lake Walking Path Continues To Be One Direction

October 6, 2020 10:57am
Photo by Erica Grivas

Please don’t let the reopening of the city’s play areas give you the false sense that we can weaken our efforts to keep our community safe while COVID-19 is still running rampant. The Green Lake walking path continues to be one direction (counter clockwise) to allow people to be a safe distance from one another while enjoying the park. This may surprise you if you’ve been out on the path and seen people walking both directions. The signs that were placed around the lake warning of the one direction have all been removed and not by Parks officials. We’ve noticed them in the lake, and thrown in trash cans throughout the summer. Such a waste because guess who paid for those? All of us!

“(Green Lake Park is) definitely the busiest park in Seattle, and likely one of the busiest in the state, so we need folks to mask up, walk one way to create more passing width, and stay home if sick,” said Rachel Schulkin Seattle Parks and Recreation Communications Manager.

Enjoy the park Greenlakers, but please make sure you do it safely!


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Green Lake Playground Reopens October 6

October 6, 2020 10:41am
Photo via Inspirock

You may have noticed that some of the Green Lake Park parking lots that were closed earlier this summer to prevent overcrowding have reopened. Yesterday Seattle Parks and Recreation also announced that they will be reopening playgrounds throughout the city as well.

According to the release:

“All play areas in Seattle parks will reopen to the public on October 6. Seattle Parks and Recreation staff, with support from our partners at the Washington Department of Health and Seattle King County Public Health, have created some guidelines that can keep us all safe while using these spaces.  

How to use play areas safely: 

-Play equipment is open to five or fewer kids at a time 
– Some play areas have only one piece of play equipment (usually a climber/slide combo), and others have many pieces of equipment (swings, little kids climber, big kids climber, zipline, etc.). No more than five kids on a piece of play equipment.  
– Stay home if you are sick or if anyone in your family is sick.  
– Please wash your child’s hands before and after play.  
– All children over the age of two must wear a mask. See here for mask information and exception because of disability.  
– Give yourself and others at least six feet of space.  
– Please be aware that play areas are not regularly sanitized or cleaned.  

Here are a few tips on how to keep us all safe and keep these spaces open: 
-Keep a close eye on your child to ensure that they are following the guidelines.
-Stay for a short time (30 min. or less) to give everyone an opportunity to play.
-No food or drink on the play equipment to ensure that masks are worn at all times.  
– Visit parks during less busy times. Visit less popular parks. Seattle has over 150 play areas (not including those at schools).  Mornings are less busy than afternoons. Weekdays are less busy than weekends.
– Green Lake, Seward, Magnuson, Discovery, Lincoln, Gas Works, Carkeek and Jefferson Park are some of Seattle’s busier play areas.  
– We are all in this together, so kindly remind others of the guidelines and find a different activity if the play area gets too crowded.  

We cannot allow play areas to be places where COVID-19 is spread, so we need folks to use these spaces safely.

For questions or concerns please email


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Green Lake Based NonProfit PROVIDE NOW Finds Unique Way To Help Others

September 9, 2020 7:38am
Photo via Provide Now

Non profits across the region are feeling the pressure as more and more people reach out for essential services and supplies due to economic hardships associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. We recently learned of two local women who launched a non profit earlier this year to help those in need. Their non profit is called Provide Now and it has roots right here in Green Lake. Here’s our conversation with co-founder and Green Lake resident Alex Taylor.

Seattle Greenlaker: How is Provide Now different than other nonprofits? 

Alex Taylor: Provide Now creates gifts-in-kind donation registries; we list items that charities need and donors can purchase listed items for those charities. Our mission is to promote transparent donations of material items to equip nonprofits and communities with the resources necessary to thrive. 

Seattle Greenlaker: You mentioned you launched during COVID. Was this because you saw a need during this time of COVID-19 or had it been planned to launch previously? 

Alex Taylor: We saw a need during the time of COVID-19. Our thought process was, “We can stand around and do nothing OR we can launch imperfectly and try and make a difference.” So, we decided to change our initial structure and in March set our website up as a crowdfunding platform that we kept open until the end of May. In July we re-launched our nonprofit as our intended gifts-in-kind platform. 

Seattle Greenlaker: Can you tell me more about the Marketplace you launched within Provide Now? 

Alex Taylor: Provide Now is similar to Amazon’s Wish List registry except there are a few major differences that set us apart:

  1. Provide Now does not make money off of the items that we list on our website. 100% of the purchase a donor makes is used to purchase that intended item. Provide Now only makes money through additional donations and grant funding. 
  2. Provide Now is a 501c3 so any items purchased on our website are tax-deductible. 
  3. Provide Now tries to source as many of the products as possible from local vendors (e.g. we only source our animal products from All the Best and Pet Pros, both Pacific Northwest-based companies), minority and women-owned businesses (The Honey Pot), USA manufactured, or items that use organic material (Maggie’s Socks)
  4. Lastly, we work closely with our associated organizations to determine drop-off days. Many nonprofits and government agencies have limited space available for housing in-kind donations, so Provide Now tries to do larger drop-offs to reduce their administrative work. This means less time spent on filing paperwork for the gift-in-kind donations and instead of getting those items to the people (or animals). 
Provide Now Founders Gigi Gillie (left) and Alex Taylor. (Photo via Provide Now)

Seattle Greenlaker: Can you tell me about your Green Lake connection? 

Alex Taylor: Gigi and I met at the University of Washington in 2009 (not too far from Green Lake) and during my time in college, I would run the inner-loop during the spring and summer. 

My husband and I just moved to Green Lake this past November. Every week, Gigi and I meet at my house as our “work station.” 

Seattle Greenlaker: What are your plans for the future? 

Alex Taylor: Provide Now would like to expand its reach of the nonprofits and community organizations as well as increase our donorship. 

Seattle Greenlaker: Anything else you think we should know? 

Alex Taylor: Here at Provide Now, we really believe that a lot of small impacts can lead to a big difference. If 100 people came together and each person purchased a pair of wool socks, 100 people experiencing homelessness would have a better chance at keeping their feet dry and infection-free this winter.

We wanted to make a platform where people could donate in smaller capacity and then see a tangible result. On our Instagram page, we post photos of the items we drop-off to show people that their donation is making a difference. It’s really amazing and powerful to see carts full of donations that individuals made. One small act can truly make such a difference.


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Supporting Local Green Lake Food Businesses

September 8, 2020 6:58am

As restaurants and bars continue to navigate operations during COVID-19, one of the saddest realities is that many may not make it. Some are pivoting or expanding in new ways to try to keep their businesses afloat. As in many neighborhoods, Green Lake has some unique places that have been around for decades and they could use some love and patronage.

Since the beginning of the pandemic we have tried to encourage our Green Lake neighbors to get out and support restaurants. We aren’t saying you have to dine in, but with curbside pick up readily available, if you have the means, its a great time to get out there and support our local food scene.

One in particular that we haven’t mentioned a ton on the blog is Latona Pub. Katie from Latona pub recently reached out to us and shared that “The Latona Pub has been a fixture in the Greenlake neighborhood since 1987 and is one of the last freestanding post prohibition taverns in the city. It’s been a launching pad for 100+ special collaborations with NW breweries & the scene of many special beer events including first releases of all-stars like Manny’s Pale Ale by Georgetown Brewing & debuts by beloved breweries like Holy Mountain, Cloudburst and Stoup. Even though we can’t enjoy a beer release at the pub like we once did we still are involved with collaborations.”

She also mentioned that they launched their crowler canning program where you can now get a 32 oz. shelf stable beer (that’s enough for 2 pints) to enjoy at home. They also have a full food menu available online: Current hours Wednesday + Thursday 4 p.m. – 9 p.m., Friday – Saturday noon – 9 p.m. and Sunday noon – 8 p.m.

Another place that should be on your radar opened just 8 days before the pandemic started called The Wick. The coffee shop is in the Triumph Seattle motorcycle shop on Aurora Ave and Winona Ave. After being forced to close temporarily not long after they had their grand opening, they returned this summer with a full menu of coffee and espresso as well as baked goods and bagel sandwiches to go.

One of the many things that makes Green Lake great is the chance to experience great food and beverages right here in our neighborhood. If you need other ideas for great local spots, please check out the Green Lake restaurants section of our blog.


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