Park Opportunity Fund Recommendations Published

The Parks and Green Spaces Levy Citizens Oversight Committee finalized their project recommendations for Opportunity Funding at a meeting held last week. In the first cycle of the Opportunity Fund, $7 million will be awarded to community initiated projects.

The Committee’s recommendations will be forwarded to Parks and Recreation Acting Superintendent Christopher Williams, who will forward his recommendations to the Mayor and City Council. Seattle City Council is expected to approve project funding recommendations in March 2011. The project list is below.

The Parks and Green Spaces Citizens Oversight Committee developed the criteria for evaluating projects with guidance from the Levy Ordinance, and has gone through an extensive public process to recommend funding to the final projects located throughout the city.

Seattle voters approved the $146 million Parks and Green Spaces Levy in 2008. It includes a $15 million Opportunity Fund for community initiated development projects and land acquisition opportunities.

Highland Park Spray Park, Norhtacres Spray Park and 14th Avenue NW Park Boulevard are three additional community-initiated projects that will receive funding from other Levy sources. An estimated $1.5 million in 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy acquisition funds will be reallocated to the 14th Avenue NW Park Boulevard project. The goal is to convert two blocks on 14th Avenue NW (currently street right of way) from existing roadway and parking median into a community park with green infrastructure and safety improvements for pedestrians and cyclists. The community has prioritized this development project in lieu of acquiring additional property.

The two spray park conversion projects will receive a total of $905,000 in additional funding. This will allow for full water re-circulating systems which will provide better play experience and greater water conservation.

For more information please contact Susanne Rockwell at or 206-684-0902 visit the web at

First Round Opportunity Fund

2010 Levy Oversight Committee – Recommendations

(Project information is in the form of 1)District, 2)Project Name, 3)Budget Allocation, 4)Notes

CE – 19th & Madison Neighborhood Park – $473,000 -The intent of this project is to create a beautiful, tranquil green oasis in an urban setting, including a sensory garden and a community gathering space on what is currently a vacant lot.

CE – James Court Woonerf – $500,000 – The goal is to convert an existing street and sidewalk into a green, pervious space which invites and accommodates uses by people on foot instead of only cars. It would be adjacent to the newly acquired12th Ave Park which is in the planning stage.

CE – John Street Enhancement Project – $260,000 – This proposal enhances the new park and P-patch by adding a bioswale, planting area and providing better pedestrian connections.

CE – McGilvra Place Green Infrastructure – $364,000 – The project proposes closure of 15th Ave between E Madison St and E Pike St and modifications to the existing park for the creation of bioretention cells and rain gardens to accept runoff from the Cascadia Center’s new building to the east.

CW – Lower Kinnear Park Enhancement Plan – $750,000 – The project goal is to create enhancements that improve trails and signage, restore the native vegetation and make connections to other trails in the Seattle Parks system.

NE – Naturalizing Northgate – $500,000 – This project will refine and complete all remaining channel work in this park, thereby creating a healthier watershed with more controlled flow and plentiful native plants.

NE – University Heights, South Lot Park, Playground Gardens – $747,000 – The project goal is to produce a cost effective operation of a playground, open space, performance area, gardens and a plaza area for the public.

NW – Park Enhancements for Bitter Lake Reservoir – $287,000 – The project goal is to create additional open space and park-like atmosphere enhancements around the reservoir.

NW – The Troll’s Knoll – $685,000 – The goal is to create a model design of a sustainable park space. Proposed sustainable design features include the use of recycled materials, native plants, minimal earth movement, tree retention, storm water management, solar panels and wind turbines.

SE – Jimi Hendrix Park Development – $500,000 – The goal of this project is to complete the development of the park, bringing to life an open green space that is welcoming and provides an unique experience which clearly defines its namesake.

SE – John Muir Elementary PG Improvements – $270,000 – Construction of a new play area to replace existing one, including rain gardens, permeable surfaces and planting beds, native plant restoration.

SE – Lewis Park Reforestation – $260,000 – The project goal is to restore the steep slope area of the urban forest, increase the native plants and tree restoration.

SE – Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands – $500,000 – The goal of the project is to establish a unique green infrastructure development project transforming the Atlantic City Nursery into a working organic urban farm and demonstration wetlands restoration site.

SE – Santos Rodriguez Memorial Park – $350,000 – The project goal is to revitalize and make more effective use of the available space and to increase public awareness and access to the park.

SW – Puget Ridge Edible Park – $520,000 – The vision of Sustainable Puget Ridge is to create an urban community farm which is a neighborhood meeting place, a community food garden and a test site for environmentally conscientious sustainability.

The total funding for this round is $6,966,000.

Help Clean Up Duwamish: Cleanup Proposal Workshops Scheduled, Citizen Input Needed

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition invite your participation and need your help in reviewing the Draft River Cleanup Alternatives (Feasibility Study) prepared for the Duwamish Water Way Superfund site.  The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition is also the Technical Advisory Group to the EPA for this site.

Click here to visit the EPA’s web site for an overview. View or download the EPA Fact Sheet about the 2nd Draft Duwamish River Cleanup Alternatives (Feasibility Study). If you’d like to peruse the entire cleanup plan, please start with the Executive Summary!

DRCC/TAG Technical Advisors have created an quick assessment of the cleanup alternatives, and will develop an environmental justice review and fact sheet for the public.

  • Preliminary Assessment of the cleanup alternatives (Available now!)
  • Fact Sheet (Coming at the end of November)

Learn more, and have your voice heard!

Community Public Meetings on Cleanup Alternatives

  • Help develop alternatives that protect human health.
  • Public meetings include Superfund cleanup alternatives overview presentation as part of the open house and public comment at the presentation stations and on paper; Spanish language translation will be available; Childcare will be available and there will be food provided.

Schedule for Public Meetings

  • Tuesday, December 7 – 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm: Concord International Elementary School in South Park at 723 S Concord St.  Spanish translation, childcare and food provided.
  • Thursday, December 9 –  5:30 pm to 8:30 pm:  South Seattle Community College Georgetown Campus at 6737 Corson Avenue S.  Spanish translation, childcare and food provided.

SPU Is Recruiting Community Advisory Members

Seattle Public Utilities is seeking diverse community members for their Community Advisory Committees.  More detail is online here.

SPU is seeking diverse candidates, especially from the HUB/WMBE businesses as well as community members from the Central and SE and SW sectors of the City.  Download the application form here.

SPU has three City-wide committees:

  • Creeks, Drainage and Wastewater Advisory Committee (CDWAC) (stormwater management, water quality, pollution prevention, creeks, wastewater systems, other topics)
  • Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) waste management systems policy: recycling, food/yard waste, collection contracts, transfer stations, garbage systems, waste prevention)
  • Water System Advisory Committee (WSAC) (drinking water system, water conservation, supply/demand, Cedar and Tolt Watersheds management, other topics)

Each of these committees is chartered by Seattle Public Utilities and reports directly to the Director, SPU.  For more information contact the program manager, Sheryl Shapiro, at 206-615-1443 or email at Sheryl.Shapiro@Seattle.Gov

Latest Edition of Natural Science Newsletter SciFYI

The latest edition of the King County Water and Land Resources Division SciFYI newsletter is now online.  This newsletter is published monthly by King County’s environmental stewards and is a digest of current natural science issues in King County.

This issue, September 2010, is a Special Student Edition and the articles were written by students in the 2010 King County YouthSource Summer Environmental Water Resources class sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor, Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, and the King County Work Training Program. The program was conducted in partnership with King County’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks, along with the King County Superior Court and the Highline School District.

Boeing Company, EPA Sign PCB Cleanup Agreement

On September 29, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed an agreement with The Boeing Company to construct a new stormwater treatment system at North Boeing Field in Seattle. The treatment system will greatly reduce the amount of toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which are an on-going source of pollution to the Duwamish River.

The North Boeing Field storm drain system carries stormwater to the Duwamish River through more than seven miles of catch basins, drains, inlets, and oil-water separators. Studies by the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology), the City of Seattle, and Boeing showed the North Boeing Field storm drain system is the biggest source of PCBs to the river sediments in Slip 4, one of the most highly contaminated sites on the lower Duwamish waterway.

Goal is to reduce PCB discharge to Duwamish River

According to Lori Cohen, Associate Director of EPA’s Superfund cleanup office in Seattle, Boeing’s stormwater treatment work will significantly reduce PCBs discharge to the Duwamish River and better protect Puget Sound.

“Boeing’s investment in stormwater treatment will pay dividends in cleaning up the lower Duwamish River and Puget Sound,” said Cohen. “By reducing the volume of PCBs released to the river from North Boeing Field, we’re taking a major step forward in controlling one of the biggest PCBs pollution sources on the Duwamish and allowing us to move forward with our cleanup work.”

With the installation of this stormwater treatment system, cleanup of Slip 4 – one of several hot spot cleanups on the waterway – will proceed in 2011. Several acres of contaminated sediments in Slip 4 will be cleaned up under an EPA settlement agreement with the City of Seattle and King County.

PCBs are toxic pollutants that stay in the environment for a long time and can build up in fish and shellfish. PCBs are found at unsafe levels in the sediments and fish of the Lower Duwamish River. Concerns about PCBs in fish prompted the state to issue a health advisory warning people not to eat any crab, shellfish, or fish (except salmon) from the Lower Duwamish River.

Earlier this summer, Boeing agreed to design an initial stormwater treatment system with EPA oversight during the negotiation of today’s agreement. The initial system began operating last week treating stormwater from the most highly contaminated areas of North Boeing Field. The initial system will be managed under today’s agreement, and over the course of the next year, a long-term system will be put in place at the site. The treatment system is part of a broader effort to locate and contain or treat contamination in the North Boeing Field drainage area that flows into the stormwater outfall at Slip 4.

Background on Slip 4 & Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund site:

Today’s stormwater treatment agreement enables the cleanup of Slip 4 to proceed while Ecology’s overall site investigation and cleanup continues at North Boeing Field. The Slip 4 cleanup was delayed when Ecology found high levels of PCBs in North Boeing Field storm drains discharging to Slip 4. The agencies agreed to delay cleanup until the on-going sources of PCBs were reduced, lessening the potential for recontamination of clean areas.

Slip 4 is part of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund site, which was added to EPA’s National Priorities List in 2001. The contaminants in the river sediments include PCBs, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), mercury and other metals, and phthalates. Sediments (mud and sand on the river bottom) in and along the lower river contain a wide range of contaminants from years of industrial activity and from stormwater pollution.

EPA and Ecology jointly oversee the Lower Duwamish Waterway cleanup. EPA is the lead agency for the investigation and cleanup of contaminated sediments throughout the lower river. As the lead agency for controlling the sources of pollution to the lower river, Ecology works with the City of Seattle and King County to investigate and control sources throughout the Duwamish drainage basin.

EPA’s investigation of the contamination and cleanup options for the Lower Duwamish Waterway sediments, the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study, is moving toward completion. The Remedial Investigation was completed earlier this year, which identified the contaminants, where they are located, and which are the most dangerous.

A second draft of the Feasibility Study, which looks at alternatives for cleanup, will be available for public review on Oct. 12. EPA and Ecology will host public meetings on Dec. 7 and Dec. 9. EPA expects the cleanup plan to be completed by 2012.

For more information about the Slip 4 cleanup, visit:

For more information about the Lower Duwamish Waterway cleanup, visit:

October Community Forum: The Past, Present and Future of the Duwamish

Aerial View of Duwamish River

Once a source of livelihood for native people, the river later became a dumping ground for toxic waste and a source of pollution for Puget Sound.

Now local activists are joining with local companies and governments to face up to the incredibly difficult task of cleaning up this river.

Sustainable West Seattle’s monthly Community Forum will feature several of the key individuals involved in this effort who will describe what’s being done and what help is still needed.

Our panel will include:

This event will be at Camp Long, 5200 35th Avenue SW, 7-9 p.m.

(Photo courtesy Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition. Photo by Paul Joseph Brown.)

Become A Salmon Watcher & Help SPU, King County

Salmon Watcher Training A Unique Northwest Experience

On Wednesday, September 29th, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at the  Northgate Community Center, 10510  5th Ave. NE, Seattle Public Utilities and King County Department of the Environment will present a training course for would-be Salmon Watchers.

The Salmon Watcher Program trains volunteers to collect important information about returning salmon in creeks in and around Seattle. Dedicated volunteers spend 15 minutes twice a week, from September through December, watching for fish on their assigned creek site.

The information helps local jurisdictions know where salmon are spawning in our streams, and sometimes where barriers exist to salmon migration. Volunteers act as “eyes and ears” in the watersheds and give SPU a heads up when things go awry in our neighborhood creeks. No experience necessary. The data collected are used by agencies and groups working to help restore endangered salmon runs and improve habitat for all salmon. Your work as a Salmon Watcher is invaluable!  For more information check the “Salmon Watcher website” or call 206-263-6533

How can I become a Salmon Watcher?

Attend the classroom training to learn about salmon identification. Choose a place to watch from among hundreds of established creek sites in and around Seattle. No experience necessary.

For more information contact Beth Miller, Seattle Public Utilities, Stormwater Education and Outreach, 700 5th Avenue , or by email at or visit the King County Restore Our Waters website at


SPU Seeks Creeks/Watershed Advisory Council Members

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is currently recruiting members for its Creek, Drainage and Wastewater Community Advisory Committee. Members provide input and analysis on policy issues and ensure that SPU services are serving all Seattle communities. Community members are encouraged to apply.

First round of applications are due October 1.  Additional applications will be accepted on a rolling date basis.

The commitment involves a two-year term, with option to reapply for a final term, each with approval by the SPU Director.  The committee meets once a month in the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 Fifth Ave., from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm in the Boards and Commissions Room, L280.

For more information, contact Sheryl Shapiro, Program Manager, 206-615-1443 or email at Sheryl.Shapiro@Seattle.Gov.

Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Public Meeting

Please join your neighbors and other West Seattle residents for a community meeting to discuss Combined Sewer Overflow control alternatives and facility siting in the Murray Basin Monday, September 27, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Hall at Fauntleroy.

King County Wastewater Treatment Division has been working with the Murray Community Advisory Group (also known as the Murray CAG) this past summer to find possible locations within the basin to site a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) facility. In fall of 2010, King County will decide on proposals for CSO control in the Barton and Murray areas. The decision made for a CSO control facility will have lasting impacts on your neighborhood or an adjacent neighborhood, so you are invited to attend a Murray CAG meeting to discuss the suggested alternatives.

You aree invited to attend this meeting to hear about the alternatives and to provide your comments. Time is running out before these alternatives are evaluated by King County and a decision is made, and this may be the last opportunity you will have to voice your opinion.

CSOs occur in older parts of King County’s wastewater system that carry both wastewater and stormwater to the treatment plant. When heavy rains fill the pipes, excess stormwater and sewage flow directly into local waterbodies. Historically, CSOs were designed into the system to avoid damage to facilities and sewer backups into homes and businesses and onto streets during storms.

Today, CSOs are a concern because untreated wastewater and stormwater may be discharged to Puget Sound during large storms posing risks to public health and the environment. To meet state regulations, King County’s goal is to reduce the number of CSOs each year, with a long-term goal of no more than one untreated discharge per location per year. These locations are top priority because people are most likely to come in contact with water during recreational activities such as swimming.

If you have questions about this meeting or the CSO Beach Projects in general, you can reach me by email at or by phone at 206-684-1207.


Seattle Central Waterfront Vision Presentations

Seattle Parks Foundation is sponsoring a forum – Reshaping Seattle’s Central Waterfront – with presentations by firms shortlisted for the role of lead designer.

The presentations will take place on Wednesday, September 15th, from  6:00 to 9:30 pm in Benaroya Hall’s S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, 200 University Street, downtown.

With the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, Seattle is poised to reclaim its Central Waterfront and reconnect our city to Elliott Bay. The City is now in the process of selecting a design and engineering team to engage the public in developing a dynamic and forward-looking design for the waterfront. As the first step, a range of local, national and international designers have submitted qualifications.

This presentation will be the public’s opportunity to hear the shortlisted designers present their skills, experience and approach to the project. Designers will answer questions from the public. A lead designer will be selected in part based on the quality of their presentation and ability to engage the public. The City will start the design process in October 2010.

This event is being sponsored by the Seattle Parks Foundation.  To learn more about the project:, or visit Parks Facebook fan page – Seattle Central Waterfront.