A Gathering Place for Wedgwood?

As most people familiar with the WCC knows the Wedgwood Parks Committee has been actively and diligently working towards the acquisition and development of a new park for Wedgwood to address a usable open space gap identified in our neighborhood by the City.  Levy funds have been appropriated for such a task as part of the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy.  In fact, on January 12th, we had an extremely successful public meeting about the site the Parks Committee identified for acquisition, which is the Morningside Substation at the NW corner of 86th Street NE and 35th Ave NE.  The Parks Department is now working with Seattle City Light to acquire this site for a new Wedgwood Park (read here for an update on the park acquisition process).

At the January 12th meeting on the Wedgwood park acquisition process, the Parks Committee described why a popular site identified by some for acquisition, the Hunter’s Christmas tree lot, was not appropriate for park acquisition.  These reasons included that the family has graciously allowed community events to occur on their site despite the public ownership AND the Hunter Family was not willing to sell.  The Parks Committee explained that in fact the Hunter family was interested in having more community events hosted on their property including such things as a farmers market, something the Parks Committee said it would continue to work on.

Last month (March), the Pomegranate Center and Tully’s Coffee released exciting news about their partnership to bring up to 3 new “gathering places” to the greater Seattle area.  Under this partnership, the Pomegranate Center donates their time and expertise to assist with design and implementation of the project while Tully’s Coffee is providing a large chunk of money for construction.  Shortly after, they released a request for proposals (RFP) to the public soliciting conceptual ideas for gathering places from community/civic groups that can demonstrate a commitment to completing the project.  One challenge of the grant is that the project needs to be completed by the end of 2011.

Very shortly after this exciting grant was announced, the WCC thought it would be an excellent opportunity to pursue the funds necessary to bring much needed improvements to the Hunter farm site to allow for the expanded public use that the WCC, the Hunter family, and the greater Wedgwood community have hoped for.  Additionally, the community events that currently take place on the site could see great benefits from this too.  Fortunately, the Hunter family was equally excited about the grant as the WCC was.  As a result, we are very please to present the Hunter Farms Gathering Place proposal that was submitted to the Pomegranate Center earlier today in response to the Gathering Place Project RFP.

Due to the short time line associated with the grant, which is further shortened by the need to have construction completed by the end of November to avoid interrupting the family’s Christmas tree business, the Pomegranate Center expects to announce those lucky enough to be awarded by the end of April or early May.  Hopefully we’ll have good news to report back in about 2 weeks!

DOWNLOAD THE PROPOSAL HERE: Hunter Farms Gathering Place Proposal (4-15-11)

Leave a comment and tell us what you think of the proposal?  If we are ultimately successful, would you like to help out?

One Reply to “A Gathering Place for Wedgwood?”

  1. This is wonderful news to the whole neighborhood! Great job WCC for jumping on this opportunity, I’ll have my fingers crossed!

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