In 2008, Seattle voters approved the Parks and Green Spaces Levy to improve the City’s parks and green spaces as well as acquire new parks for those communities identified as deficient in such places. North Wedgwood was one of those communities identified as in need of additional park space. Thanks to the overwhelming support of the community, the Parks Department is moving forward with the acquisition of Seattle City Light’s surplussed Morningside Substation at 35th Ave NE and NE 86th Street (where CC and Company is currently located).
However, within the Parks and Green Spaces Levy is the Opportunity Fund. This fund provides the opportunity for community groups to propose specific park development projects to be selected by an oversight group and the City Council to be completed. This round of funding allocates $15 million for such projects. With this in mind, the Wedgwood Parks Committee reflected back on the Vision Plan and has proposed the planning and design of a trail through Inverness Ravine.
Within Section “Open Spaces and Community Amenities” of the Vision Plan, it was stated that the community desired trails connecting a variety of park types. Of the different park types considered, 54.4% of the nearly 840 respondents to the Vision Plan survey said that a “natural park setting” was “very important” to them.
The Parks Department already owns several parcels along Inverness Ravine, although due in part to the property’s steep slopes, mature vegetation, and other complications, this property is very inaccessible. The proposed trail would be approximately 2,000 feet long, have 4 access points, and have passive recreation features (e.g., benches and signage). Benefits of this trail, apart from creating more usable park space in an area of the City identified as deficient in park space, include the following:
- Connect the Wedgwood and Inverness neighborhoods.
- Provide a more accessible pedestrian access from Wedgwood to the Burke-Gilman Trail and Matthews Beach.
- Provide the opportunity for walkable, day-time expeditions to a tributary of Thornton Creek for students at nearby schools.
- And promotes environmental awareness of Thornton Creek and its ecosystem.
Proposals to the Opportunity Fund were due last week. The Wedgwood Parks Committee has already learned that our proposal has made it past their initial screening. Further development of this proposal is necessary before it could be reviewed by the Parks Department, oversight committee, and Seattle City Council. However, its important for us to let our community know about this proposal and our continued effort to carry out what the community has identified as important by way of the Vision Plan.
If you have any questions about the proposal, please email » Dave Grant, Chair of the Wedgwood Parks Committee.