UPDATE 2: Feet First, a phenomenal Seattle-based nonprofit working to improve walkability of neighborhoods across Washington State, endorsed the WCC’s proposed Inverness Ravine Park proposal. If you haven’t already, check out their amazing walking map of NE Seattle. You’ll notice there are very few walkable routes between the Wedgwood and Inverness neighborhoods.
UPDATE 1: On Thursday, September 6th, the Northeast District Council, which represents 16 neighborhood community organizations in NE Seattle, endorsed the WCC’s proposed Inverness Ravine Park proposal.
As part of the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund, Seattle Parks will be spending $8 million in 2012/13 on park acquisition and/or development projects that are nominated by community groups. Wedgwood’s adopted Vision Plan calls for development of park space in a natural settings and for creek-side trails, so the WCC is taking this opportunity to propose a trail in Inverness Ravine Park (see our earlier post here). Seattle Parks and Seattle Department of Transportation both own land in the ravine, making it a prime candidate for a trail project. The ravine is on Critical Area lists for steep terrain and landslides, which precludes most kinds of development, but permits trails.
A potential trail alignment has been identified that features four access points and approximately 2,000 feet of trail (see diagram below). Based on this conceptual trail alignment, the WCC submitted a preliminary proposal to Parks in June. We have now been asked to submit a more detailed proposal in September. Parks will take WCC’s detailed proposal, along with others, develop a short-list of candidate projects, and ask those teams to present to a selection committee in early 2013. At that point funds will be awarded to the selected projects and design and construction will commence.
The WCC is competing with over 100 other projects for funding, but are hopeful that our trail project proposes the right combination of opportunities for exercise, education, and restoration to make it a winner. Feedback from our community has been overwhelmingly positive. Some concerns raised though include impacts to habitat, impacts to privacy, and safety. These concerns will need to be addressed should we advance to the design stage of the process. We will be presenting this trail proposal to the Northeast District Council in the coming weeks and are coordinating with the Inverness Community Council as well.
If you have any questions about the proposal, please email » Dave Grant, Chair of the Wedgwood Parks Committee.