On November 4, 2008, 59% of Seattle voters supported the Parks and Green Spaces Levy! Lucky for Wedgwood, our neighborhood northeast of Dahl Playfield is identified for a Neighborhood Park acquisition. The Parks Committee was formed to take advantage of this great opportunity. Thanks to the work of the WCC’s Parks Committee, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved Council Bill 117982 on December 16, 2013 to purchase the former Seattle City Light Morningside Substation at the northwest corner of 35th Ave NE and NE 86th St for a future park site.
Another parks levy in 2014 provided funding for sites to be developed, however, the future Wedgwood park site is to remain a vacant lot (e.g., a “land banked” park property) until about 2019. The Seattle Parks Department is working through a list and when it is Wedgwood’s turn, a park design will be developed.
In August 2014, Seattle voters also approved Proposition 1, which created a Seattle Park District among other things. One of the less notable or contentious aspects of Proposition 1 was funding set aside for development of the 14 land banked park sites in the future. The funding for park development becomes available in 2016 and the Parks Department plans to develop 3-5 land banked park sites per year. As the Wedgwood Mornignside Substation land bank park site was the 11th land bank park site acquired, this funding allows for approximately $750,000 to develop the future Wedgwood park site sometime between approximately 2018-2021. While development funding has been allocated for the future Wedgwood park site, a park design has not been developed. This park design process may also have to occur with the assistance of a Department of Neighborhoods Small & Simple Grant.
In addition to the advocacy for new park acquisition and development in Wedgwood, the Parks Committee has proposed a low-impact trail system through Inverness Ravine Park. Despite being deeded to the City in 1972 for “park and recreational purposes,” the park site is not accessible. Steep slopes and poor access make it difficult to enter the site. However, through a combination of stair ways within undevelopable SDOT right-of-way adjacent to the ravine, a small trail network could be constructed within the park site.
To advance this trail concept further, the Parks Committee will need to work with both SDOT regarding the stair ways upon steep slopes and with the Seattle Parks Department Trail Program for stairs, bridge(s), and trail within the park site. Future geotechnical analysis may be required to develop stairway structures upon the steep slopes in accordance with SDOT standards and a bridge over Maple Creek that comply with the City’s critical areas code.
For more information on participating on the WCC’s Parks Committee, please email » the current Parks Committee chairperson.