4 ways to help White Center parks this summer

June 2nd, 2016 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on 4 ways to help White Center parks this summer

From Lina Rose with King County Parks:

I believe that a great way for community members to make a positive impact is to join together in service to improve the health and safety of their parks. Studies show many shared benefits to working towards healthy urban forests in our communities – from increased ecological value, animal habitat to positive public health impacts like lower asthma and obesity rates when there are trees or a healthy park nearby. Studies also show, and I have seen this many times anecdotally, that crime within parks declines when restoration efforts are going on there. A challenge is that when that activity leaves the park… where does it go. Not everything can be solved through restoration efforts but this service is one key ingredient to a healthy and safe community.

I am leading 9 events in White Center this summer, 4 of them are open to the public:

June 4, 9 am-1 pm North Shorewood Park (National Trails Day!)

June 11, 9 am-1 pm Thurnau Memorial Park

June 18, 12 pm-3:30 White Center Heights Park (Seattle Works Day)

August 13, 9 am-1 pm North Shorewood Park

Interested community members should contact me by phone or email prior to the event so I can make sure that they have all the information they need for the project and that I have an accurate count of volunteers to plan for tools, etc.

E-mail Lina at lina.rose@kingcounty.gov to let her know you’ll be there.

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YOU CAN HELP! Volunteer @ North Shorewood Park this Saturday

March 30th, 2016 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news 2 Comments »

North Shorewood Park could use your help this Saturday, 10 am-2 pm – give a little time to do a lot of good. As neighbor Gill, who provided the photos, says, “It looks this good due to a great deal hard work on the part of King County Parks as well as volunteers from the neighborhood and local organizations. It really is a great little Park.”

The warm, dry weather is expected to continue into Saturday, so you have no excuse.

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What’s next for our state’s first ‘traffic garden,’ coming to White Center’s Dick Thurnau Memorial Park

January 17th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news 8 Comments »

By Jordan Anderton
UW NewsLab / Special to White Center Now

White Center’s Dick Thurnau Memorial Park is gaining a traffic garden this May.

The traffic garden will be a place for children and adults to learn traffic laws and the rules of the road on both foot and bike. White Center community members weighed in at a public meeting last Thursday, discussing community goals and the next steps for the project.

While traffic gardens are common in Northern European countries, this will be the first for Washington state and one of a few in the U.S. Traffic gardens were created with communal activity in mind and are essentially streetscapes painted to scale in parks to facilitate proper road practices.

Cascade Bicycle Club (CBC), the YES! Foundation of White Center, King County Parks, and Alta Planning + Design have worked alongside White Center community members to have the traffic garden represent current community goals brought up by residents.

There were four goals distinguished within the community: quality education, access to affordable housing, access to livable wages and strong, healthy families. The traffic garden will provide an outlet for creating and maintaining strong and healthy families.

“Community members can expect a facility designed for fun, learning, and inspiration. It’s very important that this be a collaborative process that is for and of the community. Having the community voice and participation is the key to (our) success,” said Ed Ewing of CBC at the meeting.

Ewing opened the meeting with a brief overview of the traffic garden design plans. The traffic garden will replace what were described as minimally used tennis courts at the park. Construction of the traffic garden is not expected to affect the existing disc-golf course at the park, but ways to improve that course were discussed in order to fit both intended uses. Bike-polo possibilities were mentioned as well.

Safety was a large concern voiced throughout the meeting. Those in charge of design promised that there would be proper fencing to distinguish between both the traffic garden and disc golf course.

Steve Durrant from Alta, leading the design of the traffic garden, turned to meeting-goers to sketch ideas for what artwork they would like to incorporate and write comments about challenges or concerns they anticipate.

“Instead of having (instruction done in a parking lot) with cones, we will have (the traffic garden) painted to scale, created just for the purpose of teaching kids and adults roadways. This will allow for easy usage for bikes, toy cars, and walking, so you get the whole experience.” Durrant emphasized inclusiveness in this learning environment.

The project team stressed their desire for the traffic garden to represent the White Center community’s multi-cultural diversity. “We came up with the idea of a global village feel, to include all members and cultures of our community, including our history of being on Duwamish land,” said Tiffany Mowatt, who works with both YES! and White Center Community Development Association, was born and raised in White Center.

Butch Lovelace, program manager at King County Parks, anticipates a positive response from White Center community members: “We hope it is used by many people; we will be able to provide bikes to those that don’t own one. We hope people who may not otherwise consider learning how to ride a bike do so. It can be transformative. Cascade is a great organization, so we hope people take advantage of their programming, but we also hope people just drop in and use the facility.”

The traffic garden continues to seek community input via Cascade Bicycle Club, with more outreach – including youth engagement – to come.

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CANCELED: HALLOWEEN 2015: Go (helpfully) haunt White Center Heights Park!

October 29th, 2015 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on CANCELED: HALLOWEEN 2015: Go (helpfully) haunt White Center Heights Park!

FRIDAY UPDATE: This has been canceled because of the storm, we’re told.

EARLIER: Here’s a unique way to spend part of your Halloween this Saturday:

Join King County Parks staff for a family-friendly volunteer event at White Center Heights Park on Saturday, October 31st – Halloween, from 10 am-2 pm!

We will be planting in the park to help build a healthier forest for all of us to enjoy! There will be a nature scavenger hunt for children, along with a Halloween treat. Come and learn about the plants and animals of this great neighborhood park, have fun and help your community thrive! Costumes are welcome, but may get dirty or muddy.

Please contact Lina Rose, Volunteer Coordinator, for more information and/or to sign up, 206.491.5014lina.rose@kingcounty.gov – as we will need to know how many people to expect so we can bring enough tools and TREATS!

Here’s where to go – the entrance off 7th SW at the corner of SW 102nd st. and 7th Ave SW.

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‘Traffic garden’ in the works for Lakewood Park

October 7th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Lakewood Park, Parks, safety, White Center news Comments Off on ‘Traffic garden’ in the works for Lakewood Park

From the Cascade Bicycle Club‘s newsletter, word of something new on the way to Lakewood Park:

The Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation is honored to be the recipient of a 2016 Youth Sports Facilities grant from King County Parks. This grant will provide $75,000 for the creation of a new traffic garden in White Center in Lakewood Park.

The White Center traffic garden will be a bicycle skills park where learners of all ages and abilities can practice bicycling in a safe, car-free environment. With on-site bicycle storage, traffic signs and real-world infrastructure elements, the Traffic Garden will be the perfect place to come and learn about bicycle safety.

The newsletter says groundbreaking is expected early next year, “with programming beginning in the spring.” We’ll be checking with Cascade later today to find out more.

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SATURDAY: Volunteer at North Shorewood Park!

October 5th, 2015 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on SATURDAY: Volunteer at North Shorewood Park!

You want to be there – just a little time can make a big difference:

It’s happening 10 am-2 pm next Saturday (October 10th) – lots more information, including what to bring (and a map, if you’re not already familiar with North Shorewood Park), on this flyer.

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You can help! ‘Work together to make North Shorewood Park awesome’

July 3rd, 2015 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on You can help! ‘Work together to make North Shorewood Park awesome’

(April 2015 photo by Gill: Volunteer working at North Shorewood Park)
North Shorewood Park needs you! One week from tomorrow, spend part of your day there with your fellow community members – 9 am-1 pm on Saturday, July 11th, to be specific. The invitation comes from Lina @ King County Parks:

Join King County Parks staff and community members at this wonderful White Center park as we work together to make North Shorewood Park awesome. Our goal is to make the park a healthier and safer place for people and animals so that our community can enjoy this lovely forest. We will be digging out aggressive plants that are doing damage to the health of the park. As part of the event, we will also walk the trails as a group and I will share information about the great native plants that are growing in the park.

Young people under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Any minors attending the event without a parent or legal guardian must also bring a signed youth waiver to event in order to participate. Please contact Lina Rose, lina.rose@kingcounty.gov, 206.491.5014, for a copy of the waiver, more information, and to sign up.

North Shorewood Park is at 10061 21st SW.

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PHOTOS: Friends of North Shorewood Park do some cleaning up

April 12th, 2015 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news 1 Comment »

Thanks to Gill for sharing photos of Saturday’s volunteer cleanup at North Shorewood Park. Half a dozen dedicated volunteers made progress:

They’re hoping for even more help when they do it again in July – watch for official announcements!

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Followup: ‘Bunker’ entry and other scenes from bog-area encampments

November 17th, 2014 Tracy Posted in King County, Parks Comments Off on Followup: ‘Bunker’ entry and other scenes from bog-area encampments

As reported here last week, this month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting included some graphic descriptions of what county workers have found, and cleaned up, at illegal encampment sites in White Center’s “bog” area. We followed up with senior engineer Ken Gresset, who spoke at the NHUAC meeting, to ask if he had photos illustrating what he had described, and he did. Above, the entrance to the one-person underground “bunker” they found. Next, two more general photos from campsites:

Gresset explained at the NHUAC meeting that safety concerns require King County Sheriff’s Office assistance for most work in these areas – not because of the campers, but because of criminals who tend to hide in the same areas:

He also mentioned addicts’ use of these areas and the discovery of piles of used hypodermic needles and syringes. No photos available of those, though.

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Steve Cox Memorial Park gets a piano – for a while

July 17th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Parks, Steve Cox Memorial Park, White Center news 1 Comment »

(The Steve Cox Park piano – photo courtesy Pianos in the Parks)
If you weren’t already planning to spend part of your summer at county parks – a public/private-partnership plan announced today involving King County and Seattle public parks is meant to give you a reason to visit. It’s called Pianos in the Parks, and it’s placed 20 donated and decorated pianos in 20 King County and Seattle parks, for the next month. The parks, listed here, include Steve Cox Memorial Park here in White Center. Since it’s a sizable park, we asked a Pianos in the Parks spokesperson where to find it. She replied, “The Steve Cox piano is roughly in the middle of the park by the picnic huts and the playground.” (Above, that’s the Steve Cox Memorial Park piano, decorated by artist Camille Coonrod, before it was placed in the park.) Yes, the pianos are playable; you can even record yourself playing one and enter a contest. The pianos also are being auctioned off; you can bid on any or all of them online by clicking any individual park photo here to see its piano.

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Gardening time! Anyone want a plot in White Center Heights Park?

March 30th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Gardening, Parks, White Center Food Bank, White Center news Comments Off on Gardening time! Anyone want a plot in White Center Heights Park?

Spring is here, and that means it’s time to dig in. Mara Bernard, White Center Food Bank garden coordinator, has a message to share:

Just wanting to get the word out again for this year, that community garden beds are available in White Center Heights Park. Anyone interested should contact gardens@whitecenterfoodbank.org to get more information. Signup ends April 9th.

P.S. Check out the White Center Giving Garden Facebook page!

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Celebrating North Shorewood Park’s new play area

September 18th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Parks, Shorewood, White Center news Comments Off on Celebrating North Shorewood Park’s new play area

Katy Terry, deputy director of King County Parks, came to North Shorewood Park on Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the official grand opening of its brand-new play area. The celebration was part of King County Parks’ 75th birthday, so of course there was cake:

The play-area project cost about $117,000, with the money coming from a Community Development Block Grant and county parks-levy money.

What? You don’t know where North Shorewood Park is? 24th SW and SW 102nd.

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Dedication Tuesday for new play area at North Shorewood Park

September 16th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Parks, Shorewood, White Center news Comments Off on Dedication Tuesday for new play area at North Shorewood Park

We first heard about it from tipster Gill (who also shared the photo), while the work was under way – and now, not only is the North Shorewood Park play area open, there’s a dedication event planned tomorrow:

Everyone is invited to join King County Parks in celebrating the grand opening of a new play area at North Shorewood Park on Tuesday, Sept. 17 from 5-7 p.m., with the official program commencing at 5:30 p.m. The park is located at 24th Avenue Southwest and Southwest 102nd Street in White Center.

The new playground equipment replaces outdated equipment that had reached the end of its lifecycle, and features a slide and other interactive elements for children aged 3 – 12 years old. The $117,000 project was funded by a grant from the Community Development Block Grant program and by the 2007-2013 Open Space and Trails Levy.

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Reminder: Fieldhouse celebration this afternoon

September 14th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Parks, Steve Cox Memorial Park, White Center news Comments Off on Reminder: Fieldhouse celebration this afternoon

Just one last reminder – 2-5 pm today, with a program at 3:30 pm, you can help celebrate the 75th anniversary of King County Parks with a party at the historic fieldhouse at Steve Cox Memorial Park – here’s our original report on the announcement.

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Celebration planned September 14th for historic White Center Fieldhouse at Steve Cox Memorial Park

September 4th, 2013 Tracy Posted in history, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on Celebration planned September 14th for historic White Center Fieldhouse at Steve Cox Memorial Park

Just out of the WCN inbox, from King County Parks:

As part of its ongoing 75th anniversary commemoration, King County Parks celebrates the historic White Center Fieldhouse with a community gathering on Saturday, Sept. 14, featuring games, activities, performances, memories and a special anniversary cake.

“The White Center Fieldhouse, and its home, Steve Cox Memorial Park, have long held an important place in the community,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “It is only fitting that we recognize and honor their enduring legacy as the final event of our 75th anniversary celebration.”

King County Parks hosts this free family-friendly celebration at the fieldhouse, at 1321 SW 102nd St. in White Center, from 2-5 p.m., with the official program getting under way at 3:30 p.m.

In addition to highlighting the unique histories of the building and park, the celebration will feature games, arts and crafts, cake and performances by special guests.

The fieldhouse, which is also known as the White Center Community Center, or the Log Cabin, was constructed between 1938 to 1940 and is one of the five original Works Progress Administration fieldhouses in King County.

Designed in the National Park Service “rustic style,” the fieldhouse features gabled wood shingle roofs, large covered porches with oversized log support posts, stone fireplaces, and half-log sliding. The building is a designated King County Landmark.

Community members are encouraged to share their memories of the White Center Fieldhouse with others by participating in the virtual scrapbook and video that King County Parks will assemble and make available to the public.

During the Sept. 14 event, King County Parks staff will record short video clips of any attendees who wish to share their memories of the fieldhouse. People can also share their photos and memories via e-mail by contacting Frana Milan, at frana.milan@kingcounty.gov.

In 2013, King County Parks has been celebrating its 75th anniversary with special events held throughout the county, including a volunteer “work and party day” at Tolt-MacDonald Park, backcountry trails celebrations at nine sites, a “King County Parks Day” proclamation by the King County Council, and the launch of the King County Parks Foundation in partnership with Laird Norton Wealth Management.

For more information on King County Parks’ 75th anniversary, visit kingcounty.gov/recreation/parks/about/75th_anniversary.aspx.

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County Executive thanks voters for approving parks levy

August 7th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news Comments Off on County Executive thanks voters for approving parks levy

The King County Parks levy that was on yesterday’s ballot is passing with 67 percent approval and is expected to retain a victory margin throughout the vote count. So County Executive Dow Constantine has issued an official thank-you to voters:

“Thank you to the voters of King County for supporting our parks.

“King County voters have spoken clearly: We value our incredible system of 200 parks, hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, thousands of acres of open space, and such regional gems as Marymoor Park and the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.

“That’s why this levy is so important. It provides more than 70 percent of the funding to keep these parks open and accessible to all.

“And what better way to celebrate the 75th anniversary of King County Parks, which operates, maintains, and enhances this legacy of fields, trails, and green spaces for the two million people of King County.

“I want to thank all the members of the Parks Levy Task Force, who volunteered countless hours of their time to protect our high quality of life here in King County. And a special thanks to all those who work for King County Parks – you do a tremendous job keeping our parks green and vibrant.

“This is a great day for our parks, for the people of King County, and for the future of this region. Thank you.”

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Night Out next Tuesday: Join the teens @ Steve Cox Memorial Park

August 2nd, 2013 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news Comments Off on Night Out next Tuesday: Join the teens @ Steve Cox Memorial Park

Another Night Out event in White Center – and this one is early, so you can still go to the downtown block party, too! Here’s the official announcement:

The Annual King County Parks Night Out Against Crime Picnic is coming up on Tuesday, August 6th from 5-7pm at Steve Cox Memorial Park (1321 SW 102nd 98146.) The White Center Teen Program has participated in the National Night Out event for over a decade and is thrilled to invite families back to the park in 2013. In addition to the traditional Night Out crafts, games and hotdogs, the Teen Program will also be offering tours of their new demonstration garden at the Southeast corner of the park. The garden tours are especially fitting for Night Out, as the new garden was installed in the Spring of 2013 in an attempt to replace an ongoing safety concern in the park with a new, improved amenity.

In recent times, the original picnic shelter at Steve Cox Memorial Park has posed challenges for public safety and ongoing maintenance. The remote location of the shelter provided privacy for picnic goers, but it also allowed for general misuse and mistreatment of the space. King County Parks just completed construction on a more centrally located picnic shelter next to the children’s playland, and the question was raised as to what to do with the existing structure. In lieu of tearing down a beloved amenity made possible by local community groups like the WC Lions , The White Center Teen Program proposed upcycling the space and structure into a demonstration garden and greenhouse. The original shelter was converted by the County Crafts Crew in the spring of 2013, and the teens have been volunteering to build the beds, plant the crops, and maintain the garden ever since.

This year’s picnic is once again sponsored by the teens and staff of the White Center Teen Program. The WCTP offers free recreational, educational and social enrichment programming to over 800 culturally diverse participants ages 12-19 each year. The program operates five days a week, forty-eight weeks a year and provides structured recreational classes and programs, homework assistance, educational and computer resources, leadership training, volunteer opportunities, special events, field trips, and drop-in activities. Teens and staff will be providing garden themed crafts, games and snacks along with garden tours between 5-7pm on the evening of the 6th.

For additional Information, please contact Darlene Sellers, Recreation Coordinator at 206.296.2952

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New play equipment for North Shorewood Park

July 19th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news Comments Off on New play equipment for North Shorewood Park

12:28 PM: Thanks to Gill for sharing photos of what’s happening this week at North Shorewood Park – new playground equipment! The installation came shortly after the removal of the old equipment:

We’re checking with King County Parks and will add whatever more we find out.

2:12 PM UPDATE: KC Parks spokesperson Doug Williams tells WCN: “This is a Community Development Block Grant project, officially named the North Shorewood Park Rehabilitation project, in the amount of $117,000. Completion is expected in about mid-August.”

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King County Parks say thanks to Technology Access Foundation, others

June 21st, 2013 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news Comments Off on King County Parks say thanks to Technology Access Foundation, others

The Technology Access Foundation‘s facility in Lakewood Park is one example of the kind of partnerships the county is trying to embrace and increase, and so a special event last night honored TAF and other partners. Here’s the official news release:

Dozens of past Community Partnerships and Grants recipients joined King County Parks this week to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the innovative program aimed at creating new or enhanced public recreation facilities.

Community partners representing a variety of King County user groups, sports associations, recreation clubs and other non-profit organizations gathered together Thursday, June 20, for a special recognition dinner to reflect on the achievements of their partnerships with King County Parks that resulted in new or better facilities such as mountain bike trails, a birdloop trail, community meadows, a boathouse, and turf sports fields.

“Getting behind Community Partnership Grants and embracing the passion and energy of our community partners makes sense for the County,” said King County Councilmember Larry Phillips. “The results speak for themselves: In the past decade, more than 50 community based projects have been completed with a public investment of over 14 million dollars that was amazingly matched by over $40 million dollars in private funding.”

In 2003, the CPG Program was established as a public/private partnership initiative to empower community-based organizations to develop public recreation facilities and run programs on King County land, which would not be possible with Parks current funding.

King County contributes use of land and capital improvement grants for successful partnership proposals. Community partners contribute the necessary additional capital and in-kind resources to develop the new or enhanced facility, as well as operations, maintenance, and programming, which is typically accomplished through volunteers and/or revenue-based programs or other resources.

Popular outcomes of the CPG Program include the active Duthie Hill Park, a partnership with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance that brought more than 20,000 hours of volunteer labor to build the impressive network of mountain biking trails; the recently completed lacrosse turf field at Big Finn Hill Park in partnership with Kirkland Lacrosse; and the Technology Access Foundation’s Bethady Community Learning Space at Lakewood Park, a beneficial resource to thousands of students with learning labs and an accessible community room that was the fitting venue to host the CPG Program recognition dinner.

“I am honored to be here with you tonight to celebrating the 10th anniversary of the CPG program and to recognize and celebrate you and your organizations, as representatives of the thousands of park users and volunteers,” said King County Councilmember Joe McDermott. “The CPG program is unique and innovative and being here tonight at TAF’s Bethaday Community Learning Space – a building that embodies the CPG program. It is a testament to the hard work, energy and passion that each of you bring to the Community Partnerships and Grants Program.”

As each group stepped forward to accept their partnership recognition awards presented by Kevin Brown, director of King County Parks, a series of photos in the background displayed images of shovels breaking ground, hard hats in construction zones, ribbon cuttings and many smiles across the faces of people of all ages; all in part to their vision, passion and commitment to the greater community.

Learn more about the Community Partnerships and Grants Program: http://www.kingcounty.gov/recreation/parks/partners/cpg.aspx

Receiving partnership recognition awards Thursday night were:

· Discovering Open Spaces

· Eastside Audubon Society

· Eastside Football Club

· Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance

· Friends of Cedar River Watershed

· Friends of Dockton Park

· Friends of Maury Island Marine Park

· Hollywood Hill Saddle Club

· Issaquah Little League

· Kent Youth Soccer Association

· Kirkland Lacrosse

· Marymoor Velodrome Association

· Middle Green River Coalition

· Mirrormont Community Association

· Northwest Paragliding Club

· Preston Community Club

· Ravensdale Park Foundation

· Redmond North Little League

· Sammamish Rowing Association

· Seattle Preparatory School

· Technology Access Foundation

· Vashon Forest Stewards

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Seattle Works, Friends of Shorewood Park, neighbors team up for work party

May 20th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Parks, Shorewood, White Center news 3 Comments »

Thanks to Gill Loring for photos and news about a weekend event to beautify North Shorewood Park – organized by King County Parks and featuring Seattle Works volunteers as well as Friends of NSP:

We had a great time. The weather was perfect for working. Cleaned out around trees planted last year, added a few more and barked them to help keep down the weeds.

Cleared out along the trails and picked up trash. Several kids from the neighborhood showed up to use the basketball hoop and found it “busy” with a truck parked under it.

A wonderful thing happened – they volunteered to help, pulled on some Seattle Works tees and dug right in. According to Mark from KC Parks, they wanted to know if they could come back (Sunday) and help some more! Nope, just a one-day event.

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