PARKS: More King County closures

March 25th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Parks, White Center news No Comments »

Just announced:

As part of its ongoing efforts to protect public health and curb transmission of COVID-19, King County Parks is closing parks beginning Wednesday, March 25, when parking lot and trailhead gates will be locked, and restrooms will be closed. King County does not have the resources at this time to actively enforce Parks closures and social-distancing guidelines and will rely upon the public to follow the guidelines.

The closure comes on the heels of Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, which included guidance to further restrict groups from gatherings.

While visitors will still be able to walk into parks and back country trails and walk and bike on the regional trail network, King County is asking all residents to do their part in stopping the spread of the virus and help save lives by abiding by these closures and all social distancing guidelines. King County also urges visitors to not park illegally on roadways near parks and trails, or block park gates.

On March 20, King County Parks closed all active spaces within parks – including play areas, ballfields, sports courts, and picnic shelters, where appropriate social distancing guidelines would be difficult to maintain.

Find the latest information about any changes to Parks facilities and programming on the King County Parks Plog at kingcountyparks.org/.

King County Parks visitors are encouraged to practice Public Health’s guidelines in preventing the spread of this virus:

Stay at least 6 feet away from others at all times.
Wash hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid contact with people who are sick.
Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

Visit kingcounty.gov/covid to learn more about the virus and how to prevent its spread. Keep updated on the latest developments on the Public Health – Seattle & King County blog at publichealthinsider.com.

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PARKS: What’s off-limits at King County Parks now

March 23rd, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Parks, White Center news 1 Comment »

(WCN photo)

Signs of the times at the Steve Cox Memorial Park tennis courts on Sunday, two days after this joint King County/City of Seattle announcement:

To follow COVID-19 social distancing guidelines established by Public Health—Seattle & King County and the Washington Department of Health, King County Parks and Seattle Parks and Recreations are closing sports courts, playground equipment, and other active recreation areas where it could be difficult to maintain recommended social distancing guidelines.

Ballfields and playfields are open for walking and other non-team activities.

The closure includes picnic shelters, basketball and tennis courts, ballfields, and other active recreation locations. Parks, natural lands, regional trails, backcountry trails, and beaches where social distancing can be maintained remain open.

Pick-up games, picnics, and other large gatherings will not be permitted.

Restrooms within parks will continue to be open to the public, and will be cleaned and sanitized frequently.

“With schools closed and people adapting to new work habits, our parks and open spaces can provide an important break in these stressful times. It is clear, however, that we must continue to be vigilant in these places as well, and make sure all our residents put into practice Public Health directives,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Go for a hike. Take the family for a stroll. Kick a soccer ball around with your kids. But use good sense and avoid gatherings, team sports, pick-up games, and playground equipment.”

“Parks are beloved by all, but we must be smart about our behaviors during this unprecedented public health emergency. We are in a new normal. While individuals and families can bike, walk, or run, we cannot allow gatherings at Seattle’s best locations including Alki, Golden Gardens, Seward, Volunteer Park or Magnuson. Every single resident should take social distancing guidelines to heart – it could save someone’s life,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan.

“We know that parks and open space provide a critical support to our communities during this difficult time, and we want to provide these opportunities to find respite and relief in nature, but we need to be able to do so in way that does not work against our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. We encourage residents and visitors to practice social distancing and not participate in organized activities that go against Public Health guidance,” said Jesus Aguirre, Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent. “City and County employees will be reiterating this guidance to individuals who are not practicing social distancing.”

As noted by the National Recreation and Park Association, there are a number of specific recommendations for practicing safe social distancing when in parks or on trails, including:

Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to heading to parks and trails — wash hands, carry hand sanitizer, do not visit public spaces if you have symptoms, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, etc.

Observe at all times CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of six feet from other people. Practice it and know what it looks like. Keep it as you walk, bike or hike.

Bring a suitable trash bag. Leave no trash, take everything out to protect park workers.

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Spend your MLK Day of Service at Dick Thurnau Park!

January 8th, 2020 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on Spend your MLK Day of Service at Dick Thurnau Park!

(Photo by Marie Tweedy)

Monday, January 20th, you doing anything? Right here in White Center, you can do a good deed at a local park! Here’s the announcement:

Come celebrate MLK Day by giving back to your community and improving forests! Not only do healthy forests and parks provide a beautiful green space for people to connect with nature, they filter pollution, prevent erosion when there’s heavy rain, and are a home to wildlife. Our Day of Service focuses on keeping the forest at Dick Thurnau Memorial Park in White Center healthy by removing aggressive weeds and planting native trees and shrubs in their place. So come out and join us!

Please reach out to Sean Walters (swalters@kingcounty.gov) to sign up and for more information. Thank you.

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NEXT SATURDAY: White Center Halloween Carnival

October 19th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Fun, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on NEXT SATURDAY: White Center Halloween Carnival

Next Saturday! Here’s the announcement:

The annual King County Parks Family Halloween Carnival is coming up on Saturday, October 26th from 2-5 pm at the White Center Community Center, in Steve Cox Memorial Park (1321 SW 102nd 98146.)

Doors open at 2 pm and general admission is FREE.

Local teens have planned nearly 30 different spooky town-themed crafts and games for local children ages 10 and under. Brave the tunnels of the Underground Obstacle Course, mail yourself a letter from the Spooky Town Post Office, get a little messy at the Slime Factory, show off your artistic skills at a craft table, march thru town in the costume parade at 3:30pm, catch the Magic show at 3:45pm, and win some not so valuable prizes at some of the Spooky Town game booths.

Tickets for each activity are sold for .25 each or 4/$1.00.

In addition to the games, the carnival will also feature a free juggling performance at 3:45 p.m.

This year’s carnival 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 1400 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.

The Annual Halloween Carnival is traditionally one of the teens’ favorite volunteer events. Program staff estimate at least 50 teens will volunteer at the event.

For additional Information, please contact Vana Danh at 206.477.2105.

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COMMUNITY GIVING: North Shorewood Park cleanup

September 14th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news Comments Off on COMMUNITY GIVING: North Shorewood Park cleanup

Thanks to Gill Loring for the photos and report from today’s volunteer event at North Shorewood Park.

Great turnout of hard workers from north Seattle to Kent. Got a bunch of needed work done clearing around and protecting current native plants as well as trees planted several years ago. Had one great family who frequents the Park help out including the one in the stroller!

Watch for word of your next chance to help!

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SATURDAY: North Shorewood Park needs you!

September 9th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Parks, Shorewood, White Center news Comments Off on SATURDAY: North Shorewood Park needs you!

That’s everything you need to know about a great way to start your weekend – 9 am-1 pm Saturday (September 14th), North Shorewood Park needs TLC, and that means you. Thanks to Gill Loring for sharing the announcement!

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North Shorewood Park gets TLC

July 12th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Environment, Parks, White Center news 1 Comment »

Thanks to Gill Loring for the photos and report on this recent community cleanup:

KC Parks held a work party with a small but hard working group to help native plants some planted over the past several years to survive by cleaning out mostly non-native (particularly Himalayan blackberries) at North Shorewood Park. The volunteers were from Facebook. Weather turned out perfect.

This is part of a continuing effort to reclaim North Shorewood Park from overgrowth to open it up while preserving the upper area in its native state. Keep sight lines open so people feel safe using the open field and playground. Of course, there is the dog group which does a great deal to keep it clean and safe or a regular basis.

Both Sean and Steve from KC Parks did a great job setting it up bringing us snacks that another “volunteer” tried getting to just as the cleanup began!

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THURSDAY: County Executive Dow Constantine to make parks-levy announcement at Steve Cox Memorial Park

February 19th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Election, King County, Parks, Politics, White Center news 2 Comments »

FIRST REPORT, TUESDAY: Forwarded by a community advocate who received this invitation:

Join King County Executive Dow Constantine for a special announcement!

Join Executive Constantine and Parks partners when the executive unveils his vision to fund King County’s parks and trails with a renewed levy when the existing one expires this December.

Join us!
Thurs, Feb 21, 2019
Steve Cox Memorial Park
1321 SW 102nd St
Ceremony begins at 10 a.m.

Show your love for King County’s most treasured places and learn about new ones that would be made possible through the Executive’s proposal.

Ceremony is expected to last 30 minutes, and we’ll have hot chocolate and coffee to keep you warm!

We sent an inquiry to the executive’s office this morning, asking for more information, but have yet to receive a reply. Here’s some backstory on the levy that expires at the end of this year, which voters approved by a wide margin back in August 2013.

ADDED WEDNESDAY: We received a media advisory about the event today. Watch for coverage tomorrow.

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TONIGHT: Cine en el Parque @ Dick Thurnau Memorial Park

August 4th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Fun, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on TONIGHT: Cine en el Parque @ Dick Thurnau Memorial Park

Tonight’s the night! “Coco” is the movie for this year’s Cine en el Parque, 6:30 pm at Dick Thurnau Memorial Park (11050 10th SW):

There will be games, music, prizes, food trucks and much more. Come down early, stake your ground, and have some fun. This event is sponsored by King County and the White Center Community Development Association. See you at the movies!

This is the fourth year for Cine en el Parque.

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Closer look at Steve Cox Memorial Park work zone

July 7th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Parks, Steve Cox Memorial Park, White Center news Comments Off on Closer look at Steve Cox Memorial Park work zone

Thanks again to Gill Loring for another look at the Steve Cox Memorial Park work zone – closer, this time:

Project details are here (PDF).

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Going to a county park? Keep your dog leashed!

June 21st, 2018 Tracy Posted in Parks, Pets, White Center news Comments Off on Going to a county park? Keep your dog leashed!

From King County Parks:

King County Parks and the King County Sheriff’s Office are joining forces to ensure the continued safety of all visitors to the County’s vast network of parks, trails, and open space.

Sheriff’s deputies are now patrolling parks, including those with natural surface trail networks like Cougar Mountain Regional Wildlife Park, as well as regional trails like the Sammamish River Trail, to emphasize compliance with leash laws.

Per King County Code 7.12.410, dogs must be on-leash in all park and trail facilities, unless in a designated off-leash area. Deputies will issue citations to violators.

Especially during these busy summertime months, it is important for dogs to be on leash when visiting parks and trails. Not only does it reduce potential injury to your best four-legged friend from unexpected encounters with wildlife or other dogs, but it also decreases the likelihood that your dog will ingest plants or berries that could make it sick.

Dog owners are encouraged to visit King County’s Marymoor Park, which features a 40-acre off-leash dog area that consistently ranks as one of the region’s best, and additional off-leash areas can be found in parks throughout Seattle and surrounding cities.

By following this simple rule, all park and trail visitors can have enjoyable experiences, whether they have two legs or four.

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YOU CAN HELP! White Center Heights Park volunteer event Saturday

May 17th, 2018 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on YOU CAN HELP! White Center Heights Park volunteer event Saturday

Can you spare some time Saturday?

Volunteer and join King County Parks staff and community members on May 19th as we help make White Center Heights Park a more healthy forest!

We will work on weeding around new plantings throughout the park and may do some litter pick up if time allows. Join us in this great park to learn about the plants and animals that call it home! No experience needed, all tools provided and community members of all ages are welcome! Event will start at 9 am and we will wrap up by 1 pm.

Please contact Lina Rose if you are interested in attending at 206.491.5014 or lina.rose@kingcounty.gov

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READER REPORT: The case of the vanishing Scotch broom

May 16th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news 4 Comments »

Thanks to Tom Erler for the photo and report!

In case you were wondering where all the Scotch broom around our end was slowly disappearing to, while also shedding some light on the massive effort and labors of love stewards & volunteers have engaged in this season.

Joe Neumann, former Noxious Weeds Employee & current King County volunteer & Westcrest Park Forest Steward, has almost single-handedly removed all public occurrences of Scotch (Scot’s) broom, or Cystus scoparius, in Southern West Seattle/White Center over the past 2 years, with the last piece of the puzzle, White Center Pond, completed yesterday!

Here’s where we began the work yesterday (North side of the pond) with a typically sized specimen of the ones we were managing. With specimens this size (2″ diameter), it is most effective to cut at the base during times of drought, which is usually in the summer months. Yesterday proved perfect with the soil drying out from recent record temps and allowing us to cut them down before their seed pods were able to mature & redistribute!

Here’s the King County Integrated Pest Management resource for Scotch broom removal, in case readers are interested.

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SUNDAY: Hundreds of bicyclists riding to and from White Center in the Ride for Major Taylor

April 21st, 2018 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news Comments Off on SUNDAY: Hundreds of bicyclists riding to and from White Center in the Ride for Major Taylor

A big Cascade Bicycle Club event will start from, and finish in, White Center tomorrow (Sunday, April 22nd) – the fundraising Ride for Major Taylor. The start and finish line are at the bike playground at Dick Thurnau Park – here’s the route map. Riders will be headed down to Tacoma, on to the ferry to south Vashon Island, up Vashon to the ferry to Fauntleroy in West Seattle, and then back to White Center. Online registration is over but if you’re interested in riding and haven’t signed up yet, you can do it at the park at 8 am – details are here.

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STOLEN & DUMPED? Seen at North Shorewood Park

November 24th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Crime, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on STOLEN & DUMPED? Seen at North Shorewood Park

Two items spotted at North Shorewood Park this afternoon by Gill:

The first item is a stolen bike which is located just off the North/South trail on its west side about halfway.

This trail is the one that can be accessed from either above the basketball hoop or from the other end by the fenced Corral. I would have tried to move it onto the trail but my hands were already full of other trash.

The second item was found about 100′ SE of the upper picnic table.

Two phones were in the pile along with items that someone might juse riding to and from work including water bottles. The whole pile now resides in the waste container down by the 24th Ave. SW entrance. Likely KC Parks will empty it Sat. morning.

So if any of that looks familiar to you – check it out on Saturday, sooner rather than later.

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SATURDAY: Seattle Pacific University students sprucing up park

September 23rd, 2017 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news 1 Comment »

(Reader photo, added 12:35 pm)

From Seattle Pacific University:

Before classes begin at Seattle Pacific University, more than 700 students, faculty, and staff, will spend Saturday, September 23, cleaning up parks, removing invasive plants in local creeks, and working in homeless shelters as part of SPU’s commitment to community engagement.

SPU students will be in White Center (24th Ave SW and SW 102nd Street) on Saturday, September 23, from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Their tasks will include removing weeds such as English ivy and Himalayan blackberry from an area in the park.

The annual event known as “CityQuest” is a way to introduce new students to the many community service organizations throughout the area. Students will work at more than 25 locations throughout Seattle.

ADDED SATURDAY NIGHT: We stopped by toward the end of the event and caught the volunteers in action:

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SATURDAY: Dick Thurnau Memorial Park needs you to help its forest become healthier

March 30th, 2017 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on SATURDAY: Dick Thurnau Memorial Park needs you to help its forest become healthier

Your neighbors, and the friendly folks from King County Parks, would love to see you at Dick Thurnau Memorial Park on Saturday (April 1st). Here’s the invitation from volunteer coordinator Lina Rose:

Join King County Parks Volunteer Program staff and fellow community members to help make Thurnau Memorial Park a healthier forest on April 1st! We will begin our event at 9 am and work on digging out an invasive weed called English ivy (not poison ivy!) and wrap up by 1 pm. Our goal is to help increase the plant diversity in the park so it can be a healthier place for people and animals to enjoy. We will also have some environmental education about the important role our forests and parks play in White Center. Event is free and all are welcome!

If you can spare some time Saturday morning to be part of this, please contact Lina for more info and to RSVP – lina.rose@kingcounty.gov or 206.491.5014.

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North Shorewood Park work party success!

March 14th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news Comments Off on North Shorewood Park work party success!

Thanks to Gill Loring for photos from the recent work party at North Shorewood Park. He reports that the weather that Saturday morning (March 4th).

“We really lucked out weather wise,” he observed. “Rain had stopped, cool, then some sun and a great group of people including neighbors, volunteers from Capitol Hill and Columbia City as well as Seattle University helping out.”

You can watch this King County Parks webpage for future volunteer opportunities – we see there is one April 1st at Dick Thurnau Memorial Park in White Center.

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TOMORROW: North Shorewood Park needs you

March 3rd, 2017 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on TOMORROW: North Shorewood Park needs you

Surely you can spare a few hours on Saturday to help one of North Highline’s awesome county parks. From Lina Rose:

Join King County Parks Volunteer Program staff and fellow community members to help make North Shorewood Park a healthier forest!

On Saturday, March 4th, from 10 am-2 pm we will remove weeds from around plantings that volunteers put in the ground over the last two winters. We will also move some wood chip mulch around these plantings to give them a better chance of surviving. We will also tour the forested trails of the park and have some environmental education about the park and the important role our forests and parks play in White Center. Event is free and all are welcome!

Please contact Lina Rose, Volunteer Coordinator, prior to the event for more info and to RSVP – lina.rose@kingcounty.gov or 206.491.5014

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MLK Day of Service: You can help Monday at White Center Heights Park

January 10th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Holidays, How to Help, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on MLK Day of Service: You can help Monday at White Center Heights Park

On Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day next Monday, it’s again a Day of Service, with many volunteer opportunities around the nation. Here’s one in White Center, from Lina:

Celebrate MLK Day with King County Parks staff and neighbors as we work to improve the health of White Center Heights Park. Event is 10 am-2 pm and we will be learning about the plants and animals of the park, digging out blackberry and planting native trees and shrubs. Please contact Lina Rose for more information – lina.rose@kingcounty.gov , 206.491.5014

Here’s where to find WCH Park.

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