UPDATE: Fire takes out portable toilet at Steve Cox Memorial Park

November 23rd, 2016 Tracy Posted in Parks, Steve Cox Memorial Park, White Center news No Comments »

12:59 PM: Thanks to Gill for the photo and report – he says this is all that’s left of a portable toilet by the Steve Cox Memorial Park tennis courts, after a fire last night. He talked with a King County Parks staffer who said no one was hurt. We have a message out to Parks to find out more, including whether it will be replaced.

1:30 PM: Parks spokesperson Doug Williams tells us, “A KCSO deputy was in the park when the fire occurred, so we had emergency responders there in short order. Not sure if it was arson, or if someone was smoking in it. We’ve seen evidence of that before. We’re expecting to have the burnt sani-can replaced by early next week. Until then, there’s one sani-can available to park users by the stadium.”

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Parks in the spotlight @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting Thursday

October 30th, 2016 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on Parks in the spotlight @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting Thursday

From the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, here’s what’s ahead for the November meeting this Thursday:

November 3, 2016 at 7 pm
North Highline Fire Station at 1243 SW 112th Street in White Center

(Parking and Entrance are in the Back of the Station)

Please join North Highline’s volunteer community council at our November 3rd meeting.

NHUAC aims to add opportunity to our community’s equation: The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard.

Neighborhood parks will be front and center in this month’s meeting. Our White Center Storefront Deputy, Bill Kennamer, will provide updates on the storefront’s move to Steve Cox Memorial Park, crime stats, and other news from the King County Sheriff’s Office.

More news about Steve Cox Memorial Park will be brought to us by Frana Milan and Tri Ong of King County Parks. Frana and Tri will share plans to improve the park and ask for input on how the project can best meet community needs and address concerns related to the athletic field improvements.

Adrienne Quinn, Director of King County’s Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS), will update us on King County’s plan to put a low-barrier homeless shelter for 70 adults in the old Public Health Building (next to the Food Bank and Dick Thurnau Memorial Park).

Our special guests will be members of Cascade Middle School’s Prevention Team. The Prevention Team is passionate about preventing drug and alcohol use among youth in our community, supports causes that promote positive community norms, and participates in a variety of community service events. The Prevention Team’s projects have included cleaning up Dick Thurnau Memorial Park. NHUAC is pleased to provide a forum where these inspiring students’ voices can be heard in North Highline. Help us welcome them this Thursday at 7 pm!

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REMINDER: ‘Bike playground’ opens today at Dick Thurnau Memorial Park

October 1st, 2016 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news Comments Off on REMINDER: ‘Bike playground’ opens today at Dick Thurnau Memorial Park

(Added: WCN photo by Leda Costa)

It’s been two weeks since we mentioned it so you might appreciate a reminder – 11 am-1 pm, you’re invited to the grand opening of the new “bike playground” (originally called a “traffic garden”) at Dick Thurnau Memorial Park. Cascade Bicycle Club promises “a free and family-friendly party.”

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October 1st grand opening set for what was ‘traffic garden,’ now White Center Community Bicycling Park

September 19th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Parks, safety, White Center news 3 Comments »

Back in January, we reported on the plan for a “traffic garden” at Dick Thurnau Memorial Park. It’s now less than two weeks from opening, and its name has changed to the White Center Community Bicycling Park. Here’s the official flyer for the October 1st celebration:

We’ll add more information as we get it.

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YOU CAN HELP! North Shorewood Park needs you on Saturday

August 11th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news Comments Off on YOU CAN HELP! North Shorewood Park needs you on Saturday

Give a little time, make a lot of difference, this Saturday (August 13th)! From Lina Rose:

Join King County Parks staff and community members in improving the health and safety of North Shorewood Park.

We will be working together to remove some of the plants causing damage to the health of the forest and blocking some of the side trails in the park. We will also do lots of plant identification and learn about the wild plants and animals of the park.

Over the years, community members have made a huge positive impact on this park – join us! Event is from 9 am-1 pm; please contact Volunteer Coordinator Lina Rose at 206.491.5014 or lina.rose@kingcounty.gov before Saturday if you are interested in attending.

Here’s where to find North Shorewood Park.

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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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