SUMMER: Application time for King County Parks’ new internship program

May 8th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news Comments Off on SUMMER: Application time for King County Parks’ new internship program

As noted at the end of our report on the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s meeting, King County Parks has an internship program open this summer. Here’s the info to share with potential applicants for the first cohort of the King County Parks Youth Conservation Corps Internship:

Applications are open until May 30. We are looking for high school students (must be 15 years old by July 6) interested in learning about careers related to parks and the environment.

We will be hosting a webinar with more details about the program and the application process on Wednesday, May 12 from 3 pm – 4 pm. Interested high school students and their families can register here:

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PHOTOS: More volunteer love for North Shorewood Park

May 6th, 2021 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news 1 Comment »

Spring has sprung, and volunteers have sprung into action! Gill Loring sent the photos after a volunteer work party at North Shorewood Park last Saturday.

Gill reports that King County Parks has a new volunteer-program coordinator, Crescent Calimpong, and that participating volunteers on Saturday “were from all over the Seattle area.” North Shorewood Park has another event on September 11th; other KC Parks events are planned in the meantime.

If you’re interested in volunteering, find out how by going here.

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HELPING: TLC for North Shorewood Park

August 1st, 2020 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news 1 Comment »

Thanks to Gill for sending news of last weekend’s work party at North Shorewood Park.

Gill explains, “Sean and crew including four volunteers worked hard for a few hours trimming back some of the rapid spring/summer growth.”

Gill took the first photo; the other three are by Sean.

Thanks to everyone for their work helping the neighborhood shine!

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PHOTOS: See unincorporated North Highline’s new park-to-be!

July 9th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County, Parks, White Center news 1 Comment »

(WCN photos)

Five forested acres for less than $360,000. “A screaming deal,” as King County Executive Dow Constantine observed while touring unincorporated North Highline’s newest park-to-be this past Monday. We were along for the tour, as was a small county delegation including County Councilmember Joe McDermott.

The park plan for 10203 9th Avenue S., officially announced today, has been in the works a while. The acquisition was completed in January. Going back further, to last year, this is the site King County’s Dave Kimmett was talking about during a guest appearance before the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council. Its previous owners, who Kimmett said are in China, could have developed it as residential property, but decided to sell instead. It would admittedly have been tough to develop – for many of the reasons that make it perfect as open space, like a ravine for what the county says is an “unnamed creek”:

The county already has cleared some invasives and trucked out tons of dumped material, but there’s more work to do, and it’ll be next year before this is ready to debut as a park.

If you’re having trouble placing the site, here’s a map.

It’s definitely an urban oasis – airplane noise with Sea-Tac-bound jets right overhead, traffic noise with trucks rumbling along roads to the west, and a big apartment complex to the north. A half-mile of trails will be built through the park, which has only “social trails” now (and you can get a glimpse into the land’s north side from a walkway along the apartment complex’s south edge).

Restoration costs are expected to total around $30,000 for the next year or so of work. Meantime, more acquisitions are expected as part of the ongoing Land Conservation Initiative.

“Very exciting,” enthused Executive Constantine.

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REOPENING: King County Parks, starting Friday

May 5th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on REOPENING: King County Parks, starting Friday

(WCN photo, Steve Cox Memorial Park)

Just announced:

King County Parks is announcing it will re-open its parks and trails on May 8 with some restrictions, and urges visitors to “Recreate Responsibly!” Active use and high touch facilities such as restrooms, play areas, sports courts, and picnic shelters will remain closed, and organized events and programs will remain suspended.

King County Parks announced today that on May 8 it will re-open its parks and trails, including regional and backcountry trails, with some restrictions. The county cautions, however, that keeping parks and trails open will depend on visitors practicing safe distancing and following public health guidelines.

Parking lots and trailheads will be open, as well as fields, docks and boat launches, and the off-leash dog area at Marymoor Park. Visitors are asked to “Keep it Moving!” and refrain from gathering or playing team sports or pick-up games on the fields. King County Parks’ decision follows the Governor’s recent announcement about the May 5 re-opening of state recreation lands.

“Here in King County, we treasure our parks, trails, and wilderness, and I know that people are eager to enjoy the outdoors during these stressful and uncertain times,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We are re-opening our parks and trails in a measured way and encourage folks to recreate responsibly, keep each other safe, and continue to curb the transmission of COVID-19 in King County.”

“Outdoor recreation is a great idea but we absolutely need to continue to take precautions to prevent bringing COVID-19 back home with us. Everyone must practice safe distancing and good hand hygiene whether indoors or out because lives depend on it,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health — Seattle & King County. “Where parks and trails are experiencing overcrowding and where safe distancing is not occurring, we will need to recommend re-closing those facilities to prevent the spread of infection.”

King County Parks is planning for a phased re-opening and return to full operations. The division will monitor use and continue to follow guidance from the Governor and Public Health – Seattle & King County.

Facilities such as restrooms, play areas, sports courts, and picnic shelters, will remain closed. The campground at Tolt-MacDonald Park remains closed, as does the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, the Jim Ellis Preston Community Center, and the White Center Community Center. Organized activities and programs, such as team sports, race events, swimming lessons, volunteer work parties, and public gatherings remain suspended.

King County Parks will update the status of its parks, trails, and facilities at

King County Parks, in collaboration with local and state land managers and outdoor recreation stakeholders, is encouraging people to recreate responsibly by adhering to the following guidelines:

-Keep your distance. Recreate with those in your household. Give others plenty of room and communicate who will step aside on the trail (trail etiquette gives hikers coming uphill the right of way).

-Stay local. Don’t stray too far from home when recreating and keep rural communities safe by minimizing stops and bringing all that you’ll need for your outing.

-Keep it moving. Use parks and trails for walking, running, riding, rolling, and passing through.

-Plan ahead. Be prepared to go somewhere else if your destination seems crowded. Add hand sanitizer and a mask or other face covering to your 10 Essentials.

-Play it safe. Keep your activities within your comfort and skill level to reduce the risk of injury and adding to the strain on our health care and emergency services.

-Leave no trace. Take any garbage with you, including disposable face masks and gloves.

The health and safety of residents and Parks employees is paramount, and Parks will continue to monitor its parks and trails to ensure that visitors are following physical distancing and other public health guidelines. King County Parks encourages visitors to do their part and keep each other safe so that King County’s parks and trails can remain open.

Park and trail visitors can report crowding, areas that need attention, or other issues using King County Parks’ reporting tool, SeeClickFix at

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PARKS: More King County closures

March 25th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on PARKS: More King County closures

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

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 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

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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 ( 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

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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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