Seattle Parks and Recreation 2012 Opportunity Fund ApplicationProject Narrative: Greenwood Bog Pocket Park                ...
at the Sedges was planned to drain to an infiltration pond on this site. Additionally a second pond wasdug which illustrat...
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Greenwood bog pocket park


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Greenwood bog pocket park

  1. 1. Seattle Parks and Recreation 2012 Opportunity Fund ApplicationProject Narrative: Greenwood Bog Pocket Park Within the south basin of the Piper’s Creek Watershed between Holman Road and NW 85th St is where the Holy Grail of improved water quality in Piper’s Creek lies. Many projects have been studied, planned and implemented in the watershed areas east of Piper’s Creek including The Broadview Green Grid and S.E.A. Streets, but still the water quality in the creek has not improved. The relatively urbanized area south of the creek between Greenwood Ave NW and 8th Ave NW is where one of North America’s biggest peat bogs is located. It’s a glacially carved diagonal swath of a depression which filled with moss and vegetation that later became peat over geological eons. That peat area – essentially a giant sponge of a formation that slows groundwater flows to the creek and acts as an essential summer source of water for the creek, was considered at best an inconvenience and at worst a health hazard until eventually in the70s the groundwater table in the basin was mechanically lowered by a Forward Thrust-funded projectcalled North Greenwood West. The effects of lowering the groundwater so as to be “invisible” below thesurface, continues to substantially alter and degrade the natural systems functioning of the bog bypermanently dewatering essential groundwater that should be flowing through the peat formation to thecreek, but which is instead intercepted, piped and dumped in Carkeek Park at the smelly outfall that wehave come to call “The Twin Pipes”. Additionally, many residences + businesses in the environspermanently and constantly dewater which exacerbates the flow problem and causes settlement anddamage of public and private property. Repair of the bog functioning is within our grasp in the long termif we commit to the incremental steps to get us there.Greenwood Headwaters Conservancy efforts by Greening Greenwood has been evolving over the lastdecade. Progress to-date includes legislative remapping of the area by DPD as a Peat Settlement Pronearea which cleared the way for reducing permanent dewatering practices as new buildings go up in thearea. That leaves more groundwater to flow through the bog to the creek and keeps it out of “The TwinPipes”. From an open space and planning perspective, strategies for making progress to “re-bog thebog” were outlined at Open Space 2100, a citywide open space visioning charette held in 2004. Thosestrategies included a parcel by parcel restoration of natural systems functioning that when aggregatedwill make significant improvement in restoring the bog ecology and managing storm – all good things forthe creek.As an initiating gestures to “Re-bog the Bog”, a contract rezone was completed to get a piece of openspace for future public ownership in a trade for an upzone of a nearby Greenwood Shopping Centerparcel from Neighborhood Commercial 40 Feet to Neighborhood Commercial 65 Feet -65at the corner of1st Ave NW and NW 87th between Fred Meyer, The Sedges and Greenwood Towers. Pegged as a placeto demonstrate what we can all be doing to repair the ecology in the environs and manage stormwater.We created a future vision of it being a place for restoration, conservancy and also communication to thecommunity of the Greenwood Peat Bog ecology, the importance of green stormwater infrastructure tomanage stormwater and how people can get on board on their own property and that of the communityby making positive contributions to make improvements.A number of years ago, in anticipation of the future park development Greenwood Shopping Center"roughed-in" the bones of the plan when they were developing The Sedges, a mixed use developmentjust south of the site. All of the water not immediately absorbed below the permeable asphalt parking lot
  2. 2. at the Sedges was planned to drain to an infiltration pond on this site. Additionally a second pond wasdug which illustrates the seasonal groundwater table (at time just below the surface) and also works foroverflow of the first pond.Well, what we found is that if you build it (or even rough it in) they will come. There is a Blue Heron(photo above) frequenting the site who munches on yellow perch there and a family of ducks. Cattails,sedges, rush and many more bog plants have found their way there as well.What we need now and what we are proposing to do with funding from Parks Opportunity Fund moneyor KCD money or both is to take the next step and go beyond making this just a great drainagedemonstration by making it a place that welcomes and invites humans so that they can enjoy the bogenvironment, its history and its future. A place where people can see and talk about the role they caneach play. As well through this process, we can move this property into public ownership which is readyto happen now for no cost because of the contract rezone some years ago.The idea is to continue developing the site to its full interpretive potential so people can get in there forsome up close habitat visitation (a boardwalk or something like that) and focus on plantings and someother light improvements to the habitat and create interpretive opportunities that we can spreadthroughout the Greenwood Basin area.We would like to collaborate with Seattle Public Utilities in this process and develop a sharedmaintenance agreement between Parks, SPU, Greening Greenwood and Greenwood Shopping Cener Inc.once the park is built. The next step to get to that point, is to submit for this cycle of the Seattle ParksOpportunity Fund, which is part of the Parks levy we passed in 2008.An important part of that application is 2 support letters. I am asking Greenwood Community Counciland CWCAP (Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project) to please write letters of support for thisapplication. I would appreciate it if you send it to me electronically by this Friday, September 15, 2012.Thank you very much for your consideration.Kate Martinkate@katemartindesign.com206-579-3703