December 10

Thornton Creek Park No. 6 on track for $500,000



It looks like Thornton Creek Park No. 6 is one step closer to obtaining $500,000 in funding to establish a formal park entrance and complete work on the park’s creek channel.

Seattle Parks and Recreation announced this week that the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Citizens Oversight Committee is recommending that the city approve the project for funding through the 2008 Parks and Open Space Opportunity Fund.

In the committee’s notes about the project, known as “Naturlizing Northgate,” it states:

This project will refine and complete all remaining channel work in this park, thereby creating a healthier watershed with more controlled flow and plentiful native plants.

The recommendations now goes to Parks and Recreation Acting Superintendent Christopher Williams, who will forward his recommendations to Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle City Council, with full approval expected in March. The list of project recommendations can be seen here (pdf).

The following is a statement from the Thornton Creek Alliance, which organizes frequent work parties at the park:

The Thornton Creek Alliance is very pleased to announce that Thornton Creek Park Six, the green belt just NE of Thornton Place, will be the recipient of $500,000 in Opportunity Fund money from the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy.  This fund is reserved for citizen initiated projects.
The funding will be used to restore the natural creek channel and flood plane inside the park borders, replace invasive trees and shrubs with native ones, and improve trails and points of access.  The transformation will be a real asset to the watershed and our community.
As we move through the process there will be community meetings to gather your input, so please stay tuned!
Thornton Creek Alliance is an all-volunteer grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and restoring an ecological balance throughout the Thornton Creek watershed. Our goal is to benefit the watershed by encouraging individuals, neighborhoods, schools, groups, businesses, agencies, and government to work together in addressing the environmental restoration of the creek system including:  water quality, stabilization of water flow, flood prevention, and habitat improvement through education, collaboration, and community involvement.

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  1. Right on, Ruth and Northernlight! Merriam-Webster includes this definition for the word “Park”: “an area maintained in its natural state as a public property”. Ruth describes a precious characteristic of these natural spaces when she writes, “You can walk in there and forget you are across the street from Northgate Mall.” My children and I find excitement, opportunities to be observant and focused, and moments of peace in wooded parks that we don’t find elsewhere in the city.

    Because this place, and other small but critical parks like it, are able to bring us in to their quiet but lively beauty while providing much needed ecological habitat and function (=ecological services like stormwater retention and filtration), they must be funded and supported as community treasures.

    My children and I need natural state parks, and so do our neighborhoods. Thanks, City of Seattle and TCA!

  2. Park Six is a miraculous place, that needs some help. It does not need to be “parked out” and turned into a playground (except for beavers).

    Let’s hope that Seattle Parks doesn’t try to turn it into a playground, but uses science to improve it to the betterment of the neighborhood and for the wildlife that depend on it for survival. It is bonafide fish habitat.

    This grant can be a very good thing if it is used to its best advantage, in a thoughtful and ecological design.

    Let’s not repeat the mistakes of Hubbard Homestead Park, which ended up being a fraudulent process that scammed us into believing it would restore a spring and wetland, when it has done neither.

  3. There are trails, although many of them are flooded this time of year. That is one of the things this grant will correct.

    It doesn’t sound like you have been there!

    Parks supports this seven-acre natural area because of Thornton Creek, which the city uses as a run-off sewer for NE Seattle. It serves as more than a place to picnic. Just down stream from the Thornton Creek Water Quality Channel, the creek in Park Six will be improved with the natural features it needs to mitigate flooding, clean up the water, and improve habitat for fish and wildlife.

    As to park-like features, the place has some big trees and lots of native plants. It is also home to beavers, Great Blue Herons, Wood Ducks, and much more. You can walk in there and forget you are across the street from Northgate Mall. Check it out!

    With this grant we will also improve trails and access points for people.

  4. Seems a bit of a stretch to call this area a “park”. Are there any trails, picnic tables or other park-like features in there?

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