Get some good lookin’ pumpkins in East Ballard today from 11-4pm

12 10 2014

Saltbox Designs just shared this with us on our Facebook page. Those pumpkins are gonna make great jack o’lanterns in our neighborhood!

“We just returned from Edison, WA with 1,400 lbs of pumpkins and will be SELLING THEM on

Sunday from 11-4
on the corner of 3rd Ave NW and 65th (6526 3rd Ave NW)
$4 each or 3 for $10 (wow thats cheap!)

We also now carry chicken feed from Portage Bay Grange. Open every Sunday 11-4 — at Saltbox Designs.”

Council and Mayor Seek Candidates for Seattle Park District Community Oversight Committee

28 09 2014

View from Kerry Park – courtesy City Seattle Council Connections site

Council and Mayor Seek Candidates for Seattle Park District Community Oversight Committee

SEATTLEThe City Council and Mayor Ed Murray are seeking candidates to fill seven positions on the Seattle Park District’s newly created Community Oversight Committee. The Seattle Park District was approved by Seattle voters in August 2014, creating a sustainable and long-term source of funding for the Seattle parks system.

The Community Oversight Committee will provide advice to the Mayor, City Council and the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, as well as provide oversight of projects, programs and services undertaken by the City and the Seattle Park District. The committee will meet quarterly to:

  • Make recommendations on the allocation of the Major Projects Challenge Fund;
  • Hold public meetings and make recommendations to update the next spending plan;
  • Review the Department of Parks and Recreation Annual Report; and
  • Provide the Mayor, City Council and Superintendent of Parks and Recreation with annual reports on the progress of expenditures and projects.

The Committee will be composed of 15 members, seven members of the public (one from each Seattle district), four Board or Commission members to be recommended by Seattle City Boards & Commissions and four members from the Seattle Board of Park Commissioners.  Each will serve either a one, two or three year term, to be determined during the selection process. The City seeks to appoint Community Oversight Committee members with a diversity of expertise and perspectives including, but not limited to parks management, public financing, urban horticulture, landscape architecture, contract management and the interests of low-income and communities of color. The Committee’s first official meeting will be held in April 2015, but members should be available to meet before this date, in early 2015.

The Council and the Mayor are committed to promoting diversity in the city’s Committees. Women, persons with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community and persons of color are highly encouraged to apply.

To be considered, please send a letter of interest indicating which district you represent and resume by October 20, 2014 to Councilmember Jean Godden, Please title subject line: Oversight Committee Application. Electronic submissions are preferred.

To send a paper submittal, please address to:

Councilmember Jean Godden

PO Box 34025

Seattle, WA 98124

Don’t miss the 11th annual Sustainable Ballard Festival next Sunday

21 09 2014


What: The 11th Annual Sustainable Ballard Festival
When: Sunday, Sep. 28, 11am-6pm
Where: Ballard Commons Park
More Info:

Family-friendly, FREE, and full of surprises, the Sustainable Ballard Festival is celebrating its 11th year! Come sample Ballard craft brews and delicious bites, win prizes, catch live music on the solar-powered main stage, watch cooking demonstrations, test ride a cargo bike, make your own green cleaning product, and meet farm animals! Reuse and Recycling is a dominant theme this year, with trash fashion, car-seat recycling, a kids bike and pet parade (we supply the re-purposed frippery), a local coffee cup campaign and more. Some all-time favorite exhibits will be back, plus more new activities, workshops, and hands-on games than ever before. With more than 75 exhibits, the Sustainable Ballard Festival is a fantastically fun opportunity to learn together, get inspired, and discover new ways to live more lightly on the earth.

Submit your proposal for Sustainable Ballard community project grant funding by Sept 5

4 09 2014

Sustainable Ballard has been awarded $2,600 to fund community projects in Ballard!!   Thank you to everyone who participated in their outreach activities during Waste Management‘s recent Think Green Challenge to waste less, recycle and compost more…those efforts won our neighborhood a $2,600 grant from Waste Management.

Do YOU have a project idea for Ballard?

Sustainable Ballard is inviting proposals for the $2,600 award money through September 5th, 2014.  Proposals must be for a new project initiated by a Ballard neighbor and benefiting the Ballard community.  You may apply for all or part of the award.  Applicants can be individuals, organizations, or groups; selected projects will be sponsored by Sustainable Ballard. 

Please include the following information:

–> Project description (including how the work will be done in Ballard)
–> Fund amount requested
–> Timeline (project should be completed by June 30, 2015, with a start date no sooner than January 1)
–> Name, phone number, email address and (if applicable) non-profit name and Tax ID number

Submit your proposal to our selection committee by sending an email to  Winners will be announced in October.

Explore Greg’s Garden P-Patch this Saturday

4 09 2014


Then & Now: Gilman Park, 923 NW 54th Street

28 08 2014


The history of Gilman Park takes us back to 1927, when the Gilman Park Community Club led a petition drive to acquire property for a neighborhood playground.  Through years of hard work and community persistence the neighborhood celebrated the opening of a beautiful new park in 1932.  Gilman Park was an oasis of fun for the neighborhood, and included a play field, tennis courts, a wading pool, children’s play area, and a shelter house.

This shelter house was designed in a simplified Tudor Revival style, and was one of eight similar buildings constructed in Seattle parks in the late 1920s and early 1930s. These buildings housed large rooms for organized recreation activities and public restroom facilities. Office space for recreation instructors was also provided.

Construction of these shelter houses followed a policy to build only structures that would be pleasing in design and permanent in nature. The Gilman Park Shelter House, renovated in 1973, is significant for its design and for its association with the development of Ballard and Gilman Playfield.  As a result, this building has been designated as a historic building by the City of Seattle.

For additional information about the buildings historic designation, please visit:

Gilman Park - 1935Gilman Park House - NOW - text

Warm Memories of Gilman Park

If you grew up in the NW corner of Seattle, you probably spent many lazy Saturday afternoons at Gilman Park, playing on the swings, in the wading pool, or participating in a baseball game.  Two Ballard High School graduates, who practiced their swing at the park as children, found themselves in the Majors as adults.  Southpaw Earl Johnson made his Major League debut with the Boston Red Sox in 1940 and his brother Chet Johnson played for the Tacoma Tigers before joining the Majors in 1946.

One Gilman Park adventure made the front page of the Seattle Times in January 1953.  Jimmy Wright was enjoying a snow covered day at the park when he decided to climb to the top of the shelter house.  Once on top, he showed his friends that he could indeed fit in the chimney opening…. and swoosh!  Just like Santa Claus, Jimmy went right down the shelter house chimney.   Unfortunately for Jimmy, the shelter house was locked from the outside and the only one with a key was park superintendent Ben Evans.  After finally being released, he ran to his step-father, soot faced tears streaming down his cheeks, and proclaimed, “Never again!”  One trip down the chimney was enough for Jimmy.

Finally, in 1973 the park department developed the first Adventure Playground in Seattle at Gilman Park.  Inside the see-through fencing of the playground, children 5 – 13 could build whatever they desired using the available donated supplies of wood, hammers, nails, saws, etc.  As long as they didn’t hit each other with the supplies or intentionally get in each other’s way, the supervisor stayed out of the mix.  The Adventure Playground required continuous staffing and supervision while open and this may have contributed to the playgrounds demise.

Gilman Park - wading pool - 1950Gilman Park Wading Pool - NOW - crop

New Memories in the Making

Today when you visit Gilman Park, you are likely to see a T-ball game and little legs running the same bases that the Johnson brothers once ran.   Which one of those little league stars will one day be the next big name in baseball?  Only time will tell.  If you look up at the shelter house the chimney is still there, but the 1973 renovation ensured there will not be another Jimmy sliding down.   And if you are looking for adventure, there is still plenty available at Gilman Park.  With a large children’s play area, well maintained tennis courts and gigantic grassy green fields, it will continue to be a favorite lazy Saturday destination for years to come.


About the author:

Sue Pierce, long time East Ballard resident, is a self described history fanatic.  She is a member of the Ballard Historical Society and creator of Vintage West Woodland, a micro-history research project focused on the neighborhood between 8th Ave NW & 3rd Ave NW.  To learn more about the West Woodland micro-history project please visit:

Vote on the future of Seattle Parks this Tuesday

2 08 2014









There’s a lot of talk for and against a Metropolitan Parks District in Seattle. Become well informed before you vote and read up on the pros and cons. A Parks District isn’t a perfect solution, but it will allow parks and community centers to be open when they are needed, the city will have the resources to address their $267 million major maintenance backlog, and our city will have a long-term, sustainable funding solution for the parks we love today and those of our future. Read up and vote today. Ballots must be mailed by Tuesday August 5th or dropped off in the ballot box outside the Ballard Library. Check here for all ballot drop  box  sites.

Seattle Parks District Resources

Proposition 1  in the Seattle Voter’s Guide

Seattle Parks for All (In favor Prop 1)

Our Parks Forever (Against Prop 1)

Crosscut article for those on the fence

Letter to the Editor in Ballard News Tribune in support of Prop 1

League of Women Voters statement against Prop 1

The Seattle Times Editorial staff against Prop 1

Article from the Urbanist in support of Prop 1




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