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.”

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.

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:

POSTPONED: Small Batch Seattle’s 2nd Event August 10th

1 08 2014


Just got a note from Small Batch Seattle that they’re postponing this month’s event:

“We’ve decided to postpone this months Swap until later this summer. It’s been a very busy time of year for all of us, and we feel we can throw a better, more well attended event in late summer/early fall. Thanks for your understanding! We look forward to seeing you at our next swap. We’ll post details in a few weeks”.

Small Batch Seattle is excited to announce that their second swap event will be held August 10! Last month’s event was a great success. Check out some of the pics to see for yourself!  Bring something homemade or homegrown to swap among neighbors, and in return get new items to take home for your own pantry.

While we have had beautiful weather, the group is  scouting out venues for future swaps that will allow them to continue trading through the rainier seasons.  If you know of anyone that would like to host an event (public space, art gallery, store, etc) please let them know!

Where: Kirke Park in Ballard (7028 9th Ave NW Seattle, WA 98117)
When:  Sunday, August 10 at 2pm
RSVP Required:

What to expect:
Bring as many or as few items as you want, packaged into portions of ~$5-10 amounts for easy swapping. You can bring any homemade/homegrown consumables like baked goods, jams, fermented foods, natural sodas, yogurt, grown vegetables, etc.  You’re encouraged to bring ingredient lists and samples of your items to try where practical. Non-edible products (soaps, services, art, etc) will be accepted on a case-by-case basis; please email so you can talk about your items.

This will be a fun, casual event where we can exchange goods and ideas. The event is expected to take about 2 hours. You’re welcome to bring friends and family and forward this along to others, but only those that bring items to swap can participate. You must RSVP via email for each participating attendee as table space is limited.

More information can be found on their website at:



Ballard Neighborhood Greenways Open House Aug 7

1 08 2014


In March, SDOT hosted a public meeting and gathered valuable input on building a north-south neighborhood greenway in Ballard from Salmon Bay to Soundview Playfield. From their evaluation and the input received, SDOT is recommending a new greenway along 17th Avenue NW from NW 90th Street to Russell Avenue NW and along NW Dock Place between Russell Avenue NW and Ballard Avenue NW.

To learn more about the Ballard Greenways project and about the proposed greenway along 17th, check out SDOT’s website  and then come join your neighbors at the Ballard High school next Thursday Aug 7 from 6-7:30 pm for the Ballard Neighborhood Greenways Open House.


August Night Out Next Tuesday

31 07 2014

This year marks the City of Seattle’s 30th Annual “Night Out Against Crime” celebration on Tuesday, August 5th. Recently, Mayor Murray laid out a comprehensive public safety plan for Seattle that underscores the importance of providing opportunities for youth and community members to enjoy their streets and public spaces citywide. The Mayor believes Night Out is a great example of the types of opportunities that exist for reconnecting community to Seattle streets.

Night Out, an annual national event hosted locally by the Seattle Police Department, shows that residents and City government can mobilize resources and energy together to move toward a safer and more connected Seattle. We hope you’ll join in making this Seattle’s best Night Out yet!

Check out the website for more information. View the map to find the block party nearest you or look for flyers on telephone poles (we’ve seen a few on NW 58th, NW 60th and 11th Ave NW in the past few days) or register your own event here!


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