Help decide how to spend $2 million on park and street improvements in Seattle

Submit ideas beginning January 28 thru February 22

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is again engaging community members to democratically decide how to spend $2 million of the City’s budget on small-scale park and street improvements. This is the third year of Your Voice, Your Choice (YVYC): Parks & Streets.

Beginning January 28 to February 22, community members can submit an idea online at or in-person at any Seattle Public Library branch. Projects could include park benches, trail improvements, flashing beacons, and curb ramps to name a few. The only criteria are the ideas be physical improvements for Seattle’s parks or streets, benefit the public, and cost $90,000 or less.

One of our neighbors, Damon May, submitted a project proposal to install a pedestrian-activated light at the intersection of 14th Ave NW and NW 53rd St. This east-west crossing would complement the signal installed at 15th Ave NW and NW 53rd to accommodate safe walking and bicycling between Central Ballard and the East Ballard neighborhood, plus provide a connection to the future north-south greenway on 6th Ave NW. You can provide your input on Damon’s proposal here:

What’s your great idea to improve streets and parks in East Ballard? If you submit an idea, please share with us and we’ll help spread the word!

Learn more about what types of projects are eligible: Idea Collection Examples.You can learn more about the YVYC process and how to get involved on the city’s webpage, and for questions, email

Gemenskap Park awarded editors choice for best urban street redesign of 2018

As we mentioned at the end of last year, Gemenskap Park was honored with a nomination for best street redesign project of 2018 by Streetsblog USA.

We asked you to show your support by voting for our project and we greatly thank-you for casting 509 votes, which put us in 3rd place! We extend our warmest congratulations to the winner, Arlington VA’s Veitch Street with over 1,000 votes!

But wait! There’s more!

In what came as a pleasant surprise, The editors at Streetsblog weighed in and selected their own favorite from the pack and chose Gemenskap Park! In the article announcing the winners, Streetsblog stated, “Imagine the possibilities if more cities were willing to remove parking spaces to add green space”.

Thank-you Streetsblog for giving us some national recognition and thank-you to Dongho Chang, SDOT Chief Transportation Engineer, whom we learned, nominated us in the first place!

What a happy way to start the new year! So, get out there now and enjoy your award-winning park!

Cast your vote by Jan 2 for Gemenskap Park as best urban street design of 2018

At the end of each year Streetsblog USA recognizes the cities pushing forward street design that makes cities healthier, cleaner and more beautiful. They have selected five projects worthy of recognition for 2018 and Gemenskap Park has been selected as one of them!

This is huge international recognition for Seattle and the East Ballard community. Please show your support and…

Click here to vote for ‘Seattle’ by Jan 2 at Streetsblog USA

We’re currently in 3rd place behind Memphis and Atlanta. We can’t let that happen can we?

2018 Fall Clean Sweep Success!

Thanks Susan, Andrew, Marilyn and Chris for making 14th look so nice!

This was our second Fall Clean Sweep in a row where the weather was absolutely perfect! We had 27 volunteers who picked up 10 bags of trash, filled up 6 bags of yard waste and 2 large yard waste cans full of leaves and weeds. Coffee and cocoa, donated by the The Ballard Market, kept us fueled as we picked up trash from NW 65th all the way to Leary Ave.

Big thank-yous go out to the following volunteers who went the extra mile to support this great event. If you want to be on the volunteer call-out list for next time, reach out to

  • David for posting flyers and Peter for taking them down after the event
  • Linda, Peter, Sue, and Chris who helped load up cars, set up the event,  work the event and then break it down. Whew!
  • Chris, Casey and Holly for bringing treats (Here’s a link to that chocolate marbled banana bread, that everyone was raving about!)
  • Sue for getting the coffee donation from Ballard Market and Chris for heating up the hot cocoa
  • Mike, Peter and Holly for sharing your yard waste containers
  • Linda for washing the work gloves afterward

…and thank-you to Marilyn, Susan, Andrew, Steph, Ulysses, Leon, Erin, Mary Pat, Zack, Tom, Rose, Lesa, Rick, Lia, Rachel, Javier, and his son, Emnett, Indu, Banu, and more who showed up and made a difference by helping us clean up the neighborhood! 


Check out more pics in our Flickr album to see all the fun we had! Thank-you neighbors and we’re looking forward to seeing you again in the spring for our next Clean Sweep event!

Join us Nov 17 for Fall Clean Sweep

2018 FALL CLEAN SWEEP FLYERJoin the EBCA as we clean up 14th Ave NW (now including Gemenskap park!) and tidy up the medians and planters. Bring your friends, bring the kids, we’ll bring the rest! This will be a rain or shine event, so dress for the weather.

What:    EBCA Fall Clean Sweep
   Saturday November 17 10AM-1PM
Where: Blowing Sands Glass (5805 14th Ave NW)

A grand community celebration in a park befitting of its name


courtesy of Jay Dotson Photography

The morning started off a bit chilly and foggy with the smell of fall in the air. As the tents started to go up, the pumpkins were set up and the kids started arriving in their Halloween costumes, there was a flurry of activity in anticipation of the very first EBCA fall festival and the grand opening of Gemenskap park.

Courtesy of Jay Dotson Photography

In the distance, you could hear a whistle and the sound of a drum beat. The crowd gathered around the center of the park looked to the south and were excited to see the Ballard Marching Band coming up the sidewalk with Lulu the Librarian Fairy in the lead. All the kids in costumes lined up behind the band and an impromptu parade around the park began.


While the kids were painting pumpkins and getting their faces painted, neighbors gathered around the main stage to celebrate the new park. Thank-you to EBCA member from the start, Peter Locke, for being the ring master and emcee for the day and thank-you to Christopher Williams, interim Superintendent of Parks for your kind words. A huge thanks as well to our neighbors, friends and family who have supported our efforts to create this community park throughout the years and who joined together with us on this day to cut the ribbon and to those who were with us in spirit!


  • Jay Dotson Photography for taking pictures of the event. You can view those pictures here.
  • Tripod Coffee for the caffeine kick!
  • Top Pot for donating yummy festive donuts
  • Ballard Market for donating pumpkins, apples, cocoa and cider
  • The Nordic Heritage Museum for teaching us how to pronounce Gemenskap (Yuh-MEN-Skawp).
  • Groundswell NW for being our greatest mentor and fiscal sponsor all these many years!
  • Karen O’Connor from Seattle Parks who secured the permits, made sure officials showed up, found us a face painter, got us extra volunteers and so much more to make this big event happen
  • The EBCA steering committee who helped organize the event, secured donations and volunteered throughout the day. Special thanks to Linda, Holly, Mary Pat, Monica, Steph, Zack, Rachel, Shelby and Andrew!

And one last special thank-you to our Ringmaster/emcee for the day, Peter Locke, who led the coordination for this great event and for having the original idea those many years ago to transform 14th Ave NW into a linear park.  We came together today as a community in a park so aptly name Gemenskap!

Join us Oct 27 for EBCA Fall Festival and Gemenskap Park grand opening

EBCA Fall Festival

East Ballard Fall Festival & Grand Opening of Gemenskap Park Saturday October 27, 2018 10:30AM-12:30PM 6000 14th Ave NW

Gemenskap Park represents the culmination of 13 years of perseverance by the East Ballard community. Gemenskap (Yuh-MEN-skawp), Swedish for ‘community’, is a 2 block linear park on 14th Ave NW between NW 59th and NW 61st streets. The East Ballard Community Association and Seattle Parks and Recreation will be hosting a Fall Festival on Saturday Oct 27 from 10:30AM-12:30PM to celebrate the grand opening of Gemenskap park with a Halloween costume parade, music, treats and activities for all ages. Pets are welcome too! Gemenskap Park is the most recent achievement toward the community’s larger vision to create greenspace, improve safety, and address environmental concerns along the one mile stretch of 14th Ave NW between Salmon Bay to NW 65th Street.

For more information about how the community grew this park, please visit: and