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: http://www.eastballard.org/friends-of-14th and https://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/gemenskap-park-development

Save the date for Gemenskap park grand opening

The grass in Gemenskap park went in last week and the park was transformed this weekend with kids rolling around on the hills, neighbors having picnics, dogs playing fetch and people saying hi as they strolled or rolled by!

After 13 years of waiting for this day to finally happen, East Ballard is ready to celebrate!

Save the date!

East Ballard Fall Festival & Gemenskap Park
Grand Opening Celebration
Saturday October 27

We need your expertise!

join us Thursday Sept 27, 7:30PM for our first event planning meeting. please reach out to eastballard@gmail.com and we’ll send you details. If you are unable to attend, but are interested in helping us on the day of the event, have connections to local musicians, are good at getting donations, or have other ideas on how you can help, please contact us!

Stay tuned for more details of the celebration. Rumor has it, a Halloween costume parade is in the works! In the meantime, check the awesome new aerial photos we added to our Gemenskap Park construction photo album on Flickr or better yet, get outside and enjoy the park in person!

Lights, water, action at Gemenskap Park!

Activity is finally moving forward with Gemenskap park. We noticed the lights turn on in mid-July and just this week, we confirmed that SPU has tapped into the water mainline and hooked up the water meter for the irrigation system!

Our Parks manager, Toby Ressler advised that now that electricity and water are connected, they can now schedule landscaping! We’ll keep you posted when we learn more.

For more pictures of Gemenskap park construction, check our our Flickr photo album.

East Ballard Crime Prevention Resources


Many thanks to Mary Amberg (SPD Crime Prevention Coordinator), Colleen Hackett (Seattle Parks Division Crew Chief) and Thomas Whittemore (Dept of Neighborhoods Community Engagement Coordinator) for spending the evening with us at St. Alphonsus Family Center to inform us on how we can keep Gemenskap park and our surrounding neighborhood safe and vibrant. if you missed the meeting, or just want a reference for all the great info we learned, here you go!

Call 911 every time you see anything suspicious (e.g. potential lurkers outside your neighbor’s house, car prowling, strange people or behavior), even if you aren’t sure what to make of it!
  • According to Crime Prevention Coordinator Mary Amberg, the lines are staffed for this purpose. It is up to the operator, not the caller to determine whether a situation is an emergency or not. Your role as a citizen is simply to help SPD know what’s going on in our neighborhood. SPD’s strategy for our neighborhood is data-driven, and data points such as our reports and phone calls are required in order for more comprehensive action to be taken.
  • If you’d like an officer to contact you, just tell the operator and they will.
  • Don’t call the non-emergency line unless the crime is well in the past.

If you’re aware of chronic problems (e.g. long-term unauthorized parking, vacant houses attracting unwanted activity, camping in the park, etc.), alert Community Police Team Officer Mike Cruzan (206-233-3733) if west of 14th Ave NW, Joseph Bender  (206-233-3984) if east of 14th. Contact both if on 14th.

Call the Ballard High School security officer at 206-252-1000 to address concerns specific to BHS student activity.

Leverage the Find It, Fix It app on your smartphone for the fastest action on the following issues and more (many of our neighbors can attest to this service working well!): 
  • Abandoned Vehicle: report vehicles parked in a public right of way more than three days.
  • Graffiti Report: report graffiti so it gets automatically routed to the appropriate department for response.
  • Needles
  • Illegal Dumping: report illegal dumping — junk, garbage or debris — on public property, including roadsides, open streets and paved alleys.
  • Parking Enforcement: make an inquiry regarding a parking concern.
  • Homeless Encampments: (select ‘Other’ inquiry and title it ‘encampment’
  • Tall shrubs/weeds in street medians: Select ‘Other’ inquiry and title it ‘street landscaping impeding sight lines’.

Online Crime Reporting (only crimes that have no suspects, are not in progress, and do not involve injury can be reported this way, e.g. car prowls, signs of narcotic activity and other small crimes)
Property or Building Complaint
Narcotics Activity
Tweet By Beat
Police Blotter
Police Reports

Crime statistics and reports by neighborhood. East Ballard is in the north precinct and our micro policing neighborhood is Ballard South.

  • Most burglaries occur between 8AM and 5PM. Always answer a door when you’re home, but don’t open the door. Most burglars enter empty homes. If you don’t answer, then they think no one is home and will attempt to break in. If person is aggressive after you respond, call 911 and report facial features and shoes (clothes change, but people usually wear the same shoes every day).
  • Invest in strong doors with minimal glass (or apply security film), strong deadbolt and 3-4 inch kick plate screws.
  • Lock up propane tanks (can be used to break windows) and ladders (can be used to climb in through upstairs windows)
  • dowels on sliding windows/doors
  • Inventory your possessions

Contact Mary Amberg to schedule a free security assessment of your home, business or church

North Precinct Advisory Council (NPAC) meets the first Wednesday of every month. 7-8:30 p.m. The meeting is at Lakeside School, 14050 1st Ave NE, in the Kent Evans Auditorium in a building on upper school campus.


  • Seattle Parks crews will mow, pick up litter and be eyes on the park when they are there. The EBCA will sponsor twice yearly community clean ups.
  • Parks staff cannot remove people from the park if they are not doing anything illegal (note that camping during daylight hours is legal)
  • There are no plans at this time for a porta potty in the park (like Ballard Commons).
  • According to the park drawings, there are no trash cans planned. This is part of a growing trend in “pack it out” parks in Seattle.
  • For chronic intersection crossing concerns, contact Mary Amberg to schedule someone from the city to come out and monitor.
  • For noise complaints, particularly in the park, check out the SPD Noise Complaints page for details on what’s illegal and how to report.
  • Rules and Regulations for Seattle Parks – you probably knew alcohol is banned, but did you know smoking is banned is too?



Mark your calendar for 2 summer events in East Ballard

EBCA July events flyer

Join us Thursday July 12 when the EBCA and St. Alphonsus parish team up to host a crime prevention educational meeting to learn about Gemenskap park and share concerns as well as ideas to ensure the park and surrounding neighborhood remain a safe and vibrant place for our community. Representatives from the Seattle Police Department, Seattle Parks Department and Seattle Department of Neighborhoods will be on hand to answer all of your questions and provide valuable resources and educational material.

What:    East Ballard Crime Prevention Meeting
   Thursday July 12, 6:30PM-8PM
Where: St. Alphonsus Family Center (1415 NW 58th St)

Then join us on Saturday as we clean up 14th Ave NW and Gemenskap park! Food and beverages will be on hand to get you motivated! Bring your friends, bring the kids, we’ll bring the rest!

What:    EBCA Summer Clean Sweep
   Saturday July 14, 10AM-1PM
Where: Meet at Blowing Sands Glass (5805 14th Ave NW)

Panel discussion on the opiod epidemic hosted by the Ballard Community Task Force for Hunger and Homelessness

bcthh logo
The Ballard Community Task Force for Hunger and Homelessness (BCTHH) invite you to a  panel discussion Thursday April 26 from 10:30AM-12PM at Nyer Urness House, 1753 NW 56th St., East Meeting Room.
This meeting is going to be focused on the opioid epidemic and is open to the public. The panel members are an impressive group of professionals who are currently involved in our city.


    10 min.


  • Ballard Neighborcare update on health issues of clients: Doyle McCarthy                                 5 min.

  • Report from the Ballard Street: Jenn Adams, The Bridge, Paige Killinger, REACH                 10 min.


PANEL PRESENTATIONS:  Health issues and the OPIOID epidemic          45 min.

Susan Kingston, Center for Opioid Safety Education, University of Washington:  Implementation of programs to address opioid overdose and new treatment models

James Walsh, MD, Swedish Medical Center: Low-barrier buprenorphine program at the needle exchange site in the University District

Patricia Sully, staff attorney, Public Defender Association

David Sapienza, MD, treatment provider: Safe consumption sites  

Q&A:  A time for meeting attendees to ask questions of our presenters       20 min.

for more info about BCTHH  check out:
www.facebook.com/ballardhomelessness and http://bcthh.pbworks.com

BCTHH mission:  
The Ballard Community Taskforce on Homelessness and Hunger (BCTHH) works to end homelessness and hunger  in the Ballard community by providing a forum for services providers, community advocates, and governmental agencies to share information, and to capitalize on their collective resources, and coordinate efforts. We will work as advocates of change and partners of compassion toward a just and supportive community.