Relocating the Seattle Public Utilities’ (SPU) security gate at 27th Avenue W is key to opening up and developing Magnolia Manor Park located at 3500 28th Avenue West. This was one of several major topics discussed at the most recent public meeting about the park. Other topics included size and additional funding needed for both the off leash area and P-Patch garden planned for the site.
Currently only about 1/3 of the site is open to the public, with access only from 28th Avenue West. The Seattle Parks Department maintains the publicly accessible portion. In June 2011, after an extensive public process, a Preferred Plan was adopted which would open another 2.7 acres of the site to public access, include entries to the Park from 27th and 26th Avenues West, and create Magnolia’s only dog Off Leash Area (OLA) and P-Patch. SiteWorkshop, the landscape architects, lead by Magnolia resident Jim Keller, presented updated designs for the two new features.
The Preferred Plan calls for a 21,000 square foot OLA, with an extensive swale, planting buffer, a small/shy dog area, a ‘chuck-it’ zone and removal of the existing concrete plaza. The 2008 Parks and Green Spaces levy allocated $70,000 for an OLA for Magnolia, which would not fully fund the design in the Preferred Plan. The levy amount would fund a smaller 16,000 square foot, minimalist OLA. Friends of Magnolia Manor Park (FMMP) and Citizens for Off Leash Areas (COLA) have been fundraising for the larger Plan, but face a March 1st deadline set by the Parks Dept., which will construct the OLA later this spring and need time to plan the construction. Keller and Clayton Beaudoin presented a ‘Plan C,’ which incorporates the larger footprint, a simple open space and surfacing that can be improved at a later date when funds are available. It maintains the plaza and accessibility to the remainder of the park, for considerably less cost. Keller estimated that the additional cost (above the available levy funds) for ‘Plan C’ was $25,000. FMMP and COLA have already raised over $6,000 in funds dedicated to the OLA, and over $13,000 in total contributions to date.
Access to the site from 27th Avenue West is key to the P-Patch design and to opening up 2.7 acres of public use all around the reservoir. This means relocating the security fence to closer to the covered reservoir. presented a design for the P-Patch that can be implemented in stages, with about 30 plots and a turn-around able to be installed by the end of the year, and room for expansion of the P-Patch to over 70 plots in the future. There is currently about $60,000 in the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces levy available for a P-Patch on Magnolia; about $30,000 in additional funding is needed to move the security gate and install and complete the first 30 plots . The Department of Neighborhoods has informed FMMP that the monies must be spent and construction completed by December 2012.
Susan Casey, Chair of FMMP, also pointed out to those attending that fundraising for fundamentals for the rest of the park is also on-going. “It is critical to raise money to move the rest of the SPU fencing. Without that, we can’t open the rest of the park to the public.” Toni Imfeld, Co-Chair of FMMP, agreed: “It may not be sexy, but you have to move dirt and put in the foundation before you can build a house.”
Susan Casey said that one of the things that FMMP is especially proud of is the involvement of the whole community. In addition to P-Patchers, dog owners and other neighbors, Fifth graders at Lawton Elementary, located just a few blocks from the park, are involved in the creation and fundraising for an art project to benefit and beautify the park. Local artist and businessman Don Rockwell is donating his considerable talents and experience to turn artworks by the fifth graders into a permanent art feature. LuAnn Mitchell and Monica Wooton are spearheading fundraising for the materials needed by the Art Project, and the community is giving generously. With a goal of $3,500 for materials, and any overages going to general fundraising for the park, the students raised $1,000 in their first weekend appeal
Several members of the audience had novel suggestions for funding sources. Besides the grants which FMMP will be applying for, one attendee suggested seeking carbon credit offset money for pyrolysis of the garden waste from the P-Patch. Pyrolysis is the low-temperature charring of garden waste, which results in a soil amendment (char) and carbon sequestration. Another brought up the Seattle Parks Department’s Partnership Program, which provides the possibility of bestowing naming rights on features of the park, like the OLA or P-Patch, in exchange for significant funding of the feature. FMMP and COLA are also pursuing sponsorships from neighborhood businesses, and have implemented a ‘$35 campaign’ among dog owners. A mere $35 from each licensed dog owner on Magnolia would fully fund the Preferred Plan OLA. Additionally, through March 31, 2012, COLA will match any donation to COLA dedicated to Magnolia Manor OLA, up to a total of $3,000. Over $1,700 in donations have been collected to date. Donations can be made at the website: www.coladog.org/mmpMatch.
Thursday, January 26 7-9 pm
Magnolia Lutheran Church at 31st Ave W and W McGraw
Come and provide your suggestions at the public meeting. Learn about the most recent update of the plans for the development of Magnolia Manor Park including a progress report on the schedule of improvements and funding sources.
The Friends of Magnolia Manor Park, with the involvement of the community, landscape architect SiteWorkshop, and Seattle Park, is completing the design development stage of the project. The plan adds 2.7 acres to the park, adds new views and open spaces, an off leash dog area, a P-Patch garden, and new paths, connections to the area east of the park and play areas.
• Catch up on the news, events, and progress of the park
• Contact us • Join FMMP • Become a volunteer
• FaceBook: www.facebook.com/FriendsofMagnoliaManorPark
Due to the inclement weather, the Magnolia Manor Park P-Patch planning meeting scheduled for Thurs, Jan 19 has been canceled. Check this website for new date.
We are holding a Planning meeting on Thursday Jan 19, 7-9 pm at the Q Café, 3223 15th Ave W. (The Q Café is on the west side (Interbay side) of 15th , next to Quest Church. Parking is free on 16th W just north of QFC and there is also a small parking lot next to Q Café.)
SiteWorkshop staff and Laura Raymond from the P-Patch Office will be at the meeting to gather your suggestions, answer questions, and go over various planning components. Previous meetings have been held to plan the entire park area but this meeting will be focused on the planning of the P-Patch itself. Please come and let your voice and ideas be heard. Your time will count towards volunteer hours.
By volunteering you are working towards earning your plot assignment at the Magnolia Manor Park P-Patch. The total number of garden development volunteer hours is the
principle basis for assigning plots. Volunteer hours can be earned through a variety of means such as physical labor, organizing, fundraising and administrative tasks for the garden development.