MAGNOLIA MANOR PARK UPDATE March 2018
With great sadness, this will be the last update for the near future. The Friends of Magnolia Manor Park (FMMP) will be on hiatus until further notice. FMMP members and supporters have had one goal; the completion of the community-driven Preferred Site Plan.
Members of FMMP have worked long and hard with the community for Magnolia Manor Park (MMP). So much has been accomplished! Magnolia’s first off-leash area and first P-Patch community garden have been wildly successful; building community every day since. The most recent project linking these two park elements added a partial path around the reservoir and more passive park space. The number of years dedicated to this park by FMMP members and supporters is simply astounding.
The most recent project is not quite finished (motion-detector lights on path). Previous delays in starting construction dampened the energy of park supporters. Until Parks deems this project completed, no grant applications can be submitted for smaller projects around the park. Still to be done: complete the ADA path all around the reservoir, improve the sign and entry area, new landscaping/cleanup, re-inventing the aged educational patio, access
from 26th West and let’s not forget the mountain bike trail and zip line on the east hill!! Those last two items are courtesy of the Lawton School kids who participated in the park design.
The MMP website will be supported for the next few years. The hope is that a new Parks superintendent will bring improved focus to the functioning of Parks. MMP will be waiting for future park supporters and neighbors to energize, rally and support the park as needed.
Grass Roots Councils Continue
Many of you know that a previous mayor discontinued support of the 13 Neighborhood District
Councils. Created in the 1980s to foster more citizen input into the operation of our city and
neighborhoods. Yes, these district councils desperately needed support in digital outreach, language
translation and more. Cutting these established grass-roots organizations was a very top-down
maneuver; the very anti-thesis of grass-roots. And, here in Seattle, we love to engage and have our
Magnolia Queen Anne District Council is now The Coalition! And open to all!!
The good news is that many of these councils are still alive and flourishing. Our own, the former
Magnolia Queen Anne Neighborhood District Council has been reimagined as The Coalition: Magnolia,
Queen Anne and Interbay Neighborhoods. The current members participated in a strategic re-branding
exercise; creating a new mission statement and vision. The by-laws were re-written for more open
membership by both individuals and groups.
The Coalition meetings are monthly; go to The Coalition: Magnolia, Queen Anne, and Interbay
Neighborhoods Facebook page and message for the current meeting information. Everyone is
Sound Transit Route in Interbay TBD in 2018!
The most impactful issue to the Coalition right now is the Sound Transit route through our
neighborhoods. A few months ago, Sound Transit stopped by The Coalition meeting to discuss initial
ideas of routing light rail from Downtown to Ballard. This routing will go through our neighborhoods and
in 2018 Sound Transit will select the Preferred Alternative; for the routing of the line.
About two years ago Ben Broesamie (Magnolia Community Council) helped put together a multi-
organization group that encouraged Sound Transit to plan for a route of the light rail off of 15th Avenue
West. Many of us continue to feel that a light rail route off of 15th Avenue West will be best for our
Therefore 2018 will be an important year to connect together and advocate Sound Transit for a
routing that is best for our communities. The Coalition will work with elected officials, industry
(Fishermens Terminal agrees with our position), and perhaps businesses along 15th Avenue West.
Ben’s group will be working with The Coalition on this task; Mike Davis – Transportation Chair for
Uptown Alliance, and Laura Day – Transportation Chair for QACC have agreed as well.
2018 will be a busy year to talk to our neighbors and business community and let them know that Sound
Transit is selecting this impactful route soon and inviting them to share their opinions. Ben drew up an
idea of light rail routing in the attached figure.
Want to be involved? Attend Coalition meetings! Message ideas via The Coalition Facebook page
1. What groups should The Coalition reach out and invite to work with us on this issue? (e.g. Ballard
2. What actions will enable The Coalition to reach out to the community? (e.g. Farmers Markets)
Please join the Friends of Magnolia Manor Park for a Community Celebration and Grand Opening!! The long-delayed Opportunity Project is finally complete!! Yes!! Walk the reservoir path! Celebrate our newly-opened green park space!
When: Sunday, August 13, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM
Park Address: 3500 28th Ave West
There will be refreshments, neighbors, key folks involved in the project and more.
Meet your local community groups:
MIQA Be Prepared (Mag, Interbay, QA Emergency Prep)
COLA (Citizens for Off-Leash Areas)
Discover Music in the Park (Concert/Music at Discovery Park)
Heron Habitat Helpers
Smith Cove Park
Feel free to share your questions or ideas at https://www.magnoliamanorpark.org/; choose
Contact. We love to hear from you!
The city is proposing the development of the For Lawton Army Reserve property. this is how you can get involved, and provide input
The Friends of Magnolia Manor Park (FMMP) has applied for a Neighborhood Matching Fund grant!! The purpose is to develop the northern portion of the park. Approved in the previous Opportunity Fund project but not funded, this project will move the fence in the NE corner about ten feet to the east. This amazing view spot will allow people to see great views of Mt Baker and the Cascades. As part of the just-finishing project, this element has been reviewed and approved by Seattle Parks and Recreation, the City of Seattle Department of Construction & Inspection and Seattle Public Utilities.
FMMP will be hosting three public open house/work sessions!! Get your design caps on and come to these public gatherings to share your ideas! How about the concrete patio & old signs? Tangled vegetation to go! A new flat area with recently-built retaining wall—how to best use? Site Workshop will once again be part of the team, yes!! The goal is to solicit input on park design and to produce detailed designs for the northern portion of the park.
The grant was just submitted! There are six long weeks to wait to find out if FMMP received the grant. Stay tuned!! Feel free to share your questions or ideas at
https://www.magnoliamanorpark.org/ ; choose Contact. We love to hear from you!
Great news! The Friends of Magnolia Manor Park (FMMP) will be applying for a Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) grant! The purpose? To secure more design suggestions for the north part of the park. This might include an update for the concrete patio area, moving the NE fence corner further east for a better mountain view or other input from YOU at the future public meetings.
What can you do to help? Be willing to pledge a few hours of volunteer time in advance. The NMF grant application requires a list of volunteers and their contact information. A link to do this online should be available soon. Or you can go to www.magnoliamanorpark.org, select Contact. Please include your name, email address, mailing address/zip code and the potential number of hours you will pledge.
Yes, Parks turned down FMMP’s previous grant attempt for opening the east hill of Manor Park, citing maintenance costs in the tens of thousands annually. Hard to believe, right? Even harder to believe is that Parks Superintendent, Jesus Aguirre, had stated his support for a path open around the whole reservoir to both neighbors and FMMP previously.
FMMP is not giving up! More information to follow in the coming weeks.
In 2017, City Fruit hopes to expand the annual harvest effort to Queen Anne and Magnolia neighborhoods! But, we need your help!
We are looking for neighborhood residents, tree owners, businesses, community organizations, and others interested in the annual harvest to serve on an Advisory Committee. This committee will help develop ideas for registering new tree owners, engaging the community, and raising funds to support the harvest. We are also interested in expanding our Orchard Stewardship to the area and have begun to identify fruit trees on public land.
If you are interested in joining the Advisory Committee, email City Fruit’s executive director, Kate Morrison, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The time commitment will be minimal: we are looking for your ideas and connections in Queen Anne and Magnolia neighborhoods.
To kick-off this work, the committee will meet once in January at a local coffee shop or gathering place.
We wish you
Love and Peace in this Holiday Season
Good Fortune in the Coming Year
The fences are still up at Manor Park to protect the new hydroseeded areas. Parks will
put in the buffer plantings on the south west boundary when it warms up a little – too
cold right now for planting. There will be lighting along the path too.
We’re planning a Grand Opening of the new path when the work is complete – stay
Steering Committee Meetings: The Friends of Magnolia Manor Park (Steering Committee) meets monthly or as needed. These meetings are open to the public. If you wish to attend, email info@MagnoliaManorPark.org for the meeting location.
Opportunity Fund Project: The project is still on track for 2016. Contractors visited the park, submitted bids and Parks chose a contractor. There is a slight hiccup about the disposition of one bid and one contractor has appealed. The bid process is currently being reviewed.
SPU is slated to move and add new fencing that opens the SW corner and encloses the reservoir. Initial information stated this would happen in July. THE SURVEY STAKES ARE IN PLACE FOR THE NEW FENCE AROUND THE RESERVOIR!
Preferred Site Plan Completion: Stage 4, the East Hill: In a previous meeting (February 2016) Superintendent Aguirre indicated that Parks is amenable to the completion of the Preferred Site Plan; specifically the remaining east hill. Fundraising to open the East Hill of Manor Park has begun!
A letter of intent was submitted to the Seattle Parks Major Project Challenge Fund earlier this year. Recently, FMMP was informed that Magnolia Manor Park did not make the cut for this funding.
Currently, FMMP has completed a draft application for the Department of Neighborhoods Small and Simple Fund which is a matching fund. The submittal date for this application is September, 2016. Donations and signatures of support for opening the East Hill are being gathered now.
Magnolia Summerfest August 5-7: The Magnolia Chamber which sponsors Summerfest has graciously offered free booth space to all community-based organizations. FMMP has an opportunity to engage the public about Magnolia Manor Park and the Preferred Site Plan. Volunteers are needed to staff the booth! Please email info@MagnoliaManorPark.org for more information. Your volunteer hours are key to showing community support on the DON Small and Simple application discussed in the preceding section.
Magnolia Farmers Market – Saturdays, 10AM-2PM: FMMP has a mobile display for the Magnolia Farmers Market: birdhouses for sale ($20), donation jar, display map of Preferred Site Plan Stage 4 project; awesome FMMP sign; handheld sign with FMMP name and website. . . Volunteers are needed to work for shifts at the Farmers Markets! Please email info@MagnoliaManorPark.org for more information. Your volunteer hours are key to showing community support on the DON Small and Simple application discussed in the preceding section.
Seattle Mayor Cuts Ties to Neighborhood District Councils: The Neighborhood District Councils were created as a result of community grass-roots meetings over 30 years and have been part of the Department of Neighborhoods. Each council had a District Coordinator, a DON employee, who helped volunteer council members navigate the City government and departments. FMMP has been a member of the Magnolia/Queen Anne District Council since 2013. This grass-roots group of all volunteers has worked for and represented our neighborhoods of Magnolia, Interbay and Queen Anne for many years. Legislators, the City Council, SDOT, Metro, Parks, the Port, and many more, have presented at MQADC meetings. Local citizens have pitched neighborhood projects or problems for funding opportunities.
The Mayor has cut ties with the entire district council system. The district councils may continue to exist as volunteer groups but without any City support or staff. Several studies of the council systems has produced list of updates (digital and social media engagement) and areas to improve (members of color, renters, etc.). Rather than working with an existing system to make changes, the Mayor stated the existing council members did not represent Seattle: too many homeowners, old, white and retired. Even though each of those members represents an entire group of people (such as Magnolia Manor Park) who are more representative.
The Mayor is starting from scratch with a new un-named method of outreach and engagement created by the Department of Neighborhoods; announcement of system on September 26, 2016. A new commission to engage the under-represented in Seattle will be formed and members appointed by the Mayor. This is very much in conflict with the “Seattle Process.” Like it or hate it, Seattle loves public meetings and process; real grass-roots opportunities for regular citizens to impact our government.
Currently, the local district councils are meeting to discuss this situation and the blatant disregard for so many council members who volunteer innumerable hours for their neighborhoods. A special meeting of the Magnolia/Queen Anne District Council Executive Committee will be held on August 15, 2016. The next regular meeting will be Monday, September 12; location to be determined.
Author: LISA MEOLI is a board member of the Magnolia Historical Society and an Environmental Historian at Floyd|Snider.