Please give us your thoughts!

  The first public meeting and “Walk in the Park” were well attended.  We are grateful to the community for setting aside time to participate in these planning efforts.  We also realize that it’s simply not possible to get every person who cares deeply about this park to these meetings, so we invite you to participate in our survey that we set up right here on this website.  Click on SURVEY #1 – BRAINSTORMING – over there in the left column.  Then scroll down to Survey.  Your response and opinions are important to us!

Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

  I remember my parents explaining the saying “good fences make good neighbors” as we planted bamboo at the edge of our lot when I was a child.  I worried a jungle would grow there and I’d never see our neighbors again.  

  When my husband and I bought our house in Magnolia we were glad to find one thing that wouldn’t need repairing – the fence that our neighbors had installed.  But the more we got to know these neighbors the more we realized the fence would need to be altered, so one Saturday afternoon we took a saw to it and created a gateway that kids and adults have been traversing ever since.  The fence on the other side of our lot did need to be repaired and my husband and I have replaced it many times.  It blew down again in this week’s windstorm, so it’s got us thinking about fencing yet again. 

  Magnolia Manor Park has its own fencing history as well.  At one time there was no fence around the reservoir and people could walk right up to the edge of the water.   Fencing eventually was erected around the entire SPU property, then more fencing so a  pathway could be established on the north side of the property.  Then came the 1995 lidding, and fencing was rearranged to accomodate a passive park.  In 2010 the fencing changed to protect the entire lid.  All of the fencing is the cyclone variety, though some is topped with barbed wire, some not, some is grey and weathered, some  a shiny black variety, and some lies on the ground, unused from the 2010 project.   SPU has done a lot of thinking about fencing. 

   The good news is that SPU is willing to keep thinking about the fencing at Magnolia Manor Park in ways to make it  the best park it can be for surrounding neighbors.  In talks with Site Workshop, SPU has indicated that it would be willing to open up other portions of the property that are currently closed, enabling the park to grow in size and meet the needs of this densely populated area.  This would provide opportunities for better access to the park and open up connections to other nearby green spaces, bus stops and schools.  But fencing, whether being built, removed or changed, is better done when all neighbors are involved.  So please consider being a part of this conversation on what neighbors want this park to be. 

 Good fences may mean fewer fences, prettier fences or natural fences.  Good fences do make good neighbors, if done right.

Visit Magnolia Manor Park this Saturday

  Site Workshop will host a Walk in the Park on Saturday, March 5 from 10am to noon.  This is a great chance to visualize the ideas generated at Wednesday’s workshop.  Celebrate spring and longer days by joining neighbors to help create the future of Magnolia Manor Park.

Mayor’s Town Hall Meeting

  Members of Sustainable Magnolia and Magnolia Manor Park steering committee members will have a table at the Mayor’s Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, March 1 at Cathrerine Blaine School.  Stop by for information about Magnolia Manor Park’s planning process from 5:30 to 6:30.  We hope to use this opportunity to remind and inspire neighbors to attend Wednesday night’s workshop at 6:30 at Magnolia Presbyterian Church.

It’s a Walk in the Park

Join neighbors on March 5 from 10am-noon for a walk in the park.  Site Workshop and members of the steering committee will be on hand for this informal gathering to walk the site and answer questions.  This is a great opportunity to envision the future of Magnolia Manor Park.  We scheduled this to quickly follow the March 2 meeting so that ideas  will be percolating and we can walk the property with these in mind.  Please join us.

Public Meetings Dates Set

Mark your calendars for upcoming public meetings!

Wednesday,  March 2, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Saturday,       April 9, 10 a.m.- noon

Wednesday,  June 8, 7-9 p.m.

All meetings will be held at the Magnolia Presbyterian Church, located two blocks south of the park at the intersection of Dravus and 28th Avenue.  Thank you Magnolia Presbyterian for generously donating the use of this space.

What are these meetings all about?

Background and Brainstorming

The first meeting is all about your big ideas.  Hear about the background of this little park and then we’ll brainstom ways to make it better.  Dream a little on paper, talk about what’s important to you and listen to what other neighbors are thinking about Manor Park.  We will work in small groups to gather ideas and priorities in a creative manner so that Site Workshop can develop three designs which reflect this feedback and consider all site constraints.

Review and Prioritize

The second meeting is an opportunity to have a look at these three designs.  Maybe  one design stands out as the preferred, or maybe a hybrid of a couple designs needs to be considered.  Why does one design seem preferable to the others?  What’s most important?  What were the site constraints that eliminated some elements?  These comments are taken so that the final proposed design further reflects the wishes of the community.

Site Design Show and Tell

The third meeting will unveil the preferred design, with all its tweaks and considerations of site constraints.  Hear about the final design from Site Workshop.  Ask questions, add comments.  Celebrate!

Please plan to attend these meetings and become a part of the future of Magnolia Manor Park!

Thinking outside the box, or saying “no” to the box

  I stumbled upon this blog recently:  The author says she started this blog “because a playground doesn’t have to cost a million bucks and come in a box.  In fact, it’s better if it doesn’t. and “because playgrounds are under-recognized as an artistic medium.”  Even if a playground is not a suggested use in Manor Park I believe the type of designs discussed in this blog is useful to get us thinking beyond the normal scope of park design.

Site Workshop selected as landscape architect!

The selection committee recommended Site Workshop as landscape architect on the Manor Park planning project.  Site Workshop has notable projects which speak to its talents in delivering thoughtfully designed multi-use parks.  Ella Bailey Park, just a mile south of Magnolia Manor Park, is but one example.  Newly opened Thomas Wales in Queen Anne, Greenwood Park and the West Seattle Reservoir are other parks similar in scope and community involvement as Magnolia Manor.  We welcome Site Workshop to our project and look forward to working with them to engage the community to bring a thoughtfully designed sustainable park to Magnolia.  Check them out!

Landscape architect search – update

January 21, 2011

We had terrific response to our request for qualifications which made the selection process particularly exciting.  Interviews were held this week and we anticipate that the landscape architect will be announced early next week.

The Magnolia News ran a story about our project (link) which we hope will help get the word out about this public process.

Ready to listen

January 4, 2011

It was no small thrill to see the big yellow sign go up at Magnolia Manor Park this week.  Two years ago a group from Sustainable Magnolia gathered at the park to consider the suitability of a community garden in this densely populated sunny park in Magnolia.    Pam Lewis, founder of Sustainable Magnolia, quickly gave me the reigns on the project.  (I think she did this to demonstrate that great things can happen even under the leadership of someone with absolutely zero experience).  Little did we know just how long of a road it would be to get to this point, but here we are.

The exciting part about the sign is that it announces the fact that this park is to be designed with feedback from the community .  I love this quote from “Community”, by Peter Block:  “Leaders will always be under pressure to speak, but if building social fabric is important, and sustained transformation is the goal, then listening becomes the greater service.”  So with that I urge neighbors to bring their voice to the project so that the transformation of the park will indeed be sustainable.

Nancy Spragins

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