Groundswell NW Programs
Groundswell NW was active in the neighborhood planning process in 1990s and continues to advocate for public open space in the greater Ballard community, serving as a voice for the community in areas such as city planning, land use decisions, and funding for parks.
Building and Preserving Public Open Space
Beginning with Webster and Baker Parks, we have shepherded new open space from acquisition to construction to ongoing upkeep. By engaging neighbors and “Friends of” groups, we have increased our impact and helped ensure the completion of parks such as Ballard Corners Park, Salmon Bay Natural Area, Kirke Park, and Crown Hill Park. We are currently working with community partners to develop open space areas, such as the Sunset Hill – Shilshole Gateway, 14th Ave NW Park, and Sunset Substation Park. Recognizing that existing parks and open spaces need the ongoing support of the community, we also encourage participation in park clean-ups and habitat restoration work parties in all of Ballard’s parks and natural areas.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In 2012, Groundswell NW celebrated the grand openings of new parks which it supported, such as Kirke Park and Crown Hill Park. We also continued to advocate for parks in northwest Seattle through our participation in the Seattle Parks Levy Opportunity Fund process. Additionally, with help from a generous donation from an anonymous supporter, we launched a Microgrant Program, allowing us to build the capacity of neighborhood-level and Friends of type groups by providing fast, ‘no strings attached’ grants in support of their projects – from materials for grant presentations to tools for work parties.
Although Groundswell NW has made remarkable strides in building and protecting parks and open space in the greater Ballard community over the past twenty years, this area of Seattle remains underserved by parks and open space while continuing to grow in population and density. Groundswell NW continues to strive to ensure the parks and open space needs of this community are recognized and being met by the city, developers, and community members. In fact, Groundswell NW is currently laying the groundwork to update the Ballard/Crown Hill Open Space Needs Inventory, which was last conducted in 1996.
Once built, parks and open spaces require ongoing maintenance, and stewardship from the community help these places remain active, vibrant, and welcoming. Groundswell NW continues to seek opportunities to educate and engage our neighbors in activating our local parks and open spaces through work parties, community gatherings, and other events.