The Pathway of Lights at Green Lake returns Saturday, Dec. 13

Volunteers Needed!

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Seattle Parks and Recreation presents the annual Pathway of Lights at Green Lake on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 from 4:30-7:30 p.m., to take place rain or shine.

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Join thousands of families, friends and neighbors for this beloved Seattle tradition. Travel the 2.8-mile path around the lake, taking in the warm glow of the luminaria, music and refreshments. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lights and candles to add to the ambiance.

Local musicians will perform at four sites around the lake:

  • The Green Lake Community Center on the east side
  • The Green Lake Small Craft Center (the Aqua Theater) on the south side
  • The Bathhouse Theater (Seattle Public Theatre) on the north side
  • The Arch on the east of side of the community center/pool.

This fun event is free, but community members are encouraged to bring non-perishable food donations to benefit neighbors in need through the FamilyWorks food bank.  Food donation bins, as well as warm drinks and treats, will be available at the locations listed above.

Volunteers are needed to help place and light the thousands of luminaria and to clean up after the event. Individuals, businesses, community organizations and school and scout groups are welcome to participate. Setup takes place from 2:30–4:30 p.m., and the lighting of the candles takes place at 4:30 p.m. Cleanup is from 7:30- 9 p.m.

This Seattle tradition is presented in partnership with the Green Lake Advisory Council and with help from community partners, the Green Lake Masonic Lodge #149 and PCC Natural Markets.

Become a fan of the Pathway of Lights Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/GreenLakePathwayofLights, to get updates about the event and find out where your favorite music group will perform.

For more information, please contact the Green Lake Community Center at 206-684-0780 or email Jeff Skinner at jeff.skinner@seattle.gov.

 

Green Lake closed to swimming, water contact due to toxic algae

The level of toxins in the algae at Green Lake has increased and has prompted parks and Public Health officials to close the lake to swimming and water contact for people and dogs.

People and pets should not swim, wade or play in the lake. Dog owners should be especially cautious not to allow animals to go in or drink from the lake. If there is water contact for a pet, it is important to rinse well to remove all algae.

Symptoms of illness from contacting the toxins in water are eye, nose, and mouth irritation and skin rash. If accidental contact occurs, use clean water to promptly rinse skin. Swallowing the toxins may cause abdominal pain, diarrhea vomiting and in severe cases liver damage.  If symptoms occur after swallowing lake water, park users should consult a health care professional or veterinarian immediately. Pets are at highest risk.

Tests have revealed that high levels of toxins are currently found in the algae and are higher in areas where algae collect.  King County Department of Natural Resources has been conducting weekly testing of water at various locations around Green Lake as well as scum samples submitted through the State Toxic Algae Program. After each test, the information is reviewed by Public Health – Seattle & King County.

The lake remains open to fishing (though fish should be thoroughly cleaned) and boating in stable boats. Avoid areas of scum when boating.

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s lifeguarded beaches closed for the season on Sept. 1.

A warm, dry summer has promoted the algae bloom, and continued warm weather continues to promote it. Blooms have been known to last into November in particularly warm autumns, and typically disappear as the weather gets colder.

Toxic algae blooms appeared at Green Lake in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2012 and in 2013, resulting in warnings to the public about exposure to the algae. Intense blooms of blue-green algae have occurred in Green Lake since 1916. Phosphorus released from the bottom sediments stimulates algae growth. Treating the lake with alum inactivates the phosphorus that is released from the bottom sediments and prevents stimulation of the algae growth. Green Lake was successfully treated with alum in 1991 and 2004. The water quality improved for several years following treatment on both occasions, and has been mostly good since 2004.

Green Lake is home to cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae that are regularly present in small numbers. When nutrients are plentiful and the weather is warm, the conditions are right for an algae bloom to take place. Winds can concentrate the buoyant cyanobacteria into accumulations or scums along the shoreline, which may increase the amount of toxin that could be ingested by pets or people using the lake recreationally.

For more information on cyanobacteria, please visit Washington Department of Health toxic algae website.

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Green Lake algae scum found; water only harmful where scum is found

Toxic algae has been found in accumulated scum along the shores of Green Lake; however the lake is not closed and remains open to most activities.

King County Department of Natural Resources has been conducting weekly testing of water collected at the east and west swimming beaches at Green Lake as well as scum samples submitted through the State Toxic Algae Program. After each test, the information is reviewed by Public Health – Seattle & King County. At this time, Public Health has not recommended closure. Tests have revealed that the toxins are currently found in the scummy algae that accumulate in some places along the lakeshore.

People and pets should not wade or play in the lake where the scum has accumulated. Dog owners should be especially cautious not to allow animals to drink from the lake in these areas. If there is water contact for a pet, it is important to rinse well to remove all algae.

The lake remains open to fishing, boating, stand-up paddling boarding and other recreational activities. While Seattle Parks and Recreation’s lifeguarded beaches remain open. The last day of operation for East Green Lake Beach is August 24. The last day of operation for West Green Lake Beach is September 1.

A warm, dry summer has promoted the algae bloom, and continued warm weather continues to promote it. Blooms have been known to last into November in particularly warm autumns, and typically disappear as the weather gets colder.

The lake was closed in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2012 and most recently in fall 2013 for toxic algae blooms. Intense blooms of blue-green algae have occurred in Green Lake since 1916.

Treating the lake with alum inactivates the phosphorus that is released from the bottom sediments and prevents stimulation of the algae growth. Green Lake was successfully treated with alum in 1991 and 2004. The water quality improved for several years following treatment on both occasions, and has been mostly good since 2004.

Green Lake is home to cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae that are regularly present in small numbers. When nutrients are plentiful and the weather is warm, the conditions are right for an algae bloom to take place. Winds can concentrate the buoyant cyanobacteria into accumulations or scums along the shoreline, which may increase the amount of toxin that could be ingested by pets or people using the lake recreationally.

Symptoms of illness from liver toxin are flu-like and may include abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting.  If symptoms occur after ingesting lake water, park users should consult a health care professional immediately. Pets are at highest risk.

For more information on cyanobacteria, please visit Washington Department of Health toxic algae website.

 

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Green Lake Pathway of Lights Returns Saturday, December 14 – Volunteers still needed

Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Green Lake Community Center Advisory Council with the help of our community partners, Green Lake Masonic Lodge #149, PCC Natural Markets, and Green Lake Windermere Real Estate help continue a Seattle tradition with the 37th annual Pathway of Lights. The event is free and will take place from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 14, 2013 (second Saturday of every year) rain or shine.

Join thousands of families, friends, and neighbors in this beloved Seattle tradition and travel the 2.8-mile path around the lake, taking in the warm glow of the luminaria. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lights and candles to add to the ambiance.

Local musicians will perform at four sites around the lake:

  • The Green Lake Community Center on the east side
  • The Green Lake Small Craft Center (the Aqua Theater) on the south side
  • The Bathhouse Theater (Seattle Public Theatre) on the north side
  • The Arch on the east of side of the community center/pool.(Sponsored by Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute and Freshest Roots

Warm drinks and treats will be available at those locations, as will donation bins for nonperishable food items for local food banks.

Volunteers are needed to help place and light the thousands of luminaria, and to clean up after the event. Individuals, businesses, community organizations and school and scout groups are welcome to participate. Setup takes place from 2:30–4:30 p.m., and the lighting of the candles takes place at 4:30 p.m. Cleanup is from 7:30- 9 p.m.

Become a fan of the Pathway: facebook.com/GreenLakePathwayofLights and find out where your favorite music group will perform.

For more information, please contact Jeff Skinner at 206-684-0780or by e-mail at jeff.skinner@seattle.gov.

 

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Green Lake algae bloom only harmful where scum is found

While toxic algae has been found in accumulated scums along the shores of Green Lake, the lake remains open to most activities.

King County Natural Resources has been conducting testing on the lake for several weeks. After each test, the information has been reviewed by Public Health – Seattle & King County, and it has not recommended closure. Tests have revealed that the toxins are only found in the scummy algae that accumulate in some places along the lakeshore.

People and pets should not be in the lake where the scum has accumulated along the lake. Dog owners should be especially cautious not to allow animals to drink from the lake in these areas. If there is water contact for a pet, it is important to rinse well to remove all algae.

The lake remains open to fishing, boating, stand-up paddling boarding and other recreational activities. While Seattle Parks and Recreation’s lifeguarded beaches program is over for the summer, swimming is still allowed within 50 feet of shore.

A warm, dry summer has promoted the algae bloom, and a warm fall continues to promote it. Blooms have been known to last into November in particularly warm autumns, and typically disappear as the weather gets colder.

The King County Environmental Laboratory conducted the testing under the auspices of the Washington Department of Ecology’s algae program.

The lake was closed in 1999, 2002, 2003, and most recently in fall 2012 for toxic algae blooms. Intense blooms of blue-green algae have occurred in Green Lake since 1916.

Treating the lake with alum inactivates the phosphorus that is released from the bottom sediments and prevents stimulation of the algae growth. Green Lake was successfully treated with alum in 1991 and 2004. The water quality improved for several years following treatment on both occasions, and has been mostly good since 2004. 

Green Lake is home to photosynthetic cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae that are regularly present in small numbers. When nutrients are plentiful and the weather is warm, the conditions are right for an algae bloom to take place. Winds can concentrate the buoyant cyanobacteria into accumulations or scums along the shoreline, which may increase the amount of toxin that could be ingested by pets or people using the lake recreationally.

Symptoms of illness from liver toxin are flu-like and may include abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting.  If symptoms occur after ingesting lake water, park users should consult a health care professional immediately.  Pets are at highest risk.

For more information on cyanobacteria, please visit King County’s Major Lakes Monitoring webpage, the Washington Department of Health toxic algae website, or the Washington State Toxic Algae website.

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Parks crews to prune trees, improve inner path at Green Lake Park

Parks crews will be visible at Green Lake Park in the coming weeks making improvements to the park.

The Tree Crew will working along the inner path to prune large conifers and other species trees; this is routine work for access and tree health. It may take several days (3). Parks hopes to have this work completed by the end of February or beginning of March, depending on crew availability.

Parks’ Truck and Heavy Equipment crews continue to make improvements to the Green Lake inner and outer paths, including leveling, filling holes, repairing turf and adding new crushed rock. This work will continue throughout the winter to make the path as accessible and safe as possible.

Parks apologizes for any inconvenience this work causes for park users, and will complete the tasks as quickly as possible.

Green Lake Pathway of Lights to be held on Dec. 8

        Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Green Lake Community Center Advisory Council with the help of our community partners, Green Lake Masonic Lodge #149 and Green Lake Windermere Real Estate help continue a Seattle tradition with the 36th annual Pathway of Lights. This year’s event will take place from 5 – 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 8, 2012 rain or shine – the second Saturday of December every year. It is free and open to the public.

 

Join thousands of families, friends, and neighbors in this beloved Seattle tradition and travel the 2.8-mile path around the lake, taking in the warm glow of the luminaria. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lights and candles to add to the ambiance.

 

Local musicians will perform at four sites around the lake:

  • The Green Lake Community Center on the east side
  • The Green Lake Small Craft Center (the Aqua Theater) on the south side
  • The Bathhouse Theater (Seattle Public Theatre) on the north side
  • The Arch on the east of side of the community center/pool (Sponsored by Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center)

Warm drinks and treats will be available at those locations, as will donation bins for nonperishable food items for local food banks.

Volunteers are needed to help place and light the thousands of luminaria, and to clean up after the event. Individuals, businesses, community organizations and school and scout groups are welcome to participate. Setup takes place from 3:30 – 5 p.m., and the lighting of the candles takes place at 5 p.m. Cleanup is from 8 – 9 p.m.

Become a fan of the Pathway: facebook.com/GreenLakePathwayofLights and find out where your favorite music group will perform.

For more information, please contact Jeff Skinner at 206-684-0780 or by e-mail at jeff.skinner@seattle.gov.

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Green Lake Pathway of Lights is Dec. 8 this year

Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Green Lake Community Center Advisory Council continue a Seattle tradition with the 36th annual Pathway of Lights. This year’s event will take place from 5 – 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 8, rain or shine. Admission is free.

Join thousands of families, friends, and neighbors in this beloved Seattle tradition and travel the 2.8-mile path around the lake, taking in the warm glow of the luminaria. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lights and candles to add to the ambiance.

Local musicians will perform at four sites around the lake:

  • The Green Lake Community Center on the east side
  • The Green Lake Small Craft Center (the Aqua Theater) on the south side
  • The Bathhouse Theater (Seattle Public Theatre) on the north side
  • The Arch on the east of side of the community center/pool featuring Langston Hughes Performing  Arts Center artists

Warm drinks and treats will be available at those locations, as will donation bins for nonperishable food items for Northwest Harvest.

Volunteers are needed to help place and light the thousands of luminaria, and to clean up after the event. Individuals, businesses, community organizations and school and scout groups are welcome to participate. Setup takes place from 2:30 – 5 p.m., and the lighting of the candles takes place at 5 p.m. Cleanup is from 8 – 9 p.m.

Become a fan of the Pathway: facebook.com/GreenLakePathwayofLights

Parks works in partnership with the Associated Recreation Council (ARC) to bring high-quality, accessible and affordable recreation opportunities to the people of Seattle. For more information on ARC, please see http://www.arcseattle.org/.

Musicians and volunteers are still needed. For more information, please contact Jeff Skinner at 206-386-4235 or by e-mail at jeff.skinner@seattle.gov.

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King County, Seattle wade into Green Lake algae problem with experimental clean-up

Scientists with King County will be working with their colleagues from Seattle Parks and Recreation today to test experimental methods for collecting large mats of algae responsible for the toxin that has led to a recreational closure of some activities on Green Lake earlier this month.

Beginning at approximately 10 a.m. today, Oct. 9, King County and Seattle staff will attempt to use floating absorbent pads and a wet/dry shop vacuum to collect the floating algae in an effort to remove the algae blooms that are the source of a cyanobacterial toxin that has been present in elevated levels in Green Lake.

The collection is expected to occur in the northeast end of the lake, near the boat rental building. Because the toxin is concentrated in an accumulation of algae scum, King County scientists will focus on collecting and removing the algae scum accumulations.

Seattle Parks closed the lake to some activities Oct. 2 because of the presence of a cyanobacterial toxin in amounts exceeding the Washington Department of Health’s draft recreational guidelines.

The lake remains closed to wading, swimming and “wet-water boating” activities like sailboarding, with caution also going out to dog owners not to let dogs drink from the lake.

The lake is open to fishing and boating – activities in which users are unlikely to ingest the water. The closure will be in effect until the algae bloom has completed its lifecycle. This could be weeks or months, depending on the fall weather and how it affects the algae in the lake.

King County scientists will continue to take water at least once a week, and Seattle Parks will reopen the lake when the evidence of toxin falls below the draft recreational guideline.

Water quality testing is performed by the King County Environmental Laboratory under the auspices of the Washington Department of Ecology’s algae program.

Green Lake is home to photosynthetic cyanobacteria, or “blue-green algae” that are regularly present in small numbers. When nutrients are plentiful and the weather is warm, the conditions are right for an algae bloom to take place. Winds can concentrate the buoyant cyanobacteria into accumulations or scums along the shoreline, which may increase the amount of toxin that could be ingested by pets or people using the lake recreationally.

For more information on cyanobacteria, please visit King County’s Major Lakes Monitoring webpage or the Washington Department of Health toxic algae website.

More testing shows levels of toxicity in algae bloom at Green Lake remain high; pet owners are urged to keep animals out of the lake

Additional testing by the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks shows toxic levels of the cyanobacteria blue green algae scums at the lake continue to rise. Test results from samples taken on Tuesday indicate that the toxic levels in algae accumulations in some locations are higher than what was previously recorded, and are well above what is considered safe for recreational use by the Washington Department of Health’s draft recreational guidelines.

The lake remains closed to wading, swimming and “wet-water boating” activities like sailboarding. Children should not wade in the lake or play at the shoreline.

Dog owners are especially encouraged not to allow pets in the lake or to drink from the lake. The signs of toxicity in pets could be much more rapid in onset and include staggering, acute respiratory distress, convulsions and sudden death.

“Pets are the most vulnerable to the algae at Green Lake at this point,” said Seattle Parks and Recreation Acting Superintendent Christopher Williams. “Most people are not in the lake at this time of year, but dogs may still find it appealing. If a dog inadvertently goes in the lake where a scum has accumulated, it should be washed off with water from a tap as soon as possible.”

The lake is open to fishing and boating — activities in which users are unlikely to ingest the water. Eating the fish in the lake is most likely still safe, but should not be on a frequent basis. Scientists believe the toxins mostly concentrate in the internal organs of the fish, but not as much in the muscle tissue. Anyone fishing and eating fish from Green Lake should remove internal organs and wash their catch very well before cooking.

The highest levels at the lake on Tuesday were 419 micrograms per liter in a particularly heavy scum near the boat rental dock. The Washington Department of Health’s draft recreational guidelines call for 6 micrograms per liter or lower. The test was performed by the King County Environmental Laboratory under the auspices of the Washington Department of Ecology’s algae program.

“Blue green algae is buoyant and it accumulates along the shorelines because it is pushed by the wind across the lake surface,” said Sally Abella, Lead Scientist for the Freshwater Monitoring Unit of the Water and Land Resources Division at King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks.”That’s how it becomes concentrated along the shorelines. That will happen even with light, steady winds.”

The closure will be in effect until the algae bloom has completed its lifecycle. This could be weeks or months, depending on the fall weather and how it affects the algae in the lake.

Warm, dry weather will promote the continuation of the bloom. Blooms have been known to last well into winter, particularly after a warm autumn. Typically, the blooms disappear as autumn progresses and the temperatures get colder.

King County scientists will continue to monitor the lake on a weekly basis. Parks will reopen the lake when three consecutive tests show the toxin has fallen below the draft recreational guideline.

Green Lake is home to photosynthetic cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae that are regularly present in small numbers. When nutrients are available and the weather is warm, the conditions are right for an algae bloom to take place. Winds concentrate the buoyant cyanobacteria into accumulations, or scums, along the shoreline, which may increase the amount of toxin that could be ingested by pets or people using the lake recreationally.

The lake was closed in 1999, 2002 and 2003 for toxic algae blooms. Intense blooms of blue-green algae have occurred in Green Lake since 1916.

Testing from areas outside the scum accumulations indicates that away from the scums, toxicity is below the recreational guideline – at a level of 1 microgram per liter.

Symptoms of illness from cyanobacterial toxins can include skin rash and eye, nose and mouth irritation from contact with contaminated water. Swallowing the toxins can cause sore throat, wheezing, flu-like illness with fever, headache and muscle aches, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and in severe cases, liver damage. Use clean water to promptly rinse skin that has been in contact with lake water. If symptoms occur after ingesting lake water, park users should consult a health care professional immediately.

For more information on cyanobacteria, please visit King County’s Major Lakes Monitoring webpage or the Washington Department of Health toxic algae website.