The results are in for our 33rd Annual Emerald City Open Water Swim. Thanks to everyone who participated and we hope to see you again next year!
2017 Swim Results
Andrews Bay, at Seward Park
Join us for the 33rd Annual Emerald City Open Water Swim. This event includes half mile out-and-back and one-mile open water swims in Andrews Bay at Seward Park. Lifeguards will be stationed along the course. Check in and day of race registration are available beginning at 7:30 a.m.
Register for the race online at seattle.gov/parks or over the phone/in-person at Medgar Evers Pool (206) 684-4776. Registration Barcodes are:
- 1/2 Mile 165668
- 1 Mile 165669
- Both Races 165670
|One Race||Early Bird
|Youth (under 18)
*Early bird registration ends 8/12/17. Registration Fee is Non-Refundable.
Past Race Results
Want to know how you stack up to past participants? View the race results from past years.
Seattle’s Seward Park swimming beach will reopen Saturday, after two consecutive days of testing showed the water safe for recreation. But a four-block stretch of Lake Washington remains closed to contact by humans and pets pending further testing.
The section of Lake Washington shoreline near Wednesday’s sewage spill site — from South Angeline Street north to the 4200 block of Lake Washington Boulevard South (including Lakewood Moorage) — remains closed. Additional testing will be conducted this weekend.
Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and Public Health–Seattle and King County closed areas of the lake Wednesday after problems with a pipe valve caused an estimated 12,000 gallons sewage to spill near South Alaska Street and Lake Washington Boulevard South, more than a mile north of the Seward Park beach. [Read more…]
Park to remain closed at least until test results are back, Thursday afternoon
Seattle’s Seward Park swimming beach has been ordered closed following a large sewage spill Wednesday morning into Lake Washington.
Seattle Parks and Recreation and Seattle Public Utilities made the decision to close the park based on the size of the spill, estimated at about 12,000 gallons. The park will remain closed at least until test results are back from the lab, tomorrow afternoon. [Read more…]
Seattle Parks and Recreation is replacing the domestic water system throughout Seward Park necessitating closure of sections of the Shore Loop Road (pedestrian and bike trail).
Parks’ contractor for the project, Jansen Inc., will temporarily close 1,000 feet of the road at a time during construction hours, Monday – Friday, between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. During these hours, visitors will not be able to detour around the construction area. There will be signs to indicate the area is closed and pedestrians and bicyclists will need to backtrack on the loop. [Read more…]
Seward Park Tank Project
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will construct a combined sewer overflow underground storage facility in Seward Park to reduce the frequency and amount of stormwater and untreated sewage that overflows into Lake Washington during heavy rain events. The facility will be located under the existing tennis courts and adjacent parking lot area in Seward Park. Construction of the facility is scheduled to begin in January 2015 and will take approximately 28 months to complete. The construction area, including courts and parking lot, will be closed to public use during this period and will be re-built following construction. The map shows the project area and alternate parking areas in Seward Park.
Alternate tennis courts nearby include Rainier Beach (8802 Rainier Ave. S), Brighton Playfield (600 39th Ave. S) and Rainier Playfield (3700 South Alaska St.).
SPU’s project team is working to minimize impacts where possible, and create a safe work zone within Seward Park. The construction activities and impacts to park use will vary by season and the type of construction underway. Additional information will be provided as construction approaches and regularly during the construction period.
General impacts will include:
• Closure of the tennis courts and tennis court parking lot during construction.
• Regular work hours between 7 a.m.- 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
• Increased truck and construction vehicle traffic at entrance of Seward Park and nearby streets.
• Closure of some nearby areas of Lake Washington during in-water construction work.
• Noise, dust and vibration during construction activities.
Stay in touch
• SPU is happy to answer questions and provide any information you need to be informed about this project and its impacts to you and your neighborhood.
Alan Lord, Project Manager
Need your information in another language? For interpretation services, please call 206-233-1565
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Mitred Conures, or green parrots, are native to the Andes in South America, but every spring a flock shows up in Seward Park. Joey Manson, the Operations Manager at Seward Park Audubon Center, said no one on staff is clear on the birds’ history, but there is a theory that the parrots are released or escaped house pets from Ballard.
Friends of Seward Park Board President Paul Talbert said people have claimed to see the birds in the park since the 1970s. He said the flock has ranged from a high of 16 members to a low of three. This year’s number hasn’t been determined, but Manson said people have been hearing the birds chattering overhead for a few weeks.
In earlier years, the flock used to spend its winters in the Maple Leaf neighborhood, but hasn’t been spotted there recently. The parrots had a nest in a hole in a Douglas fir near one of the picnic shelters, but Talbert said the nest was taken over by bees. Local residents have reported that the birds frequently raid their growing sunflowers and bird feeders.
If you want to catch a glimpse of the parrots, Talbert said sightings are most likely to occur around picnic shelter #3 or near flowering trees, and the best way to find the parrots is to listen: although the birds fly high, they are very loud.
Friends of the Cedar River Watershed, Green Seattle Partnership lead Seward Park shoreline restoration
The Seward Park shoreline restoration effort will give the community more opportunities for engagement in 2014, including 15 restoration events, youth field trips and a leadership workshop. Friends of the Cedar River Watershed, supported by funding from the Google Green Grants program, and Green Seattle Partnership will lead the outreach and restoration work, which plays a key piece of the puzzle in the watershed’s salmon recovery efforts.
“We’re proud to be selected to partner with the Green Seattle Partnership again on the Seward Park shoreline restoration project this year,” said Keri Pravitz, executive director of Friends of the Cedar River Watershed. “Community-supported habitat restoration is at the core of our work in how we engage our local community with the health of our local watershed, salmon recovery efforts, and the many benefits it gives to our irreplaceable environment and local youth.”
“We help fund this kind of work because it’s so important to carbon reduction,” said Darcy Nothnagle, Western Region Public Affairs and Government Relations Manager for Google. “It’s great to see these projects take off this year, engaging the local community in restoring key habitats.”
The Seward Park shoreline is a restoration focus area since scientists have identified the south end of Lake Washington as an important area by the WRIA 8 Salmon Recovery Plan for juvenile Chinook salmon as they out-migrate from the Cedar River to Puget Sound via the lake. The restoration work, which has been funded by a large donation, will involve removing invasive weeds such as English ivy, Himalayan blackberry and Scot’s broom to allow native plants to recapture the shoreline and be able to provide shade in the water, hospitable habitat and resting areas that are essential for salmon survival.
“This is an example of a multi-faceted project that achieves multiple goals: restoring critical habitat for salmon, boosting the health of our urban forests and building community education and skills for a traditionally underserved and ethnically diverse community in South Seattle,” said Jillian Weed of Seattle Parks and Recreation.
New in 2014, The Friends will also be adding youth field trips and community-based workshops to support Green Seattle Partnership’s community education and outreach. The public education program will teach people about the ecological connections between land and water, as well as train existing forest stewards.
During these events, local volunteers will work on removing invasive plants, planting native shrubs and trees, provide long term maintenance for the areas and support Green Seattle Partnership’s goal to “promote a livable city by re-establishing and maintaining healthy forested parklands throughout Seattle” via local community engagement.
“It’s not timid work,” said Scott Becker, volunteer with Friends of the Cedar River Watershed. “But at the end of the day, you have a real sense of accomplishment. The energy is contagious, and it really feels like you’ve done something worthwhile.”
Restoration Leadership Workshop
Saturday, March 22
8 a.m.-10 a.m.
Join Friends of the Cedar River Watershed at Seward Park for a workshop on community restoration leadership and learn how to educate and inspire volunteers, enhance community building at work parties and manage various volunteer groups throughout the seasons.
Volunteer Habitat Restoration Event
Saturday, March 22
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Join us along the shore of Lake Washington to weed invasive plants, build compost platforms, mulch recently planted native trees and shrubs, and restore habitat to a more natural and sustainable state. By working together, we will rejuvenate this site, restore fish and wildlife habitat, and create a lasting community legacy for years to come!
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To commemorate the establishment of Seward Park in 1911, neighbors and community organizations are holding a historical festival on July 16 -17 to acknowledge 100 years of history and celebrate all that the park now offers.
Highlights for Saturday include a costumed Promenade around the perimeter of the park, Classic Car Parade and Show, historic hydroplanes on display, a vintage fashion show, food vendors and live music – all of which have a place in the park’s history. Spectators may especially appreciate the appearance of a 1911 Baker electric car.
In remembrance of the wildly popular annual Rainier District Pow Wow that ran from 1934-1991, the family of the late legislator John L. O’Brien (“Mr. Pow Wow”), will sponsor a pie-eating contest and other old-fashioned games in his honor. Locally renowned comedian John Keister will emcee the contests and games, and one of the judges will be Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess.
A ceramic art show will run throughout Saturday and Sunday at the Seward Park Clay Studio. A neighborhood garden and history tour takes place Sunday only from 1-4pm ($10 in advance, or $15 day of tour). All events other than the garden and history tour are free.
Background and Additional Details
In 1911, the City of Seattle bought the 277-acre Bailey Peninsula on the western shore of Lake Washington. When first suggested – almost 20 years previous – some felt that the site was too far from town. Optimists, however, correctly anticipated Seattle’s growth.
Due to this forethought and lucky happenstance that left the peninsula unlogged, Seward Park is now one of the city’s favorite parks, boasting some of the oldest and largest trees in the city. It stands as a vital part of south Seattle’s past and present, as well as being an ecological hotspot.
On clear summer days, hundreds of visitors can be found enjoying the park’s paved lakeshore walking loop, swimming area, eco-friendly playground and Audubon education center, and several scenic picnic areas. Birdwatchers appreciate opportunities to gaze at two resident eagle pairs or great blue herons fishing. The park also boasts an amazing view of Mt. Rainier rising over Lake Washington.
The festival on July 16 -17 will feature additional draws honoring the park’s 20th century cultural history. A two-mile “Promenade around the Peninsula” will commence at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Participants are encouraged to dress in period wear from 1911 to present. Organizers hope to see a range of costumes represented – everything from 1920s flapper dresses, to dapper 1940s suits, to Japanese-American summer yukatas, to 1990s teen grunge-wear is welcome. Commemorative tee-shirts and posters will be available for purchase. Promenade pre-registration at sewardparkcentennial.org is encouraged but not required.
Walkers will be followed by a parade of classic cars returning to the lakeshore loop after a 40-year hiatus. (The loop was closed to car traffic in the 1970s.) After this one-time only circuit, the cars will be on display through Saturday afternoon at the parking area at the top of the park. Although driving on the loop, drag races, and power boats races in Seward Park’s Andrews Bay are now only a memory, historic hydroplanes from the nation’s only hydroplane museum will also be on display on Saturday to recall these old pastimes, including 951 Slo Mo Shun, 1968 Miss Budweiser, and 1975 Oh Boy! Oberto.
The mainstage will feature live performances between 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., including music by Karin Blaine (folk/indie), Four on Six (jazz), The Garage Band (classic rock), and Latigo Lace (Top 40 Country/Rock), and a vintage fashion show at noon. At 12:30 p.m., 40 lucky participants picked by raffle will have the opportunity to participate in a classic mid-century style pie-eating contest, with comedian John Keister as emcee.
On Sunday July 17, Friends of Seward Park presents a Garden and History Tour from 1 – 4 p.m. This self-guided tour begins at Seward Park, and includes private and public gardens and sites of historic interest in Hillman and Columbia City. Tickets are $10 in advance (at www.sewardparkcentennial.org) or $15 on the day of the Tour, with proceeds helping to support Seward Park Centennial events.
The Seward Park Centennial Committee is an ad hoc group of neighborhood residents and non-profit organizations, including Friends of Seward Park, Seward Park Environmental & Audubon Center, Lakewood-Seward Park Community Club, Seward Park Clay Studio, and Rainier Valley Historical Society. For tickets and information about Centennial events, please visit www.sewardparkcentennial.org.
Centennial Festival Contacts:
Karen O’Brien (206-999-1781) or Gail Gatton (206-652-2444 x101 or 206-949-5902)
Address: Seward Park, 5902 Lake Washington Boulevard, Seattle, WA 98118
Additional information sources:
Seattle Parks and Recreation on Seward Park: http://www.seattle.gov/Parks/environment/seward.htm
Friends of Seward Park: http://www.sewardpark.org/
Seward Park Environmental & Audubon Center: http://sewardpark.audubon.org/
Rainier District Pow Wow history: http://historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=9526
Seward Park History by Parks historian Donald N. Sherwood: http://www.seattle.gov/Parks/history/SewardPk.pdf
Historical photos available upon request.
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