Today, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is temporarily closing Cal Anderson Park to the public at 12 pm to allow City crews to assess damage and clean up areas that have seen significant waste collection. At this time, no changes will be made to the community garden or art installed by demonstrators.
The City’s goal remains to create safe spaces for residents to express their first amendment rights, while also preserving the public safety and public health of the area. The aim is for Cal Anderson to be restored and repaired for future demonstrations and other park uses. SPR will begin to repair damage from newly created fires pits, graffiti, fencing, vehicles on the reservoir, impacts to the lawns and the play field, and other infrastructure.
Today staff will focus on removing litter, assessing the park and critical reservoir infrastructure to see what larger cleaning or repair efforts will need to take place in the coming days. Since last Tuesday, City departments including SPU, SPR, the Human Services Department, along with service providers have been on site to provide a wide range of social services to help individuals with needs move out of Capitol Hill area, and if experiencing homelessness, provide access to shelter or temporary housing (services have included: health care, food resources, access to COVID-19 testing, and mental and behavioral supports).
Over the weekend, artists and demonstrators began cataloging and removing plywood to preserve art for future installations. Operational planning to remove some barriers and allow vehicle traffic is ongoing. In addition, Seattle Parks and Recreation will be working with a range of stakeholders to memorialize at Cal Anderson park aspects of the community protests, such as a garden, art and/ or speaker’s corner.
Unless there are any incidents, SPD is not expected to be at Cal Anderson Park.