Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) paused the B. F. Day Playfield play area project after receiving community concerns about the impact of construction on the existing trees on site.
As a Parks and Recreation agency, it is our job to balance the needs of the natural environment and the built environment, particularly in a growing, urban city. This is not always a simple task. After meeting with the Fremont Neighborhood Council and agreeing on an alternative construction entry we are happy to announce construction will resume this summer. We have developed a plan that takes into account community concerns and puts in place a plan that will minimize any impact to existing vegetation.
This plan includes changing construction access to the existing entrance off N. 41st St., adjacent to the softball field. The access will begin near first base with turf protection in place in order to cross the outfield. SPR is committed to restoring the turf after the project is complete. Pedestrian access to the park from this point will be maintained during construction.
Additionally, this new plan allows the contractor to work during the dryer summer months limiting the rutting and impact to tree roots. The project will take approximately fourteen weeks to construct, and we anticipate the playground and playfield to reopen by early October.
SPR values community input and is happy to have found a path forward to restarting this challenging project. The play area was well used by the community and needed updating as the equipment was past its useful life. During the design process we heard the community liked the sandbox and swings. The new play area design replaces the swings and relocates the sandbox, further away from stormwater catch basin, to eliminate the sand migrating to the catch basin. The updated design includes several “nature play” elements which have been carefully chosen for this site. These elements will fit in well with the existing large trees and nature already on the site. The project also includes decorative elements and renovating the full site to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and national safety standards.
Funding for this park project is provided by the Seattle Park District. Approved by voters in 2014, the Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding to tackle the $267-million major maintenance backlog for Seattle Parks and Recreation as well as other facilities including the Aquarium and Zoo. In addition, it provides funding to improve and rehabilitate community centers, preserve the urban forest, perform day-to-day maintenance of parks and facilities, provide more recreation opportunities for people from underserved communities, provide programs for people of all ages and abilities, and acquire and develop new park land.
To stay up to date on the project please visit https://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/projects/b-f-day-playground-play-area-renovation.