Seattle Parks and Recreation along with an all-volunteer neighborhood group, the Seward Park Playground Improvement Foundation (SPPIF) will celebrate the completion of the renovated play area at Seward Park on Sunday, October 24, 2010 from 1 – 3 p.m. at 5895 Lake Washington Blvd. S. The community event is free and the families are encouraged to attend and enjoy music, magic and ice cream.
The South Shore Steel Pans Group band will perform at 1 p.m. with opening remarks. Cornish College dancers and renowned magician, “Magic Mike Berger” will follow.
The Seward Park Playground Improvement Foundation (SPPIF) partnered with Seattle Parks and Recreation, Audubon Society, Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks, and Friends of Seward Park to steward the design of a new play area.
The Department of Neighborhoods matching grants largely funded the design process. Through Seattle Parks Foundation, as the SPPIF’s fiscal sponsor, SPPIF successfully raised more than $156,000 from individuals and more than $200,000 from grants for this unique and worthy project. Maggi Johnson and Brian Stark of Johnson Southerland skillfully led the project through final construction. The design’s goal is to blend the play area into the adjacent old growth forest, take advantage of mountain and lake views, and provide an exciting and challenging playscape for kids of all ages. Seattle voters passed the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy which allocated the final amount of funding needed for the construction of this project.
“The Parks and Green Spaces Levy funds more than 20 neighborhood playground renovations throughout Seattle,” said Christopher Williams, Seattle Parks and Recreation Acting Superintendent. “This incredible new play area at Seward Park is an excellent example of a community initiated public-private partnership.”
The new play area features a zip line, tree house themed play structures, climbing rocks connected by ropes, a whirl, spring toys, and a swing. The design takes advantage of the hillside which adds magic to the play experience. Stone retaining walls around the edge of the play area help to accommodate the topographical changes and blend the play area into the site.
Bainbridge Island artist Kristin Tollefson incorporated artwork into the project, which reflects the overarching theme of nature discovery. Multiple sculptures can be found in the play area as entry features, art hidden in the “sand pond” and playful stumps to sit upon.
“The success of this unique project is a testament to what Seward Park means to this community,” said Betina Simmons, SPPIF Co-Chair. “More than just a playground, it is an innovative showcase that combines active play, environmental awareness, and art appreciation,” added Maura Whalen, SPPIF Co-Chair.
For more information, please contact Parks Project Manager Kim Baldwin at (206) 615-0810 or firstname.lastname@example.org or check the project webpage: http://seattle.gov/parks/projects/seward/playground.htm
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