October 2, 2017

Yes, everyone, we have an update on Smith Cove Park!! The Friends of Smith Cove Park (FoSCP) appreciate your positive interest in the project and your patience!!

On Wednesday, September 27, the FoSCP met with David Graves of Seattle Parks. As a reminder, David is a Senior Planner with Parks and is in charge of this project. Larry Phillips retired King County Councilman, attended the meeting. It is doubtful that Smith Cove Park, the vision, would be on the horizon today without Larry’s many years of determined support for this park.

Remember that $6 million dollars was set aside for Smith Cove Park with the new Metro Park District legislation. This number was not based on any design or specific input about park plans. A community driven conceptual design was created by the Berger Partnership with a grant that was awarded to the FoSCP by the Department of Neighborhoods. Seattle Parks subsequently hired the GGN, a landscape architecture firm, for the actualfull design and construction project.

(Check out this link for a recap of the presentation at the February 7, 2017 project public meeting by GGN. . GGN’s participation is currently on hold to save money.)

We all knew that $6M was not enough to build a signature waterfront park. Estimates by GGN have run between double that and more. David pitched a scenario for moving forward with construction. Use the available budget (plus an additional $500,000 from King County only for the athletic fields) on the west parcel to address the drainage and field improvements, add an off-leash area, temporarily site the beach volleyball courts, add portable toilets, clean up and cut back vegetation in the original Port’s SCP (SE corner of east parcel) and create a staircase to the beach. The east parcel is securely fenced (thanks to King County’s CSO Project) and would remain so until additional funds are secured.

**The Port is exploring options to renovate shoreline and increase fish-friendly underwater vegetation in the bay between SCP, the marina, and the cruise terminal. The east shoreline of SCP faces a small body of water that is jointly owned by Parks and the Port. If the Port were to proceed with restoration, the current fenced east parcel will serve as staging for this project. Shoreline improvements in any way are very expensive. In this scenario, the Port would be paying for the shoreline improvements as part of their habitat project. This cooperation and relationship between the Port and City would be huge benefit for SCP plus allows the City to divert a lot of money to the upland portion of the park—a win/win!**

There was much discussion by the FoSCP about this scenario – sequencing park construction, first the west side then later the east side. Many members discussed the option that both parcels be developed at the same time or only the east parcel. Much discussion continued about this. Bottom line: $12M is needed to do the whole park; $6M would do one half or the other but not both.

The unfinished fenced east parcel might serve as a visual reminder for our City Council, new Mayor, and the friends and neighbors of SCP to allocate more funds to finish SCP! Advocates for SCP, now is the time to speak up!! Join the FoSCP, Citizens for Off-Leash Areas (COLA), our local youth athletic groups, the Seattle Friends of Athletic Fields and the many beach volleyball folks who are donating their time and money!

The Friends of Smith Cove Park THANK YOU for supporting this future gem of a waterfront and recreational park!!


October 15, 2016

Unable to attend the October 6 public meeting?

Check out this link for a recap of the presentation of the Oct. 6 public meeting by GGN (Gustafson Guthrie Nichol), the architect firm hired by Seattle Parks for the project.

The individual park elements from the conceptual design are costed out . . . some conversations to be had there! Especially the $1.1 mil for the off-leash area! (Similar square footage to Mag Manor Park and that cost $100K ish.) Let’s stay positive; good communications are key to reaching compromises that benefit the whole park and park users.

Ultimately, ensuring that the athletic fields at SCP are stellar is the best way to attract Seattle residents to the park. Due to the challenging access and location, few people know of the park. With more attention, raising funds and participation for the future stages of construction will be a win/win for Seattle!







Friends of Smith Cove Park AND YOU are supporting this future gem of a waterfront and recreational park!!


September 15, 2016


September 2016

On August 23, 2016, the Friends of Smith Cove Park (FoSCP) were invited by David Graves, Sr. Parks Planner, to a meeting at the offices of Gustafson, Guthrie & Nichol (GGN). David Graves is in charge of the Smith Cove Project and GGN has been hired by Parks to build the project.

The GGN Team presentation included:

 Site is a grand gateway, immersion in nature, active connections

 Historical aspects of site by time periods may cover the Native Americans, early settlers, and the labor union unrest

 Sports fields are the attraction/draw and serve multiple functions; people sit to watch games and views of land and water. The super-elite sports fields would be the heart of the whole park. The intention is to extend the playing season.

 Alternatives to grass vs artificial turf, possibilities of vertical drainage

 Infrastructure includes connections, parking, restrooms

 Program for various size groups (medium to large, small, individuals), different sports, range of ages

 How can people get to the park – existing roads do not provide direct access from adjoining neighborhoods

 A public meeting will be held in October (no date yet); to present GGN and the phasing of the project.

Discussion included:

 The $6 million designated for Smith Cove Park was never enough to build the whole park.

 Including all elements of the community-supported conceptual design (by Berger) would likely cost $10-$15 million.

 Phase 1 of the project has funding; future phases do not. Athletic field supporters and Parks are pursuing other funding opportunities (grants, etc.) for Phase 1. This can be repeated for future


 GGN will spec out various requested elements from the conceptual design in order to determine the cost of each.

 Removal of fence around the east parcel (Per David Graves, King County has not completed all aspects of the construction. . .) is still pending. Input by FoSCP members:

 Can less expensive elements of the conceptual design (off-leash area, beach volleyball) get included in Phase 1?

 Over 750,000 cruise passengers arrived at the Port’s Cruise Terminal 91 last year, as a result cruise ships and docks are an important connection

 Smith Cove Park a waterfront park. Pedestrian beach access is essential in order to balance park use.

 Bike trails as connector to other parts of city including proposed Magnolia Trail from 32 nd W

 The Port of Seattle is in process of redesigning North Bay – are there opportunities for creative access to Smith Cove? Possible coordination with the Port on shoreline softening? Federal

shoreline funding opportunites/grants available to the Port.

 King County has committed in writing to open up the CSO facility to park users by moving the existing CSO fence.

September 7, 2016 UPDATE

September 7, 2016

The Friends of Smith Cove Park met today with Parks (David Graves) and the architect (Gustafson Guthrie Nichol aka GGN). We walked the park to really get a feel for how expansive this new park will be (10+ acres).

GGN provided some data/costs on comparable previous GGN projects. The $15 million figure reported in an earlier update is likely low. The unknowns about the soil (likely dumped on site after dredging Elliot Bay) may be expensive. Figures of $20 million to even $40 million were discussed.

An early October public meeting is to be scheduled. An update will be posted with a date, time and location soon.

From David Graves, Sr. Parks Planner: The slide presentation from a previous meeting with GGN on is now up on the Parks website for the Smith Cove Park Project. Here is the link:

Special Meeting Magnolia Queen Anne District Council – August 15th. 7-9PM UCC Church

Representing Queen Anne and Magnolia neighborhood organizations.


Special Meeting: Monday, August 15, 7-9 PM

Mayor’s Executive Order and Future Directions for our District Council

United Church of Christ (Pilgrim Hall)

3555 W McGraw St.

Volunteers in Magnolia, Queen Anne and Uptown have for many years worked through their District Council to improve their neighborhoods. Our neighborhoods have parks, gardens, trails and sidewalks to show for these efforts.

The Mayor, on July 13, severed ties with all city-chartered District Councils. The Councils can continue, but the City will no longer support them nor will the Councils continue to set priorities for neighborhood projects.

The August 15 special meeting is to discuss the Mayor’s action and how our District Council should operate going forward. Please join us if you are interested in continuing to build community, as we have been doing for many years.

The Agenda for the meeting includes:

  • Review recent developments
  • Role and Value of the District Council
  • What do we need from the City and from our volunteers to be more effective?

Share your views with us. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.


Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, Bruce Carter (FoSCP Chair) and David Graves (Parks Senior Planner) met the week of July 18 about Smith Cove Park.


The following was discussed:

 The contract with GGN (Gustafson, Guthrie & Nichol), the landscape architects, will be signed shortly.

 The park features that would be completed in the first phase of the project were discussed.

 Phase 1 will include; kayak launch, playfield, restroom, safe street crossings, loop trail around the park, bike racks, and a history corner about the Native Americans, early settlers, and the labor union unrest.

 Public meetings will be held in the fall.

 Funding for the second phase was not discussed and the current dedicated Park District dollars are not enough to complete all the phases of the conceptual plan.


The following was not discussed at this meeting:

 The status of the beach volleyball courts. Beach volleyball supporters for Smith Cove Park were exceeded only by the athletic field supporters!

 The off-leash area

 No mention of an on-site event at Smith Cove Park this summer

 Removal of fence around the east parcel (Per David Graves, King County has not completed all aspects of the construction. . .)

Bike Ride to Support the Magnolia Trail Project


Bike Ride to Support the Magnolia Trail Project

August 7th and August 14th 2 pm

Purpose: This fun, family-oriented bike ride is to build support for the proposed Magnolia Trail Project that will connect Magnolia with the new Smith Cove Park, the Myrtle Edwards Trail System, and Downtown Seattle. We will tell you where the trail would go and what we are doing to make it happen.

Who Should Participate: Anyone who can ride a bike. Families with children are welcome. We will ride at a leisurely, relaxed pace taking in breathtaking views of the Puget Sound from a variety of viewpoints while discussing plans for the trail and how you can help make it happen. Please wear a bike helmet.

Time: Sunday 2 p.m., August 7 and August 14. Ride will take an hour and a half.

Place: We will meet at the parking lot of Catharine Blaine Elementary School.

July 2016 Update from Smith Cove Park

July 2016 Update from Smith Cove Park

Smith Cove Park and the conceptual design generated with such overwhelming community support is going through the harsh reality of funding versus construction costs. Supporters of the athletic fields in the west parcel are consulting with Seattle Parks for various grants that may extend the money available for those fields. The restrooms may be constructed on the east parcel.

Realistically, the $6 million legislated as part of the 2014 voter-approved Seattle Metropolitan Park District is not enough money to cover all elements of the conceptual design plan. David Graves, Seattle Parks Sr. Planner, suggested the budget may be 60% (approximately $3.6 million) for “hard” construction costs with 40% for “soft” costs (design, permits and administration).

That said, Seattle Parks may be open to stages of construction for Smith Cove Park. The elements of the conceptual design may be costed out for the public meetings which allows all park supporters the opportunity to understand the costs. Future stages of construction are not funded. That said, there are a myriad of grants for waterfront, recreation, conservation and neighborhood matching funds.

David Graves suggested possible public meetings: tentatively as an on-site meeting in August and a fall public meeting. Nothing has been confirmed with Parks at this time. Additionally, the contract with Gustafson, Guthrie & Nichol (GGN), the landscape architects selected for the Smith Cove Park project is still in negotiations and has not been signed.

Stand by for more information about Smith Cove Park. Since the CSO (combined sewer overflow) construction is completed by King County on the east parcel, David Graves will inspect the site in hopes of removing the construction fence!! More opportunities to access the water; perfect for summer!

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