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October 1, 2011

California Place Natural Play Area

by jacktomkinson

  Two lovely mothers, working with the Seattle departments of Neighborhoods and Parks and Recreation, organized the parents in the neighborhood to try to improved an unused park property so that the kids in the neighborhood could have a natural place to play and explore.  It was also intended to provide a place of respite near the bus stop.  They did excellent inclusive work and it was a joy to work with them.

Unfortunately the process turned up a neighbor who led a tireless mis-information campaign which scared and mobilized a disruptive retired crowd who created so much trouble in every meeting that the process simply couldn’t proceed.  Their chant was “No Change!”  It was a very sad to see community optimism killed by organized fear.   The community process produced some nice drawings, but they aren’t likely to get used for the benefit of this generation of kids.
We were the fiscal sponsor for this design process.

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