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Posts from the ‘Projects’ Category

30
Nov

Urban Sparks’ Projects

These are projects where Urban Sparks was a significant contributor or the fiscal sponsor.

Scroll down to see them all!

20
Nov

Community Greenways and Trails Project

Temporary Curb Bulb

Photo Credit: BetterBlock.org

 

Photo Credit: Steve Shay

Urban Sparks’ Community Greenways and Trails Project is an education and funding project to help educate the public and powers-that-be about greenways, trails and active transportation as well as help fund physical projects.  Physical projects may include associated public amenities like bike racks and covered seating.

Using funding methods available only to a 501(c)(3), we’ll facilitate the excellent work being done by the various Greenways project leaders around the city.  If you or your foundation would like to make large tax-deductible or employer-matched gifts to support a particular Greenway or Trail project, please contact us.  If you’d like to support the broader education movement, we’re doing that too.

Here are a few links to plug you into the Seattle Greenways Movement: Read more »

18
Nov

Love Wins Love

all-ages-love-wins-love

Love Wins Love believes in the regenerative power of love. We are making 4,505 unity flags to represent the people who are living unsheltered in King County. By bringing those who are not housed and who are housed to experience our shared humanity by making art together, we hope to tap into people’s creative ideas for manifesting a world that works for all- and build a more compassionate, resilient community.

See our Love Wins Love FaceBook page and you may donate to Love Wins Love through this button: btn_donate_lg which will direct your donation to Love Wins Love / Urban Sparks.  You will receive an email confirming your donation.  Thank you!

17
Nov

Kirkland Greenways

The first Greenways group on the Eastside!

Kirkland Greenways is a steadily growing group of Eastside residents and business owners who want safe comfortable streets for all road users; whether you walk, run, jog, roll, drive or ride.  Kirkland Greenways brings together people from multiple neighborhoods, who are working together to identify and create a network of safe streets for people of all ages and abilities.

You can learn more on their webpage: www.kirklandgreenways.org

Photo collage of pedestrians, bikes, and wheelchairs.

Read more »

16
Nov

University Greenways

Make the dream of safe U-District bicycling into a reality!

University Greenways believes in the vision of a vibrant, thriving University District where everyone can walk and bike safely and comfortably within our community and to adjoining neighborhoods.

You can learn more on their webpage: http://www.ugreenways.org/

A map of a proposed University District Greenway

15
Nov

Undriving and Undriver Licensing

Undriving is an innovative program designed to reduce carbon emissions and oil dependency, ease congestion and parking, and encourage community connections. By increasing awareness of personal transportation options and eliciting individualized car-trip-reduction pledges, Undriver Licensing playfully engages people to make more informed and empowered transportation choices. Undriving is changing how people think about getting around.

You can learn more on their webpage: www.undriving.org

Read more »

14
Nov

Service House


Opening frame of video - A Day in the Life of Service House

New Video!  

Watch A Day in the Life of Service House.

See how Service House will support the service community including AmeriCorps volunteers, nonprofit professionals, philanthropists.

Ready to join the Service House momentum?

Click here to learn more about Service House >>

11
Nov

Healthy Habits Education

Photo Credit to Ronmerk

This program, run by Dr. Jeff Metzger, educates at-risk youth and elders about improved general nutrition, nutrition for individual constitutions, and nutrition to aid in illness/disease prevention and healing.  Individuals may also be treated as patients as requested and as appropriate.  All of these services will be provided to recipients, free of charge. Read more »

9
Nov

J.P. Patches and Gertrude Statue

J.P. Patches and Gertrude go Bronze to raise funds for Children’s Hospital!

Kids growing up in the Northwest counted on J.P. Patches to put them in the mood for fun each morning before school from 1958 to 1981. Gertrude and all of her/his (Fabulous Bob Newman) alter egos filled the show with guest characters. From 2006 to 2008, J.P.’s (Chris Wedes) carpenter Carl Lovgren and author Bryan Johnston led a team to honor these characters with a bronze statue including a coin bank collecting donations for Children’s Hospital, J.P.’s favorite charity.   The statue is in place and $82,000 in excess funds were donated to Children’s.

Read more

1
Nov

Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza

Photo Credit to David Hutchinson

Alki’s 1/18th scale Statue of Liberty is one of 200 replicas installed around the country celebrating the Boy Scout’s 40th anniversary.  The Seattle Statue of Liberty Plaza Committee built a permanent classy setting for Seattle’s recast bronze Lady Liberty. CAST Architecture and E Workshop donated the design of this project, while Mayor Nickels and the Seattle city council granted $50,000 in city funds.  Once the plaza was paid for and built, the community kept selling bricks until the plaza was sold out.  We gave the money to the Parks Department in exchange for a Memorandum of Understanding that the money would only be used for maintenance of that plaza and no more quickly that 10% of the total per year.

30
Oct

Marra Farm

Marra farm is a large ongoing project of Solid Ground and Lettuce Link.  Urban Sparks was the Fiscal Sponsor for these Marra Farm Projects:

Race and Social Justice Outreach Grant, NMF
This project in South Park, Seattle reached out to local organizations and the Spanish Speaking Community to establish an active neighborhood-led advisory board for Marra Farm, representing the diversity of South Park.

Multi-Purpose Tool Shed, Small and Simple Grant, NMF
Using a Department of Neighborhoods Small and Simple Grant, the Marra Farm Coalition built a small tool shed with an outside teaching wall, harvesting station & gathering place. It facilitates community building and increases farm functionality.

Starbucks Neighborhood Parks Program Grant
This Marra Farm Community Project built three welcoming entry signs with bilingual signage and two new vegetable wash stations and purchased two picnic tables, an apple cider press and a portable barbeque. These elements create a dynamic and engaging neighborhood hub for gathering, learning and playing.

25
Oct

Beacon BIKES (Better Infrastructure Keeping Everyone Safe)

walking, stairs, bicycles, bicycling, crosswalks

Formerly Beacon Hill Family Bike and Pedestrian Plan Committee (BHFBPPC),
this group morphed to become Beacon BIKES (Better Infrastructure Keeping Everyone Safe)
with a simple mission:  “We crave safe, family-friendly walking and cycling paths that link our neighborhood hotspots. For more information, please visit our Mission page.”

This was a wonderful project where a neighborhood refused to wait to see what a might trickle from a city-wide plan down to them.  Instead they brought their neighbors together to think about what they actually needed, while using professional planners to write it up.  They also thought about how to get parts of the plan as soon as possible and to prioritize what bear waiting.

Alta Planning + Design produced their beautiful plan.  This is an excellent example of how a neighborhood can begin the process of establishing Greenways.

For current info, visit Beacon Hill Safe Streets’ Facebook page.  They changed their name again!

* We were their fiscal sponsor for their D.O.N. Matching Fund Grant.
For more on Greenways, see our Community Greenways and Trails Project.

20
Oct

Pinehurst Playfield Shelterhouse

After three years of twists and turns in a bad economy, the Shelterhouse is completed!  From a pile of lumber to a bright-and-beautiful space, the project was a great success.  Completed March 2010!  Visit the park at NE 120thand 14thAve NE.

The Friends of Pinehurst Shelterhouse asked us to be fiscal sponsor for their project to fully remodel a boarded-up Parks’ structure in a well-used park to make it a welcoming community space and teen center.  We were especially happy to help since Lorena has been leading neighborhood projects for at least 12 years and helped Jack conceive of Fremont Peak Park, the inspiration for Urban Sparks.  It was our opportunity to give back.  Read more »

12
Oct

Hazel Heights P-Patch

We helped purchase this property for the P-Patch Trust.  In the process a covenant was put on the land to protect it in perpetuity, so that it can only be an open space or community garden — forever.

After the purchase, we also helped the Friends of Hazel Heights and the P-Patch Trust with the design and construction grant writing. Read more »

5
Oct

Neighbors of the Troll – Traffic Mitigation

Fremont’s Troll is visited by a seemingly endless stream of pilgrims arriving in cars, tour buses, and even amphibious troop carriers (really).   The Neighbor’s of the Troll worked for years with Seattle DOT and the Department of Neighborhoods on a Large Project Fund matching grant to install traffic circles, curb bulbs and a round speed bump to slow traffic on their narrow street.  Their match requirement was easily met with volunteer hours and cash donations from the Fremont Neighborhood Council and the Fremont Chamber of Commerce.
Interesting tidbit – The contractor dug up old rail ties from the long-gone trolley under Woodland Park Ave.
We were the fiscal sponsor for this project.

Troll with visitors

Photo Credit: seattle.gov

3
Oct

Beacon Mountain Playground Project

The Beacon Mountain Playground Team (BMPT), a subcommittee of the Jefferson Park Alliance (JPA) is working together to create a world class playground in South Seattle. “With the reconstruction of Jefferson Park, we’ll soon have access to some of the best views and recreational space in the area. Our playground is a featured piece.”

1
Oct

California Place Natural Play Area

  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.

28
May

Staircases as Transportation

Staircases are great connectors.

Image from King County Parks

Seattle is full of staircases.  They go places that cars cannot go which makes them important to the web of active transportation – lower traffic routes that people can walk and bike – Greenways.  Besides providing healthy transportation, they can be fun.

Does a staircase near you need a bicycle runnel?  Contact us.

See how our stair climbing friends are celebrating staircases and places to walk.  Links below: Read more »

25
May

Urban Sparks Work Parties

Mayor's Clean Up Fremont DayUrban Sparks’ work parties are fun opportunities to spend some time with generous people doing good work. Get some fresh air and tidy up the neighborhood with great people.

Sometimes we broadcast a work party to our whole email list, but you can be one of the self-nominated volunteers that hears about every opportunity. Join our email list and mention volunteering.

Past Events

  • NW 46th Street Adopt-a-Street clean-up and Mayor Nickels’ Clean Seattle work day in Fremont.
  • Earth Share of Washington’s Day-in-the-Park, Golden Gardens
  • In 2005, we led a team of 22 volunteers to remove hundreds of pounds of ivy and spread mulch to keep it from coming back.
  • In 2004, nine of us removed lots of scotch broom, mustard, blackberries, and ten tall black locust trees.
24
May

I-5 Colonnade Mountain Bike Trails

Mountain Bike RiderThe idea of mountain bike trails under Interstate 5 in Seattle was first proposed by John Zilly in his book, Kissing the Trail. Later, the Eastlake Community Council proposed it to the community and to the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation as part of the Pro-Parks Levy I-5 Open Space Park. Simon Lawton of Fluid Ride, a local downhill coaching business, drew up a course that got the mountain bike community excited. Then Backcountry Bicycle Trails Club (BBTC) and Urban Sparks started working to make it happen. Read more »

23
May

Magnuson Park Native Species Restoration and Bicycle Skills Course

Folks at Magnuson ParkUrban Sparks volunteers designed and built, with help from Backcountry Bicycle Trails Club, the Cascade Bicycle Club, Bike Works, the BMX community, Fremont Rotary, Red Bull and Trips for Kids, an extensive Bicycle Skills Park at Magnuson Park. It had singletrack trail, log piles, obstacles, skinnies, and BMX jumps for all ages to play and build skills on. The Skills Park was built as an outdoor test area for the Cascade Bicycle Club’s 2005 Bicycle Expo with expectations that we could keep it for a year of two after Expo. Read more »

18
May

Bicycle Skills Parks

Family BMXing at Greenlake

We’ve been working to familiarizing the city of Seattle with the concept of bicycle skills parks. Bicycle Skills Parks come in all shapes and sizes. Where there is just a little space and maybe a desire to draw some activity to an underutilized spot, a skills park can be a small collection of obstacles that provide hours of practice and distraction for bicyclists who enjoy honing their skills. Much like skiing, skill cycling can provide a lifetime of incremental improvements.

For young people, skills parks can be very important places to build confidence and self-esteem. It’s common for student’s grades to improve after they’ve found a passion like BMX bike riding or skateboarding. For active people of any age, these are places of focus and escape from the tensions of daily life.

Read more »

17
May

BMX Jumps

BMX Jumps are one type of Bicycle Skills Park. Right now, BMX Jumps need attention to build awareness around this exceptional sport. Like skateboarding was a few years ago, BMX is still not understood. It has many of same healthy characteristics; it’s active, it doesn’t require scheduling, it’s practiced by kids and adults in a supportive environment, and it doesn’t require much space.

Read more »

30
Apr

Others’ Projects

A variety of projects that we admire and hope will inspire you.

6
Apr

Fremont Peak Park

View from Fremont Peak Park

Photo Credit: Jack Tomkinson

Fremont Peak Park at N 45th & Palatine N was three houses in the woods in 2001.

Aerial view of the houses at the time of purchase

Photo Credit: unknown Helicopter pilot?

Fremont Peak Park (FPP) was the precursor to Urban Sparks.  Jack Tomkinson and Karen Moe, members of the FPP steering committee, were so moved by the experience of creating this park and receiving guidance from park instigators from around the city that we started Urban Sparks to capture and share the hard-earned lesson from successful project leaders.  We thought more people would do public work  if they knew that it was within reach and if they knew where to begin.

Read more »

6
Apr

Mt. Baker Ridge Viewpoint

We have affection for this bold vision and excellent design. Back when our founder Jack Tomkinson started Fremont Peak Park, he met David Berger, who started the Mt. Baker Ridge Viewpoint Park, at a Pro Parks Levy open house. Jack offered to take a panoramic photo for David like the “million dollar photo” that Jack carried around for 4 years raising the money and awareness required to buy and build Fremont Peak Park. David did the same with his panoramic photo. Mt. Baker Ridge Viewpoint was one of the first projects that Jack helped with before Urban Sparks was created.

Read more here: http://www.mtbakerridgeviewpoint.com/

What are Others’ Projects?
Projects we admire and find inspiring.
6
Apr

Pinehurst Pocket Park

On New Years Eve 2000, Jack’s Friend Lorena talked about this project. That’s how Jack knew where to begin when he found the property for Fremont Peak Park. Sharing knowledge and inspiration is invaluable. Jack wouldn’t have known it was possible for mortals (no offense Lorena) to create a city park. That’s why we started Urban Sparks and why we’ll be forever grateful for Lorena’s inspiration.  We now spread the word that you can accomplish a public project.

Pinehurst Pocket Park is a classic pocket park conceived of and brought to fruition by a small band of passionate neighbors, with the support of businesses, community organizations with public and private grants.

6
Apr

Bradner Garden

Bradner Garden is a gorgeous, mature P-Patch and Park that is the result of many years of amazing work led by a team of artists and gardeners. It has several unique buildings and structures that make it a must-see park if you’re involved in creating a park or P-Patch. Bradner’s point person, Joyce Moty, is an inspiration to many park activists and she shares her wisdom freely. She works tirelessly for parks, P-patches and the people who create them. She’s even on the city’s Skatepark Advisory Task Force.  Related links:

Bradner Gardens ParkSeattle Parks & RecSeattle Tilth Demonstration Garden

What are Others’ Projects?
Projects we admire and find inspiring.

6
Apr

Annual Garden Concert at Bradner Garden

Bradner ConcertTiana found our flyer and asked for help in creating Bradner Garden’s first outdoor concert. We brainstormed with her over the phone and told her about Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods’ Small Sparks grant program. Tiana got the grant, found musicians, gathered neighbors, had posters and postcards made, then held a fantastic summer evening concert. She did a wonderful job of jumping into a first project. It was a thrill for us to take a tiny part in this first concert at Bradner Garden. Bradner Garden is a wonderfully mature P-Patch and neighborhood park that was overdue for such an honor.

 
What are Others’ Projects?
Projects we admire and find inspiring.
5
Apr

Joe King Park Fitness Centre, Hornby Island, British Columbia, Canada

Particularly in wet cold climates, indoor spaces can be as important as outdoor spaces.

Hornby Island’s community and aging population benefit from this new indoor fitness facility, especially during the winter months combating “cabin fever. The leaders Judith and Peter said “It was a great pleasure for both of us to see the doors open in November 2007 and watch people’s faces light up with joy as they piled in to see what was accomplished by a community effort”.

See Judith and Peter’s volunteer profile for the bigger story. volunteer profile »

What are Others’ Projects?
Projects we admire and find inspiring.

4
Apr

Woodland Park Zoo Children’s Play Area, 59th & Phinney

This play area was another inspiration that prepared Jack to act when he found the property for Fremont Peak Park. Bob and Cathy had raised a large sum of money to help refurbish this play area, so they were amongst the first people he called to find out how to make a park. Later Jack found out that Greg Zuhl led this park project along with several others in Phinney Ridge. Greg was great source of information in the early days of Fremont Peak Park.

The Woodland Park Children’s Play Area is a compact play area with very high quality play equipment and surfaces. It is well worth a look if you have play areas on the brain.

What are Others’ Projects?
Projects we admire and find inspiring.

4
Apr

Annie’s Playground

Mosaic at Annie's PlaygroundAnnie’s Playground is an exceptionally well done project in the honor of Annie, a little girl who died suddenly at 3 year’s old after letting the world now how she loved playgrounds. In her honor, her mother led this project. We feature this project because it was very well done and it’s full of high quality features.

Annie’s Playground website

What are Others’ Projects?
Projects we admire and find inspiring.

4
Apr

Wallingford Playfield

We know little about this project except that it has a high quality modern playground and wading pool on the northern edge, a huge grassy field in the middle, and an old grove of trees creating a peaceful respite on the southern edge.

Friends of Wallingford Park website.

What are Others’ Projects?
Projects we admire and find inspiring.

3
Apr

Belltown P-Patch and Cottage Park

Did you know? The “P” in P-Patch stands for Picdaro Farm, the first P-Patch in Seattle.

Belltwon P-patchThis P-Patch and the adjacent Belltown Cottage Park are rich stories of reusing urban space.

Belltown P-Patch website

What are Others’ Projects?
Projects we admire and find inspiring.

3
Apr

Danny Woo International Garden

This is a fascinating community garden for senior Asian gardeners. It has been the recipient of many University of Washington design/build projects including the ADA garden spaces and “One Heart-Mind One Spirit” wall build by Jack’s nephew Jay. The garden is the center of a very strong community.

Danny Woo Garden website

What are Others’ Projects?
Projects we admire and find inspiring.

1
Apr

Ballard Commons and Ballard Skate Bowl

Ballard Skate BowlThe Ballard Commons Park has finally been built after 10 years of planning and a huge controversy over the temporary-turned-permanent skate bowl. Now it’s a beautiful park with a top notch skate bowl and a fountain that you can play in. Be sure you visit this contemporary park that has plenty of timeless amenities.

What are Others’ Projects?
Projects we admire and find inspiring.

1
Apr

Dahl Playfield Skate Spot

Skate Park DesignBoarders 4 Parks is a group that is designing and building a skate spot at Dahl Playfield. They are one of a growing number of groups who want to put opportunities for wholesome challenging physical activity for kids in neighborhood parks. We’ve enjoyed comparing notes with them.

Image credit to Seattle Skateparks and New Line Skateparks.

What are Others’ Projects?
Projects we admire and find inspiring.

3
Mar

Photo Gallery: Kids Features

These are features for play or fancy for all ages. Enjoy…

3
Mar

Photo Gallery: Fences, Walls, Paving and Furniture

These are also called Hardscapes. They are often required for functionality, but they can dominate the appearance of a place. It’s best to look at many options, before committing to tons of stone or concrete. We hope these photos help you see, then create, a tasteful future.

3
Mar

Photo Gallery: Plants and Trees

There are so many plants and trees to choose from. Here are some images of mature plants and trees to help you visualize the future. We’d love to have a volunteer assemble a collection of photographs of plants in the four seasons, so we could show the winter twigs, the spring blossoms, summer foliage and fall colors of each plant. If you have good specimin photos, please send them our way. Thanks.

To view a larger image, click on any of the thumbnails below:

3
Mar

Photo Gallery: Cob Construction

Cob means lump or rounded mass which hints at its play-doh like qualities. It is a very accessible medium for making outdoor structures. Check our Resources and Links page for links to COB experts.  To view the images, click on the thumbnails below.

3
Mar

Photo Gallery: Art Objects

Stand alone art pieces.  To view a larger image, click on any of the thumbnails below: