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
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
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/
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
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.
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.”
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.
The 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
Urban 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
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.
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.
The 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.
Boarders 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.