Duwamish Waterway Park Expansion

Updated: September 20, 2022

Fall 2022

Location

1024 S Elmgrove Street, 98108

Aerial neighborhood view of new parcel location, outlined in red, along the Duwamish River

Budget

Acquisition: SPR funded acquisition using the Parks Fund, with the expectation that the site planning process will identify a mix of grant and sources to reimburse the Parks Fund. 

  • The City and community applied for and was approved for a Conservation Future Tax (CFT) grant for open space purposes.
  • Seattle’s Equitable Development Initiative (EDI) allocated $1M to the Duwamish Valley Affordable Housing Coalition (DVAHC) to support elements of site (acquisition and/or development) that advance the shared goals of the EDI Program and the DVAHC.

Design: The DVP secured $45,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Global Ideas for U. S. Solutions: Cities Taking Action to Address Health, Equity, and Climate Change to support this work. This funds the development of a site plan and, if funding allows, conceptual design that reflects community-led, decision-making process. SPR secured $100,000 to support preliminary planning and design for the site.

Development: There is currently no funding for site development. Potential sources include Seattle Parks District funding, King County Parks Levy, the Equitable Development Initiative, and funds raised by partner organizations, including philanthropy.

Schedule

Site Planning: Fall 2021 - Fall 2022
Design: TBD
Construction: TBD
Completion: TBD

Project Description

In early 2019, community members learned that the property owner was possibly interested in selling a site, next to Duwamish Waterway Park on the river at 1024 S Elmgrove Street.  The Duwamish Valley Program, working with SPR, the Duwamish Rowing Club, South Park Area Redevelopment Committee, and the Seattle Parks Foundation submitted a grant request to King County to buy the property. The community saw the potential to improve Duwamish Waterway Park, increase access to the waterfront and create a River Walk of connected open spaces along the Duwamish River, and to build community-supportive spaces currently lacking in the neighborhood. In August 2021 The City of Seattle, through Seattle Parks and Recreation, purchased this property.

Through an agreement with Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Office of Planning and Community Development is working with community and agency partners including SPR, to lead site planning and (potentially) conceptual design for this 1-acre site next to Duwamish Waterway Park in ways that could advance neighborhood priorities for developing open space and community-supportive non-profit spaces, increasing access to the Duwamish River, restoring aquatic habitat, creating a network of connected open spaces along the Duwamish River, and expanding opportunities for cultural activities and uses for the site.  

The project will be also a learning opportunity for project partners to identify and learn about best practices for creating a community led Duwamish Valley Resilience District, including: shared funding; processes (e.g. shared decision-making, multisector collaboration); science (e.g. habitat); heath equity; and anti-displacement. These will serve as a model for upcoming multimillion capital investments in the Duwamish Valley.

Community Participation

The Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) and Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) worked with the South Park Capacity Building Group, through which leaders from South Park community organizations collaborate and coordinate efforts to advance community priorities, to help guide community engagement and collaborating with agencies for the site planning.

Photo of booth presentation taking place. Presenter and community participants in front of presentation board.

  • Where are we now: The site planning team is finishing up its first round of engagement. This first phase of engagement lasted from March through June. The purpose of this first round of engagement was to educate community about the project and gather general input from them about the full site and the multi-purpose building proposed by the Duwamish Valley Affordable Housing Coalition.
  • Phase one engagement audience: During this phase of engagement, we began with gathered input from BIPOC and other marginalized community members in South Park.
    • Youth. We engaged youth from the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps and Duwamish Valley Sustainability Association during meetings at the South Park Neighborhood Center and the Duwamish River Community Hub.
    • BIPOC Engagement.  Staff and consultants solicited input from Vietnamese and other elders at a Senior Center Karaoke night.  Spanish and English-speaking families engaged as part of a Duwamish River Community Coalition asthma prevention event in June. Duwamish Tribe members (including leaders from Duwamish Tribal Services and Duwamish Tribal Council) provided guidance at two meetings during the spring and early summer. South Park’s BIPOC community members for whom English is not their first language were able to provide input through a multi-lingual survey that through which approximately 80 community members responded. This survey is in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Somali, and Khmer.
    • General Engagement. We facilitated engagement in-person and online. Staff held office hours on two days in early July, for those who want in-person engagement and who prefer to fill out surveys on paper.  Staff presented the project and provided updates at South Park Neighborhood Association meetings.
  • What comes next: We are working with the landscape architecture (site planning) and architecture (multipurpose building) firms to compile the information we’ve gathered and pull-out common themes. This process includes outlining what feedback relates to the landscape, the building, and aligning this information with our seven site planning goals. The landscape architect and architecture teams will use this information to develop several alternative site plans that we will take to Seattle Parks and Recreation review. In September, we will bring these designs back to the South Park community to gather feedback. Specifically, we’ll ask which alternative designs (or elements) they like best and what the designs might be missing.

    We anticipate producing a final site plan and report in October or November. This will be a map showing the general location and extent/size of uses, and a document summarizing input, design inspirations, environmental remediation strategy, and identifying implementation steps. The eventual development of park spaces would require future funding and more detailed engagement and design processes.