Community Voice: Where’s the Beach? At Be’er Sheva Park!

Beach Party, Grand Design Unveiling, June 2nd, 12-3pm, Be’er Sheva Park

by George Lee & Jenny Frankl

“Where’s the Beach?” Is a tagline that was born out of the 2012 Rainier Beach Neighborhood Plan Update, where neighbors shared their vision and desires for the Rainier Beach neighborhood.

Be’er Sheva Park, located where S. Henderson St meets Seward Park Ave and sandwiched between an urban farm and a boat launch, is Rainier Beach’s ‘Beach’.

We love it; appreciate it; cherish it, and like anything we care for, want to give it the TLC that it deserves.  That said, we set out last year on a process to learn more about how Rainier Beach community members currently use the park and what would draw them in even more.

Community members at a design meeting. (Photo: George Lee)

These questions were all part of the Be’er Sheva Park Lake Access Improvements project, a community-led effort, funded by the City of Seattle Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF), to create a schematic design for improvements at Be’er Sheva Park. The Rainier Beach Link 2 Lake (RBL2L) Steering Committee, champions for this project, hired a landscape architect to facilitate the community engagement process, develop the schematic design and investigate the feasibility and permitting requirements.  Some of the possible improvements to the park include a large beach and greater shoreline access, walkways, sheltered areas with barbeques and seating, a stage/multipurpose activities platform and art installations.

In Spring 2018, the RBL2L Steering Committee, in partnership with Seattle Parks Foundation, City of Seattle, Life Enrichment Group, Rainier Beach Action Coalition, Rainier Beach: A Beautiful Safe Place for Youth, and Rainier Beach Merchants Association conducted an in-depth community process that included community surveys, 3 large-scale design workshop parties, and several smaller direct outreach events.

Join us at the Grand Design Celebration where we will be unveiling the advanced schematic design that has been designed by your neighbors, and cleared the major regulatory hoops. Come celebrate with us!  Free BBQ, canoe rides, kids activities and bouncy house, and more await you!