by Mark Van Streefkerk
Renovations are in the works for Beacon Hill’s Dearborn Park Play Area, including replacing the current equipment with more accessible play structures and more nature-engaged features. The community is invited to learn more and give feedback at an interactive virtual presentation on Wednesday, August 26 at 6:30 p.m. You can register in advance for the online presentation here.
The play area currently consists of a play structure with a slide and climbing features, a swingset, and picnic tables tucked into a mostly wooded section of Dearborn Park on 2919 S. Brandon St. near the Chief Sealth Trail and behind the Dearborn Park International School. The play area is due for renovations, something routine for all Seattle parks every 20 years, said Danyal Lotfi, Community Engagement Advisor for Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR). In addition to renovations that will make pathways and equipment ADA compliant, improvements also reflect the findings of a July community survey.
In the survey, SPR “learned that folks were interested in more play equipment that allowed climbing, swinging, and nature play for both younger kids and older kids — and of course kids of all abilities. Especially the nature/play piece of it is not too surprising considering how much the community values the trees and wooded areas around the park,” Lotfi explained. “There’s a lot of modern designs that [planners] are coming out with, especially for parks that are heavily wooded and have a lot of trees around. There are ways to combine the play area into the natural surroundings.”
Wednesday’s public meeting would have been in-person but instead will take place online due to COVID-19. Project manager Libby Hudson and landscape architects will present information about the renovations, discuss possible design concepts, field questions, and solicit community feedback.
The budget for the project is $557,000, funded by the Real Estate Excise Tax which went into effect January 1, 2020. The planning and design phase of the Dearborn Park Play Area Renovation Project started this spring and will extend to winter 2021. The project will go to bidding in Spring 2021, with construction expected to begin by Fall 2021.
Lotfi recommends registering in advance for Wednesday’s presentation. The meeting is also accessible by phone by calling 1-408-418-9388, and entering the access code 146 407 7296, at the time of the meeting.
Mark Van Streefkerk is a South Seattle-based journalist living in the Beacon Hill neighborhood.
Featured image by Susan Fried.