I had the privilege of sitting down with Dawn Hemminger and Shannon Dunn of the East Ballard Community Association on Wednesday. We met at the newish Ridgeback Cafe at 500 NW 65th Street. (It’s spacious, makes great crepes and they refill your cofffee at the table. Worth stopping in if you’ve only driven or walked by.)
Our topic was East Ballard generally, and specifically all that Dawn and Shannon have accomplished for this part of Ballard. When I think of EBCA, I think of all the work they and community volunteers have accomplished along 14th Avenue NW. Those nice new planters are part of a City of Seattle Small and Simple Grant the EBCA won in 2009 (the same grant that BHS just submitted for its “Bring the Ring Back to Ballard” project). EBCA arranged for the donation of the large round planters and transportation from their original home, and they coordinated community planting and maintenance. EBCA even thought ahead to artwork. Submerged PVC pipes inside the planters will allow the installation of artwork. That’s where St. Alphonsus School comes in: Several teachers and Principal Maureen Reid are coordinating with students to install metal art into the hollow pipes.
“This project has been a great opportunity for us to connect with East Ballard schools. We have an ongoing connection with St. Al’s,” says Dawn. A prototype is coming along. “The most gratifying aspect of this project has been the educational perspective,” agrees Shannon. Last year, Plant Amnesty’s Cass Turnbull gave a session on how to prune the plantings inside the containers. “A lot has happened since that session,” says Shannon. The 8th grade boys, led by teacher Brad Steinbrickner, will learn weeding techniques and how to use Cass’ specialized tools to maintain the planters. The boys will take ownership of the crosswalk at the corner of 58th Street NW and 14th Avenue NW.
Thanks to neighborhood institutions, “We have some event every other month,” says Dawn. Outdoor parties are the norm in dry weather, often as part of the Adopt-A-Street program. Some indoor events have been held at Blowing Sands Glass Studio or St. Al’s.
Are you still wondering, “Where is East Ballard, anyway?” EBCA is prepared for that question, and you can find out out here. If you’re interested in contributing to efforts of the Park Boulevard project on 14th Avenue NW (funded by the Seattle Parks and Green Spaces levy), find out more at EBCA’s Park Avenue Project. Thank you, Dawn and Shannon, for contributing to the livability, safety, and beauty of Ballard.
– Kris R. Collins, BHS Trustee
East Ballard Community Association blog
St. Alphonsus School