Spring Fling postponed & some little things we can do while our lives are turned upside down

It’s the little things that can brighten up someone’s day. How about creating an uplifting picture or message in chalk in Gemenskap Park?

It probably goes without saying that we’ve had to postpone the EBCA Spring Fling. We’re were looking forward to bringing all our friends and family together in the park for a big event this summer. In the meantime, we’re all figuring out in our own little way how to weather the Coronavirus storm. Our lives have been turned upside down and we’re truly inspired by our neighbors who are figuring out ways to keep our way of life as normal as possible and still strive to keep all of us safe and healthy.

During these times, let’s come together as a stronger community, look out for each other, and lend a helping hand where you can. Please help our small businesses stay afloat, check on your neighbors who may need some assistance and say hello to people you walk by on the sidewalk or in the park (while remaining 6 feet apart of-course).

The following is a very short list of things we can do to help support our neighborhood. It’s not an exhaustive list by any means, but something to start with. Please send us things to share and we’ll do our best to post.

Support our local businesses
Ballard Farmers Market online ordering
Support Ballard restaurants
Tom Douglas Pop up Charitable event this Friday, Sat & Sun,(14th Ave NW and NW 52nd) 12pm-5pm

National Nordic Cultural Museum digital archives
Seattle Symphony broadcasts and recordings
Seattle opera video and audio streams
UW cherry blossom cam

A neighbor on Nextdoor has posted a spreadsheet where you can sign up to get help and to offer help.

Consider volunteering at the Ballard Food Bank or Ballard Urban Rest Stop

One last note
The Public Affairs team at the Seattle Fire Department has asked our assistance in distributing the following messages to provide guidance to people who may be hesitant to fully report their symptoms when calling 911, fearing that firefighters may not respond. They want to assure the public that having accurate information allows them to send the right resources, and they can trust we will be there to assist them.

The Seattle Fire Department wil respond to all life-threatening emergencies. If you suffer from a fever or shortness of breath, it doesn’t always mean you have COVID-19. If you believe your symptoms are life-threatening, please call 911. Tell the dispatcher all of your symptoms so they can better assist you.

Join us for a Spring Fling April 11 in Gemenskap Park! Volunteer and giving opportunities too!

WHO:: Families and friends of East Ballard & Gemenskap Park

WHAT:: This year’s East Ballard Spring Fling in Gemenskap Park will kick off with a spring bonnet parade, followed by our 2nd annual egg hunt for all ages. We’ll have refreshments, face painting, games, prizes and community. Bring your kids and furry friends too! 

WHEN: Saturday, April 11, 2020 from 10:00am – 1:00pm

WHERE:: Gemenskap Park – 14th Ave NW (Between NW 59th St/ NW 61st St)

WHY::  It’s a beautiful park to enjoy and we want to play in it now that the weather is getting nicer

Volunteer & Giving Opportunities

This is an all-volunteer run event that we’re funding with donations and time. We would love for YOU to join us! Here’s how you can help. Contact as at eastballard@gmail.com if you’re interested in any of the following:

  • Participate in our planning meetings. The next one will be March 12 at 7PM. Contact us for location.
  • Help us on the day of the event (set up, break down, coordinate games, keep the refreshments table in order, and more)
  • Bring a healthy snack to share at the event
  • Be part of the entertainment – we’d love to hear your idea and get your help
  • Make a tax-deductible donation to support this and future events by donating to Groundswell NW (our fiscal sponsor) and adding a note that your giving to the East Ballard Community Association – http://www.groundswellnw.org/donate
  • Save your Ballard Market Receipts and bring to EBCA events or drop off at Blowing Sands Glass. Ballard Market donates 1% of the purchase to EBCA!

East Ballard 2020 Your Voice Your Choice submissions so far

Since we last posted information regarding 2020 Your Voice Your Choice, we’ve received responses from neighbors who have posted their great ideas on the Map. Below are the submissions we found for East Ballard as of March 7. Take a look, write comments and click on the ‘heart’ icon if you like the idea. Is your idea missing? Then what are you waiting for? Submit by March 18. If you’re having trouble with the interface, contact us at eastballard@gmail.com and we’ll help.

The map won’t let us provide direct links, so you’ll need to navigate to the map, select the Category (Accessibility, Bicycle, Maintenance, Other, Park Equipment, Paths and Natural Areas, Pedestrian Crossing, Vehicle or Walkway) and either select the idea in the list or click on the dot on the map at the address listed below.

  • Bicycle > Idea @ 6TH AVE NW & NW 58TH ST
    Extending the 6th Ave NW Greenway, from NW 50th to NW 58th St., connecting with neighborhood schools and the NW 58th St. Greenway. Includes speed humps, speed-limit signage, stop signs at all east-west intersections, and crosswalk upgrades at NW Market St.
  • Bicycle > Idea @ 6742 DIVISION AVE NW
    Remove bike lane on 8th Ave NW heading south, replace with sharrows. bicyclists are moving too fast to safely use the bike lane without risking getting doored.
  • Bicycle > Idea @ 4513 11TH AVE NW
    Make signage/road features to stop drivers driving down bike lane
  • Bicycle > Idea @ 4300 8TH AVE NW
    Redesign the intersection of 8th, Burke Gilman and NW 43rd St
  • Maintenance > Idea @ 6TH AVE NW & NW 43RD ST
    Prune and shape the beautiful plum trees between Leary Way NW and NW Bright St. on 6th Ave. NW.
  • Other > Idea @ 1451 NW 46TH ST
    Close off road between Ballard Blocks and PCC/West Marine to vehicle traffic
  • Other > Idea @ 1102 NW 57TH ST
    traffic circle NW 57th and 11th needed.
  • Other > Idea @ 1102 NW 56TH ST
    traffic circle NW 56th and 11th needed
  • Park Equipment > Idea @ 6102 14TH AVE NW
    Off Leash Dog Park extension north of Gemenskap Park.
  • Pedestrian Crossing > Idea @ 6500 8TH AVE NW
    They should remove or inactivate the pedestrian prompt crosswalk buttons and just imply that people want to cross (at least during peak pedestrian hours) like they do at NW 15th and 65th St.
  • Pedestrian Crossing > Idea @ 1103 NW MARKET ST
    Pedestrian and Bicycle activated crossing signal at the intersection of 11th Ave NW and Market St.
  • Pedestrian Crossing > Idea @ 716 NW 60TH ST
    Crosswalk at 8th Ave NW and NW 60th St
  • Pedestrian Crossing > Idea @ 602 NW MARKET ST
    Bicycle traffic light trigger. Not enough time to cross the intersection and have bicyclists have to jump on sidewalk to push pedestrian crossing button
  • Pedestrian Crossing > Idea @ 800 NW 50TH ST
    Signalized crossing and/or curb bulbs at NW 50th St and 8th Ave NW
  • Pedestrian Crossing > Idea @ 4360 LEARY WAY NW
    Pedestrian-only light on the east side of 8th–>Leary doesn’t activate unless button pushed. Request for an automatic pedestrian light.
  • Pedestrian Crossing > Idea @ 4300 8TH AVE NW
    Stop light on NW 43rd St and 8th Ave NW
  • Pedestrian Crossing > Idea @ 599R NW 42ND ST
    Reprogram light to be a shorter wait and not require a button to be pushed
  • Pedestrian Crossing > Idea @ 4601 LEARY WAY NW
    Extremely hazardous intersection for pedestrians and drivers.
  • Pedestrian Crossing > Idea @ 1416 NW 46TH ST
    Add a pedestrian crosswalk to cross 46th St between 15th Ave NW and 14th Ave NW. Currently pedestrians are crossing from the Ballard Blocks to the PCC shopping center in the middle of the street and across heavy traffic.
  • Pedestrian Crossing > Idea @ 1505 NW 60TH ST
    Upgrade crossing signal and lights. People have to wait several minutes for the light to change and miss buses (it is a rapid ride stop).
  • Pedestrian Crossing > Idea @ 5801 15TH AVE NW
    The walk signal is very short to cross 15th Ave NW
  • Pedestrian Crossing > Idea @ 5501 15TH AVE NW
    This intersection requires me to push a beg button
  • Pedestrian Crossing > Idea @ 1446 NW LEARY WAY
    Improve pedestrian environment at 15th Ave NW and Leary
  • Vehicles > Idea @ 11TH AVE NW & NW 62ND ST
    Traffic Circle. Drivers don’t stop for other cars or pedestrians
  • Vehicles > Idea @ 5615 15TH AVE NW
    Ban left turns from 15th Ave NW onto NW 57th St
  • Vehicles > Idea @ 5500 8TH AVE NW
    Remove parked cars about 2 blocks north and south of Market St and re-allocate that space to bus lanes.
  • Vehicles > Idea @ 4902 6TH AVE NW
    Traffic diverter / street park at 6th Ave NW and NW 50th St
  • Vehicles > Idea @ 3930 LEARY WAY NW
    Stoplight for left hand turns from 3rd Ave NW onto Leary Way
  • Walkway > Idea @ 1505 NW 60TH ST
    The crosswalk signal is slow and the stop lights are out of date. (Similar to Pedestrian Idea@ 1505 NW 60TH ST)

Share your ideas for Seattle street and parks improvements – deadline March 18

Submit your ideas through March 18

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is again engaging community members to democratically decide how to spend $2 million of the City’s budget on small-scale park and street improvements. This is the fourth year of Your Voice, Your Choice (YVYC): Parks & Streets.

Idea collection is open right now through March 18. Community members are encouraged to submit an idea online at seattle.gov/yvyc or in-person at any Seattle Public Library branch. Projects could include park benches, trail improvements, flashing beacons, and curb ramps to name a few. The only criteria are the ideas be physical improvements for Seattle’s parks or streets, benefit the public, and cost $150,000 or less. Even if you don’t have an idea, take a moment to review, comment or vote on existing ideas by selecting the like button for those you’d like to see come true!

What’s your great idea to improve streets and parks in East Ballard? If you submit an idea, please share with us and we’ll help spread the word!

Learn more about what types of projects are eligible: Idea Collection Examples. You can learn more about the YVYC process and how to get involved on the city’s webpage.

Save the date for 2 EBCA events this spring


We’re kicking off the new year by getting organized and setting dates for this year’s EBCA events. Mark your calendar and get ready to work and play in the neighborhood this spring!

If you’d like to help us organize these events, please reach out to Dawn at eastballard@gmail.com to join a committee.

EBCA Spring Fling in Gemenskap Park
April 11, 2020 10AM-1PM
This will be our 2nd annual egg hunt for all ages with lots of family activities and fun in the park.

EBCA Spring Clean along 14th Ave NW
May 9, 2020 10AM-1PM
We will be celebrating our 15th year cleaning up 14th Ave NW from NW 65th to Salmon Bay. Come join a tradition!

“Public Safety for All” event Sunday Jan 26 at Ballard Commons Park

Join your neighbors at Ballard Commons park from 12:00pm-1:30pm this Sunday Jan 26, along with Kick It Boutique in Ballard. District 6 Council member Dan Strauss has been invited and has promised to show up and speak. The media has also been invited. 

The following is an excerpt from the Facebook event page:
“Bring the kids, bring the pets, bring yourselves for an hour and a half peaceful demonstration on asking our new leadership for D6 what is the Public Safety plan for Ballard; specifically the areas that we all work, live, and go about our lives. Bring signs with tasteful slogans, and link arms with like minded individuals who are wanting answers to address the safety concerns in the neighborhood”.

Celebrate NW Seattle Parks with Groundswell NW Jan 29

If you’ve been reading this blog over the years, you probably already know what a huge role Groundswell NW has played in mentoring the EBCA and advocating on our behalf with the City to create our beloved Gemenskap Park, and if you haven’t heard of them, well, you have a chance to learn about this great nonprofit, meet the people who drive this all-volunteer venture, and start working on your New Year’s resolution to get more involved in your community!

Incite Action. Create Community. Celebrate!
Thursday January 29, 6:30PM-8:00PM
Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Center (Lower Brick Building)
6532 Phinney Ave N

After a short Groundswell business meeting, guest speaker, Courtney Sullivan, will share the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) top 10 City for Wildlife designation for Seattle. This designation recognizes cities that are not only taking direct action to help wildlife, but whose residents are also creating wildlife habitat in their backyards, balconies, at schools and throughout their communities.

The Seattle region currently has a total of 974 Certified Wildlife Habitats, out of which 33 are Schoolyard Habitats. Sustainability plans such as the Seattle Climate Action Plan and the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan seeks to restore green spaces, creeks and urban areas. “Seattle maintains over 6,400 acres of parklands, 2,500 of which are forested and undergoing intensive restoration efforts,” (Seattle Parks Department) With large, contiguous parks such as Discovery, Lincoln and Warren G. Magnuson Parks, as well as smaller gems distributed throughout the City, Seattle provides good habitat for a wide variety of wildlife species, and continues efforts to improve these animal homes. Being both an Urban Bird Treaty City and a Bee City, Seattle acknowledges the value of wildlife and healthy habitats, and is working to provide a safer home for wildlife through its policies and actions.”

Courtney joined the National Wildlife Federation in April 2008, where she engages and develops community stewards and formal and non-formal educators, advocates for educational policies, and supports coalitions for sustainable environmental education and stewardship. For more information visit: www.nwf.org/Garden-for-Wildlife.

After Courtney’s presentation, Groundswell NW will announce this year’s local heroes and there will be plenty of time to mix, mingle, enjoy refreshments and visit with community partners. The EBCA will have a table, so please come by and say hello!

Learn more about this event and the amazing achievements of Groundswell NW on their website, their 2020 report which has a great article about Gemenskap Park, and don’t forget to follow them on Facebook! Looking forward to seeing you at the celebration!

Reminder: Fall Festival Nov 2

Join the EBCA November 2 for a Fall Festival in Gemenskap Park. There will be fun for all, including a pets and people costume parade, a pumpkin patch, story telling, treats, lawn games and more!

What:    EBCA Fall Festival
   Saturday November 2 10:30AM-12:30PM
Where:  Gemenskap Park (6000 14th Ave NW)

2019 Fall Clean Sweep Success!

Thank-you Indu and Emmett for making the park look so nice!

Although the clouds and wind were a little ominous, the sun did come out for a bit this Saturday as we set out to clean up 14th Ave NW and Gemenskap Park! We had 20 volunteers who picked up trash and weeded the medians and Gemenskap Park rain gardens along 14th. Coffee, donated by Tim from Ravenswood Apts, homemade scones from Chris, and fruit from Linda, kept us fueled as we picked up trash from NW 65th all the way to 50th Ave NW.

Big thank-yous go out to the following volunteers who went the extra mile to support this great event. If you want to be on the volunteer call-out list for next time to help organize this event, reach out to eastballard@gmail.com

  • Rob, who donated printing for our flyers!
  • Linda, Casey and Holly who posted flyers throughout the neighborhood
  • Linda and Dawn who helped load up the car, set up the event, work the event and then break it down. Whew!
  • David and Cynthia at Blowing Sands Glass for letting us set up in front of their business
  • Casey for picking up the coffee
  • Linda for washing the work gloves afterward

…and thank-you to Jody, Rob, Casey, Kenny, Chris, Indu, Emmett, Laura, Waylon, Leon, Mary, Ellen, Mary Pat, Andrew, Sue, Akira, Cy, Pam, Jon, and more who showed up and made a difference by helping us keep the neighborhood looking so nice! 

Thank-you Pam and Mary. Nice photo bomb in the background Linda!

Check out more pics in our Flickr album to see all the fun we had! Thank-you neighbors and we’re looking forward to seeing you again this coming Saturday our 2nd annual Fall Festival in Gemenskap Park!

Reminder: Fall Clean Sweep Oct 26!

Join the EBCA as we clean up 14th Ave NW and tidy up the rain gardens in Gemenskap Park. Bring your friends, bring the kids, we’ll bring the rest! This will be a rain or shine event, so dress for the weather.

What:    EBCA Fall Clean Sweep
   Saturday October 26 10AM-1PM
Where:  Blowing Sands Glass (5805 14th Ave NW)

Then join us again in November for a Fall Festival in Gemenskap Park. There will be fun for all, including a pets and people costume parade, a pumpkin patch, story telling, treats, lawn games and more!

What:    EBCA Fall Festival
   Saturday November 2 10:30AM-12:30PM
Where:  Gemenskap Park (6000 14th Ave NW)