Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Leave It Better: Seattle Park Renews Its Purpose: Starbucks Helps to Bring a Civil Rights-Era Seattle Park Back to Its Former Glory

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Leave It Better: Seattle Park Renews Its Purpose: Starbucks Helps to Bring a Civil Rights-Era Seattle Park Back to Its Former Glory

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Project: Powell-Barnett Park, Seattle, Wash.

Problem:

Powell-Barnett Park, built in 1969, showed decades of deterioration, from the play equipment in disrepair and the sloped ball field, to the kinds of illicit activities taking place in the shadows. Andy Sheffer, a project manager for Seattle Parks and Recreation says there was not much to take pride in. "The area was lacking a safe park and the community didn't take stewardship in it," he said. After one too many drug deals, the department drew the line.

Timeline:

The park and recreation department began considering revamping the park in December 2005, initially scheduling the opening to occur sometime in 2007. But Starbucks, the national coffee chain that got its start nearby, accelerated the plan with help on the financial and labor ends. Planning and execution of the plan took only until May 2006.

Solution:

Improvements were made to every aspect of the park. Play equipment with greater "play value" and ADA accessibility replaced worn structures, Sheffer said. The rutted and lop-sided field was graded. An existing restroom was renovated to remove walls that were serving as hiding places, where much of the dangerous activity was occurring. …

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