Do you know about the Cheasty Greenspace Trails and Bike Park?
This is a new project in the Cheasty Greenspace, which is that forest growing over there on the Eastern slope of Beacon Hill overlooking our neighborhood. For 6 years now, the Friends of Cheasty Greenspace at Mountainview (of which I am a proud member) have been restoring the Southern 10 acres of this forest. In that time we have removed several tons of garbage, pulled out a gazillion pounds of English Ivy and Himalayan Blackberry, transplanted and nurtured many hundreds of native plants, and built walking trails through this forest for the enjoyment of the whole community.
It’s lovely, and if you haven’t had a chance to explore this beautiful forest you should take advantage of one of these lovely spring days to check it out. The existing natives have rebounded with vigor and the sections we restored in the beginning are fast growing up to take over the space. We no longer find large garbage dumps or homeless encampments, and the woods now ring with birdsong and the laughter of children. (Really! It’s that nice!)
So that’s the Southern 10 acres, but now we’re making plans to push our work into the Northern 33 acre section. The Southern perimeter of this space that you see from Columbian Way/Alaska Street looks lovely, doesn’t it? We can’t take any credit for that; the City of Seattle and Green Seattle Partnership has contracted with Earthcorp for many years to restore this space and they’ve done a wonderful job. About a hundred yards into the forest is beautifully restored, and at that rate we’ll have a beautiful forest there by next century.
But I have a growing family now, and this forest is within walking distance of my house, so I am highly motivated to make this a safe, healthy, and welcoming forest a little sooner than that. Which is why I’m working with the Friends of Cheasty Greenspace at Mountainview to restore this forest now, and why we developed a plan to add mountain bike trails to our restoration and walking paths in the Northern section of the forest.
It’s a beautiful plan, and I wish I could tell you all about it here, but this is probably already too many words… To learn more, go to BeaconBikePark.com, or send queries to moc.liamg|krapekibnocaeB#moc.liamg|krapekibnocaeB and I’ll get back to you with all the beautiful details. There’s also a beaconbikepark facebook page with lots of conversation about the project.
In the meantime, like all projects using city resources, this one has attracted some opposition, reflecting both justifiable concerns and some perhaps well-meaning, but shor-sighted, knee-jerk reactionism. I can’t claim to define which is which, but I do feel strongly that this is an amazing opportunity for our neighborhood and I don’t want this small group of vocal opposition to take this opportunity away from those of us that are so busy getting by we can’t (or don’t) shout so loud.
Please take a few minutes tonight to read more about this project and contact our elected officials to share your thoughts on this valuable new park development in our neighborhood. The entire thing is conceived, developed, and (will be) built with volunteer labor driven by local citizens here in Columbia City. It will improve native habitat, local access to the forest, neighborhood connectivity, and nearby recreational opportunities while reducing invasive species like rats and ivy, and unsafe and illegal activities on the hillside over our homes.
I don’t want to be all dramatic, but now’s the time. Those who prefer the status quo are shouting from the rooftops this week, and if the rest of us don’t make our voices heard, we’re in danger of losing the whole thing.
Mayor Ed Murray at vog.elttaes|yarrum.de#vog.elttaes|yarrum.de
Seattle City Council Members on the Parks Board
Council Member Jean Godden at vog.elttaes|neddog.naej#vog.elttaes|neddog.naej
Council Member Tom Rasmussen vog.elttaes|nessumsar.mot#vog.elttaes|nessumsar.mot
Council Member Sally Bagshaw at vog.elttaes|wahsgab.yllas#vog.elttaes|wahsgab.yllas
Superintendent Christopher Williams at vog.elttaes|smailliw.rehpotsirhc#vog.elttaes|smailliw.rehpotsirhc
Senior Urban Forester Mark Mead at vog.elttaes|daem.kram#vog.elttaes|daem.kram