Hubbard Homestead Park opens Saturday in Northgate



Less asphalt, more green. (Credit to mapleleaflife.com for the photo)

I’m excited for the official opening of Hubbard Homestead Park, which takes place this Saturday from 10am to noon. The project converted an existing 3.73 acre parking lot into a new urban park – it used to be the site of the former “Blue Streak” King County Northgate Park and Ride Facility, located at the intersection of 5th Avenue NE and NE 112th Street.

I’ll be speaking at the celebration, and I invite you to join me. Seattle Parks & Recreation has big plans for Saturday’s event:

Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Hubbard family, and the Northgate community dedicate the Hubbard Homestead Park on Saturday, April 23, 2011 from 10 a.m. – noon.  The Parks and Green Spaces Levy provided the funding to transform this former park and ride lot, located at 11203 – 5th Ave. NE, into a new 3.73 acre active green space for the urban Northgate neighborhood.  

The event begins with a spring egg hunt hosted by the Northgate Community Center, followed by music and family fun including basketball with local players. An official ribbon cutting with elected officials and the Hubbard family takes place at 11 a.m. Sound Steps, a community based walking program for adults 50 and older, will lead a walk after the ribbon cutting.  

The name Hubbard Homestead Park was chosen for the site and honors Harry Hubbard’s family, homesteaders who lived at the site from 1913 – 1968. The Hubbards learned to love and value nature, and with this name the city honors their commitment to environmental conservation. 

The park design draws on the site’s rich history and hydrological conditions. The park landscaping is young, but will grow to provide natural play in groves of trees at the northeast corner of the park and at the Hubbard homestead site. The park also includes a main lawn surrounded by meadow planting, a half basketball court, a hydro-seeded “wet meadow,” and a gateway plaza at 112th Street and 5th Avenue.  

The “wet meadow” offers a final natural bio-filtration for runoff and contributes to the health of Thornton Creek. The park paths help define and provide accessible connections to the main spaces within the park. The diagonal spring runnel that runs the length of the park represents the ‘blue streak’ which was the name of the first park and ride lot that occurred on this site.  

The art, created by Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan, intends to re-invent the site’s previous natural spring. The source stone is entitled “Mnemonic Spring” and the sculpture at 5th Ave. NE is entitled “Cloud Chamber.” The artists will be at the opening with more information on the Greek myth-inspired work. 

Parks and Recreation and design consultant Mithun led an extensive public involvement process to determine the design for the new park. The 2008 Parks and Green Spaces levy provided $2.5 million dollars for the implementation of the park design, including the  skatespot that will be constructed in the southwest corner of the park. Construction is anticipated to be finished by late summer 2011. 

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