Neighborhood News
Alder Creek Natural Area 
AN EFFORT to develop the 26th Ave E right of way in the Alder Creek Natural Area for cars 
October 2018
Dear neighbors,
A property owner on the undeveloped portion of 26th Ave E would like to build a driveway in the right of way, with car storage on the west side of Alder Creek. Their plan calls for the removal of several big trees in the right of way, both on the creek and adjacent to the park, and it buries the creek next to the footpath in a twelve-foot long culvert. Our neighbor is working with the Seattle Departments of Transportation and Construction & Inspections to prepare a land use application. The Alder Creek Natural Area (the park), the 26th Ave E right of way and E Prospect Street are three publicly-owned properties joined together by a mature grove of Alder, Cottonwood, Big Leaf Maple, and Oregon Ash; this grove meets the city's definition of an "exceptional tree," meaning the grove deserves protection in its own right. The neighbor would like to remove up to thirteen big trees from this grove in order to develop the natural area for use by cars and other vehicles. The natural area is a unique feature of our neighborhood. Many of us walk or jog along the footpath bordering the creek daily. Many neighbors, in cooperation with Green Seattle and the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, have volunteered with others from the broader Seattle community to restore the Alder Creek Natural Area: the park restoration is now in its eleventh year and has connected the park with the greenspace created by the two unimproved rights-of-way. The three properties provide a substantial habitat corridor for wildlife year-round and are a publicly-owned wooded area. If this is of interest to you, and you would like to participate in the public process, please contact Wallis Bolz, on Nextdoor Arboretum or at Wallis Bolz and Max Morris 

Development to Replace City Peoples Garden Store    
Save Madison Valley has submitted its 105-page appeal of the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection's approval of plans for the 82-unit mixed-use development--The Madison.  Members of our community feel strongly that this project is NOT RIGHT.   • A building that towers 80 feet high in an “NC-40” zone (four-story zone)?   • Clear cut a protected grove and exceptional trees?   • A massive building in a liquefaction zone with a history of flooding?   • Inviting in traffic that will overwhelm our streets and intersections—turning our walkable neighborhood into a drive-through?   Does this sound like responsible development to you??? Let’s tell the City we want them to do their job to protect communities and manage development. We want our neighborhood — and our City — to grow in a way that is healthy and livable.  To learn more visit  

City People's Garden Store
Velmeir Development

Title: Park or Playground?

Photo: Isabelle Gray

This past summer, my husband, daughter, and I decided to get take-out food for dinner from a restaurant in the neighborhood. It was still light out with nice weather and my daughter said she wanted to go to a park. So we left my husband to wait for the food and we walked to Julia Lee's Park. 

Upon entering, she looked around and said, "This isn't a park". It took me a few seconds to figure out that she was looking for a playground. I explained that we were indeed in a park, but this park didn't have a playground with swings or slides. She replied with a simple "Oh" and proceeded to run around the paths. A few minutes later, she asked me to lift her up onto the raised wall circling the tree in the center, then counted the tiles as she skipped around the tree.  

 After a few more minutes of play time, we left to find her father and return home to eat. While she initially claimed that Julia Lee’s wasn’t a park, now sometimes when we pass by she says “There’s the park!” 

 Isabelle Gray 

 More information about Julia Lee’s Park and other neighborhood gems can be found in Madison Valley: Places of Interest, available on Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Title: William Grose

Photo: Isabelle Gray

Sometimes, my family and I will go on walks in the neighborhood. We usually don’t have a specific destination and will roam the streets aimlessly, wherever our whims take us. The first time we passed the mini-park on 30th Ave between East Denny Way and East Howell Street, I almost dismissed it as someone’s neglected yard. The grass was long and riddled with weeds, and an old, dirty mattress had been discarded where the grass meets the sidewalk. The City park sign was the only thing to alert me that this was City property. It was anything but inviting.

During another neighborhood exploration, the grass has been cut and the mattress was gone. We decided to follow the park’s paved walkway, which stretches between 30th and 31st Aves the length of the small park in between private residences. Towards the middle of the park, set in the ground, is a plaque with some information about William Grose, the park’s namesake. I didn’t remember having heard anything about him previously, so I made a mental note to try to find out more about him.

I did some research and discovered that this petite greenspace was named for a man who was large, both in stature and impact. His home on 24th Avenue became a gathering place for African-Americans in the city. By selling off parcels of his land to other African-Americans, Grose held a vital role in making Madison Valley and the larger Central District the nucleus of Seattle’s African-American community.

Isabelle Gray

More information about William Grose Park and other neighborhood gems can be found in Madison Valley: Places of Interest, available on Barnes and Noble and Amazon.