There are few public parks in the booming Ballard District and UW Graduate student Theresa Yoder took note. Theresa is working towards a degree in environmental and forest sciences, and published Ballard Green Spaces Project as part of her Master program. She also participated in the 2014 Ballard Open Space Plan, conducted by NW Seattle’s Groundswell NW.
One of the areas identified by Theresa as having potential to benefit from restoration work is the Greenwood Triangle Park, located at 304 NW 55th Street in the West Woodland Neighborhood of Ballard. The roadways that border this micro-park recently received a major upgrade when the Seattle Department of Transportation installed stop signs, crosswalks, and other enhancements making it safer for pedestrians to navigate.
The lot is 4,700 square feet, not large enough for users to safely throw a Frisbee around, and it is steeply sloped which poses unique challenges for development. There is also year round water run-off that flows down NW 56th Street right into the park.
Neighbors have talked for years about creating a “food forest” somewhere in the neighborhood, similar to the Beacon Food Forest. As yards get smaller and the wait list for Seattle area P-Patches grows longer, more and more residents are unable to grow their own fruits and vegetables. The Greenwood Triangle Park has the potential to provide neighbors with a gathering spot to design, plant and grow an edible urban forest garden.
History of Greenwood Triangle Park
The Baist Real Estate Map of 1912 provides a unique look back at the boundaries of Greenwood Park, which once straddled 3rd Ave NW. The remaining remnant of this park is the sliver we call Greenwood Triangle Park.
Baist Real Estate Map of 1912, courtesy Paul Dorpat.
Greenwood Park was deeded to the City of Ballard in 1895 by the West Coast Improvement Company. This was during a period of massive growth for both Seattle & Ballard, with Ballard attempting to extend it’s eastern city limits from Division Avenue (today’s 8th Ave NW) to the West Woodland District boundary of 1st Ave NW (today mapped as Phinney Ridge). The parcel never had a chance to become part of the City of Ballard, Seattle squashed those dreams in 1907.
1936 aerial of Greenwood Triangle Park (left) courtesy King County Department of Assessment and 2014 aerial (right) courtesy Google Maps.
If you are interested in learning more about the park creation process contact Groundswell NW. For more than two decades Groundswell NW has worked with neighbors, volunteers, and community groups to create community parks and habitat in northwest Seattle and are always looking for volunteers.
You can also join your neighbors on Facebook and share ideas about the future of the Greenwood Triangle Park HERE.