Parks and Recreation NE Winter Brochure now available

The Seattle Parks and Recreation Winter 2013 Brochure is out! You can find hard copies in your local community center, or click the image below to download a copy of the NE Seattle edition (2.1 MB PDF).

Click the image to download the Seattle Parks and Recreation Winter Brochure for NE Seattle (2.1 MB PDF).

Some highlights/items of note:

  • The course brochures hereafter will be published only twice a year: One issue for Spring/Summer, and another for Fall/Winter. This is a cost saving decision.
  • Summer is a looooong ways away, but the information about Summer Camps for 2013 is included in this Winter Brochure (open registration begins on February 5, 2013).
  • Two new classes of note at our Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center are Introduction to Improv (to be taught by a “seasoned member of the Jet City Improv cast,” and Adult Salsa Classes.
  • One special event to note is a SOUP SWAP* happening on January 26 (National Soup Swap Day, of course). You bring six quarts of frozen soup, and you go home with six different quarts of soup! Ravenna Blog itself (myself? herself?) is hosting this one, and we’ll have more information on this event as the date approaches. The event is free, minus the cost of whatever homemade soup you’re swapping.


*The first official Ravenna Kale Festival** event!

**More on this later as well.

RECC hosting Seattle Animal Shelter cat adoption event this Saturday

You know what’s nice on cold days like this? A kitty.

And U CAN HAZ one today, at the Seattle Animal Shelter cat adoption event on Saturday, November 10, from 12-3 PM, at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Ave NE).

Click the image to view at 100%.

Cats available for adoption at this event have been living with foster families, who will be on hand to answer questions about the personalities of their charges.

Both cats AND KITTENS will be available at this event.


You can learn more about a few of the available cats on Petfinder, like…

Patrick here, and…

Pepper (on the left), and…

Abby. RAWR, girl.

The event is put on by the Seattle Animal Shelter’s foster care program and their event partners, Alley Cat Project.


Your Moment of Ravenna Zen: Ravenna School Reds

Autumn has definitely arrived: The days are shorter, weather has turned rainy and blustery, and ZOMG look at the trees!

These beauties live on the backside of the Ravenna School Apartments (6545 Ravenna Ave NE), and they are among my fall favorites in our neighborhood.


Jealous much, evergreen?

Do YOU have a Moment of Ravenna Zen to share? Email, or use our handy dandy comment form to tell us about it.

15th Avenue NE closed as police investigate ‘possible explosive devices’ (UPDATES)

Via the Seattle Police Department twitter feed:

15th Avenue Bridge closed in Ravenna as ABS investigates possible explosive devices found in the area. More info on the Blotter shortly.

The helicopter that can be heard in our area is over the scene.

More updates here when we get them.

UPDATE (12:11 PM): Police have determined the the suspected explosive devices are harmless. Via twitter:

Suspected pipe bombs deemed harmless. Everything on 15th should be back to normal shortly.

UPDATE (12:15 PM)’s Casey McNerthney has the story from police:

The suspicious devices were found shortly after 10 a.m. near the 15th Avenue Northeast bridge, which was closed for more than 2 hours as detectives investigated. The devices, made with capped PVC pipes, were also found near a regular homeless encampment, detective Renee Witt said.

Read the full story on’s Seattle 911 blog.

RHS cross country teams to give Ravenna Park a “trial run” (PHOTOS)

RHS Girls Cross Country / Kevin Shear

Today, Wednesday, September 12, the Roosevelt High School girls and boys cross country teams will race the teams from Newport High School on the trails of Ravenna Park. This is a home meet for RHS, which is located just a few blocks from the park.

But Ravenna Park is not their usual home course. Lincoln Park, in West Seattle, is. 

RHS Boys Cross Country / Steve Wolfe

RHS Athletic Director, Mike Scott, explains the home course choice (via email):

For all of the past years that I have been here at Roosevelt, most of our meets have either been at Lincoln or at Lower Woodland.  Lower Woodland tends to be a METRO site, while Lincoln tends to be a KingCo site for the 4A schools, but there is no hard and fast rule regarding this.  Meets can have multiple teams involved, and the two sites listed above allow for better parking for multiple busses.

Scott says that the RHS cross country team is huge — over 100 students involved — and getting everyone (athletes, coaches) over to Lincoln Park and back requires two busses at $250-$300 (budgeted) each. And when the yellow school busess aren’t available, more costly charter busses must be hired.

A switch to a home course at nearby Cowen and Ravenna Parks would not only be great for the team, but nice on the budget.

RHS Girls Cross Country / Kevin Shear

So, what would make today’s meet a success for all involved (the team, the school, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and neighbors)?  We’ve contacted Dennis Cook at Seattle Parks and Recreation (Athletics) about what his department is looking for from the event, and are awaiting a reply.

Here’s what Athletic Director Scott is looking for:

What I am looking for is to have an event that is seen by the public and patrons of the park as a good use of this resource to provide our kids with a positive and healthy event.  It is my sincere hope that the patrons and neighbors will be understanding of the importance of this opportunity for our school to provide this for our kids and for our parents, as well as the community, and our commitment to be good neighbors and use this resource respectfully.

And if the people coming to the meet also decide to stop in the neighborhood and buy a hamburger or two from one of our local restaurants, that would be another great thing to come from this event!!

Neighbors of the park will be pleased to know that the parking plan for the visiting team’s busses has them parked at the high school campus, and not on surface streets.

Cowbells! On Aisle 12. / Maple Leaf Ace

As for today’s meet itself, the team is looking for volunteers to help direct runners at key intersections along the route. Meet the team in the grassy area of Cowen Park at 3:30 PM.

And, of course, neighbors and other spectators are encouraged to watch the races and cheer on the athletes (Girls race at 4 PM, boys race at 4:45). (See the previous photo for an Olympic-inspired way to do that). Boys team member and Roosevelt News Online Editor Mitchell Smith tells us the teams will be sporting their new uniforms today, too.

Special thanks to Frank Hodge (father of a RHS girls cross country team captain) for the original tip for this story.


UPDATE (6:40 PM): Here are some pictures of the meet (beforehand, and during the girls’ race).

Ah, this must be the place.


Big ol’ pile of Roosevelt backpacks and gear.


Kiosk at the entrance of Cowen Park with a pink notice posted about the event.


Directional marking near the start of the course.


The girls team practices their start.


The girls team during a pre-race moment, and some student photographers capturing said moment from on high.


Newport and Roosevelt girls teams at the start, getting directions from an RHS coach.


And they’re off!





I caught up with the girls again later in the course, as I peered over the edge of the 20th Ave NE footbridge:

Leading at this point in the course: Roosevelt.


Here’s the first Newport runner, alongside the third Lady Roughrider to pass under the bridge.


And what were the RESULTS of today’s races? We heard about the boys team first, from runner and Roosevelt News Online Editor Mitchell:

Later that night, however, we learned how the girls did against Newport:

Congrats to our girls cross country team!! They defended our home turf with a win of 41 to 22 against Newport! RIDERPOWER #canttouchthis

— Rider Nation (@RHSRiderNation) September 13, 2012


Everybody into the [wading] pool, before it closes!

It’s August, and Seattle summer is chugging right along: Lots of sun, temperatures consistently in the mid- to upper-70s…this time of year is why we live here.

So, naturally, the city’s wading pools are all preparing to close for the season.

Our region of the Seattle Parks and Recreation map (the Northeast) has two wading pools and two swimming beaches open during the summer. Here are their remaining days of use:

  • Dahl Playfield Wading Pool (7700 25th Ave NE): open August 14-16, noon – 7 PM
  • Magnuson Park Wading Pool (7400 Sand Point Way NE): open daily from noon – 6:30 PM through August 26
  • Magnuson Park Summer Beach (7400 Sand Point Way NE): open through August 26
  • Matthews Beach Park Summer Beach (9500 51st Ave NE): open through September 3

At this time, NE Seattle does not have any of the unstaffed sprayparks, which tend to stay open later in the season. However, Sarah (raintea on twitter) would like us to mention the brand new spraypark at Northacres Park (12718 1st Ave NE). It’s open daily from 11 AM – 8 PM through September 3. It is technically in Seattle Parks and Recreation’s NW geographic area, but when you and the kids are too hot, who cares.

You can find the full list of Seattle’s wading pools, sprayparks, summer beaches and pools and their schedules right here (280 KB PDF; comic sans).

Python loose in the park! But which park?

We got a voice mail from North Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Terrie Johnston this afternoon at 2:50 PM, saying, “I hope you’re not at Cowen Park playfield…uh playground. A seven-foot yellow python got loose and he’s headed for the playground.”

Now, that’s an amusing story, but Cowen Park is not in Ravenna. So I just mention the missing snake on twitter, like this:

A few minutes later, the official Seattle Police Department twitter feed says this:

Oh no! Wrong neighborhood! And wrong park! Lower case “p” or not, people are going to get confused!

But I check with Terrie Johnston again, to make sure. “61st and Brooklyn Cowen Park” is the email reply.

View Snake on the loose! in a larger map

Decidedly NOT Ravenna Park.

But the damage has been done. The SPD tweet has now been REtweeted over 300 times (probably because of that “Snakes on a Plane” movie reference being clever and all).

And, of course, someone has started a new twitter feed…FOR THE SNAKE:

Thankfully, the SPD just updated the story on their blog, and you can read it here (“Officers On Python Patrol After Snake Escapes In Ravenna Neighborhood“).

An excerpt for you:

As police officers and officials from Seattle parks department and Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife search the neighborhood and Cowen/Ravenna Park for the snake, you and your small pets should keep to the trails, and stay away from drainage ditches, thick foliage, and hollow logs, according to Seattle’s resident snake expert, Peter Miller.

Miller, reptile keeper at Woodland Park Zoo, estimates the snake is around 15-20 pounds and says it “has the potential” to be dangerous. ”These guys are ambush predators,” he says. “They find a well protected covered area and they sit and they wait.”

KING 5 news Reporter John Langeler got the location right, though:

And it looks like Seattle Parks and Recreation has put up signage.

John Langeler / KING 5

If Timid the Albino Python is found (yeah, his name is Timid), we’ll let you know here.

Mini-craft fair at Boulevard Grocery

The reincarnated Boulevard Grocery (2007 NE Ravenna Blvd) is holding their second mini-craft fair this afternoon, Sunday, August 12, from noon-3 PM, in front of the store.

A selection of vegetable portrait postcards by Chavas Garden.

Some of the vendors and their wares include:

There will also be face painting for the young (and young-at-heart).

Another great opportunity to check out the little store, too, if you haven’t already!

Movie magic continues at Magnuson Park

It’s a Thursday summer night, which means it’s another outdoor movie night at Magnuson Park (NE 65th St and Sand Point Way).


From the Seattle Outdoor Movies facebook page:

Join us for “The Help” tonight at the PEMCO Insurance Movies at Magnuson Park! We’ll have trivia, circus acts by JustinCredible, food trucks, games, prizes and more…

There is construction starting in the park so entering from 74th is your best bet. Event parking is still north of the athletic fields.

See you tonight! Seating opens at 7 pm.

“The Help,” stars Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer (who won an Oscar for her role), and Emma Stone.

Check out the full schedule of movies (showing through August 30) here.

Fall Parks and Recreation brochure for NE Seattle now available online

Registration starts Tuesday, August 7. Get to perusing!

Click the image to start downloading the brochure (2.9 MB PDF).

The community centers and pools in the Northeast Region are Laurelhurst, Magnuson, Meadowbrook (and its Teen Life Center), Northgate, Ravenna-Eckstein, Meadowbrook Pool and the Helene Madison Pool.