Thursday, November 3, 2016

Education Hill Neighborhood Association poll recommends a "neighborhood center" at Hartman Park

Letter submitted to the Mayor and City Council during "Items from the Audience." 

As a member of the Education Hill Neighborhood Association, (EdNA) I can’t thank you enough for the terrific job you’ve done building and maintaining our parks.  I want to encourage you to budget to replace the Hartman Pool (on Hartman Park) with a neighborhood community center.  Promotion of a neighborhood center in Hartman might dovetail with your downtown recreationcenter promotion…. and help to move it forward.   

Yesterday, a poll was taken on the EdNA site asking members what they’d want on the Hartman Pool site when it’s demolished.  

Of 573 association members. 95 members participated, including Metropolitan King County Council member Kathy Lambert.  In short, the poll and threads indicated over 70 of the members would accept, and most would want, a neighborhood center as long as the trees are saved.  Interestingly, only 5 members wanted a new pool.  I swim laps and wouldn’t mind giving it up to take a morning walk and meet my neighbors over coffee.    

Benefits of the Center:     

1) The drug element behind the pool would be scared off, as it was at the Redmond Bike Park.

2)  The Center would be a “gathering place” unlike any park in the city…it would far surpass Grasslawn.  Car trips downtown for small conveniences would go down; people would get out of their cars and walking and biking would increase. It doesn’t have to be said that residential access by bike, trails and sidewalks is exceptional. And, there’d be ample parking on 176th and 172nd for evening events. 

The EdNA poll suggested small conveniences like:  a cafĂ© with limited-breakfast, an ice cream parlor, meeting rooms for indoor play and parties, teaching kids life skills, a music instructor, community events, and an organic market. 

The center would also draw residents to the outdoor element which is now stale.  It has unlimited potential.  For instance, a trail connects the park to our cherished Hartman forested wetlands. Nature signage could be installed there with signs to keep the dogs out. 

3)  The upper fields of Hartman Park for the most part are active only in the summer for baseball. A Center would attract a greater diversity of residents and more activities, year round.  Hartman Park would be more appealing, energized and vibrant. 

Our neighborhoods and parks are starting to look and feel homogeneous.  Hartman Center would change that for Ed. Hill and North Redmond.  

Bob Yoder, opinion

(Signed off by Paige Norman, EdNA founder)

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