This past weekend, community volunteers gathered at the south end of 28th Ave NW in Ballard to put the finishing touches on a four-month shoreline restoration project. Part of SDOT’s Shoreline Street Ends Program, the project has transformed the area where 28th Ave meets Salmon Bay into a vibrant public access point that also contributes to the local ecology.
In February of this year, nearby Sea & Shore Construction generously donated the boulders, logs, lumber and gravel seen in the photo below, as well as the labor needed to move all these elements into place! For design help, Sea & Shore tapped the expertise of Mark Garff and Marina French, landscape architects with The Watershed Company. The result is nothing short of awesome. What used to be a simple street end marked by two wooden guardrails is now a small community park providing access to the water’s edge, ample seating, and even a kayak/paddleboard launching area.
But what would a community park be without some beautiful landscaping? That’s where this weekend’s volunteers come in. Organized by Groundswell NW, several members of the surrounding community came together on Saturday to mulch and plant the beds seen above. Using a palate of native plants, and many wheelbarrows full of mulch, the work party brought the space to life in a single afternoon! We can’t wait to see what this shoreline will look like after the plants have had some time to grow into their new home.
But the benefits of this project don’t stop at the shoreline. The trees, shrubs and thick layers of mulch will help to filter runoff from the street above, thereby keeping pollutants out of Salmon Bay. And beyond the planting beds, in the water below, there now lies a bed of gravel in which salmon can spawn. Together these elements not only create vital new habitat for fish and other sea life, but they also help to keep the water clean for human swimmers too!
Volunteers reported that within an hour of completing the plantings, community members were already showing up to check out their new street end. One resident even walked down from his house with kayak in hand to try out the new launch step for himself.
So if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by to check out Ballard’s newest public space!