We are replacing Volunteer Park’s aging and dilapidated stage with a new, state-of the-art Amphitheater. In 2016 we completed a year-long, community-wide feasibility study which gathered input from performance companies, community groups, park users, and neighbors to help guide the new design, funded by Department of Neighborhoods (DON). A second DON grant allowed us to work on Phase II: Concept Design. Project consultants ORA Architects and Walker Macy Landscape Architects have worked with Seattle Parks & Recreation, Seattle Landmarks Board, and Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks to create an approved concept design. We are incredibly grateful to have been awarded a third DON grant to begin Phase III: Schematic Design in the fall of 2016.
- Our most recent Public Meeting was held on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 6-8:00PM at Miller Community Center to present the approved concept designs for the Amphitheater. Read about the meeting in The Capitol Hill Times here and the Capitol Hill Blog here.
- Download the feasibility study: VPT Amphitheater Project FINAL REPORT
- Learn more about the whole Amphitheater Project
- UPDATE: Spring Newsletter Update
- Amphitheater Concept Design articles: Capitol Hill Times
- Amphitheater Feb 2016 Public Meeting articles: Capitol Hill Times
- Amphitheater Oct 2015 Public Meeting articles: Capitol Hill Times | Capitol Hill Blog
In 2015, Volunteer Park Trust received a grant from Seattle Garden Club to create a garden named in their honor. A year later we are proud to announce the completion of the Seattle Garden Club bed!
The project location, which is southeast of the South Lily Pond, is a large landmarked planting with established spruce and cedar trees, and some native ground cover. Our plan was to cultivate the open areas and replant them with compact forsythia, roses, cotoneaster, daphne, and potentilla, echoing the palette called for by the Olmsted planting plan of 1908. To complete this major project, we had to:
- Create a formal, approved planting plan working in concert with Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks, Seattle Landmarks Board, and Seattle Parks & Recreation.
- Remove invasive plants; remove, prune, and reposition overgrown plants
- Install the irrigation framework
- Prepare the planting soil, obtain and install new plants, and mulch the bed
- Install irrigation heads making sure the specific plants are covered
For our 2016 Spring Restoration Day we removed major overgrown rhododendrons and did the intensive pruning, weeding and soil preparation. At our 2016 Fall Restoration Day we completed final weeding and edging, and the planting of over 100 new plants.
Come next spring the Seattle Garden Club garden will bloom into the blazing field of yellow that the Olmsted Brothers intended.
In June of 2015, Volunteer Park Trust received a grant from the Peach Foundation to design and install the second part of the Peach Garden. The garden is located northwest of the north Lily Pond on the main concourse of Volunteer Park.
To date, we have achieved the following:
- Prepared scaled drawings of existing plants, soil type, and light exposures. We have located and consulted with the original planting designs from 1912.
- Consulted with Seattle Parks and Recreation landscape design review board regarding existing trees and shrubs; appropriate shrubs for planting that are similar to the original Olmsted design but requiring less sun; as well as the shape of the planting beds.
- Organized volunteer clean up events to clear and prepare the site and, working with Seattle Parks staff, cleared the area of invasive plants, mulched, and prepared the bed for planting.
- Commissioned an irrigation review and plan to assure sufficient watering of the garden. This plan has been submitted to the Irrigation Department at Seattle Parks.
In concert with the SGC Garden (above) the final draft plans have been approved! Irrigation installation is being scheduled. We hope to have the garden installed by the fall of 2016.
The Coalition is comprised of Volunteer Park Trust, the Friends of the Conservatory, and Seattle Asian Art Museum. Its mission is to make the infrastructure of the Park and its institutions more efficient and environmentally sound. The Sustainability Coalition works closely with Seattle Parks & Recreation, Seattle Public Utilities, and conservation groups to make Volunteer Park a standard for the intelligent and cost effective use of resources.What We DoThe Coalition commissioned Young Architects LLC to draft a Park Sustainability Improvement Measures study. This study examines existing infrastructure in the park and identifies potential improvements in water and energy use that will make the Park more sustainable, reduce long term costs, and improve environmental impacts.
Recently, the Volunteer Park Sustainability Coalition was awarded a $25,000 Small and Simple Neighborhood Matching Fund Grant by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. The funds will pay for a park-wide water capture and reuse feasibility study as the first facet of implementation of the Improvement Measures Study.
The feasibility study will build on water-usage-related areas in the preliminary report including:
Volunteer Park Sustainability Improvement Measures Report
Young | Architecture LLC PDF Document – 1,108 KB
We plan to undertake a series of restoration and replanting projects throughout Volunteer Park in the years ahead based on the original Olmsted Brothers’ planting plans. Thanks to grants from Seattle Garden Club, the Peach Foundation, and Wyman Youth Trust, we are already well underway with the gardens listed above surrounding the lily ponds and the terraced lawns facing the western views. We will continue this work around both eastern shoulders of the reservoir, replanting the formal center of Volunteer Park and leading to our next project.
Thanks to a grant from the Pendleton & Elisabeth Carey Miller Charitable Foundation, our first irrigation repair and extension project was completed in late 2015 near the Watertower. Gone are the leaky pipes at the south end of the park, and the long-dry garden beds now have water piped to them. As we add new beds and improve plantings in Volunteer Park, irrigation upgrades and expansion will be a continual part of our ongoing projects.
A big thank you goes to those who have and are contributing to these projects!
For information on the Reservoir, Water Tower, and more, see our Future Projects page.