Seattle Park Rangers with help from SPD cleared out what is being described as an “encampment” from Cal Anderson Park Tuesday morning.
Unusually dry weather seems to have lead to an extended season for travelers and campers using Cal Anderson as a hangout spot. Tuesday, the Seattle Parks crew and Seattle Police officers cleared out one particularly accumulative camper and removed much of the material collected from the park.
According to Seattle Parks, SPD’s community policing team was on hand to offer the person access to shelter services but the offer was declined.
UPDATE: Seattle Parks adds that the camper was given notice about the clean-up last week and got an extra day thanks to the MLK holiday. In all, Parks says 800 pounds of material was removed. That is not a typo — 800 pounds.
The sweep comes as Parks has also been busier than usual lately with graffiti clean-up in the park including difficult to remove tags on the Cal Anderson water mountain.
Monday, SPD busted a meth dealer in an undercover operation in the park.
This past summer, Cal Anderson again became a focal point for Capitol Hill crime concerns after a series of violent incidents including robberies and stabbings — at one point, City Hall deemed it necessary to leave the park’s lights on all night in a short-lived attempt to provide added safety. In 2011, the park was purged of certain benches and shrubbery in an attempt to improve safety and cut back on drug use and crime around the park.