Cal Anderson clean-up? ‘Encampment’ cleared, graffiti (mostly) scrubbed

One of Cal Anderson's campers following a clearance of his camp this fall (Image: CHS)

One of Cal Anderson’s campers checks his stuff following a clearance of his camp this fall (Image: CHS)

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.

9 thoughts on “Cal Anderson clean-up? ‘Encampment’ cleared, graffiti (mostly) scrubbed

  1. This blog, as well as other news organizations in this city, are neglecting the large number of people who don’t want to help these people, but rather remove them from our streets entirely. How about paying lip service to the thousands of residents who simply want to get rid of the vagrants altogether? How about starting a conversation about ways other cities have decreased their vagrant population. Such as pan handling laws, increased police presence and other restrictions for vagrants wandering aimlessly around the city that don’t want “shelter services.” It’s time we did something to fix this problem for good. Not just another humanitarian effort that wastes our time and tax dollars on people that don’t want the help.

    • Outoftowner, I agree with you. The city agencies, and many of our citizens, are far too accepting of behaviors which make certain areas unsafe, unclean, and trashy. It’s ridiculous that it took this long to clear this encampment and its 800 pounds (!!) of junk.

      When a vagrant like this refuses to even consider the possibility of shelter services, he loses all of my empathy.

  2. This encampment has been there since late summer. Why did it take so long to get them removed? It’s ridiculous that they were only given notice last week.

    I’m curious to know if it was just the apathy of the McGinn administration, or something else that we can change in our city code that allows for these things to be resolved faster.

  3. Pre McGinn and Holmes era there was a no camping law in the books. Once in office MANY changes took place, one of which was the camping ordinance. We don’t want to pic on the homeless! This concept filters down to all department heads and you get a camper that finds a crease in the rules which takes time to sort out. It got sorted and he got the boot. Offering services? You know where he is at, please go make the offer.

  4. Pingback: Trespass stats, storefront homeless camps point to increase in people living on streets of Capitol Hill | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

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