Despite new projects, vision for Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park remains unchanged

With $54M worth of structural and design upgrades underway, the Seattle Asian Art Museum renovation is just one of several ongoing projects in Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park. Nearly 120 years after the ridgeland was shaped by an Olmsted design, a passionate cohort of minders advocate, volunteer, and fundraise in order to preserve function and maximize recreation for the community. Sunday, some of these caretakers invite you to get your hands dirty along with them as they spruce up the park.

This Sunday is Fall Restoration Day at the park from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM when volunteers of all ages are invited to meet at the southeast entrance at Prospect and 15th Ave E to help with weeding, mulching and more. There will be free donuts and coffee.

Fall Restoration Day in Volunteer Park

“One of the positives of the park is that it hasn’t changed a whole lot in over 100 years,” said Parks and Recreation project manager Kelly Goold.

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Blotter | DUI arrest after Volunteer Park water tower wall crash

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • Water tower crash: A reported teen driver was arrested for DUI early Thursday morning after the car he was driving smashed into a stone retaining wall near the historic Volunteer Park water tower. Police and Seattle Fire were called to the park just after 1 AM following the collision that also reportedly damaged several cars. There they found the driver still in the vehicle and passed out at the wheel. He was not seriously injured and was taken into custody for investigation of DUI without incident. No serious damage to the rock wall was reported. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Grey smoke sun

Seattle’s layer of wildfire smoke is forecasted to be partly blown away by ocean winds Thursday night and into the weekend. But a fuzzy view from Volunteer Park might be something to get used to.

Some forecasts indicate the smoke will thicken again by Monday — and may even be worse than the dangerously low air quality we saw earlier this week.

Looking though Seattle’s haze, wildfires are only part of the problem, according to a report from Environment Washington:

With the Trump administration proposing to weaken federal air quality and global warming emissions standards, air pollution remains a threat to public health. According to a new report by Environment Washington Research & Policy Center 3.8 million people in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area experienced 26 days of degraded air quality in 2016, 250,000 people in Yakima experienced 84 days of degraded air quality, and 554,000 people in Spokane-Spokane Valley experienced 51 days of degraded air quality, increasing the risk of premature death, asthma attacks and other adverse health impacts.

The full, sad report is here.

Celebrate while you can still breathe. Volunteer Park hosts GreenStage this weekend including a performance of The Three Musketeers Thursday night, Henry IV Friday night, and a presentation of Backyard Bard Saturday afternoon.

CHS Pics | Here’s what the third annual Lusio in Volunteer Park looked — and sounded — like

Born in the park three summers ago, the Lusio light and sound event bloomed in Volunteer Park Friday night before fading away — again — until next year.

The annual free night of art and music drew what appeared to be its largest crowd yet. The word interactive gets abused so much that it means nearly the opposite but at Lusio, the term pays off: Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Seattle Asian Art Museum expansion ‘topping out’

(Image: Richard Beckerman and Courtesy of Seattle Art Museum)

From the Seattle Art Museum

The last beams are going in place for the steel framework of the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s expansion, located on the east side of the historic building in Volunteer Park. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Volunteer Park hosts Seattle Modern Quilt Guild sew-in

CHS found a few members of the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild enjoying Thursday’s break in our recent heat spell with an outdoor “sew-in” at Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park. The group meets monthly in Greenwood and holds sew-ins around the area. Their next meeting is August 8th and another sew-in is coming up on the 18th at the Greenwood senior center. You can learn more at

CHS Pics | Volunteer Park Picnic and a look at the design for new lily pond fencing

(Images: CHS)

Volunteer Park was an exceedingly pleasant scene Thursday night as family, friends, and lovers gathered for a picnic on the main lawn to enjoy live music and free ice cream under the summer sun. Seattle musician Lydia Ramsey sang with her band as children danced and wrestled on the grass with their parents watching from a distance.

The annual Volunteer Park Picnic included a special appearance this year. Partway through the picnic, a member of the Volunteer Park Trust went onstage to make a few announcements about upcoming projects that build upon a larger effort to renovate and reinvigorate the park alongside major reconstruction and expansion of the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

One of these projects includes replacing the fence surrounding ponds near the front entrance of the museum, which have been taken over by a small flock of local ducks that have adopted them as a home and resting area to escape the summer heat. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Athos, Porthos and Aramis — and d’Artagnan, too — in Volunteer Park

Friends share an inflatable couch while watching themes of friendship, loyalty, pride, love, and ambition in Volunteer Park

The plays were the thing this weekend in Volunteer Park as the annual Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival filled the public green space with drama, comedy, and, thanks to the hot summer temperatures, a general appreciation for more matter with less art. CHS stopped by Saturday’s Greenstage performance of The Three Musketeers. Continue reading

Pinocchio, The Three Musketeers, *and* King Lear spotted on Capitol Hill? Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival returns to Volunteer Park

(Image: CHS)

The Volunteer Park amphitheater stage is being lined up for replacement but it will continue to provide a worthy backdrop to a weekend of outdoor theater this weekend.

The 2018 Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival comes to the Capitol Hill park this weekend with two days of Shakespeare and more: Continue reading

Police search for suspect after car reportedly stolen on Capitol Hill with teen girl inside

(Images provided by SPD)UPDATE: SPD says they have taken the suspect into custody:

South Precinct Anti-Crime Team officers, with the assistance of the Department of Corrections, identified and arrested a 37-year-old man in connection with the auto theft reported Friday morning. Officers found the suspect at a South Seattle residence and took him into custody without incident.

Original report: Seattle Police are asking for help identifying a man who allegedly stole a BMW left running with a teenage girl inside on Capitol Hill Friday morning.

The suspect reportedly dumped off the teen at an International District park after a frantic ride across the city as the girl texted her mother about the unfolding situation and police attempted to track the vehicle.

He then left the BMW sedan running in a S Maynard parking lotw here he was caught on security camera leaving the area on foot.

The suspect is described as a white male, between 25-35 years old, 5’8″ tall, medium build, wearing a dark colored sweatshirt, blue Seattle Mariner’s cap, and grey sweatpants and black tennis shoes.

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