PROJECT UPDATES

  • The Eli's Park Project

Updated: Aug 7

Drop in at the Burke-Gilman Playground Park anytime between 12:00–6:00 pm on August 14th to give your feedback and play with our community! People of all ages, abilities and identities are welcome.

Please help us spread the word by sharing our flyer! Follow the links to find versions to print, email and post on social media.


If you have feedback to share, but can’t make it or aren’t comfortable attending an in-person event yet, please email Paige at pmreischl@gmail.com and we’ll be sure to send you an invite to our upcoming virtual feedback session.

Event Schedule


12:00–6:00 pm: Paint the Park

Drop in to help temporarily transform sidewalks and park sculptures into a color-filled game board with artists Carol Rashawnna Williams and Devon Midori Hale. Wear paint-appropriate clothes and they’ll provide the rest.


1:00–2:00 pm: Animal Neighbor Nature Walk

Explore the paved park trails with artists Kate Clark and Kristi Lin and discover what the living rooms of woodpeckers, baby squirrels, and bats look like. Bring binoculars if you have them.


2:00–3:00 pm: Drag Queen Storytime with ALEKSA MANILA

Drag Queen Storytime with ALEKSA MANILA is a celebration of diversity of families. Stories that focus on love in all its entirety for ALL FAMILIES. *Storybooks are authored by LGBTQ and Ally writers, artists and center on LGBTQ-inclusivity.


2:00–5:00 pm: Play for All Workshop

Meet the design team from Site Workshop and give your input to make sure we get all the details right from slide types to supportive swings and more.


2:00–5:00 pm: Outdoor Games and Activities

Join Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Rec'N the Streets and Specialized Programs for fun outdoor play designed to be welcoming and accessible for all.


2:00–5:00 pm: Name That Park

Hear what this project means to our Teen Advisory Team and suggest a new name for the Burke-Gilman Playground Park. (All suggestions will go through Seattle Parks and Recreation’s official naming process.)


A special thanks to our community partners at Wedgwood Starbucks for providing food and beverages.

  • The Eli's Park Project

The foundation of the new Burke-Gilman Playground Park is specifically designed so that every feature of the park is accessible and every area of the park can be reached via an accessible route.


While all new parks should meet accessibility rules established by the ADA, those rules actually only require a subset of playground features to be accessible. Most parks have significant features, often the coolest ones, that are not accessible.

The rainbow shading on the image of the design represents areas of the park that will be accessible. The other areas are plantings, landscaping or alternate routes to common accessible spaces.


We can move differently, play differently or even take different paths, but there is nothing here that will stop us from playing, relaxing and spending time together!


Our amazing landscape architects at Site Workshop have spent years listening and learning from our community. An inclusive design process informed their plan. We think the design they created from your ideas is incredible, but we want to make sure you agree.


There’s one more opportunity to give input on the design before it’s submitted for final approval. Especially if you, or someone you love has accessibility requirements, we need your help. We’ll be at the Burke-Gilman Playground Park from August 14th from 12-6. Stop in to review the plans, give your feedback and help us ensure this truly becomes a park for all. You also won’t want to miss the community art installation with Devon Midori Hale and Carol Rashawnna Williams, a nature walk led by Kate Clark and Kristi Lin, drag story hour with Aleksa Manila, a naming suggestion booth with our Teen Advisors, outdoor games with Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Rec’N The Streets and Specialized Programs and so much more!


Follow us @elisparkproject for more details. Hope to see you soon!

  • The Eli's Park Project

One goal of the Eli’s Park Project is to build a park that is accessible and welcoming to people of all ages, abilities and identities. Our other, equally important, goal is to build the loving community who will gather there. We know relationships are more powerful than stereotypes and believe that if we all work together, we can create a more inclusive world.


As the COVID pandemic and racism endemic have highlighted the pre-existing equity gaps in our community, they’ve also provided some tangible examples of how the Eli’s Park Project is already making a difference in our community.


In March of 2020, schools scrambled to ensure their most vulnerable students had access to food. Many school sites began offering pick-up lunches and to-go snacks, but students living in the affordable and transitional housing near the park were not accessing this essential service. The principal at the nearby middle school reached out to an Eli’s Park Project volunteer. She said, “We called on the Eli’s Park Project teen advisors and volunteers to assist with getting the food into the hands of our students. They were able to make immediate contact with students and families due to the deep community connections they have created and fostered over the years.” Trusting relationships and a strong community connection made it possible for hundreds of local students to receive meals.


Similarly, the roll-out of vaccines shone a light on the range of experiences and disparity of access to healthcare. Janelle Wagner, a local vaccination clinic manager, reached out to an Eli’s Park Project volunteer for assistance connecting with nearby community members. "Thanks to the Eli's Park Project, I got to know people in our community I would've never known. And once I got to know and care about the actual people who are excluded, I knew I had to do more. The Eli's Park Project community members helped our vaccination clinic partner with families of color and disabled community members so we could bring personalized vaccine clinics to them so people would feel safe, welcome and be able to access vaccines. Without them, we would've never known who was missing or how to reach them." Because of the bridges built between our previously segregated communities, over 400 vaccines were administered to community members furthest from health equity.


Building community, strengthening relationships and breaking down barriers is the heart of the Eli’s Park Project. Because we all benefit when we all belong.