by Kirby Lindsay
On Monday, February 22nd, from 6:30 – 8 p.m., fans of the Fremont Troll – as well as fans of green space, p-patches, and community gathering spots for Fremont – can join the Friends of the Troll’s Knoll at Fremont Baptist Church (717 North 36th). The Friends will share their progress, so far, on transforming the green space around the Troll into something inviting, useful and of benefit to our community.
An Opportunity Not To Be Lost
Kimberly Scrivner, and other Friends, are currently preparing an application for Seattle Department of Parks & Recreation Pro-Parks Levy Development funds. The project previously won a City of Seattle Small & Simple grant, in August 2009, for $6000 for planting trees and blackberry remediation.
The Pro-Parks levy monies could greatly expand the scope of what can be done with the green space, and allow for improvements to the Troll sculpture. During the February 9th Fremont Arts Council monthly meeting, a committee was formed to work with Troll artist Steve Badanes on a proposal to be included in the application being submitted by the Friends. Upgrade ideas include increased security, electricity (lighting), seating and wheelchair access.
The Friends’ plans focus almost exclusively on the green space surrounding the Troll. To create a welcoming space for visitors and neighbors, they’ve considered installing a p-patch, buffer trees along Aurora Avenue, boulders and rocks for seating and climbing structures, and art to be created by local artists and local children. Scrivner has not, however, set a plan for the area, “this is not ‘Kim’s Project;’ it’s Fremont’s project.”
Scrivner and Steve Harris have literally knocked on doors around the neighborhood, she reported. They have hosted two community meetings (so far), distributed flyers, conducted an on-line survey, spoken to community groups and held a City of Seattle Clean & Green event. Scrivner has led City, State and local people on walk-thrus of the property. “So many people that know about it are excited about it.” Scrivner explained, “I haven’t had anyone say they don’t want us to do anything.”
The Friends have met with other neighbors who have, over the years, tried to clean up the area. Fremont Arts Council volunteers built the Troll in 1990 and during his maintenance, they’ve also worked on green space maintenance. Scrivner knows that she isn’t the first, but she may well be the most determined.
An Enthusiasm Not To Be Wasted
This is Scrivner’s first project of this sort, but she hardly arrived unprepared. “My work experience,” as an urban planner, “makes me not fearful of the process” she explained. She holds a minor in non-profit administration, and has volunteered over the years for different organizations. “I’ve always been interested in community planning,” she admitted, but “it did become a lot bigger project than I originally envisioned.”
Scrivner became involved when “I was living right there, in an apartment without access to green space.” Her view over the Troll’s green sideburn, on the west side, inspired her. She met other neighbors, including Harris, who wanted to improve the east side. Even after she moved to a place with access to green space, in far west Fremont (sometimes called ‘Ballard’), she has remained dedicated to making the Troll’s Knoll a reality.
Is the time right? That decision now comes down to the rest of us, and if the neighborhood is ready to step forward, show support and participate. Fremont Troll, and green space, lovers unite!
- FNC Highlights: Feedback On Parking, Zoning and A Knoll For A Troll
- by Kirby Lindsay, November 4, 2009
- FAC Highlights: A Look At A Participatocracy
- by Kirby Lindsay, January 20, 2010
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.