Friends of Ballard Corners Park

Community Meeting – 18 Oct 06

We had a productive meeting last night. In attendance were myself, Rebecca Carr (our co-chair), Gabriella Moller, Susan O’Neill, Jody and Mark Stewart, and Gordon Waddell. Garry Owens (our Department of Neighborhoods project manager) also came and offered us many good suggestions.

Gabriella got a much deserved thank you for her and Phoebe’s hard work on the interim planting. If you haven’t seen it, come by the park to see it. I think it makes a wonderful addition to the park. I’ve always thought our park is on the small side, but after breaking my back last Sunday to fix up a very small part of it, I now see it as a much larger park and a much larger project.

We discussed the brochure. I got some helpful feedback on the design. Look for a new and improved version soon. We discussed and agreed to mail the brochure to a geographic area bounded by NW 58th St. and 75th St. , and 15th Ave NW to 24th Ave NW . The cost will be approximately $1000. We discussed that this was really mostly an outreach effort and not strictly a fundraising idea. Rebecca suggested that we postpone the mailing to early next year to avoid being lost in the holiday mail crush. Garry told us about the success a past Volunteer Park project had in going door-to-door fundraising; if I remember correctly, they set a goal of 10,000 in fundraising door-to-door, but ended up with more than $100,000!!!

We thought that we’d mail the brochure in early 2007, and then go fundraising and building community door-to-door in the spring. Garry had some good ideas about how to appear. We should be wearing T-shirts and buttons, bring children (when possible) and go when people might be outside (i.e. a sunny and/or warm weekend day or weekday evening). He also said that the Volunteer Park group made “badges” from their brochures and wore them around their necks. We agreed that this sounded good and will plan to follow-up on the mailing later in the spring. Other ideas bubbled up – yard signs to show support, selling T-shirts, selling buttons – in addition to asking for direct cash contributions.

Gordon reported on his research on getting T-shirts. A local vendor on Ballard Ave (Elephants Gerald) looked like the best bet. Everyone was supportive of getting roughly 100 T-shirts (in various sizes) to start. The cost will be $6.50 to $10.00 per shirt, depending on the complexity of the design, number of colors, number of sides, etc. It was agreed that spending the $650-1000 to make and initial run of 100 T-shirts was appropriate. Gordon and I are the T-shirt subcommittee. We will offer the T-shirts initially to our many fine volunteers first, then spread beyond that as deemed appropriate. We may try to solicit donations of approximately $10 to help cover costs. But the T-shirts are good PR for us. Gordon and I will try to have the shirts done ASAP.

I presented the idea of buttons. We can make buttons for roughly $1 a piece. We agreed to run 200 initially. I designed buttons and sent them to a printer (Express Printing in Ballard) and delivered them to Acme Rubber Stamp on Ballard Ave for completion today. We’ll have them by early next week.

We were discussing the T-shirts and the need for a slogan. Gordon suggested “Bringing Green to Ballard”. Jody then suggested “I park it at Ballard Corners.” Everyone (except yours truly, who was very tired and hungry and humor impaired) laughed heartily and loved it. After some processing, I got the joke. We agreed that we would adopt it as our new slogan. Look for it on the T-shirts and buttons.

Gordon also presented the idea of making placard for local businesses to put in their shops. It might read “Elephant Gerald supports Ballard Corners Park ” and have our logo or something similar. I broached the subject with the employee at Express Printing and he said the owner would probably be supportive. I think I’ll also try to talk Acme Rubber Stamp into keeping one or more of our buttons on display in their case.

Gordon presented the idea of being an “affiliate” with (his former employer). The concept is that we put a link to Amazon on our website and ask people who would nominally shop at during the holiday season (such and Gordon and I) to go via our website and click through to Amazon (or other retailers). As a return to us, Amazon will give us approximately 4% of the purchase price. This could be a great way to get people to contribute just by shopping online as they normally would. Again, Gordon and I formed a subcommittee to get this up and running ASAP, before the holiday season. We’ll also try to find other on-line merchants that offer similar deals. If any of you know of any, email or call me.

Susan and I will meet with the extremely powerful Washington State Representative Helen Sommers next Thursday, 26 Oct. She is the chair of the House Appropriations Committee (they decide how money is spent). We’ll present the park concept to her and ask her for financial support in the next legislative session. If anyone has advice about how to approach this meeting, please let me know. After that, I’ll set up meetings with our other state legislators, King County Councilmember Larry Phillips, and possibly King County Executive Ron Sims.

We briefly discussed how to spend the $15,000 Small and Simple grant from the Department of Neighborhoods. I suggested the following budget: $12,000 to Barker for design development, which will get us to 50% of construction documents. $1000 would go to mailing brochures, $650 to 1000 would go to T-shirts, $200 to buttons, $100+ to the interim planting, and the remainder to be decided later (probably outreach or fundraising). We hope that contributions will fill in other needs until we can get money from the DON Large Project Fund or other sources.

Posted on October 18th 2006 by master in Meetings | Comments Off on Community Meeting – 18 Oct 06 |

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