ABOUT Cheasty Greenspace at Mt. View
Cheasty Greenspace at Mt. View (CGMV) is a ten-acre urban forest between the Lockmore neighborhood of Beacon Hill and Columbia City. It is part of the Cheasty Greenspace, a 43-acre remnant forest on the mostly steep slope separating Beacon Hill and the Rainier Valley. The forest entrance to CGMV is one block west of the Columbia City light rail station at the intersection of Alaska Place and Mt. View Drive. For many years until 2008, this greenspace provided little in the way of a park-like atmosphere. With darkening-ivy draping its trees, the greenspace housed numerous homeless encampments and hid illicit behavior such as drug use and prostitution. It was a frightening and uninviting place – few people, except a few committed neighbors, visited. In early 2008, volunteers started hosting regular work parties to remove garbage, clear the ivy and blackberry and install native plants. Many volunteer hours later, the majority of the 10-acre site has been restored.
Friends of CGMV are volunteers working in cooperation with the Green Seattle Partnership to welcome volunteers from around the city to help restore this small urban forest. Since its formation in 2008, Friends of CGMV has been consistently supported in its restoration efforts by Seattle Parks, the Cascade Land Conservancy, neighbors, community groups, and volunteers. These include United Way, Seattle Pacific University, the Refugee Women’s Alliance and local schools.
The biggest park issues now are that pedestrian access into CGMV is difficult and that it has no established trail system, only a series of unofficial “social” trails. In the larger neighborhood context, another important issue is that Cheasty Greenbelt has always hindered pedestrian connections from the Lockmore neighborhood to Rainier Valley. The opening of the nearby light rail station in 2009 has created a strong desire for a functional pedestrian connection. Friends of CGMV obtained a Small & Simple grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods to hire Johnson|Southerland architects, landscape architects and planners to help create a trail plan for the greenspace and for key right-of-ways.
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