The New Rainier Vista Homeowner’s Association has written two Letters of Support over the last year: on July 21, 2014, and March 26, 2015.  They are reproduced below:


 

Marian Landa, Board President And all Board Members
New Rainier Vista HOA
2862 S Nevada St.
Seattle, WA 98108

In Support of Cheasty Trails & Bike Park

March 26, 2015

To: Council@seattle.gov, Rachel.acosta@seattle.gov

Dear City Council and Parks Board,

The New Rainier Vista Homeowners Association Board of Directors is unanimous and steadfast in our support for the Cheasty Greenspace restoration and walking and mountain bicycling trails project.

Our Board has passed several resolutions in support of the project over several years. Most recently, the Board voted this past month, reaffirming its support of the project based on the outcomes of the Project Advisory Team.

The current project plan features three access points from New Rainier Vista to Cheasty Greenspace and we endorse all three connections. We also greatly support the Project Advisory Team’s overwhelming recommendation that the trails be built and that community access trails, crossing the greenspace, be developed. Community access trails would allow residents of New Rainier Vista to have easier and safer pedestrian access to Kimball Elementary, Asa Mercer Middle School, Jefferson Park, and Beacon Hill.

This project has been mired in process for too long. It is time for the City Council and Parks Board to provide the leadership we expect and remove the impediments to this project. Support for this project has been overwhelming. Many residents of New Rainier Vista have devoted their weekends to forest restoration and their evenings to testifying in support of this project. These are busy working families, with little available time for volunteering, going to public meetings, or writing letters. Many more families will have their lives enhanced once this project is complete. Cheasty Greenspace restoration and trails project is already among the parks with the most volunteer hours across the entire city.

Imagine the extraordinary legacy you will help create by giving your full support to completing this project to its full potential, including community access trails.

Sincerely,

New Rainier Vista Homeowners Association Board (in unanimous support)
Marian Landa
Jesse Young
Whitney Howe
Robert Gandy
Kate O’Neil


 

Celeste Gillman, Board President And all Board Members
New Rainier Vista HOA
Seattle, WA 98108
cgilman@maztec.org

New Rainier Vista HOA – Letter of Support for Cheasty Greenspace Restoration and Trails Project

July 21, 2014

To: Christopher.Williams@seattle.gov, Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov, Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov, Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov, Sally.Clark@seattle.gov, Jean.Godden@seattle.gov, Nick.Licata@seattle.gov, Mike.OBrien@seattle.gov,Tom.Rasmussen@seattle.gov, Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov, Ed.Murray@seattle.gov, council@seattle. gov

Dear Councilmembers and Mayor:

I am writing on behalf of the New Rainier Vista (West) Homeowners’ Association Board of Directors in support of restoring Cheasty Greenspace and building trails in it. We represent 149, soon to be 154, homeowner families in a richly diverse neighborhood bordered by Cheasty Greenspace to the West and Martin Luther King Jr Way S to the East. The neighborhood also includes 184 families who rent their homes from Seattle Housing Authority. Our neighborhood desperately needs nearby access to nature. Cheasty Greenspace is literally our backyard, but the families of our community are currently cut off from it.

Not only are we cut off from Cheasty Greenspace, we are cut off by Cheasty Greenspace from access to Beacon Hill. For a person traveling on foot, there are no direct paths between New Rainier Vista and Jefferson Park, despite the close proximity on the map. Our children currently have no safe and direct way to walk from their homes to our neighborhood elementary school, Kimball Elementary, even though by distance that healthful option could easily be available to them.

We are concerned about the health of the forest in Cheasty Greenspace North. We understand the maple canopy trees are nearing the end of their life cycle and the thick undergrowth of ivy and blackberry has, in many places, choked out the growth of succession conifers. Without restoration, the forest will continue to decline in ecological health and it will become progressively more hazardous. If the maple trees start dying and there are no young trees to take their place, slope stability will be at risk. The Cheasty Greenspace restoration and trails project is the most immediate and reliable way to actually accomplish the forest restoration work that is desperately needed to improve the health of the forest and protect our homes from the risk of landslides. Friends of Cheasty / Mt. View is the only neighborhood group that has taken the time to bring its proposal to our neighborhood and build the momentum necessary to take on this tremendous task.

By restoring the greenspace we will support nature, and by building both biking and hiking trails we will strengthen our community. We need a diversity of uses in this valuable greenspace to engage urban youth and support our communities. On any day of the week, if you come to New Rainier Vista you will see dozens of children of all ages playing in our alleys, streets, parks, and playgrounds. These young people are our future, and for their sake and the sake of the forest, they need the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with the natural world. By engaging urban youth, we will develop tomorrow’s forest stewards. They are the succession conifers to our current forest restoration pioneers.

The Friends of Cheasty / Mt. View have already brought together a broad coalition of neighbors and community organizations to bring about this new park and community space in our neighborhood greenspace. Their work is already bringing neighborhood youth organizations — including Asa Mercer Middle School, BikeWorks, Refugee Women’s Alliance, Bethany Presbyterian, Woodland Park Zoo Crew Middle School Summer Program, Seattle World School, and Seattle Parks Summer of Service — into Cheasty Greenspace for after-school and summer restoration projects. Once the new trails are completed, these same groups and more will continue engaging youth and organizing activities in Cheasty Greenspace. Other groups — including BikeWorks and Cascade Bicycle Club — are connecting neighborhood kids with bicycles (30 were given away in New Rainier Vista last month!) and will continue to develop programs to support youth learning, trail building, park maintenance, and leadership skills. These young people are learning the technical skills of restoring a greenspace, riding and maintaining bicycles, and connecting with neighbors and friends to have fun outdoors.

This project will be transformational – building connections where previously there were divisions, increasing safety where previously there was fear, restoring health where previously there was neglect, providing access to nature and physical activity where previously there were barriers of distance and expense, creating engagement where previously there was apathy and reactivity. Your approval of this grant will support the strong, community-driven nature of this project and show that neighborhood groups can be effective forces at delivering the vision of a safe, vibrant, affordable, interconnected city for all.

Thank you for approving this project.

Celeste Gilman
President
New Rainier Vista Homeowners’ Association