New city park sits above Maple Leaf reservoir


Seattle Parks and Recreation held the grand opening last week for Maple Leaf Reservoir Park.

The 16-acre park sits on a concrete lid above the 60 million-gallon reservoir built by Ferguson Construction. The park was built by Paul Brothers Inc.

Total budget was $55 million, with about $5 million of that for the park, which is at Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 82nd Street.

New space was added to the existing 5-acre Maple Leaf Park to create a 21-acre area with sport courts, viewpoints, a path along what was once the edge of the reservoir, grove and wave plantings, baseball and soccer fields, pickle ball courts, basketball hoops and a children’s play area.

The upper portion of the park contains a series of rain gardens, a plaza and viewpoint that overlooks Lake Washington and Mount Rainier.

The lower level contains the play area that was finished last spring and ballfields that are expected to be ready next spring. Two staircases connect the levels.

An art piece by Patrick Marold called “Confluent Boulders” is at the eastern viewpoint. Two boulders in the piece were taken from the watersheds of the Tolt and Cedar rivers, which both feed the Maple Leaf reservoir.

Another artist, Kristin Tollefson, designed elements in a children’s garden.

The Berger Partnership was the landscape architect and prime consultant for the park. Others of the team were: EnviroIssues, public facilitation; Springline Design, civil engineer; Sparling, electrical and lighting design; and Swenson Say Faget, structural engineer.

MWH Americas was structural engineer for the lid.

Primary funding for the park came from the Parks and Green Spaces Levy. Other funding came from a Department of Neighborhoods grant and a private donation from the Bishop family. “Confluent Boulders” was commissioned with funds from the levy and Seattle Public Utilities’ 1% for Art program.

SPU has replaced six of its 10 reservoirs with underground structures to improve the quality and security of the city’s drinking water. Two reservoirs were fitted with floating covers that SPU plans to leave in place. The last two reservoirs — at Volunteer Park and Roosevelt — have been taken out of service.

SPU took Volunteer Park and Roosevelt offline in April and is conducting a two-year decommissioning test on them.

An SPU spokesman said the utility has become more efficient with water allocation and may not need the 50 million gallons stored at Roosevelt or the 20 million gallons at Volunteer Park. He said part of the decommissioning involves getting input from stakeholders and neighbors.

SPU’s website said Roosevelt has been drained but Volunteer Park has not so that it can be a water feature on Capitol Hill.


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