News in and around Madison Valley

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Holiday Lights Fund Update


The fundraising for the holiday lighting is going well, but we’re still short of the goal.

With contributions from merchants and residents, we’ve reached nearly $5,000, but to fund the lights this year we’ll need $8,000. This covers the labor cost of installation, maintenance and safety checks, and uninstalling.




Thanks to all who have sent a donation. If you can spare something for the effort, please send a check or donate online via Paypal. If we all pitch in, we can make the season bright!

Send a check and make payable to:
Madison Valley Merchants Association
4111 E. Madison Street #290, Seattle, WA 98112

To pay online, click the Support button near the green bird on the home page.


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Holidays

Holiday Lights 2017 Call for Contributions


Winter is approaching, but East Madison St will be lit up with holiday lights, chasing away the gloom.


Holiday Lights is a neighborhood beautification project sponsored by the Madison Valley Merchants Association. Each year the lights are paid for with the generous contributions of merchants and residents in Madison Valley. The merchants have chipped in $2,250 so far, and we’re asking residents to help as well. You can donate online using PayPal, or mail a contribution to the address below. If we all pitch in a little, we can make the season bright!

Send a check and make payable to:

Madison Valley Merchants Association
4111 E. Madison Street #290, Seattle, WA 98112

To pay online, click the Support button near the green bird on the home page.


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Merchants Association, Holidays

Harrison Ridge Greenbelt Gardening Party


Please come out to help preserve Madison Valley’s only natural park. We will be doing light weeding and spreading mulch. Wear comfortable shoes, long pants and a long sleeve shirt. All tools and snacks provided.




Saturday, July 15, 10 AM to noon.
32nd Avenue East between E John and E Denny
Signs will be posted


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Nature

The Harrison Ridge Greenbelt: A History of Community Activism, Chapter 5


In the first four chapters, we learned of the past 20-year history of our Greenbelt. Now we come to today’s restoration efforts.

Continued work in the Greenbelt has been done by two sets of neighborhood volunteers. First, Evelyn Hall and I worked together for a few years. Then, the past three years have been under my and Trina Wherry’s stewardship.


Catherine Nunneley and Trina Wherry


As restoration efforts expanded the area cleared and planted, maintenance became almost unmanageable for just two stewards. We were so busy maintaining the newly planted area that further restoration was incremental in spite of our best efforts. We were feeling overwhelmed.

Three years ago, however, the Bush Middle School students and their teacher, Ben Wheeler, rescued us. Ben began to teach a class in Urban Forestry as part of Bush’s elective curriculum. About a dozen eager students come to the Greenbelt twice a year and have made a huge contribution. Ben does some classroom teaching and then we provide the fieldwork experience.


Bush School students


The students use picks and loppers to remove invasive plants such as ivy and blackberries. They create “life rings” around trees to protect them from the invasives. A layer of burlap and wood chips is then put down over the newly bare areas.

Each session has its own rewards. In spring, the students experience the bare branches of shrubs and trees at the beginning of their session and then delight in the leafing out and flowering that occurs over the weeks.

Fall’s reward is the installation of new plants. The Parks Department delivers a treasure trove of native ferns, trees, and shrubs that were ordered by the Greenbelt’s forest stewards. It’s tons of fun to plant the new forest baby plants.

Both classes do ongoing maintenance in the older areas. Seattle Parks Dept with Forterra provide all the gloves and tools in a big, locked job box on site. The students come to the Greenbelt for five weeks and do the work that it would take us several months alone. There are no adequate words to describe our appreciation.


Bush School students


Trina and I also meet at the site at least yearly with the Forterra volunteer coordinator, Andrea Mojzak, Seattle Parks gardener, Sara Franks, and our new plant ecologist Will Pablo. We walk the site with them and discuss problems, solutions and future plans. It’s wonderful!

This year the trees and shrubs we planted in 2011 are finally becoming part of the larger forest. It’s quite a beautiful sight and an integral part of the community.

The Harrison Ridge Greenbelt is still a large wild area in need of ongoing restoration and maintenance. Although we are squeaking by with the Bush School help, it would be so much better to have some involvement from the community. We have not been successful requesting volunteers from the neighborhood even with small events. We are trying again to encourage participation with an upcoming work party.

Trina and I will host a summertime work party to introduce this community treasure to the neighbors and perhaps spur interest in ongoing support. We certainly hope to see YOU there!

Saturday, July 15, 10AM to noon
32nd Ave E between E John and E Denny. (signage will be in place)
All tools will be provided but bring your favorites if you prefer.
Coffee and snacks provided
Restroom facilities at nearby businesses
Contact: Cathy Nunneley

It’s because of neighbors like you who appreciate the natural beauty of the Greenbelt that we have been able to save this little sliver of forest for ourselves and future generations.


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Nature

Spring Clean 2017 Report


Spring Clean 2017 was a great success! We had about 25 volunteers. Here are some highlights:

Volunteers painted out the graffiti at the corner of MLK and Madison Street.



Graffiti was removed from the street signs and the power transfer in the traffic triangle.


In the Traffic triangle we pulled weeds and spread wood chips. 


Special thank you to Yumi Pick for helping to coordinate and to McGilvra Elementary kids and parents who worked hard throughout the morning. 


Finally, special thank you to the Madison Valley Merchants Association who hired a professional landscaping crew to pull weeds and remove dirt, along Madison Street and for driving donuts and coffee to volunteers. 

The neighborhood looks great! 


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification

The Harrison Ridge Greenbelt: A History of Community Activism, Chapter 4


“Hey! What are you doing tearing out the blackberries!??” Trina and I turn smiling to look upon a young woman walking her dog. I gesture to the sign describing the park as a reforestation site. “We’re your neighbors and the volunteer forest stewards for our Greenbelt. It’s important to remove the invasive plants so that the park will survive.” “But I like blackberries!”, she insists. It’s getting harder to find them in the city. How will I have my blackberry pies? Why can’t the park just be natural?”

This type of encounter is common for forest stewards throughout the city. It’s music to our ears to hear that folks are having a harder time finding blackberry patches. Blackberry is among the most invasive species killing our parks. Without restoration, it’s estimated that in 50 years all the trees will be gone and by the end of the century, Seattle’s urban forests will be completely destroyed. All that will remain will be ivy deserts and impenetrable blackberry thickets. It’s a desirable habitat for rats but not for many other creatures, including humans.

Today, Seattle’s urban forests are predominately deciduous trees such as big leaf maples and alders nearing or at the end of their lifespans. They are infamous for chucking off limbs in windstorms or falling down completely creating hazardous conditions. Additionally, they are covered with an ivy and clematis canopy hastening their demise. Although green in summer, they are extremely unattractive in winter. These neglected green spaces are undesirable.

Healthy urban forests are attractive and increase property values. They provide wildlife habitat, reduce storm water runoff and erosion, and improve air quality while reducing global warming. Studies from UW indicate interaction with wild green areas promote both mental and physical health.

So….back to our concerned dog walker and her fellow blackberry aficionados:

“Well,” we say, “We love blackberry pie too! However, we love this park more. Are you happy to have a wild urban forest in the neighborhood?” She nods and like everyone answers: “Yes.”

In the mid 2000s, one of our more observant neighbors realized that clematis, ivy, and blackberry had overwhelmed our neglected Greenbelt. The trees were covered with the vines and obviously struggling. Led by Libby Sinclair, the group “Save the Trees” was formed. A tiny dedicated band of neighbors worked rather casually and intermittently pulling out the ivy and clematis for a couple of years but this effort wasn’t enough.




We turned to Forterra, part of the Green Seattle Partnership, for the rescue! Green Seattle Partnership (GSP) was formed in 2004 as a collaborative effort of many entities: Among them: Seattle Parks, Dept. of Parks and Recreation, SPU and many, many non-profits. The GSP has 2,500 acres of green space under reforestation and has become the largest and most effective urban forest restoration project in America!

Forterra has many missions in the reforestation effort. One of their amazing contributions is encouragement and management of all the “civilian” volunteers out in the parks. Forterra supplies tools, mulching materials and expertise to assist volunteers care for their green spaces.

Ongoing classes and events for forest stewards ensure folks are developing the necessary skills. The untiring and dedicated staff led by Andrea Mojzak has truly been a lifesaver.

The final chapter will introduce us to the current reforestation efforts in the Greenbelt and our two forest stewards. 


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Nature

Sign Up for Madison Valley Spring Clean 2017


This is the fifth year of the Madison Valley Spring Clean — I can’t believe we’ve been doing it for that long!

Saturday, April 29
9:00 - Noon
Meet at Fast Frame at 9 AM 
2840 E Madison Street
Sign up here.

When Spring Clean started the neighborhood was mess: trash, weeds, and graffiti. Over the years, the neighborhood has done a good job of cleaning up and keeping it clean throughout the year. This means there is not as much work to do as there has been in previous years. There are, however, a few projects that need work to get the neighborhood spiffy for Summer. 

• Weed and spread wood chips at the Triangle (28th and Madison)
• Some graffiti removal in two locations.
• No dumping signs at the storm drains. 




This year Arboretum Neighbors for Safe Streets is expanding Spring Clean to include 28th and 29th Aves East, north of Madison Street. Volunteers are needed to pick up trash along the park and weed the traffic circles on 28th and 29th. Greenways volunteers will be on hand to answer your questions and take your feedback about future implementation of the Greenway (a pedestrian and bicycle friendly route that will connect Madison Valley to Montlake). 




mcgilvra-pta-logoA very special thank you goes out to McGilvra Elementary School and families, who are again helping with the Spring Clean this year.




mvma-logoAnd finally, a big thank you to Madison Valley Merchants Association who started and continue the Madison Valley Spring Clean. The merchants use this day to clean up their storefronts, plant flowers along Madison Street, provide coffee and pastries to the volunteers, and who, for the last several years, spend thousands of dollars to hire a professional landscape crew for this event. The landscape crew weeds and cleans up the winter debris along Madison Street from 27th to City Peoples. The street always looks so nice after their hard work. 




So grab your family or your neighbors and come out for a few hours. Meet other people in the neighborhood, and help brighten up Madison Valley for everyone. 

Saturday, April 29
9:00 - Noon
Meet at Fast Frame at 9 AM 
2840 E Madison Street
Sign up here.

Cash donations are also welcome to help offset the cost of the cleanup. You can make a donation online at — just click on the Donate button. Be sure to write Spring Clean in the notes field. All contributions are appreciated!

For questions contact Lindy Wishard:


1 Comment, Join In | Topics: Beautification

The Harrison Ridge Greenbelt: A History of Community Activism, Chapter 3


Previously, in the first two chapters, I presented an overview of our neighborhood’s successful effort to save the wooded hillside along 32nd Avenue East from development. First, in the 1960s, the community rallied together to prevent an ill-advised low-income housing project from being built. Then, twenty years later, the neighbors again banded together to block the construction of houses in the green space. The financially stable City of Seattle was able to purchase the property in question under the law of eminent domain. It was the first time that eminent domain had been utilized to acquire property for the specific purpose of maintaining green space in the city. Now that the community had its wooded hillside, it was up to the residents to maintain the site.

In 1993, a committee was formed within the newly resurrected Harrison-Denny Community Council (the prior name of the present MVCC) to apply for grant money and carry out a reforestation project. The group, lead by Jerry and Peggy Sussman, received a Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund Grant for $13,000. With the money, they began a project that spanned two years.

To begin, the committee hired landscape designer Blair Constantine. Blaire surveyed the area and drew up the plans to restore the 6 1/2 acres of land. The woods had been used a dumpsite for generations. In the summer of 1994, students were recruited from the area’s schools as paid workers to clean up. Volunteers from the community pitched in too. Huge amounts of debris such as old tires, car parts, and abandoned appliances were pulled from the land. Truckloads of invasive ivy and clematis as well as other vegetative waste were cleared. The Parks Department provided trucks and hauled away all the debris. The volume of detritus was astonishing!

In the summer of 1995, after the previous year’s cleanup, five hundred conifers, native plants and shrubs were purchased and planted within the newly cleared woods. Arborist Paul West from the Parks Department oversaw the planting and worked among the volunteers. These plantings occurred after two years of very arduous work. The next several years brought new volunteer work parties to the greenbelt to maintain the baby plants. As the trees and shrubs began to thrive, the community rejoiced.

In late 1995, the Council applied for and received another grant concerning the Greenbelt. This Small and Simple Grant outlined a two-part effort to educate the community about the Greenbelt.

The first part concerned the publication of the spiral booklet, “City Woods”. “City Woods” was a locally set story of native trees and plants with a brief history of how the Harrison Ridge Greenbelt was saved. It included illustrations of different plants as well as drawings of historical images.


city woods


Volunteers from the neighborhood did all the art and writing; only the printing costs were paid from the grant money. One thousand copies of the first edition were printed. A second printing, including some new illustrations, soon followed. The booklets were sold for $5 each in local bookstores and at community events.

The second part of the grant concerned the development of a curriculum to teach about local history to the students of Martin Luther King Jr Elementary School. For eight weeks, volunteers came to the classrooms of grades K-5 and taught about the woodland history of the region and the identification of plant life. Three hundred copies of the “City Woods” booklet were gifted to the school.

The next chapter will describe our current efforts to continue reforestation and about local student involvement in learning about urban forestry.


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Nature

Julia Lee Park Update



We have two wonderful volunteers from our community who have stepped up to care for the Julia Lee Park located at MLK Jr Way just south of Madison. 


Volunteers Farrel and Nancy with Parks Dept gardener Sara Franks


Today, Nancy Jordan and Farrel Oglesby braved the chilly and steady rain to meet with Parks Dept gardener Sara Franks to review their duties. They will receive close support from Sara as they learn how prune trees and care for the plants. Farrel has an association with Bailey-Boushay and is able to borrow tools from their supplies.

Nancy and Farrel will do general tidying, plant annuals, rake leaves and participate in the planning to enhance the park’s beauty. They expect to rally more support from the community. The annual Spring Clean, sponsored by the Madison Valley Merchant Association, will include the park in their agenda this May as additional support.

Thank you to Nancy and Farrel! Neighborhood citizens who volunteer their talents enhance the living experience for all of us.


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Nature

Friends of Julia Lee Park Group


Catherine Nunneley is forming a Friends of Julia Lee Park Group. The group will meet a few times a year to help maintain the park, and to plant annuals in the spring and fall. If you’d like to learn more or help with this volunteer group please send your contact info to




Thank you for your help and participation in keeping Madison Valley beautiful!


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Nature

Spring Clean 2016 Wrap-up


Thank you to McGilvra Elementary for co-hosting and to everyone who came out to help with this year’s Madison Valley Spring Clean. 

Thank you as well to the Merchant’s Association who pays for Minero’s Landscape company to clean Madison Street. They pull all the weeds from the tree wells and sidewalk cracks, and blow away all the winter debris. They are hard working and have helped for three years in a row. 

Also, thank you to the residents and merchants who donated to help pay for Spring Clean this year. 

The focus of the clean this year was cleaning up the traffic triangle at 28th and Madison. A group of volunteers pulled all the plants and weeds around the perimeter. It was a hot and difficult job, but we managed to tame the overgrowth. The City of Seattle will provide bark to keep the weeds down during the summer and the plan is to replant the border in the fall.


Cathy Nunnely and Jeremy Braun started on the triangle early in the morning.


The Save Madison Valley group came out to help.


Sabrina and Piper work on scraping stickers and graffiti from the signs.


Tom, who was visiting his family in Madison Valley, offered to help! He hand painted the No Dumping signs near the storm water drains. Thank you Tom! 


Buried in the weeds of the triangle we found a sign that had been pushed over. We reported this to SDOT. 



Men of McGilvra hard at work in the triangle. 


The kiosk was cleaned, and new signs and plexiglass were installed. 


The crosswalk flag holders were secured, to prevent them from falling down while new flags were labeled. Interesting fact: approximately 1 flag per week is lost or stolen. 


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification

Sign Up for Madison Valley Spring Clean 2016


Madison Valley and McGilvra Elementary School are getting together on Saturday morning to clean up Madison Street. We’re asking for help from any business owners, staff, or neighbors who can spare an hour or two. We’ll be scrubbing the storefronts, removing stickers, pulling weeds, planting flowers, and doing paint touch-up.

Sign up at Sign Up Genius:


We'll have some supplies on hand: garbage bags, paint, cleaning supplies, etc. Please bring: gloves, paint scrapers, and garden hand tools.

Saturday, April 30, 10 AM – 1 PM
Meet at Fast Frame at 10 AM
2840 E Madison Street
Free coffee and pastries provided by the Madison Valley Merchants Association and Community Council.

Cash donations are also welcome to help offset the cost of the cleanup. You can make a donation online at this site — just click on the Support button. Be sure to write Spring Clean in the notes field. All contributions are appreciated!

Sign up on Sign Up Genius:

If you have questions, email Lindy Wishard.


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification

Notable Neighbors: Catherine Nunnelly

MARCH 20, 2016 | EDITOR

Each year, Seattle Parks and Recreation recognizes outstanding volunteers with its Denny Award. One nominee in 2015 was Madison Valley’s Catherine Nunneley. 


Nunnelly was recognized for her service as the Forest Steward of the Harrison Ridge Greenbelt. The urban forest is located on 32nd Ave E between E John St and E Denny Way. She has been working to preserve the greenbelt for the last seven years.

Urban greenspaces are endangered by housing development. Catherine and other volunteers plant native trees and shrubs that will grow into healthy forests that support local wildlife and the natural ecosystem. The process of planting, weeding, and mulching takes several years before the new flora are established.


These open spaces, she explained, are beautiful when maintained, add value to the housing market, and provide a habitat for birds and other animals.

To read more about Catherine Nunnelly’s work on the greenbelt, see this excellent Madison Times article.


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Nature, People

Apply Now for a Parklet or Streatery!


Since 2013, parklets have been transforming the streets of Seattle, by creating vibrant community amenities and neighborhood gathering spaces for all people to enjoy. In early 2015, SDOT expanded the idea of parklets by developing the Streatery Pilot Program, allowing restaurants and bars to build parklets that provide extra café seating space during business hours and public open space when businesses are closed. Last month, Some Random Bar—located at 2604 1st Ave in Belltown—became Seattle’s second business to host a streatery, joining the ranks of one other streatery in Capitol Hill and seven parklets in operation throughout the city. The Some Random Bar streatery features seating, planters, and tables, giving Belltown a new, attractive amenity for the 1st Ave commercial core.


The streatery at Some Random Bar in Belltown


In hopes of including more businesses and community groups in the parklet and streatery programs across the city, SDOT is now accepting applications on a rolling basis, rather than restricting them to designated application windows. Interested groups are encouraged to submit applications during the fall and early winter to allow enough time to design, permit, and construct their spaces by the spring to take advantage of Seattle’s scarce sunny weather.  Interested in building a parklet or streatery for your neighborhood? All the information you need on how to apply can be found on our website.

Recognizing that the cost of designing and building a parklet might be out of reach for some businesses and community groups, we’re is working to connect prospective parklet and streatery hosts with funding opportunities and volunteer partnerships. As part of this effort, we’ve compiled a roster of local design firms that are eager to provide pro bono or reduced cost services to help bring parklet and streatery ideas to life. SDOT’s parklet web page has more information on these firms and their services.

If you have any questions or comments about starting a parklet or streatery, feel free to contact us.


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

There Will Be Light!


The Holiday Lighting fund has reached its primary goal, and we’ll have lights this season extending from Harvest Vine to City People’s. In addition, the new restaurant Two Doors Down has contributed enough to light their block as well. Our current total is: Merchants—$5750; Residents—$2741. We thank all our contributors and wish everyone a warm and BRIGHT Season’s Greetings! 



Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification

Holiday Lights Funding Progress


Thanks to everyone who’s donated so far! In one day we’ve raised over $2,000. If we can continue that momentum we’ll reach our goal. We’ll update the graphic every so often so you can track the progress. In the meantime, please encourage your neighbors and the local businesses you frequent to contribute to the lights fund. 


To pay online, click the Support button on our home page near the green bird. Or you can mail your contribution to:

Madison Valley Merchants Association
4111 East Madison Street #290
Seattle WA 98112


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification

Holiday Lights on Madison Street


This year we are installing the holiday lights ONLY IF we can raise the funds prior to Oct 9th. 

Last year we were thousands of dollars short, and the Merchants Association had to pick up the balance of the invoice. Unfortunately, the Association cannot afford this every year — so either we raise the money before Oct 9th or Madison Street will be dark this holiday season. 


The lights on Madison add holiday cheer and safety to our neighborhood in the dark and dreary months. If you like the lights, the best thing you can do to help is to pay your portion, and encourage others in the neighborhood to contribute. If everyone would contribute something we could get it done! Beautiful lights and decorations will encourage neighbors and patrons to make Madison Valley part of their holiday plans. 

To pay online, go to and click the Support button near the green bird. Or you can mail your contribution to:

Madison Valley Merchants Association
4111 East Madison Street #290
Seattle WA 98112

We appreciate your help.


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification

Community Invited to Cayton Corner Park Open House


The Friends of Cayton Corner Park invite the community to an Open House on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 from 6 to 8 pm at Cayton Corner Park, 1831 E Madison St.

At the event the community is encouraged to learn about the new design, meet the designer, JA Brennan, ask questions and get involved. In 2011, funding from Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund contributed to the purchase of the 4,500 square foot, triangular-shaped lot on E Madison and 19th Ave. This property helped fill a need for open space in the neighborhood. The Friends of Cayton Corner Park have applied for and received two Department of Neighborhoods Neighborhood Matching Fund awards. With this funding, they hired the design consultant, JA Brennan. The “Friends” have been working hard to involve neighbors in the design process and have conducted work parties to keep the site tidy. Their leadership will transform the empty lot into a gathering place for a uniquely diverse neighborhood. 

The property at the corner of 19th Ave. and E Madison St. was named Cayton Corner Park.  Horace Cayton published the Seattle Republican, a newspaper directed at both white and black readers in the early 1900s. At one point the paper had the second largest circulation in the city. The Caytons were a very prominent family in the African American community, promoting education and making significant contributions to the development of our city and its ethnic populations.

For more information or to donate to this community-initiated park project please visit the Cayton Corner Park page on Facebook.


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Madison Valley Spring Clean: Big Success!


Thank you to all the volunteers who helped with the Spring Clean this Saturday morning. Our neighborhood looks amazing! 

More than 40 volunteers came out to help. Merchants, neighbors, and families from McGilvra Elementary School all joined together for a few hours of dirty work.

Graffiti removal from the street signs.

Volunteers removed hundreds of stickers and graffiti from street signs. An amazing family painted over the graffiti on the dry cleaner wall. The residents of Madison Lofts scrubbed the Madison Valley kiosk clean and got it ready for a new coat of paint. A resident artist stenciled “No Dumping” signs at the storm water drains.

Gary painting No Dumping next to the storm water drains.


Sticker Removal — so many stickers! 

Finally, thank you to the Merchants Association for paying for the landscape crew who was hired to pull weeds in the sidewalk cracks, tree wells, along the sides of buildings, and who also cleaned up the traffic triangle on MLK behind Essential Baking Co. 

Erica, removing stickers

Aaron, Owner of MoveMend, not only swept up but also manned the sign in table all morning. 

Thanks to everyone for taking such good care of our community. Special thanks to Luc and Cafe Flora for providing coffee and pastries. Photos by neighbor Gary Wood. 


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification

Madison Valley Spring Clean!


Volunteers needed to help tidy up the neighborhood.

The Madison Valley community and McGilvra Elementary School are getting together on Saturday morning to clean up Madison Street. We’ll be scrubbing the storefronts, removing stickers, pulling weeds, planting flowers, and doing paint touch-up. Meet your neighbors and help fight the blight!

We'll have some supplies on hand: garbage bags, paint, cleaning supplies, etc. Please bring: gloves, paint scrapers, and garden hand tools.

Sign up to Participate

Saturday, April 25, 9:00-Noon

Meet at Fast Frame at 9 AM
2840 E Madison Street

Free coffee and pastries provided by the Merchants Association and Community Council.

Cash donations are also welcome to help offset the cost of the cleanup. You can make a donation online at — just click on the Donate button. Be sure to write Spring Clean in the notes field. Contributions of any amount are appreciated!

For questions contact: Lindy Wishard,


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification

Holiday Lights Funding Appeal


Each year the Madison Valley merchants jointly fund the installation of twinkle lights in the trees along Madison Street. The lights are festive, add to the holiday spirit, and bring some cheer to the winter gloom. The additional visibility promotes public safety as well.




Having the lights installed and maintained, however, is very expensive — this year the cost will be $12,000. So far we’ve raised only $3,600. If you enjoy the holiday lights, please donate to the Madison Valley Holiday Lights Fund. 

Any amount is greatly appreciated. You can pay online via PayPal, or send a check to the association’s mailing address. Thank you for helping beautify the neighborhood.

PayPal: Go to and click on the Support button in the right column of the home page. 

USPS: Mail your donation to:
Madison Valley Merchants Association
4111 East Madison Street #290
Seattle WA 98112


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Merchants Association

A Parklet in Madison Valley

JUNE 21, 2014 | EDITOR

Parklets convert on-street parking spots into public spaces for all Seattleites to enjoy. Parklets have been popular in other cities for many years. This year Seattle is running a test program for parklets. 15 parklets have been permitted, including one in Madison Valley.


The Madison Valley parklet (view plan) will be located in front of Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse. The design includes benches, tables, and lots of planter boxes with seasonal plantings (sketch).

While the city provides permits for uses of the parking spaces, construction and maintenance costs are the responsibility of the parklet applicant. In our neighborhood, Zander Natallanni, owner of Harbour Pointe, is the applicant.

Construction and installation of the parklet will begin in July of 2014.


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Madison Valley Landmark Update


Madison Valley Landmark

The final designs for the Madison Valley Landmark are complete (view PDF). The project includes a redesign of the traffic triangle at the intersection of 28th Ave East and East Madison and a matching kiosk at the crosswalk between Jae’s and the dry cleaner. 

Monument Sketch

The next steps in the process are to get bids for the construction of the design, and raise the funds needed to build the landmark. Madison Valley has been awarded $100,000 from the Department of Neighborhoods to use toward construction. These funds will need to be matched with dollars and volunteer labor. 

If anyone would like to work on fundraising for this project please contact me


Crosswalk Repair on Madison

The crosswalk in front of Luc that ends in a tree will be repaired late Summer 2014. The tree will be removed. The sidewalk will be widened and the crossing signal will be repositioned. 


View design plans for the crossing.


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Parklets are Coming to Madison Valley

JUNE 4, 2014 | EDITOR

Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse has been approved for a parklet. What is a parklet?

A parklet is a small space serving as an extension of the sidewalk to provide amenities and green space for people using the street. It is typically the size of several parking spaces. Parklets extend out from the sidewalk at the level of the sidewalk to the width of the adjacent parking space. 

This parklet will be taking up 35 ft of space. It will be a miniature park — something that doesn’t currently exist in the business district — with raised garden beds, and will be used for sitting and relaxing.

The parklet will also affect the feeling and flow of the neighborhood. In an effort to get opinions and ideas on design and beautification, Zander Natallanni of Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse and Michael Muehlbauer of Sustain-a-culture will be holding two Q&A sessions in order to address concerns as well as collaborate on ideas with the area’s residents and business merchants on this improvement.

Meeting times are as follows:
Saturday June 7, 10 pm–2 pm at Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse
Saturday June 14, 10 pm–2 pm at Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse

These times are designed for residents to be able to drop in for a few moments on their schedules. Or you can email


The Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse
2818 E. Madison St
Seattle WA 98112


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Traffic Triangle Update

APRIL 18, 2014 | EDITOR

A new design has been proposed and received with great enthusiasm. It is a very clean and classic design. View the full-size sketch.

Triangle Monument Sketch SM


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Seattle Parks & Rec Budget Meetings


Seattle Parks and Recreation will host three community meetings in January to get feedback on the work done by the Parks Legacy Citizens’ Advisory Committee in preparation for a potential 2014 park and recreation funding ballot measure.

The meetings will feature a brief presentation that describes how the committee has prioritized a list of potential investment initiatives. That will be followed by professionally facilitated workshops that seek community input.

The meetings will be held:

• Thursday, January 23, International District/Chinatown Community Center, 719 8th Ave. S, at 6 p.m.

• Saturday, January 25, High Point Community Center, 6920 34th Ave. SW, 1 p.m. (free childcare will be provided)

• Thursday, January 30, Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave. N, at 7 p.m.

Seattle Parks and Recreation began working on the Park Legacy Plan, which forms the basis of a ballot funding measure, more than a year ago. Read the press release for full details.

To learn more, read the Legacy Committee’s Interim Report. It’s available at, or in hard copy at community centers and pools. Those who want to give input, but are not able to come to the meetings can give written comments, which bear equal weight to verbal comments. Please email comments to

Anyone attending a meeting is encouraged to send a report to this site!


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Tell Us What You Think: Designs for New Landmark


The City of Seattle and the Madison Valley Community Council are looking for comments on these preliminary designs for a new neighborhood landmark. The structure will be built on the traffic triangle at Madison and 28th Ave E. 

This feedback will be used to create a third and final design. There is no need to “vote” on one design or the other; commenters can like or dislike features from either. Clicking on the illustrations will open up full-size versions in a new window.


Design One:

Two columns are added to each side of the large tree and signage with the words Madison Valley on a curved sign. Final design for the columns and sign TBD.

Uses more of the triangle space
The large tree in front remains, but is trimmed to increase visibility
A rounded bench is built into the design
A planting strip in front to protect pedestrians from traffic

Triangle: Front

Triangle: Elev1


Triangle: Overhead

Triangle: Plan1


Design Two:

The Madison Valley signage is incased in a “picture frame”
The large tree is removed
A grove of smaller trees is added to the triangle

Design Two contains some additional improvements to the area. These could be incorporated into either design, if people like them:

1. Adding curb bulbs to the corner in front of Luc and Jae’s. This would slow traffic in the intersection and improve the pedestrian crossing.  

2. Paving the concrete and sidewalk with a decorative pattern to distinguish it as a place.

Triangle: Front

Triangle: Elev2

Triangle: Overhead

Triangle: Plan2


CrosswalkIn conjunction with the landmark construction, the nearby crosswalk (in front of Luc), which terminates in a tree trunk, will be rehabilitated, either by moving the crosswalk or removing the tree.



Please take a few moments to fill out the online survey. The last question, #10, is for any general or specific comments you’d like to us to hear. Thank you!

These design options will be discussed at both the Merchants Association meeting and the Community Council meeting. Anyone is welcome to attend these neighborhood meetings.

Madison Valley Merchant Association
Third Wednesday of the month – Nov 20, 9:00 AM at Cafe Flora

Madison Valley Community Council
Third Wednesday of the month – Nov 20, 7:00 PM at MLK FAME Center

If you have questions or additional comments regarding the Madison Valley Triangle Project, please contact


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Attention: Landmark Sketch Review on Saturday!


Madison Valley residents are urged to stop by Luc next Saturday to give feedback on the design of the new landmark being built at the traffic triangle. GGLO, the design firm working on the project, and officials from the city will be present to take your comments. Complimentary coffee will be served.

Bring your friends and neighbors, drop in for a few minutes, learn a little about the project, and share your thoughts. Everyone is welcome—the more community feedback, the better, and the more likely we are to receive funding.

When: Sat, Nov.9, anytime between 10 am and 11:45.
Where: Luc Restaurant, 2800 East Madison Street

If you have questions please email Lindy Wishard, Madison Valley Community Council President.


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Harrison Ridge Greenbelt Update


Sixth-grade teacher Ben Wheeler has created an elective class in Urban Forestry. Students learn about plant identification and restoration techniques, as well as planting. There is an emphasis on the importance of wild green space for the overall ecology of the community. The class began in mid-October and will run until the middle of November. Ben hopes to offer the class for subsequent quarters and perhaps it will become a permanent fixture in the curriculum.

Greenbelt Photo


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Schools

Woody Lane

MAY 29, 2013 | EDITOR

Resident Andy Goulding recently had a local street widened with a gravel shoulder as a safety improvement.

The curved lane on the west perimeter of the Arboretum connecting 26th and 28th Avenues East has long been hazardous to walkers and pets.

With guidance and support from Councilman Tom Rasmussen, Andy applied for and was awarded $30,000 from Department of Neighborhoods. The road improvement was completed by the Seattle Conservation Corps and the Department of Transportation.

Woody Lane Before

Andy named the refurbished thruway Woody Lane, after his golden retriever. “In my youth,” he says, “I drove our ’58 Chevy fast through this neighborhood, on this street, as a shortcut to I-90. Now we live here and I hate cars driving fast on the street!”

Woody Lane Proposal

Woody Lane After

In addition to being dangerous, the lane was plagued with litter, which Andy personally cleaned up over the years. Taking inspiration from his cause, he composed a “little song.” In the key of C: 

I found a Hostess Cupcake in their trash on Woody Lane,
The packaging looked tidy and intact.
If you were me what would you do, to lighten up your load,
Eat it or throw it in your sack?

I am a litter picker, that’s how I spend my time
To ease my guilty conscience and my woes.
Other people help me; they throw out junk and grime.
Co-dependency keeps me on my toes.

I have a small conundrum, that bothers me a bit,
Like one hand clapping in the woods:
Do people like a road that’s clean, after I’m done cleaning it,
Or do they just like all those packaged goods?

Andy Goulding
View Andy’s Facebook page on the renovation.


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Madison Valley Spring Cleaning


This past Saturday the Madison Valley merchants and residents took part in a Spring cleaning along Madison between 27th and 30th.  

Merchants, volunteers, and some paid help worked together to clean moss-covered awnings, paint over graffiti, remove stickers from poles and bike racks, pressure wash storefronts and sidewalks, remove weeds from the tree wells and sidewalks, and install beauty bark.

The Madison Valley Merchants Association spent about $2,500 to pay for the cleaning effort. Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse provided coffee, Harvest Vine baked some wonderful pastries for volunteers, and Pagliacci Pizza provided pizza for everyone at lunchtime. City People’s Garden Store gave everyone a discount for plants, flowers, and supplies. 

The next time you’re in a neighborhood shop, please tell the proprietor how much you appreciate a clean and pretty shopping district!


Spring Clean 0411

Thierry Rautureau removing Cash for Junk signs on street posts.


Spring Clean 0414

The side of Madison Cleaners pressure washed and the tree wells cleaned. 


Spring Clean 0415

Volunteers removing hundreds of stickers from poles.


Spring Clean 0417

Not only did Pagliacci donate pizza, they also helped!


Spring Clean 0421

The freshly painted space between Jae's and the Cleaners. 


Spring Clean 0428

The "before" photo of the Music Factory walkway. 


Spring Clean 0431

The "after" photo. What a difference!


Spring Clean 0432

The tree wells with weeds removed and bark in place.


Spring Clean 0433

The front of Henrietta's hat shop got a fresh coat of paint.


Spring Clean 0434

Karrie Baas planting flowers in front of her shop.


Spring Clean 0436

Carolin Messier pressure washing the sidewalk.



Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Local Publicity

Give Your Input on the New Park at 19th and Madison


The space at 19th and Madison will become a park. Our community was lucky enough to get a grant to hire a landscape architect and public artist to work with us to design this space as a park. You'll likely walk by, drive by or walk/bike through this space now! Let's work together to improve the look and feel of this public space.

It's easy to engage in our community. Please do two things:

1. Review 3 park designs created by our community members and comment on this very brief survey. With your feedback, we can move forward to creating a single preferred design. 

2. Join the next Public Design Workshop #3 to discuss final park decisions on: Tuesday May 28th, 6:30-8:30pm Hearing, Speech, and Deafness Center Conference Room at 1625 19th Ave Seattle, WA 98122

We look forward to seeing you in a few weeks! Thank you

Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Community Design Meeting for 19th & Madison

MARCH 21, 2013 | EDITOR

The second of three Community Design meetings is being held to inform the look and feel of the outdoor space at the corner of 19th & Madison. All residents are encouraged to attend. Wednesday, March 27th, 6:30pm at the Hearing, Speech, and Deafness Center. 1625 19th Ave, 2nd Floor Conference room.

Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Seeking Landscape Architect / Environmental Designer


Request for Qualifications

The non-profit groups the Madison Valley Merchants Association and Madison Valley Community Council (501c3) are soliciting qualifications from individuals or organizations interested in a planning and design effort for the intersection of 28th Ave East and East Madison Street.

Scope of Work

Planning and design of the project should include:

  • Analysis of existing conditions
  • Facilitating at least two community meetings to gather public input for the project
  • Developing concept materials
  • Developing final design and construction cost statement for the approved design concept
  • Communicating with the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and Seattle Department of Transportation to obtain project approvals and permits


$19,000, awarded as a Neighborhood Matching Fund Grant, is available for the current planning and design phase of this project. For the construction phase, Madison Valley will be seeking additional funding, including additional grants, and private funds.

The Design Team

Candidates must have significant experience designing similar project types, landmarks, signage, and streetscapes.

Additional Information

The location of Madison Valley is unclear even to those familiar with Seattle, hence the need for a landmark. This intersection is the center of the business district, and nearly 10,000 people pass this central point by car, bicycle, and on foot everyday. As such it should be an aesthetically pleasing identifier and focal point for the neighborhood.

Confusion exists over the demarcation of Madison Valley vs. the Central District vs. Madison Park. A symbolic landmark in the center of our neighborhood would foster community pride while beautifying the area.

Our plans for the renovation may include restoration of existing traffic triangle and crosswalk, creation of a new neighborhood landmark, and a means to advertise seasonal events.


  • Submittals should include your firm’s qualifications and experience and how it relates to this project.
  • Identify team members and their roles, include resumes.
  • Provide thoughts on your approach to and interest in the project.
  • Provide project descriptions for three of your recent (within the last 3 years) projects of a similar scope and nature. For each of the projects, please provide references.
  • A description of knowledge gained from working with community groups, city departments, and public input processes, will enhance the strength of your submittal.

Submittals may be mailed to Lindy Wishard, 4111 East Madison Street #290, Seattle, WA 98112, or may (preferably) be sent electronically to

Direct questions to: Lindy Wishard,

Final day to submit RFQ responses: March 8, 2013, 3:00 PM

Proposed Schedule

March 2013: Hiring Committee hires design team
March 2013: Public Design Meeting #1, public input
May 2013: Design team develops concepts, revisions, and with Committee plans next public meeting
June 2013: Public Meeting #2 to present design concept
August 2013: Design is finalized

Thank you for your interest,
Lindy Wishard, President, Madison Valley Community Council
Nat Stratton Clarke, President, Madison Valley Merchants Association

Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification

Beautifying Madison Valley

Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification