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Grand Opening All New Green Lake Community Boathouse April 13, 2024 



Seattle, WA-Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is happy to announce the new Green Lake Community Boathouse at the Small Craft Center in Green Lake Park is substantially complete. Together with our community partners, we will be hosting a grand opening and ribbon-cutting celebration onsite on April 13, 2024, at 11 a.m.  

The project is the direct result of the strong partnerships between SPR, the Green Lake Rowing Advisory Council, the Associated Recreation Council, Friends of Green Lake Crew, and the Seattle Canoe and Kayak Advisory Council. Since 1948, SPR and its civic partners have ensured youth access to rowing and the lake. This project will not only allow those relationships to continue but open the lake to even more youth of all backgrounds and abilities. 

The new 10,800-square-foot boathouse will increase capacity for public programs through a combination of expanded and more efficient boat storage and additional instructional space. The boathouse is fully accessible, making the launch of Seattle’s first public adaptive rowing program and expansion of a para canoeing program possible. Specialized programs of SPR will also be able to expand their work with individuals of all physical and cognitive abilities. 

Additionally, the new boathouse facility is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified building and provides restrooms, locker facilities, areas for off-water instruction, and a community meeting space. The new boathouse will better engage with Green Lake Park and the heavily used adjacent walking trail. The project also renovated the existing public restrooms adjacent to the trail that serve all park users and adds a new fully accessible, 3,600-square-foot pier and ramp. 

The Small Craft Center houses the 75-year-old Green Lake Crew, started in part by storied UW rowing coach Al Ulbrickson and other civic leaders in 1948. It is believed to be the oldest public junior rowing program in the nation. In 1963, long before Title IX, the crew added a girl’s program, another first for the region.   

It is also home to the 50-year-old Seattle Canoe and Kayak Club, founded in 1969. It is the only public program in Seattle offering competitive and recreational paddling and canoeing programs. 

Over the decades, both programs have introduced thousands of Seattle youth to rowing and paddling, opening doors to a diverse community, and even launching some to success on the national and international level.  

Community volunteers, in partnership with Green Lake Rowing Advisory Council, Associated Recreation Council, and Seattle Canoe and Kayak Club, advocated for the project, raised over $3 million in private funding, and secured another $1.4 million in public grants including grants from the Land & Water Conservation Fund, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, Washington Department of Commerce, King County Parks, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Major Projects Challenge Fund. 

In partnership with SPR, the public programs at Green Lake are driven and sustained by three nonprofit organizations: 

  • About Associated Recreation Council (ARC) Seattle Parks and Recreation created this nonprofit partner in 1975 to support and enhance their work. ARC makes equitable, dynamic, culturally relevant, and responsive recreation and lifelong learning programs possible for every Seattle resident. ARC fulfills this mission with the help and support of 36 volunteer-led Advisory Councils around Seattle.  

  • About Green Lake Rowing Advisory Council (RAC) RAC is one of the 36 volunteer ARC Advisory Councils and guides the activities of Green Lake Crew, the first public youth rowing program in the nation at its founding in 1948. RAC supports opportunities for lifetime enjoyment of watersports on Green Lake. 

  • About Seattle Canoe & Kayak Advisory Council (SCKC) Founded in 1969, SCKAC is the only public program in Seattle promoting competitive and recreational paddling opportunities for all ages and ability levels.

 

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