Seattle, Washington

Alice Ball Park

Much loved. Well used. Community driven. These are the words used to describe Alice Ball Park, located in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle. Located on a site formerly inhabited by drive-up businesses and asphalt parking, this small but mighty park provides a civic space that connects neighbors and provides flexible, generous public space. Born through the vision and hard work of a forward-thinking client, Seattle Parks and Recreation, cooperating agencies such as the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Public Libraries, a creative design team, and, most importantly, engaged and active neighbors, Alice Ball Park reflects what is possible when the public design process goes right.


Seattle Parks and Recreation

Alice Ball Park
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Award Winning

In 2021, Alice Ball Park received a WASLA Merit Award for Public Design.

Friends of Alice Ball

Alice Ball Park is supported by an active neighborhood-based group, Friends of Alice Ball Park.


The design of the park stemmed directly from understanding what the community most valued, a versatile open place to come together and build goodwill. Hundreds attended community workshops and open houses, driving the vision for the park: determining common public space values shared by a visitor or passerby; creating opportunities for nature play that was tailored for the very youngest visitor; and creating space for meetings, activism, meals, or after a visit to the library.

With many community desired program elements to incorporate, yet a tight budget and relatively small site, spaces within the park must serve two or more uses, and flexibility is key. The existing grade was flattened using unobtrusive retaining walls at the site’s edges, allowing the open spaces of the park to become a contiguous surface for gathering and activities. Simple but high-quality site furnishings, the library boulders, and seat walls provide edges, perches, and stoops. Soft-surface areas create a nature play zone, reading nook, and gravel digging area. Generous plantings add a sense of nature to the park and wide planting strips at the arterial’s edge create a formalized and generous edge.

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