Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hubbard's Spring - Will it Come back to Life or Merely Be an Art Piece?

Mr Bruce Hubbard has a memory, "Crystal Clear" as the day his dad harnessed the Spring on his family's homestead property back in 1925. He assisted his dad in building the container that would make their drinking water available for their house on what is now the site for the Hubbard Homestead Park,
located at 5th Ave NE and NE 112th.

      Bruce Hubbard on Front Porch of Home which was moved from the Northgate area Homestead site back in 1960's

But now, the City of Seattle has gone back on it's promise. They promised Hubbard, and dozens of neighbors and stakeholders that the new park planned at this site just north of the Target store would contain the Spring brought back to life, a "runnel" (channel containing a man-made stream from the spring) and a natural wetland (the City called it a "wet meadow"). But when the contractors and Parks Project Managers started implementing the plan, they had removed the Spring and wetland from the project.

Mr Hubbard found out and now members of the Thornton Creek Legal Defense Fund and Thornton Creek Alliance and Northgate Stakeholders have begun asking the City why they are going back on their promises.  There are many documents showing the intent of the PAT (Parks Action Team) Committee and Seattle Parks was to bring the spring and wetland back to life.  But, somehow the plans were changed without any notice to the community or the Hubbard family.

This park site is a historic wetland and stream corridor of the South Branch of Thornton Creek, home to 5 species of salmonids.  The creek, from this site enters the South Branch at Thronton Creek Park 6, where Beavers have recently created a habitat. The Thornton Creek Water Quality Channel, 12 blocks south of here, was the product of a 10 year struggle to Daylight Thornton Creek at the South Parking Lot of the Northgate Mall. It was completed last spring and is now providing major water quality benefits and stormwater protection.

Much of the funding for this park came from the Pro Parks Levy in 2008. The site was formerly a KC Metro Park and Ride lot which had been paved over in 1968.

Here is the story today via KING 5 News' Gary Chittum.

KING 5 News Story -

Homestead family member not thrilled with plan for namesake park

Featured Videos

Homestead family member not thrilled with plan for namesake park

Posted on April 13, 2010 at 6:06 PM

SEATTLE - When Bruce Hubbard was just a little boy, he helped
his father develop a natural spring on their homestead. So, he was
 thrilled to learn the city planned to use that spring as a feature in
 a park it is dveloping at that site named after the Hubbad family.
 But after seeing the most recent plans for the park, Hubbard feels
Park leaders say the old spring has dwindled to a trickle and can't
 be used, so they will use a stone fountain to represent it instead. 
Hubbard told KING 5 today he can't get behind any plans that 
doesn't include preserving the spring which was a key feature of 
the property and his childhood.
"It was cool, clean water roiling up out of the ground... it was 
like a miracle," said Hubbard who is now in his 80s.
Hubbard said the Parks Department told him the plan was to open 
up the spring and use it to feed a manmade stream running through 
the park.
A Parks representative told us the spring has been buried for years 
and the plan was and is to capture water from the spring by tapping 
into it from above, but they never intended to re-establish or preserve 
the historic spring.


  1. Hubbard Homestead Park Skate Plaza (Northgate Transit Center Redevelopment.

    Skate Plaza? Does anyone know anything about this? I can't imagine skateboarding would be compatible with the surrounding residences due to noise.

  2. I was on the PAT for this park. It was clearly stated a study would be done as to the feasibilty of bringing the spring back. This 100 plus page study was done over a year ago and posted online. It concluded it was NOT feasible to bring the spring back. I'm sure the park would never have been named after this family if anyone knew they would create such drama. It would be easier to change the name than pander to this. Do they want the city to spend all its money fighting this so we have no money for the park at all! They should be ashamed.