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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Alice Bryant Park: Let's Give Peace a Park!

Let just admit it.... Thornton Creek Park #6 needs a better name.  Why not make it a Peace Park, since Northgate needs a peaceful place?
Photo credit - Seattle Parks Dept

Alice Franklin Bryant (1899-1977) was a nationally-known, Peace Activist in the Northwest. She had been a prisoner of war during WW II by the Japanese military in the Phillipines, and yet became an advocate for "Nuclear Disarmament" and against the internment of Japanese Americans during the war years here. She even travelled to Japan to support Hiroshima victims.

She went on to a vibrant politically active career in the Seattle area, running for Congress and the US Senate. She received many awards including a citation from Seattle Mayor Wes Uhlman and from the WAState Senate.

Now, Peace groups in the Seattle area and Thornton Creek Alliance have taken a position advocating for a "Peace Park" named after Alice Bryant in the Northgate area.

Alice Franklin Bryant 

Thornton Creek Park #6, has been without a real name since it's inception during the Forward Thrust Bond years in the 1960's and 70's. It is across the street to the new Thornton Place Development at Northgate and the Daylighted Thornton Creek segment. It is a lovely, and somewhat wild, little natural area that provides an element of "peace" to a busy urban hub, for those who seek it out.  There are other "nameless, numbered parks" in the watershed and in other parts of town as well.

Thornton Creek's South branch is rich in native plantings, some invasive weeds and yet provides a wildlife sanctuary for many native species and a respite for local residents and workers who seek peaceful surroundings. It has been a "work in progress" for over a dozen years, and much restoration work has been accomplished by local stewards.

Local activists have collected over 300 signatures to support the idea of naming this nameless park in honor of Alice Bryant. They've held vigils and received support from many current and former elected officials and other dignitaries such as, Gov Albert Rosselini, former Senator Donn Charnley, Seattle City Councilmembers, many local residents and groups such as SNOW(Sound Non-violent Opponents of War) and local Churches like Seattle First Baptist.

Her connections to North Seattle are through her family members, who've been longterm stewards at this park. Alice was a passionate supporter of the environment, especially on it's relationship to disarmement. Here is a message from Ruth Williams, Alice's grandaughter and TCA 2nd Vice President about the progress that's been made on the park naming issue.

Alice meets with a Japanese Diplomat in Tokyo

At the Thursday, June 16th, Thornton Creek Alliance meeting the group voted
unanimously for their naming proposals for the unnamed Thornton Creek Parks.

They are proposing the following:

1)  A naming convention for the currently unnamed park properties along

Thornton Creek and its tributaries that would highlight a distinctive

natural feature of each property, followed by ".  Natural Area on Thornton

Creek"; and a notable exception

Thornton Creek Southbranch at restoration site near 
Fifth Ave NE, Northgate
Photo credit - Janet Way

2)  Naming at least part of TC Park 6 "Alice Bryant Peace Park on Thornton

It was necessary for TCA to take a stand on the park naming issue because
Seattle Parks is considering not naming any of the parks, but only the entry

And the "Alice Bryant Peace Park on Thornton Creek" name already has 300
supporting signatures, many of which belong to watershed activists as well
as others from all over the community.  This name will add a wonderful new
dimension to the Northgate neighborhood.  It is already generating more
interest in the park from the greater community. A few of them have already
attended some of our Park Six work parties.

The TCA naming system and the name are not a done deal yet, but the
endorsement is of immeasurable help in making NE Seattle's peace park a
reality.  Sally Bagshaw, the new chairwoman of the Seattle City Council

committee on Parks and Seattle Center, has been an effective watchdog in

making sure that Parks respects the public will.  We believe her office will
make sure we get a fair hearing when the TC parks come up for naming in the

Great Blue Heron feeding at Thornton Creek Park 6

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