• Update on Green Lake’s Duck Island

    City Suing Local Biz  Over Duck Island.

    green lake loop

    Duck Island can be seen in the upper left portion of this city depiction of Green Lake on signage at the lake.

    According to the latest in the Seattle Times, the city has filed a lawsuit against a local Capital Hill skate shop and 20 other unidentified individuals who are allegedly responsible for building the skate park that appeared on Duck Island this summer.

    The skate shop’s response to the times: “We were shocked to be named in this suit as we didn’t know the bowl was even built until after it was completed. We certainly didn’t know it had been built on a sensitive bird habitat and would not have submitted the video to Nike’s contest if we had,” Croghan said. “We’re all about supporting great DYI skate projects like Marginal Way, but never at the expense of our city’s natural resources.”

    It is terrible that this happened. No argument about it and my personal opinion is that we should definitively try to find the actual individuals who did this without thinking it through, but I have hesitancy about the city going after a local biz so quickly.. Hopefully we can educate people into really taking a look at the impact we have on nature and very little of it there is. I have kayaked Green Lake many times with my son and he always wanted to dock on the island and explore it.  I never knew what the actual rules were about Duck Island, but I assumed that it was a big no no. I would guess that this is not the general assumption and I am sure it has been explored from time to time.

    Just because my moral compass told me not to touch Duck Island does not mean that this is not something that  someone else might consider making themselves at home with.  Should the city take some responsibility as well and consider educating the public? I missed any obvious “no trespassing” signs on Duck Island, but my common sense told me not to touch it – that and trying to imagine hoisting myself out and in a kayak on it. According to KOMO, there are no such signs to warn people off, but that doesn’t mean that the mental leap should have ever been made to make individuals think they could erect anything.

    Duck Island is owned by the city of Seattle and managed by the parks department.  According to KOMO, Duck Island  was “designated as a wildlife refuge in the 1930s and managed as such into the 1980s. It remains a bald eagle management buffer zone, according to Seattle Audubon Society, who preserve and protect natural habitats.”  It is clearly a wildlife habitat.  According to Seattle Audubon, “Quality habitat in the city is a limited resource that must be protected. Green Lake Park is a regular field trip and bird walk destination for Seattle Audubon, precisely because of the species diversity it supports. This disturbance on Duck Island could seriously impact that diversity. Seattle Audubon will continue to monitor this situation and work with our partners to find an amicable resolution for the benefit of birds and people.”

    Volunteer to help Seattle Audubon here:  http://www.seattleaudubon.org/sas/GetInvolved/Volunteer.aspx

    Duck Island has always been interesting, along with other things in Seattle.  It is man made as you may have guessed and was originally called Swan Island, but the topography was not something a swan could live with and so it became Duck Island. There are a lot of other interesting things about the whole swan aspirations that you can read here so it isn’t the first time someone has had a failed plan for the island.  Ultimately, though, it is best to leave it alone. My hope is that we educate people and that we get restitution from the individuals actually involved, and that we can turn this into a huge positive and get a nice volunteer movement going for Green Lake.  We are so lucky to have this gem in the middle of our city.  That is what it is really about.  Let’s protect it and come together. What do you think about Duck Island and how has it been part of your personal Green Lake living? greenlakeloop@cooperjacobs.com

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