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Westlake Children’s Play Area Now Open!

The Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) took a big step forward in its mission to increase family friendly amenities on Friday, March 1 with the opening of the Westlake Children’s Play Area.  Roughly 100 children helped the DSA, Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the City of Seattle’s Parks & Recreation celebrate the grand opening, with the Spruce Street School marimba band providing a wonderful soundtrack.

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DSA President & CEO Kate Joncas opened the festivities by addressing the crowd and media members to explain the need for such a space Downtown.

“Attracting and retaining families is a top priority for keeping Downtown a diverse, vibrant and healthy neighborhood,” said Joncas. “The number of children living Downtown has increased steadily over the past 20 years, and play spaces contribute to healthier kids and families.”

Seattle Children’s Reasearch Institute President James Hendricks, PhD, expounded upon the connection between play spaces and the lowering of childhood obesity.

“More than 30 percent of American children and teens are obese or overweight,” said Hendricks. “Children need spaces like this play area so that they can be physically active, and research also shows that outdoor play time helps improve Vitamin D levels and mental health.”

This project would not have been possible without the partnership of the organizations mentioned above and the Metropolitan Improvement District, Mithun, and Lease Crutcher Lewis.

A heartfelt thank you as well to a group of tremendous community supporters:

Ben Bridge Jeweler; Bentall Kennedy; Mark Barbieri; Clise Properties, Inc.; Foster Pepper; Joshua Green Corporation; Matt Griffin & Evelyne Rozner; Shaula & Darrin Massena; Mayflower Park Hotel; Metzler Real Estate; Pacific Place; Pine Street Group L.L.C.; Richard Hedreen; Seattle Hotel Association; Seattle Monorail Services; Seattle Parks Foundation; Stellar Holdings, Inc.; and Visit Seattle.

Additional donors include:

1521 2nd Avenue; Adam Sinnett; Andrea Levy; BDS – Planning & Urban Design; Clara Miller; Coughlin Porter Lundeen Inc; Daniel Shih; Dean McColgan; Deborah Cohen; Diament Family; Ferdinand Boyce; Helen Stusser; Hunt for Videos; John Pehrson; Joyce Hsu; Julie Biniasz; Julie McAvoy; Katherine Mackinnon; Kelly Mann & John Kenley; Laura Larson; Mark Smith; Matthew Loar; Michael Ward; Oleg Barshay; Peter Sill; Philip Lloyd; Roger Chalfont; Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC; Sara Larsen; Stacey Cheng; and Thomas Ditty