Seattle considering kids playground at clothing-optional beach
Nov 21, 2023, 11:01 AM | Updated: 11:21 am
(Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)
Seattle Parks and Recreation is looking to add a children’s play area to a local park. Normally, there would be no controversy, but it’s which park that’s causing the problem.
Denny Blaine Park, located in the Madison Park neighborhood on Lake Washington is one of the only nude beaches in Seattle. According to City of Seattle spokesperson Christina Hirsch, Seattle is considering putting a small children’s playground on the northwest corner of the park. The area was identified as needing a play area due to it currently sitting within a neighborhood that doesn’t have a play area or park within a 10-to-15-minute walk.
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“This project supports our department mission to increase children’s access to nature and shorelines and address any deficits within our system of lacking active recreational amenities for youth,” Hirsch told KIRO Newsradio.
The park conversion, if passed by the city, would cost half a million dollars, funded by a private donation alongside a minimal cost to taxpayers.
Critics of the change believe it’s a move to get rid of nudity in the park. Denny Blaine has been a clothing-optional beach since the 1980s.
“I say allow nudity,” park-goer Sophie Johnson told KIRO Newsradio. “If people feel comfortable being in the nude, I think it should stay.”
Still, there are plenty of local residents who think adding a play area is a slippery slope.
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“Maybe a different area, a different place for a playground,” another park-goer, Kevin Huff said. “I think preserving how people want to express themselves is a really, important thing. I think it’s kind of a spectrum. There are people who don’t like it and there are people who are totally fine with it, and I think everybody has a right to their own opinion.”
Seattle Parks stated it will gather feedback and provide more information on the plan at its upcoming meeting on the project Dec. 6, starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Martin Luther King FAME Community Center.