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Date registered: February 20, 2015

Latest posts

  1. Write and Thank the Parks Department, Mayor, and City Council — February 4, 2016
  2. Pathway of Lights Glows Across Generations of Greenlakers — November 23, 2015
  3. Agenda for FOGL Meeting November 24, 2015 — November 5, 2015
  4. Green Lake Meetings — November 4, 2015
  5. Monitoring results for September 14, 2015 — September 18, 2015

Author's posts listings

Write and Thank the Parks Department, Mayor, and City Council

Scum along Green Lake shoreline

Photo by Green Lake resident Garet Munger

Toxic algae blooms caused Green Lake to be closed to all water contact activities during the fall of 2012, 2013 & 2014. Last year it was closed for swimming in September 2015.

bright blue algae scum

Toxic blue-green algae in Green Lake.

In 2004 the lake was treated with alum and the water remained clear for nearly a decade. Funding for another alum treatment is in the City’s 2016 budget.

Friends of Green Lake asks you to PLEASE WRITE to the City Council, Mayor Ed Murray, and the Parks Superintendent to thank them for including the funding for another Green Lake clean up in the budget to keep Green Lake clean, healthy, and beautiful for people and wildlife. In your letter be sure to let them know how you use and value Green Lake and that Green Lake serves people of all backgrounds and income levels.

City Council:
Parks Superintendent:
Mayor: To contact the Mayor, go to, scroll down to the Mayor’s photo on the right and click on “Contact” for the contact form.

Funding for a Green Lake Study was included in the 2015 City Budget.  The Alum Treatment is planned for March-April, 2016.

Pathway of Lights Glows Across Generations of Greenlakers

by Katie McVicker
Photo and story courtesy of Seattle Parks Department

The city is dark. The air is cold. But Green Lake Park is aglow.

Since the 1980s, on the second Saturday of December, neighbors, families and tourists have celebrated the Pathway of Lights. Guests are invited to stroll the path lined with luminaries, listen to sounds of the season and enjoy refreshments.

This year, the Pathway of Lights will take place from 4:30-7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12 at Green Lake.

The idea was brought to Green Lake Community Center by a woman who was inspired after seeing a similar event on a trip to the southwestern U.S. The name was coined through a community contest. Despite its growth, the event has maintained its intimate, community feel as the same volunteers and families return every year.

In its inaugural year, luminaries encircled only the community center and the event was marked with horse-drawn hayrides. Throughout the years the event continued to expand. While guests used to light the luminaries by passing candles to one other, large community groups are now needed to help with set up. Local performers and artists are stationed around the lake to entertain walkers.

Green Lake Advisory Council Member Sue Ruuska and her husband have been involved with Pathway of Lights since its inception. Sue, known as the “bag lady,” and her husband, the “sand man,” would put together the paper bags and sand and their daughters, then 8 and 11, would run the luminaries around the path. Now, Sue can be spotted at the event with her 3-year-old granddaughter. “I like to watch people come with funky costumes and decorate themselves with glow lights,” Sue said. “Some people come with candles, some people bring their kayaks decorated in lights and others come with a group of friends and start caroling.” Participants can bring their own candles or lights to add to the festive ambiance and as always, newcomers are encouraged to start their own traditions.

Pathway of Lights is a food drive benefiting FamilyWorks and participants are asked to bring non-perishable food items if they are able.

Special thanks to event sponsors Green Lake Masonic Lodge, PCC Natural Markets and Seattle City Light. – See more here.

If you have any questions please call Karen Galt, Seattle Parks and Recreation, at 206-684-0370.

Agenda for FOGL Meeting November 24, 2015

  • Room opens for socializing and conversation at 6:45 PM
  • Call to Order and Introductions
    • Richard Fleming, President
  • Green Lake Plantings and Vegetation
    • Barbara de Caro, Resource Conservation Coordinator, Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation
  • Recent Events at Green Lake Park
    • Richard Fleming
  • Odd Year Nomination and Election of Officers
    • Vice President
    • Corresponding Secretary
    • Treasurer
  • WebMaster’s Report
    • Ellen Hewitt
  • Treasurer’s Report
    • Gayle Garman
  • Adjourn
  • No December Meeting
  • Next Meeting January 26, 2016

Friends of Green Lake (FOGL) is a non-profit group in Seattle, Washington, whose mission is to ensure a healthy Green Lake for wildlife and recreation, for today and tomorrow.

Green Lake Meetings

Friends of Green Lake meets at 7:00 PM on the 4th Tuesday of select months, at:

Boardroom, The Hearthstone
6720 East Green Lake Way N

NOVEMBER 27, 2018

The Green Lake Community Council also meets there, in the chapel, at 7:00 PM on 2nd Wednesdays of odd numbered months. Visit their website.

Monitoring results for September 14, 2015

Water temperature 18.5º C (65.3º F) at 1 meter depth.
Clarity as measured by Secchi depth 2 meters (6.56 ft).
Pea soup!

Measured by Ben Hall from his kayak at the deepest point in the lake opposite the Hearthstone.

Agenda for FOGL Meeting September 22, 2015

  • Room opens for socializing and conversation at 6:45 PM
  • Introductions
  • Reed Blanchard PE, Engineering & Technical Services, SPU
    • Modifications to the Meridian Screened Outlet and to the Densmore Inlet
  • Richard Fleming
    • Green Lake’s 2015 Summer
  • Ellen Hewitt & Richard Fleming
    • FOGL Website
  • Richard Fleming
    • 2015/16 – FOGL Work Parties?
  • Richard Fleming
    • Call for Elections, Odd Number Year
  • Gayle Garman
    • Treasurer’s Report
  • Next Meeting October 27th
  • Adjourn

Friends of Green Lake (FOGL) is a non-profit group in Seattle, Washington, whose mission is to ensure a healthy Green Lake for wildlife and recreation, for today and tomorrow.

Seattle Parks Holds Superintendent Listening Tour

Jesús Aguirre, new parks superintendent, invites you! Come to Community Open Houses September 22 & September 26 and meet him.

The department is hosting two large open houses – one south of the Ship Canal, and one north of the Ship Canal – offering great opportunities for you to meet and talk with the superintendent personally, as well as to learn all about the great stuff Seattle Parks and Recreation does. They will feature staff from all over the department to share their work – from the employees who buy and build new parks to those who organize summer camps to our park rangers. There will also be free children’s activities and food.

Open House #1:
Tuesday, Sept. 22, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Van Asselt Community Center
2820 S Myrtle St. 98108

Open House #2:
Saturday, Sept. 26, 2 – 4 p.m.
Northgate Community Center
10510 5th Ave. NE 98125

To find a community meeting closer to your neighborhood or to learn more about the tour, go here. If you can’t attend a meeting, give your feedback online here.

It’s Not Your Imagination! Green Lake Water Level Is Really Low and Getting Lower. Where Has All the Water Gone?

By Sarah Lemmon
Photo & story courtesy of Seattle Greenlaker

Have you noticed the level of Green Lake seems to be lower? It’s not your imagination. The Lake is so low in fact that in late July Seattle Parks Department had to remove the 3-meter diving boards from both East and West Green Lake. Why? The Parks Department confirmed that the drought has caused the level of the lake to lower dramatically.

Green Lake isn’t a deep lake. The deepest tends to be about 30 feet, but most if it is much shallower. We reached out to Friends of Green Lake (FOGL) to find out if they had depth information. According to FOGL who took data from the east side of the lake, not only is the lake level low but it is lower than the past few summers, that are also trending lower. See the Friends of Green Lake graph.

Richard Fleming, President of Friends of Green Lake said “since the majority of water entering Green Lake comes from rainfall onto its surface, the effect of major rainfall is often seen as a rise in surface elevation… I must emphasize that while this summer the lake and the region are experiencing a substantive drought; in the prior two years the lake also experienced water levels well below what was casually observed in prior years.

“Thus, while the conditions this summer are more severe; 2013, 2014 and 2015 each show unusually low lake levels.” Fleming says that the change in the level can not be explained, despite discussing with both Seattle Public Utilities and the Seattle Parks Department. “In the up-coming elections, citizens may wish to ask candidates ‘Where has the water for Green Lake gone, and what is proposed to restore Green Lake water levels?’ Fleming said.

See this story and more on the Seattle Greenlaker blog.

Swimming platform with diving boards removed because the water is now too shallow for diving.

Monitoring results for August 24, 2015

Water temperature 20.5º C (68.9º F) at 1 meter depth.
Clarity as measured by Secchi depth 1.75 meters (5.74 ft).
Water is geting murkier.

Measured by Ben Hall from his kayak at the deepest point in the lake opposite the Hearthstone.

Low Cost Life Jacket Sales June 20, July 18, Aug 15, Sep 19 at Evans Pool

When: Designated Saturdays during the summer from 10 AM– 2 PM

Where: Evans Pool, 7201 E Green Lake Dr N, Seattle, WA 98115-5301

Wearing a life jacket saves lives! The cost for life jackets sizes infant to youth large will be $20, teens to adult size XXL will be $30. Special thanks is extended to partners Seattle Children’s Hospital, Fisheries Supply, Rehab Without Walls, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary for their support of this event.

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