Search PNC News for stories of people and churches in our UCC Conference:

Broadview UCC seeks to ‘paradise’ its parking lot

Broadview Community UCC has been granted $5,000 by the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods to do research on transforming its parking lots and grounds at 125th and Phinney from what it calls “Lake Broadview” into usable space.

Broadview UCC parking lot

Broadview UCC’s parking lot becomes a 18-inch lake in Seattle’s rainy season.    Photo courtesy of Broadview UCC

Its Paradise-ing the Parking Lot Project has a neighborhood steering committee.  The goal is to enhance its usability by the neighborhood by offering it as a gathering place, alleviating flooding—up to 18 inches during the rainy season—and improving drainage with a rain garden, partial permeable surfacing and cisterns.

The standing water is an eyesore and makes access difficult.  Planners seek to model practical, green solutions after years of effort and problematic flooding, said Dan Stern, pastor.  The area will be regraded for basketball games and picnicking, as well as parking.

The church, which owns the land, is small in comparison to the range of neighborhood and nonprofit groups that use or meet on its premises, including the Pacific Northwest UCC Conference office. 

About 1,000 people use the building and grounds each week, Stern said.

Youth, immigrants, lesbian/gay/bi/trans support groups, 12-step and recovery groups and music/arts/drama groups use the facilities.  People who work in the area nearby often have lunch on the lawn. 

Ethnic immigrant congregations include Bethel Ethiopian Church and the Congolese Christian Church of Faith, Hope and Love.

The church has a history of serving as a neighborhood center, including use for Taoist Tai Chi, 46th District Democrats, SEIU 1199, Mountaineers, Health Screening, Block Club neighborhood nights out and Prodigal Wisdom, an outreach to homeless men.

The tree-lined grounds are a certified bird sanctuary.

The church seeks to be an earth-friendly, social-justice seeking community of faith, open and affirming to all regardless of religion, faith or sexual orientation,” Stern said.

The steering committee and circle of supporters includes renters and homeowners, neighborhood activists, environmentalists, block club leaders, parents and youth leaders, senior citizens, immigrant church liaisons, area church leaders and lesbian and gay leaders in the neighborhood.

In addition to the assistance of architects and contractors, planners seek volunteers to share the vision, plan details, implement, maintain and demonstrate the project to others. 

They will help with outreach, fund raising, planting and maintaining the rain garden vegetation and leading educational events on the watershed and environment.

For information, call 206-363-8060 or visit


Copyright Pacific Northwest Conference News © October 2011





Share this article on your favorite social media Bookmark and Share