Viretta Park Repair (VPR) aims to ecologically restore and repair Seattle's Viretta Park while preserving the park's mix of developed and natural areas through collaborative work parties and community building. Utilizing the principles of permaculture, the effort will create a park that serves both as an urban neighborhood escape as well as a destination to remember and celebrate the life of Kurt Cobain and the music of Nirvana with creative memorial installations that reflect both the character of the park and the creativity of the band and the dedication of fans that visit the park.
FUTURE WORK PARTIESEdit
Please stay tuned for future work parties
In case you missed our big first work party on Feb 20, 2011, Kurt's birthday, or our other work parties since then, fear not! More work parties are being scheduled to take place really soon!
- Update: Yes, we pulled off our big first big work party on the 20th of February! Check out the great KOMO 4 TV story (with video too)! The Seattle Times also ran a column about the memorial aspect of the project. We still need your help to spread the word and show up with your friends for future events! We’ll help lift the gloom and doom from years of neglect of the park by removing invasive weeds that have gone out of control and spend the second half sheet mulching for future planting in the natural areas. Bring your ideas how you would like to see the park changed, what plants you would like to see (colorful flowers, perennial edibles, groundcovers, medicinal plants, natives, vines, insectiary plants, low canopy plants, plants to glean from, et cetera) and ideas for a proper memorial for Kurt Cobain. Let’s think beyond the benches! This will be the first of many work parties, don’t miss out on the first big event! Please contact us to RSVP so we can have enough gear for all the volunteers who are coming to help. For our first party people came all the way from Arizona, California and BC, Canada! Wahoo!
Viretta Park is located at 151 Lake Washington Blvd. E, Seattle, WA 98122 (Google Map). Meet at the North park bench in the lower developed part of the park just above and to the West of Lake Washington Boulevard. Denny Blaine Park offers some nearby parking a block to the Northeast.
Archive: Our very first VPR work party was Sunday, February 20, 2011 from 10 AM to 2:00 PM to coincide with what would have been Kurt Cobain's 44th birthday (he was born on February 20, 1967).
Please join our Viretta Park Repair Facebook Page.
We can also be found on Twitter
Want to collaborate with the project or show up for one of our work parties? Of course you do! Let's get the ball rolling! Please contact us so we know you are interested! Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contact us through our VPR Facebook Page or talk page Thank you!
Share your recollections, work party ideas, park design ideas, memorial ideas, concerns, comments, et cetera on the project's talk page. Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes; this will automatically produce your name and the date.
We need people who can help with outreach and advertising! Contact us if you are interested!
Want to tell others about this site? Send your friend's a link to this website. You can alternatively use the URL http://bit.ly/VirettaParkRepair for something shorter. Post on Facebook or Twitter using the share button at the bottom of this page.
Primary areas of concernEdit
The challenge: While areas of the park are listed as "developed", a quick tour of the landscape suggests otherwise. Despite the fact that Nirvana fans continue to make the park a major destination, the condition of the park has slipped into a sad state, with the majority of the natural area and even more formal areas infested with invasive plants. The park suffers from an outdated landscape design and a lack of imagination and involvement by the community. There is very little interaction with the park beyond fans visiting the benches and very little interaction with the flora.
- Yes, YOU can be part of the solution! See the talk page for a discussion of issues as well as ideas for a memorial, general comments from fans, the public and the neighbors.
About Viretta ParkEdit
Viretta Park is a 1.8 acre park in the Denny-Blaine neighborhood of Seattle, Washington at the foot of E. John Street at 39th Avenue E., stretching down to Lake Washington Boulevard E. It was named by Charles L. Denny after his wife, Viretta Jackson Denny. It is located north of the former home of Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz and south of the former home of Kurt Cobain, where he died. Nirvana fans gather at the park on the anniversary of Cobain's death (April 5) to pay tribute to the musician. The park's benches are covered with graffiti messages to the rock icon. There has been much speculation over the years on whether the name of the park should be changed to "Kurt's Park", due to the late rock icons large fan base.
The Parks Department has neglected to put any restroom facilities in the area for people to use and we may or may not have a portable toilet for our work parties. Some may choose to go in the bushes or behind trees, however, that is *not legal*, and if done improperly, can lead to some hygiene problems and problems with the community. So if you want to be legal or you need to go #2, the closest parks with restroom facilities (usually but not always open) include Madrona Park to the South and Madison Park to the North. To get to Madrona Park go South on Lake Washington Blvd. past Madrona Drive and you will see a picnic area and restroom facility. Note: the men's restroom has no stall doors (beware!), women's does though. To get to Madison Park go North on Lake Washington Blvd, Turn right/North on McGilvra, turn right/East on Madison and go all the way to the end and you will see the Madison Park Shelterhouse where there are shady restrooms). One person has suggested that a good solution would be to add a composting toilet in the area that can serve all the parks in the area. Viretta Park, which is centrally located in relation to Howell, Denny Blaine, Lake Washington Boulevard and Lakeview is a prime candidate.
- Schedule group permaculture site analysis and identify zones.
- First we need to get a good map of the Park. Daniel asked for one from Parks.
- Priority starting point. Start with what we agreed to with Jillian and get the invasives out of the lower part of the hill zone which is relatively flat.
- Organize work parties with Kurt Cobain/Nirvana fans, other GSP volunteers and neighbors.
- Since much of the activity in the park centers around memorializing Nirvana's singe Kurt Cobain we should enlist his fans to come out to clean out the park.
- Put up signs in the park advertising a work party? Music?
- Parks is being confusing about how much time ahead of event we can have work party sign up in the park. Daniel has submitted a disclosure request to seek clarification on the policy.
- Daniel is doing a press release. Tara has asked a radio station in BC to put the word and several other Seattle based radio stations such as KISW and 107.7 The End. As well Tara has contacted such businesses as E.M.P, The Showbox, the Crocodile Cafe, Easy Street Records, Tower Records and Sub Pop Records to see if these companies are willing to post a flyer in their business as a way to help spread the word. Bloggers are blogging. Twitter folks are tweeting.
- Get Viretta Park to be listed on GSP's parks.
In order to jumpstart the project Daniel Johnson, who founded the group and has since limited his involvement due to personal conflicts, met with representatives from Seattle Parks & Recreation and Green Seattle Partnership in 2010. Jillian Weed (City of Seattle/GSP + no longer with GSP) and Karen Stener (Parks & Rec, Central East Gardener 2 (now working the the WA State Arboretum)) and Jon Martin (Parks and Rec, Central East District Crew Chief) made a short appearance. The group also looked at areas of Lake Washington Blvd and Lakeview Park which are all relatively close to Viretta.
- The Cobain Memorial - Cobain.com and The Cobain Memorial Myspace Page. Andre Anderson has offered help with website and outreach. Links are now up for our work party on both sites! Thanks Andre!
- We are participating in "a study with the University of Washington's School of Forest Resources on volunteering and environmental stewardship" with staff at the College of the Environment.
Below is a wish list of people and organizations we would love to collaborate with! Some have already been contacted and we are working out how to collaborate and move forward.
The neighbors! Let's see more neighborhood events and volunteer efforts!
- The Neighbors and Friends of Viretta Park, an unincorporated voluntary association Any of these people interested?
- The Seattle Times Letters: Viretta Park -- Parks Staff Deserves Praise Monday, April 4, 1994 - Page updated at 12:00 AM
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer VIRETTA PARK NEIGHBORS CITE MORE ENCROACHMENT PUBLIC BACK YARD, BY MARK HIGGINS P-I Reporter, Thursday, March 14, 1996, Section: News, Page: A1
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer: [http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19960410&slug=2323379 Letters To The Editor
Viretta Pak -- Site Was Used As A Play Area] Wednesday, April 10, 1996 - Page updated at 12:00 AM
- The Seattle Times: Viretta Driveway OK But Decoration Must Go By Daryl Strickland Saturday, May 21, 1994 - Page updated at 12:00 AM
- The local and international community of Nirvana fans!
- Rasmus Holmen (The Internet Nirvana Fan Club) Offering help
- Friends of Denny-Blaine Park Come on Denny Blaine people, you're only a block away! Come help us and have some fun!
- Friends of Howell Park
- Friends of Lake Washington Boulvevard/Friends of Seattle's Olmstead Parks
- Madison Park Community Council
- Friends of Lakeview Park, No group organized but maybe in the future?
Non profit groupsEdit
- Seattle Permaculture Guild A gathering point for folks in Seattle wanting to practice, play with, and learn more about Permaculture.
- Seattle City Repair, the local incarnation of City Repair Project
- Green Seattle Partnership 2011: Joanna Nelson (Green Seattle Partnership), Rory Denovan (Seattle Parks & Rec/GSP), Aretha Alexander (Seattle Parks and Recreation, Central Seattle Volunteer Coordinator)
Invasives on siteEdit
English ivy (Hedera helix), English holly (Ilex aquifolium), clematis a.k.a. traveler's joy or old man's beard (Clematis vitalba), himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus) and evergreen blackberry (not to be confused with our local well-behaved trailing blackberry, Rubus ursinus). They're all over Seattle and Green Seattle Partnership has been teaming up with locals to remove and restore infested areas. We also consider turf invasive as it appears to invade natural areas and beds. Check out GSP's page on weed specific removal for best management practices on how to properly remove these invasive plants and more. You can also learn about the "sinister six invasives" from the Forest Park Conservancy
- Seattle Park & Recreation's Vegetation Management plan for Viretta Park Viewpoint
- The benches
- Bench (2010) - Graham Dolphin CECI MOSS | Friday Apr 9th, 2010. Dolphin has produced an exact replica of the wooden bench that sits in Viretta Park, Seattle, arbitrarily overlooking the site of Kurt Cobains suicide in 1994. This object has become an inadvertent memorial to the deceased rock star, through the weight of small, heartfelt but ultimately throwaway tributes scratched or drawn onto the wood by hundreds of fans visiting the spot. Dolphin has rebuilt this dense layering of inks, marker pen, tipex, and scratching that repeats Kurt RIP, Kurt Forever and similar abundant, banal phrases. -- FROM THE PRESS RELEASE FOR "BURN AWAY FADE OUT" AT SEVENTEEN GALLERY
- expressing Kurt's VISION!!
- Smells Like Teen Spirit in front of KURT COBAIN'S HOUSE in Viretta Park
- KURT COBAIN-Fans en Viretta Park
- Me playing On a Plain By Nirvana in Viretta Park, Lake Washington Seattle Apr 5th 09
- Are You a Bad Person for Wanting to See Where Kurt Cobain Died?
- Visiting Kurt Cobain's House
- Kurt Cobain memorial
- Kurt Cobain: Dead at 27
- Kurt Cobain - Death Report
- Kurt Cobain's (Nirvana) Death - MTV News Extended '94 Shows area around bench
- Other coverage is provided by our collaborative partners. See links above.
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Nirvana fans plan to do Seattle park work Sunday Posted by Casey McNerthney on February 15, 2011 at 7:06 am | Categories: From the archives, Music
- KING-TV Nirvana fans plan to restore park close to Cobain's former home Posted on February 18, 2011 at 8:33 AM This story lead to AP story (that had bad internet link to the VPR website). Here are some of the more bizarre comments: "WHY memorialize a drug addict that OFF HIMSELF !!!! If you want to cleanup a park, do it for the kids." and "They are going to scatter drug paraphernalia around the park."
- The Oregonian Kurt Cobain fans restoring park near Seattle home Published: Friday, February 18, 2011, 2:44 PM Updated: Friday, February 18, 2011, 3:09 PM
- Nirvana fans plan to restore park close to Cobain's former home updated 2/18/2011 11:45:41 AM ET
- MYNorthwest.com Kurt Cobain fans restoring park near Seattle home Updated Feb 18, 2011 - 2:39 pm
- Kurt Cobain fans restoring park near Seattle home
- The Seattle Times Memorial for Kurt Cobain sought; park neighbors opposed By Nicole Brodeur, Seattle Times staff columnist, Originally published Monday, February 21, 2011 at 10:00 PM
- Seattle Weekly Nirvana Fans Hosting a Reunion/Workparty at Viretta Park on Sunday, What Would Have Been Kurt Cobain's 44th Birthday By Chris Kornelis, Fri., Feb. 18 2011 @ 3:04PM
- Richard Lee interviewed Aaron Burckhard, DJ, a neighbor and others at the first work party on Feb 20, 2011. Let us know if you find a link to the video online.
- King 5 stopped by Viretta park on Feb 20th, 2012 for what would have been Kurt's 45th birthday. Here is their coverage that aired that evening at 11:00 pm
- Author / Journalist Gillian Gaar wrote an article for the Seattle Examiner on February 22, 2012 regarding Kurt's 45th birthday at Viretta Park in which she mentioned the Viretta Park Repair! Have a look at Gillian's article.
- Viretta Park Repair ~ Come As You Are, Nirvana fans February 14, 2011
- kurtsangelwings RT @swreverb Nirvana Fans Hosting a Reunion/Workparty at Viretta Park on Sunday, What Would .. http://tinyurl.com/4fd44qm Feb 19, 2011 via TweetMeme
- TheGrungeScene Nirvana Fans Hosting a Reunion/Workparty at Viretta Park on Sunday, What Would Have Been Kurt Cobain's 44th Birthday http://bit.ly/eo97GE Feb 18, 2011 via web
- kclvr Viretta park repair getting media attention http://t.co/1eiupqq news crews will be on site covering the event! Feb 18, 2011 via Twitter for BlackBerry®
- pdxnewsnow Kurt Cobain fans restoring park near Seattle home: Grunge music fans typically gather at Viretta Park on the ann... http://bit.ly/ejQREZ Feb 18, 2011 via twitterfeed
- breakingPDXnews Kurt Cobain fans restoring park near Seattle home: Grunge music fans typically gather at Viretta Park on the... http://dlvr.it/GyYn0 Feb 18, 2011 via dlvr.it
- kclvr @mayormcginn could u RT an event happening in Seattle http://bit.ly/g2NTks aims to repair Viretta Park Feb 18, 2011 via Twitter for BlackBerry®
- kclvr @1077TheEnd Do you think you could RT this to help spread the word? http://bit.ly/VirettaParkRepair #nirvana #kurtcobain Feb 17, 2011
- 1077TheEnd Have you been to the Cobain bench? @kclvr wants to keep it nice for the future - RT http://bit.ly/VirettaParkRepair -@gregr1077 Feb 17, 2011
- junglecity ニルヴァーナのファンが、故カート・コバーンの44回目の誕生日に当たる2/20（日）、コバーンが亡くなった自宅近くにあるViretta Parkから外来生物種を除去する作業を行います。周辺環境をファンにも近隣住民にも良いものにするためだそう。http://bit.ly/h9HpkU 1:45 PM Feb 16th via HootSuite
- alvinissimo RT @rawexuberance #Nirvana fans plan to do Seattle park work Sun [Feb 20 Kurt's 44th bday] http://bit.ly/hIB22x #Cobain #Viretta Park Repair 10:07 PM Feb 15th via Echofon
- rawexuberance Daniel L Johnson #Nirvana fans plan to do Seattle park work Sunday [Feb 20, 2011] blog.seattlepi.com/thebigblog/201… (Seattle P-I Blog) #Cobain #Viretta Park Repair 15 Feb 2011
- permagriculture RT @kurtsangelwings http://permaculture.wikia.com/wiki/Viretta_Park_Repair Viretta Park Repair: http://permacult... http://bit.ly/h2MFhB 13 Feb 2011
- kurtsangelwings http://permaculture.wikia.com/wiki/Viretta_Park_Repair Kurt Cobain Park under repair can u help,wish i could.... 13 Feb 2011
- taraden tara #Nirvana fans PLEASE come to this event on Kurt's birthday...... http://permaculture.wikia.com/wiki/Viretta_Park_Repair Viretta Park Repair 11 Feb 2011
- kclvr kclvr http://permaculture.wikia.com/wiki/Viretta_Park_Repair Viretta Park Repair #Nirvana fans... please come to this event on Kurt's birthday! 11 Feb 2011
- TheGrungeScene The Grunge Scene #Nirvana The Kurt Cobain Memorial: Viretta Park Repair. Come help repair Kurts Park on Kurt's Birthday http://bit.ly/g2NTks 10 Feb 2011
- rawexuberance Daniel L Johnson Join me in creating a new effort to restore Viretta Park in Seattle. Introducing Viretta Park Repair! http://bit.ly/VirettaParkRepair 23 Jan 2011