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The Case for the New Boathouse

Our Vision

More people from all backgrounds and abilities will have access to watersports at Green Lake

  • We believe in the impact of watersports on our youth
  • We break down barriers to ensure anyone can row, paddle, or sail
  • We are inspired to pay it forward

Why is now the right time for a new boathouse?

Access to the water is one of the best ways to improve the quality of life for everyone in the Seattle region. Yet our facilities don’t meet the needs of those excluded from watersports due to their background or physical ability.

  • Low-income youth are traditionally underrepresented in rowing, paddling, and sailing due to expensive program costs.
  • These sports are not widely available in public schools, yet one in four Seattle Public School children say they would like to try rowing a real boat (Pocock Rowing Foundation). 
  • There are currently no public adaptive rowing programs in Seattle for anyone with significant physical limitations. Accessible docks and ADA-accessible facilities are rare.

Our challenges with the current Green Lake Small Craft Center include:

  • Safety: Two of our three buildings do not meet earthquake building code requirements. The primary off-water training area is in a seismically-deficient structure and lacks proper lighting and ventilation. The facility also lacks private, safe changing areas and restrooms.
  • Accessibility: A recent evaluation cited more than 150 issues related to ADA accessibility.
  • Capacity: We do not have storage for more boats or an appropriate dock to expand our programs, which impacts recruitment and retention for rowing, paddling, and sailing.
  • Visibility: The building has low visibility to passersby, limiting the community’s awareness of opportunities for involvement.

Green Lake is a cost-effective alternative to private facilities. While we have a long tradition of financial assistance for anyone who needs it, we risk turning people away without investment now in a new boathouse.

  • The Green Lake Small Craft Center is one of the most heavily-used park facilities and the only place in North Seattle that offers low-cost, public watersports (rowing, paddling, and sailing) in one location. 
  • Green Lake Crew supported our youth with $32,000 in financial aid during 2018.
  • Seattle Canoe and Kayak Club invested $1,500 in financial aid to ensure anyone could canoe or kayak at Green Lake in 2017.
  • The Green Lake Small Craft Center hosts a variety of outreach programs for underserved youth, including the Green Lake Summer Outreach. In 2017, 580 underserved youth participated in free boating classes.