Historical Fun Facts
BRUGGER’S BOG PARK is a little hidden gem. From the street you see a large grassy open space. But on the other side of a footbridge over meandering little Ballinger Creek there are picnic areas, a tot lot, and swing sets. You’ll often meet friendly neighbors from Ballinger Homes to the west who access the park via an upper trail. Geocachers have also been spotted searching for treasure!
In 2022 after more than 20 years of waiting, Brugger's Bog Park will finally undergo master planning and reconstruction. Winter flooding washed out the original footbridge and damaged the playground area.
Historically, Brugger’s Bog was a bog with acidic soils. Vegetation includes small willow trees, cottonwoods, madrones, red alders, twig dogwoods, and huckleberries. Alas, invasive species threaten this oasis in the form of blackberries, illegal dumpers, vandals who drive cars over the footbridge to tear up the grassy knoll, and taggers.
Ballinger Creek bisects the park site. A number of volunteers, including Ballinger Neighborhood Association neighbors, and more recently, Brugger's Bog Native Plant Stewards under the umbrella of Shoreline Green Partnership have done considerable creek restoration. Our vigilance and restoration work will help preserve this rare jewel for future generations.
BALLINGER CREEK is a tributary to Lyon Creek, originating north of Shoreline in Snohomish County. The creek daylights in Brugger’s Bog Park and flows to the southeast. As it enters the park it meets with an unnamed stream flowing from the west. Ballinger Creek flows southeast across Brugger’s Bog and picks up flow from two unmarked tributaries flowing in from the east. At the southeast corner of Brugger’s Bog Park, Ballinger Creek enters a network of pipes at 25th Avenue NE. The creek daylights on the southeast of 25th Avenue NE and flows under Ballinger Way into the City of Lake Forest Park, flowing parallel to NE Ballinger Way, entering Lyon Creek near NE Ballinger Way & 35th Ave NE. Lyon Creek enters to Lake Washington at Sheridan Beach in Lake Forest Park.
ALDERCREST ANNEX is a 6.7-acre site owned by the School School District. It served as Kellogg Middle School and Aldercrest Elementary School for many years. In 2020 the District leased much of the open space area to Light Rail for its staging operations. Prior to that, many many neighbors to the north and east used the property as a shortcut to Brugger’s Bog and amenities along Ballinger Way. The property boasted an oval walking track, baseball diamond, and soccer field. The football field was the site of Ballinger Neighborhood's Outdoor Movie Night for 10 years from 2009-2018. Light Rail has agreed to completely restore the site when their lease expires.
The open space was frequented by many dog walkers, The old Aldercrest Elementary School housed several tenants prior to being brought back into use by the District. Now completely renovated, it houses Cascade K-8 School.
BALLINGER HOMES is one of Ballinger’s largest apartment complexes, built by the King County Housing Authority in _____ as town home residences for 110 families. The Center for Human Services operates “The Homework Factory” onsite, providing programming for young children, youths and adults, including after-school mentoring, counseling, parenting classes, adult ESL classes, life skills classes, citizenship classes and adult basic education classes.
BRIGHTWATER PROJECT BALLINGER WAY PORTAL on the south side of Ballinger Way NE just west of 19th Ave. NE intersection is part of a system of pipes that conveys wastewater to the Brightwater treatment plant and treated wastewater to Puget Sound. Conveyance pipelines are located below ground in tunnels 40-440 feet below the surface. Ballinger Portal was one of the access shafts where workers, machines, soil, and equipment enter and exit the tunnels during construction. Tunnel boring machines were used to build the tunnels between Point Wells and Kenmore. A 300 square foot odor control facility with a 15-foot tall stack is the only remaining visible evidence of the huge project.
McALEER CREEK (pronounced Mac-a-leer) is a salmon bearing stream that flows 6 miles from Lake Ballinger under Interstate 5 and through the northeast corner of Shoreline to Lake Forest Park, where it enters Lake Washington. Histories written of this local brag of the plentiful salmon and game to caught along its banks. McAleer Creek was formed by lake and stream waters preceding the advance of the last glacier to invade Puget Sound. McAleer ravine was formed by melting glaciers during the subsequent ice retreat.
In 2007 four spawning Coho salmon were counted in McAleer Creek. However, like many Northwest water bodies, the levels of fecal coliform and heavy metals are increasing - the result of urban density. For ways that you can help protect our creeks for the enjoyment of future generations visit the Washington State Department of Ecology at www.ecy.wa.gov, and Streamkeepers of Lake Forest Park at www.lfpstreamkeepers.org.
HISTORIC LAGO VISTA
The historic LAGO VISTA section of Ballinger Neighborhood is located west of 15th Ave NE and north of NE Perkins Way. Established in 1927, Lago Vista was built as a weekend resort for wealthy Seattle families. With old-growth trees logged, Lago Vista boasted spectacular views of Lake Washington. Still existing today:
On opening day of the Seattle World’s Fair, April 21, 1962, an Air Force fighter pilot was enroute to Paine Field in his Delta Dagger after performing an aerial salute above the fairgrounds. He lost power over downtown Seattle and ejected safely from his jet over Lake Washington. The unmanned plane, instead of ditching into the lake, gained altitude and crashed three miles farther north. It slammed into an unoccupied home at 20044 24th Ave NE, before careening across the street and into the home of Raymond and Lillian Smith at 20201 24th Ave NE. The couple, in their 60s, burned to death in an explosive ball of fire that shot high into the sky, igniting two adjacent homes. The explosion shook buildings and rattled windows more than a mile away. Ironically, the family of the unoccupied home were at the World's Fair that day.