Ravenna Creek Alliance Records, 1984-2006

The Ravenna Creek Alliance (RCA), a non-profit corporation, was officially formed in Seattle in 1993 by Kit O’Neill as the result of a community effort to bring the last mile of the creek to daylight. The creek’s waters had been diverted away from Lake Washington to sewer pipes for more than forty years, and King County Metro had planned to redirect Ravenna Creek’s flow to Union Bay via subterranean pipe. RCA recruited community members, municipal and county officials, professional landscape architects and others to support the plan to resurface the creek, from Ravenna Park through University Village and down to Union Bay. RCA’s intent was to restore salmon habitat as well as re-integrate the creek as a community asset. Between 2005 and 2006, the Ravenna Creek Daylighting Project resurfaced 650 feet of Ravenna Creek under the design of Peggy Gaynor. The remainder of the creek water was piped to Union Bay.

This collection includes correspondence, minutes, financial records, research files, plans, drawings, legal documents, newsletters, photographs, ephemera and other materials. The files document RCA’s extensive campaign to daylight and restore Ravenna Creek, and related matters, from early planning stages through their culmination. Many files were created and maintained by the president of Ravenna Creek Alliance, Kit O’Neill.

Kit donated these records in June 2007, and returned last summer to assist us in appraising them, spending over 100 hours here in the division; she described the experience as “reliving the past twenty years of [her] life.” We are extremely grateful for her help and glad to have the records officially accessioned and open to the public.  To learn more about RCA, explore the organization’s website.

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