The Untold Truth Behind the Radiation Spill at Magnuson Park

Seattle, WA, United States
Est. 1.3km / 31 mins / Map

The Untold Truth Behind the Radiation Spill at Magnuson Park - Cya On The Road

Welcome to Magnuson Park, a beautiful, multi purposeful park used by families and community members. As I am standing here today, it is a cloudy winter day, but the park is just as beautiful as when the sun reflects off the water. This park has been loved by many for years. There is a playground and soccer field where families will bond playing games such as lava monster or sharks and minos. Community members are gliding through these trails, feeling the fresh breeze on their faces as they explore this beloved public park, and furry friends are being chased down the paths of the park, splashing in the ponds or dashing up the hills. Throughout your walk today, I hope you start to get familiar with these paths, because i'm excited to share some findings I have had, and I hope you are lucky enough to have some findings of your own. A little history about the park: The buildings that are a part of Magnuson park were not always community centers. Before about 1975, these buildings were used as a Naval base for the Naval Air Reserve. Not only is Magnuson used in our present day community, but when we visit, we can think about those who have risked their lives for our freedom and safety. Some of these buildings, including what used to be known as buildings 2 and 27, were used to repair aircrafts for the Navy. Building 2 was used as an Aircraft Assembly and Repair Shop and Building 27 was used as a Seaplane Hangar. Currently, building 2 is used to hold things to upkeep the park's maintenance, however previously it was another recreation space in the park. Building 27 is a sports arena used by the community. As the City was converting these spaces to be used in other ways, they recovered drawings from the Navel base that indicated a “Radium Room'' in building 27 as well as an “instrument shop” on the second floor of Building 2. The presence of radioactive materials including radium paint which was used on aircraft instruments to make them glow in the dark, were discovered in 2009 by a screening, and the Navy was notified. The Navy took action to clean the radioactive materials up, which is where the debate on whether or not they cleaned it up right.Although action was taken to clean up the radiation exposure, Little did most people know, there was radiation leaked into the soil. The Navy base was turned into a public park after 1975, however the screening for radioactive materials was not conducted until 2004. That is almost 20 years of radiation leaking from the original site. Pollution can come in many ways. Usually we notice oil in our lakes/oceans, or we see trash all over the pathways in parks. However Magnuson Park is experiencing a unique form of pollution through Radiation leaking into the soil. In the room used by the Sand Point Naval Station, radium was used to create the glow in the dark instruments for military aircraft which can have negative implications. There is a fight between the naval clean up crew and the CDC as to who was supposed to clean up the mess and whether or not the Navel crew cleaned the radiation up right. Fences and signs were put up to protect the public, however that was not enough. Not only did the radiation go airborne, it soaked into the soil affecting plants, wildlife, humans, and any pets brought to walk the trail. In this talk, I will start farther from the main buildings and source of this radiation leak, and lead up to the original spot. Now that you know a bit about the history, consider the impacts of this radiation on your walk. I will mention parts that I currently see, consider looking for more impacts that radiation may have had on this public park. Ill help guide you through some observations, and at the end, we will return to the spark of it all, the original buildings.

Get the best experience with the app

The Cya On The Road app gives you an itinerary of 5 hidden gems with fascinating stories, complete with audio guides, maps, top rated nearby hotels, cheap flights, car hire deals, attraction discounts and the best local eats.

Get the app now and search for The Untold Truth Behind the Radiation Spill at Magnuson Park.

Share with mates