Frequently Asked Questions
Click to skip down to:
· Can I donate something to Seattle Parks and Recreation?
· How do I register for classes/programs/events?
· How can I teach a class at a community
· How many parks in Seattle?
· What is your biggest park?
· What can I do to help Parks?
· What is the length of the path around
· Where can I find the Park Code?
· Can I release balloons or sky lanterns in a park?
· Can I fly a drone in a park?
· Where can I have a beach fire?
· Can I bring alcohol into a park?
· Where can I go fishing?
· Where can I go jogging or running?
· Where can my dog run around without
· Can I camp in a Seattle park?
· How do I get a permit to be a vendor
in a park?
· Can I pick up driftwood from the
· What if I want to provide food to homeless or hungry people in Seattle Parks?
· How do I get information about jobs
at Seattle Parks and Recreation?
Reservations & Permits
· Do I need a permit for an event
in a park?
· How do I reserve a picnic site?
· How do I reserve a park for a wedding
or other ceremony?
· Where can my team find a field for
· How many playfields do Parks maintain?
· How do I know if my game is rained
· Does Parks work with community groups?
· How do you manage and care for trees?
Pest Management in Seattle Parks
· What is Integrated Pest Management?
· What is Seattle Parks IPM program?
· What are some of the pest control
strategies used in parks?
· What are the most common pesticides
applied in parks?
· How does IPM work in park management?
· Who manages pests in parks?
· How does the City of Seattle Pesticide
Reduction Program fit into Parks IPM?
Q. Can I donate something to Seattle Parks and Recreation?
A. It depends (but in any case, thanks for thinking of us!).
(such as playground equipment)
Contact the appropriate Park Resources Manager (via PKS_Info@seattle.gov or 206-684-4075). The Park Resources Manager will evaluate the request and, if it seems feasible, will consult other staff (such as a landscape architect or structural engineer) as needed.
(such as sand for a sandbox)
Contact the appropriate Park District Crew Chief (via PKS_Info@seattle.gov or 206-684-4075). Because Seattle Parks and Recreation complies with all pertinent standards and safety regulations, especially for children’s play areas, we are restricted in what we are able to use.
(such as board games, ping-pong tables, sports equipment)
Contact your local community center
WE CANNOT ACCEPT:
- Most trees
- Retail-grade toys for children’s play areas
- Most fitness equipment
- Most furniture
Q. How do I register for classes/programs/events?
A. You can register for classes/programs/events at any recreation
center during their normal operating hours by phone or in person, OR
you can register online using SPARC, once you have an active Seattle
Parks & Recreation account. Try SPARC
Q. How can I teach a class at a community center?
A. To propose teaching a class, contact the Coordinator at the
center you have in mind.
Q. How many parks in Seattle?
A. Seattle Parks and Recreation maintains over 400 Parks and
open areas. Find out more fun quick
Q. What is your biggest park?
A. Discovery Park
is 534 acres, including urban wilderness with four distinct habitats
and 11.810 miles of trail.
Q. What can I do to help Parks?
Q. What is the length of the path around Green Lake?
A. Get involved! Find out about volunteering,
getting involved with the Park Board,
Parks Projects and Planning,
and supporting your local parks through the Seattle
A. The inner path around Green
Lake is 2.8 miles. The outer perimeter path near the road is 3.2
Q. Where can I find the Park Code?
A. The Park Code is Chapter 18.12 of the Seattle Municipal Code
(SMC). It includes, in a single chapter, all City ordinances pertaining
specifically to parks and park property.
You can find
the Park Code on the City Clerk's web site. It is updated quarterly.
Q: Can I release balloons or sky lanterns in a park?
A: No. Balloon releases are fun to participate in and fun to watch, but at some point balloons fall and become litter. Even biodegradable balloons take six months to decompose (and the tassels or ribbons attached are not biodegradable). The deflated balloons create unsightly litter and also get ingested by wildlife–usually either fish or water birds–who can be injured or killed by it.
Q. Can I fly a drone in a park?
A. No. City law prohibits drones and other remote-controlled aircraft in parks (SMC 18.12.265).
Q. Where can I have a beach fire?
A. Enjoy a fire on the beach at Golden
Gardens Park in northwest Seattle or at Alki
Beach Park in West Seattle. Please light a fire ONLY in designated
fire pits, available at both parks on a first-come, first-served basis.
Burn only clean firewood (NO pallets please!), and douse your fire completely
before you leave.
Q. Can I bring alcohol into a park?
A. City law prohibits alcohol in city parks. The only exceptions
are for special events approved by the Superintendent.
Q. Where can I go fishing?
A. Seattle Parks and Recreation has
fishing spots located across the city.
Q. Where can I go jogging or running?
A. Seattle Parks & Recreation has a wide range of facilities
for runners and joggers, ranging from rough trails to Cintrex-surfaced
Q. Where can my dog run around without a leash?
A. At designated off-leash areas,
your dog is free to run, roll over, meet new friends, work out, play
with you and socialize with canine friends.
Q. Can I camp in a Seattle Park?
A. Camping is not allowed in city parks. The only exception
is the 10 rustic cabins at Camp
Long in West Seattle. For information on camp sites near Seattle,
please try camping.about.com/
Q. Can I get a permit to be a vendor in a park?
A. Seattle Parks and Recreation allows vendors for certain special
events and for certain concessions. Vending associated with a special
event is authorized through the permitting
Vending on a longer-term basis is authorized through a concession contract
approved by the City Council or through a concession use permit, a short-term
(less than one year) administrative permit issued by the Superintendent.
For more information, please call 206-684-8008.
Q. Can I pick up driftwood from the beach?
A. Seattle Municipal Code 18.12.070 prohibits removal of driftwood
(or any wood, tree, shrub, plant, flower, fruit, nut, soil, sand, sod,
or other element) from any Seattle park.
Q. What if I want to provide food to homeless or hungry people in Seattle Parks?
A.For more information on how to participate, please see the PDF Guide to feeding the homeless
Q. How do I get information about jobs at Seattle Parks and Recreation?
A. Visit our Jobs web
page. For information about summer recreation jobs, click on our summer
Reservations & Permits
Q. Do I need a permit to hold an event in a park?
A. A Park Use Permit
is required to reserve an athletic field, a facility, stage or performing
arts area, or to use a park for a gathering of a large number of people.
Q. How do I reserve a picnic site?
A. Start with our picnic
guide for information about sites, fees and reservations then
call (206) 684-4081 to make your reservations or to ask questions.
Q. How do I reserve a park for a wedding or other ceremony?
A. Start with our Ceremony
Guide for more information about sites, fees, and reservations
then call (206) 684-4081 to make your reservation or to ask questions.
Q. Where can my team find a field for practice?
A. View our athletic field
list, which includes contact information for both league and
individual field scheduling.
Q. How many playfields do Parks maintain?
A. There are over 200 Seattle Parks athletic
fields that can be scheduled for various sports and activities
throughout the year.
Q. How do I know if my game is rained out?
A. Call the Rainout Hotline at (206)233- 0055
Q. Does Parks work with community groups?
A. Yes! We could not do what we do without you! Parks works
with "Friends Of Groups" across the city to expand
programs and take on projects we could not otherwise do. Our Volunteer
Coordinators can help you find a "Friends of" group near
Q. How do you manage and care for trees?
A. Seattle Parks and Recreation Tree
Maintenance Program maintains the health and safety of trees
through out City parks.
Q. What is Integrated Pest Management?
A. Seattle Parks manages over 6200 acres of natural area and
park landscapes within our urban area; 2,300 acres of this is developed
parkland. These landscapes provide a recreation experience for visitors
and habitat for a variety of urban wildlife, insects and plants. While
most of these plants and wildlife co-exist peacefully within our landscapes,
these habitats also include pest species that may have no impacts in
a given environment or spread out and take over the ornamental landscapes
or native woodlands. Pests can be insects, plant diseases, invasive
weeds, animals and birds. Pests disrupt the natural ecology of a habitat
and landscape, creating an unhealthy environment for plants and sometimes
humans and pets, and can also cause structural damages to buildings.
Seattle Parks practices Integrated Pest Management, or IPM. By using
IPM, our staff first identifies the pest and then determines whether
a given pest is actually impacting the park. The actual level of impact
or damage in a given site determines whether staff might leave the pest
alone, or manage the situation. If the pest impact is too great, a decision-making
process is done to determine if, when, where and how the pest will be
managed. An IPM program includes all potential pest control strategies
but focuses on non-chemical controls whenever possible, in order to
maintain the natural ecology and health of a landscape.
Q. What is Seattle Parks IPM program?
A. IPM has been practiced in Seattle Parks since the late 1970s
and is our standard operating procedure in all landscapes, forests,
golf courses and greenhouses.
Parks landscape management integrates with pest management strategies.
An IPM program begins with attention to plant care and culture, as healthy
plants resist pests. When pests are observed, the park use and landscape
asset value is considered in determining an injury threshold for the
particular pest. This philosophy allows staff to respond to both continuing
pest issues and also new, unique or specific pest problems.
Q. What are some of the pest control strategies used in parks?
A. Parks IPM program includes cultural, mechanical, biological
and chemical control methods. For example, cultural could mean planting
the right plant in the right place, mechanical might mean hand-weeding,
biological could be insect predators or bacterial
products for mosquito control, and chemical might be a synthetic or
naturally derived herbicide such as Round-Up or vinegar products.
Q. What are the most common pesticides applied in parks?
A. The most common pesticides used in outdoor parks are herbicides
for weed control on hard surface cracks, in gravel areas and in shrub
beds, while fungicide use for disease is often necessary on golf greens.
Insect pests and diseases are common in the artificial growing conditions
found in Parks greenhouses, where both insecticides and fungicides could
Q. How does IPM work in park management?
A. An IPM program considers the anticipation of potential pest
problems to be the most important tool in pest management. Parks staff
is trained, knowledgeable, landscape maintenance professionals who understand
the plants cultural needs and the potential for pest impacts. Staff
monitors landscape assets continuously in their daily work. Each park
facility is unique, which allows for determination of the appropriate
limits for aesthetic and economic injury. If impacts or injury is imminent
and unacceptable, a specific IPM strategy will be designed and implemented.
Staff evaluates the success of the strategy over time and makes adjustments
as needed for long-term successful pest suppression and management.
Q. Who manages pests in parks?
A. Parks horticultural and grounds maintenance staff share responsibility
for managing pest problems for 11% of the Citys total land area.
Staff who apply pesticides are required to have a Washington State Public
Pesticide Operators license and attend continuing education classes
in IPM on an annual basis to update their skills and knowledge in pest
The department also employs an IPM Coordinator who monitors overall
programs, and insures that regulatory requirements are met, including
tracking pesticide use. This coordinator works with staff to research
and develop new pest management strategies, especially regarding alternatives
to pesticide use. The Coordinator also sits on the City of Seattles
Interdepartmental IPM committee, which reviews programs annually and
makes adjustments to procedures and protocols. Parks IPM Coordinator
is the departments liaison on pest management issues to a variety
of stakeholders, including the Mayors office and the community.
Q. How does the City of Seattle Pesticide Reduction Program fit
into Parks IPM?
A. By implementing IPM, Parks has consistently reduced its pesticide
use since the late 1970s. This has resulted in an estimated 80%
drop in labor hours associated with pesticide applications. (Previously,
pesticide application was tracked in labor hours. Today it is tracked
in amounts applied.)
In 1999, as part of a commitment to manage public land in an environmentally
responsible manner, the city developed Pest Reduction Strategy Goals
to reduce use of pesticides overall and to phase out use of the most
potentially hazardous products.
In 2010, Parks is proud of its IPM program and has reduced its use of
pesticides by implementing alternative strategies. For questions please
contact Barbara DeCaro, IPM Coordinator - Sustainable Landscapes Programs,
at 206-615-1660 or via email email@example.com.
October 15, 2015