Seattle Parks and Recreation Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent
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Pro Parks Levy Environmental Stewardship, Maintenance, and Programming


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Environmental stewardship, enhanced maintenance, new teen programs, Learn to Swim, senior services and Zoo programs were all included in the Pro Parks Levy program funding. The Pro Parks levy ended in 2008, however, many of the programs created under this levy continue to serve city residents.


Cleaner Parks, Comfort Stations, Community Centers and Pools: We continued to provide cleaner parks and facilities by funding extra hours of maintenance during peak summer use of parks. Our park inspection program showed consistently higher ratings, i.e. cleaner parks, during the summer. We also spent some Pro Parks funds on "green" cleaning products, which were used effectively at many community centers. A 91.8% rating was recorded on the quarterly facility inspection report for Seattle Park's Pools which was validated by citizen comments such as "the locker rooms look great and smell clean…thanks for taking care of us!"

Ballfield and Landscape Maintenance: Added staff has been instrumental in enhancing park landscapes and ballfields throughout city. Crews provided supplemental maintenance for 81 athletic fields and 146 high profile landscapes. In June 2008, the Georgetown Playfield opened with new synthetic turf. Volunteer projects leveraged the work of gardeners with special attention on 65 sites with 559 volunteer support hours during special programs or events such as Green Seattle Partnership, Day of Caring, Day of Service and Earthday.


Tree and Natural Area Crews: The added Pro Parks tree crew enabled us to perform preventive maintenance on selected trees. Under the supervision of the Urban Forestry Crew Chief, the Tree Maintenance crew responded to 410 work orders in 350 parks in 2008. The Natural Area Crew was created to allow for cleanup and restoration work in natural areas and forests. Natural Area Crews performed 3,600 hours of labor, supplemented by nearly 5,000 hours of volunteer labor. The team completed 56 work orders, worked with volunteers on 50 projects and worked in 30 parks.

Environmental Stewardship: Our Pro Parks-funded Environmental Stewardship Unit continued working, toward our goals of being better environmental stewards in our development and operations, and creating more environmental stewards among our users. Parks conducted ongoing conservation and education projects securing $720,000 in grants to install energy efficient equipment. The projects now completed are saving $165,000 and saving more than 10 million gallons of water. Highlights included reducing paper use by 44% over 2004 baseline, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 1025 metric tons, better environmental education programming in summer day camps, increased recycling at 43 facilities with the installation of 92 recycling stations, and increased the use of "green" cleaning products in all department facilities.


The Levy made a difference in the kinds and availability of myriad recreation programs. In particular:

Wading Pools: Levy funding provided extra days of operation at 11 sites and extra hours of operation at five community center sites. Daily average attendance reached 128 people per site. The wading pools were truly community gathering places with many families setting their daily schedule and nap time around the operating hours for wading pools.

Kids Program Access: This program provides financial assistance to children meeting low income guidelines. Scholarships of up to 90% were offered to provide enrollment in before and after school care. Program locations increased from 24 to 28 in 2008; the number of scholarship recipients was 998 which covered 35% of the total enrollment.

Teen Programs: Programming for teens continues to grow. The Pro Parks-funded Teen Development Leaders offered a variety of programming with emphasis on alignment with Seattle Public Schools academic learning goals, building self-confidence among youth, and leadership skills. Program areas include but are not limited to sports and fitness, arts and culture and environmental stewardship. We serve primarily middle school-age kids with about 20,000 to 25,000 participants per year. All-city teen events included Week Without Violence, Youth Appreciation Week, and MLK Remembering the Dream.

Senior Adults: Renamed to Lifelong Recreation in 2007, this program provides resources to improve and develop quality programming for adults over the age of 50. They offered 670 activities with 23,361 hours of direct service for 10,925 adults. The Northwest Senior Games became a regional event coordinated by staff in this unit now serves more than 800 athletes. New evaluation reports were implemented and data rates 85% of participants felt that instructor's skills were excellent.

Woodland Park Zoo

Pro Parks at the Zoo: The Pro Parks Levy supported core operations at Woodland Park Zoo, including education programs, animal care, horticulture, admissions, facility maintenance, and security staff.

Last Update June 2, 2010

Making Bird houses at Environmental Stewardship Summer Camp.
Making Bird Houses at Environmental Stewardship
Summer Camp

Flowers at Green Lake
Flowers at Green Lake

Teen Development Leader Idris Beauregard from Alki CC with youth, cleaning up Golden Gardens
Teen Development Leader Idris Beauregard from Alki CC with youth, cleaning up Golden Gardens
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