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Seattle Parks and Recreation Annual Report - 2007


Climate Action Now

Climate Action Now LogoSeattle is taking action to prevent one of the biggest threats to the future of our city and the planet - climate change. Through Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels' Climate Action Now initiative, we are committed to leading by example and helping everyone in the city take steps today to reduce climate-changing pollution in their homes, at work, and on the road.

Efficiencies And Reduced Fuel Use

In 2007, Parks reduced fuel usage by about one percent - or 2,692 gallons. We also increased our use of bio-diesel and B40 gasoline. B40 is 40 percent vegetable based and 60 percent fossil fuel. Bio-diesel is 20 percent vegetable based and 80 percent fossil fuel. Both are engineered to emit fewer particles. Our total use of all diesel and unleaded dropped 14 percent in 2007 - or by 31,671 gallons, and our use of bio-diesel and B40 increased by 72 percent - or 28, 522 gallons.

We completed a number of capital projects that make our facilities run more efficiently, including boiler tune-ups and new controls and upgrades at Queen Anne Pool that reduce heat loss. These changes will save more than 23,000 therms of natural gas each year. Lighting efficiency upgrades will save more than 450,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year. New water conservation activities, such as new toilets and efficient showerheads, are on track to reduce our water consumption by 6.75 million gallons each year. Not only will these changes benefit the environment, but they also benefit taxpayers with a total savings estimated to exceed $92,000 a year in utility costs.

Supporting Forests

In 2007, the Green Seattle Partnership, a unique public-private venture dedicated to promoting a livable city by re-establishing and maintaining healthy urban forests, reached its goal of restoring 100 acres of urban forest and planting 6,500 seedlings in Seattle's parks. Since 2004, Parks employees have reduced our overall paper use by a whopping 41 percent. Inspired by Mayor Nickels' PaperCuts program to reduce our white paper use by 30 percent by the end of 2007, Parks employees exceeded that goal by another third. In 2006 and 2007 that translates into 5,503 fewer reams of paper used, saving 330 trees and reducing our carbon footprint by 83,600 pounds of CO2.

Sustainable Construction

In 2007, the Ross Park Shelterhouse project received a 2007 American Institute of Architects Civic Design Award. This Pro Parks Levy funded project has Seattle Parks' only green roof, with native grasses and plants growing there. We have submitted applications to the U.S. Green Building Council for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for two community center projects. Northgate Community Center was constructed with the goal of achieving Gold LEED and Montlake Community Center renovations were completed with the objective of achieving Silver LEED.

Restore Our Waters

Volunteers with Friends of Madrona Woods participate in a work party at the Madrona Creek daylighting project.The Mayor's Restore Our Waters (ROW) strategy is aimed at restoring and preserving all the many bodies of water that surround and flow through Seattle. In 2007, Parks worked with the Friends of Madrona Woods and Seattle Public Utilities to daylight a portion of Madrona Creek and restore its natural connection to Lake Washington. The project provides significant habitat improvements for salmon, and is a living laboratory and outdoor classroom for environmental education.

Parks also worked with the Army Corps of Engineers and the King County Conservation District to restore habitat for juvenile Chinook salmon on the shores Lake Washington in Seward Park by removing non-native Lombardy Poplars, blackberries, and grasses and placing more than 5,500 tons of sands and gravel. Chinook salmon is considered a "threatened" species by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

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Updated March 28, 2008

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