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Seattle Parks and Recreation Annual Report - 2007


Mayor's Message

Mayor Greg Nickels A century ago, the Olmsted brothers helped to create a magnificent park system for a young city. We are fortunate to have inherited such a rich legacy of parks and open space.

Seattle's parks, facilities and open spaces play a vital role in the life of our city. As this city continues to grow, our open space must grow with it. That starts with making sure that everyone feels welcome and safe in our parks. This year we will see our new Park Rangers, added activities and attractions, and more investments and new security measures in our Center City Parks.
We are finding new ways to add open space. Last year, we finalized an agreement to buy the U.S. Navy's Capehart holding in Discovery Park, which will add 24 acres of breathing space. And we saw an innovative opportunity to do much more in an unlikely place - over our reservoirs. We could have simply put floating covers on our reservoirs and called it good. Instead, we took this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create new open space across the city. By 2010, new parks will sit atop the Beacon and Myrtle reservoirs. When all the remaining reservoirs are covered by 2013, we will have added 100 new acres to our city's park system. That's 2 times as much new parks acreage as the Pro Parks Levy provided.

As the Pro Parks levy comes to an end, we took steps to ensure that the additional programs and maintenance it funded will continue. Today, these popular programs and services are part of the department's regular budget so they can continue for years to come. Funding these Levy programs and services freed up money to support other capital projects. About $5 million has been set aside to help develop our parks. Look for news later in the spring about how you can help us use this money most effectively.

Also in 2007, I appointed Tim Gallagher to head up Seattle Parks and Recreation, after long-time Parks leader Ken Bounds retired early last year. Tim brings more than 30 years of park and recreation experience to Seattle, most recently as Director of Parks and Recreation for Los Angeles County. He is working closely with the community and his team to develop a Strategic Action Plan which will guide the department for the next five years. Tim is frequently out meeting with the community. If you see him, I hope you will take a moment to welcome him to Seattle.

Thank you to all our partners, community members and volunteers - without whom we could not operate the world-class parks system that we do. The Olmsted brothers would be proud.


Greg Nickels
Mayor of Seattle

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Updated March 28, 2008

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