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Seattle Parks and Recreation Annual Report - 2007


Pro Parks Levy

This Pro Parks Levy Opportunity Fund project installed artistic science elements at Brighton Park to correspond with the science curriculum being taught at nearby Aki Kurose School.Seattle voters approved the 8-year, $198.2 million Pro Parks Levy in November 2000. It will sunset at the end of 2008. In 2007, we made great strides in fulfilling our Levy commitments to voters. The Levy has funded acquisition of new parks and park property, development of new parks, upgrades of existing parks, youth and senior programs, improved park maintenance, and Woodland Park Zoo enhancements.

New Park Land

In 2007, we added 2.52 acres of new park land to our inventory through the Pro Parks Levy, including two new parks in Capitol Hill and expanding parks in Ballard and the International District. We also added acreage to greenspaces and greenbelts throughout the city.

Developing Our Parks

The Levy development projects have been galloping along at a brisk clip since 2001. Levy projects have included creek daylightings; new art; children's water play features; a park built on a lidded reservoir; off-leash areas; a skate bowl; a disc golf course; and several former City Light Substations converted into neighborhood parks. Along the way, we focused on fiscal, social, and environmental improvements, while completing projects on time and within budget.

In 2007, we completed 13 more projects, bringing the total number of Levy-funded new and renovated parks to 86. The Levy allocated funding for 114 development projects - including 95 named in the original Levy and 22 identified by the community and funded through an Opportunity Fund. Most of the remaining projects are either in the planning and design phase or are under construction.

Projects completed this year include Ella Bailey Park, with its stunning views of the downtown skyline and Puget Sound; Phase I of Lake Union Park, including the a bridge that connects the east and west parts of the park; the artfully detailed Fremont Peak Park; and the innovative Brighton Science Park - just to name a few.

Environmental Stewardship

Levy-funded Environmental Stewardship staff and programs continued to make a positive impact. Under the guidance of this unit, Seattle Parks and Recreation has cut our overall paper use by 41 percent, well ahead of the Citywide goal of 30 percent. Our naturalists at Carkeek and Seward parks provided educational outreach services for more than 2,500 individuals. With the aid of 785 volunteers, the Natural Area Crews performed 2,900 hours of labor, completing 53 projects. The Landscape and Athletic Fields crews provided enhanced supplemental maintenance for 37 athletic fields and 130 high profile landscapes.

Enhanced Maintenance

Comfort stations, downtown parks, community centers, and pools were cleaner in 2007, thanks to Levy-funded maintenance crews. During peak use times and special events, 25 downtown parks received additional cleaning. More than 85 comfort stations got a second daily cleaning during peak use times. The Cleaner Pools program provided 4,125 hours of supplemental cleaning with most time directed to cleaning and maintaining swimming pools, which included 750 hours of work on fountains, water spray features, and wading pools. Cleaning crews provided an additional 3,000 hours of cleaning time at community centers.


Maasai warrior and Kenyan herdsman Sokoine Ntalamia worked at the Woodland Park Zoo during the summer interpreting exhibits in the African Savanna area. Sokoine previously worked at Amboseli National Park in Kenya as a cultural lecturer and tour guide.Children, youth, and senior adults all benefit from Levy-funded recreation programs. Teen Development Leaders reached out to 7,000 teenagers in 2007. Some families in all 22 child care programs for before- and after-school care received scholarships, and most of the funding went to families in southeast Seattle.

The Youth Transportation program provided more than 22,000 rides to teens who would not otherwise have been able to attend a park-related event or visit a park or Parks facility due to lack of transportation. The Learn To Swim program provided more than 14,000 individual swim lessons to the city's third and fourth graders. Under the direction of Levy-funded staff, the Northwest Senior Games became a regional event for the first time, serving more than 500 athletes in 10 sports.

Woodland Park Zoo

Zoo educational programs supported by the Levy included free transportation and admission to the zoo for 10,162 low-income children. Other Levy-supported programs include Forest Explorers, Wild Wise, and SOAR (Save Our Amazing Raptors), collectively reaching over 23,350 kids. "Maasai Journey" was the zoo's featured attraction in 2007, and Levy funding supported the redesigned interpretive signage that was a key element of this new experience on the zoo's African Savanna exhibit.

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Updated March 28, 2008

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