Healthy Environment Initiative

The Healthy Environment Initiative is Seattle Parks and Recreation's commitment to mitigating climate change impacts, stewarding and protecting our urban forests and natural spaces, promoting environmental responsibility and environmental justice, and building resilient infrastructure. 

Read our Healthy Environment posts on the Parkways Blog

SPR's Strategic Plan describes a Healthy Environment as: 

  • A thriving ecosystem where everyone has equitable use of, and responsibility for, public spaces 
  • A healthy urban forest that cleans the air and soil and serves as a natural sanctuary for people and wildlife 
  • Green infrastructure that builds resiliency by adapting to shifting weather patterns and sea level rise 
  • Community programming that instills knowledge about our ecosystem and connects residents to their natural environment 
  • Community stewards who care for the parks and recreation system and help SPR protect it for future generations utilizing best environmental practices 
  • A healthy ocean and marine environment that contributes to the health of the Seattle and Pacific Northwest ecosystem 

Read about our 10 strategies to achieve a Healthy Environment in the 2020-2032 Strategic Plan

Measuring Our Progress

Each year SPR publishes a report that summarizes some of the impact we had on creating a healthy environment, both qualitative and quantitative. 2020 was an exceptional year, given the COVID-19 pandemic, cuts in budgets and programming, and a shift in SPR's work to support our community. Yet we continued to support a healthy environment and identified new opportunities that arose from this historic year. Some impacts are shown below, or you can view the full 2020 Healthy Environment Impacts Report to read more.  

A gray and green graphic with the Parks logo says 2020 Healthy Environment Impacts at the top. A table relays these statistics: •	94% of households live within a 10-minute walk to a park •	57,568 native plants added in urban forests including 12,337 trees •	64 new acres of urban forest in restoration •	45% less water than estimated on 575 irrigated acres •	4,515 storm drains inspected and 1,359 cleaned •	1 new park opened and 3 expanded •	45,000+ cubic yards of estimated waste diverted through recycling and composting •	25 trail projects completed in natural areas improving 16,033 feet of trail •	9 buildings improved reducing energy use by 30% •	45 electric tools purchased, including leaf blowers, chainsaws, and trimmers

2018 Healthy Environment Impact Report

2019 Healthy Environment Impact Report

2020 Healthy Environment Impact Report