The View from Denny
News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 10. January 4, 2001
A periodic electronic newsletter about Parks and Recreation news,
programs, projects and events from Seattle Parks and Recreation
Superintendent Ken Bounds.
2001, A PARKS ODYSSEY
Happy New Year to one and all! Beyond
sightings of monoliths in our parks, we are excited about the
coming year and all that it portends. In particular, we will continue
to implement the 1999 Community Center Levy. Planning is under
way on the Northgate, Sand Point, Belltown, and International
District community center projects. Site planning at Yesler Terrace
will get under way this year, affecting that community center
We've also started work on the program
to implement the $198.2 million Pro Parks 2000 Levy, beginning
with the establishment of the Pro Parks 2000 Levy Oversight Committee.
Many community projects funded through the Neighborhood Matching
Fund will also keep us busy. Stay tuned to this newsletter and
our department web site for updates on these and other projects.
In the meantime, please keep an eye
out for any monolith sightings in your neighborhood!
RENEWING THE WASHINGTON PARK ARBORETUM
I am pleased to announce that Seattle
Parks and Recreation, the University of Washington and the Arboretum
Foundation today released "Renewing the Washington Park Arboretum,"
the final version of a long-range master plan that ensures the
regional urban treasure known as the Washington Park Arboretum
will grow and thrive for decades to come.
The final Environmental Impact Statement
(EIS) for the plan was released simultaneously. The Seattle City
Council is scheduled to consider and take action on the plan over
the next several months.
I have been integrally involved with
the evolution of the master plan and I know that it has been a
labor of love and considerable hard work. I particularly want
to thank David Hervey and the Arboretum Foundation for their financial
support and willingness to work with us through the process to
modify earlier versions of the plan to address citizen concerns.
Dozens of staff and board members at the Foundation, University
of Washington, and Parks Department also contributed their time
and expertise to this effort. (Representatives from Parks, U.W.
and the Foundation sit on the Arboretum's governing body, the
Arboretum and Botanical Garden Committee or ABGC.)
Most of all, I applaud the citizens
of Seattle, whose spirited involvement in the extensive public
process helped shaped the final document. Since 1994, more than
4,500 citizens commented through workshops and meetings, focus
groups, forums, open houses, public hearings and environmental
review. The public process included a series of workshops and
meetings sponsored by the Board of Park Commissioners in the fall
of 1998 to address citizen concerns over the plan. We have listened
to all citizen ideas and concerns and responded with a plan that
is far better for the public input.
The master plan effectively fulfills
three primary purposes-conservation, recreation and education-with
numerous and varied improvements. Key elements of the plan include
renovation of 30 existing plant exhibits and creation of 21 new
plant exhibits; reorientation of some pedestrian trails; construction
of a pedestrian/bicycle trail along Lake Washington Blvd.; renovation
and expansion of existing facilities in the vicinity of the Graham
Visitors Center; construction of a new pavilion and entrance to
the Japanese Garden; the addition of two pedestrian overpasses,
one across Lake Washington Blvd. and one across Foster Island
Dr.; traffic improvements; and other minor modifications.
The ABGC supervised development of
the new master plan to provide a vision and a conceptual framework
for the improvements and investments necessary to preserve the
Washington Park Arboretum. The plan responds to a host of issues
that have arisen in the 22 years since the last master plan was
published concerning collections, traffic, conservation, education,
public safety, recreation, and visitor services. Some of the original
plant collections have matured and many trees are dying. These
natural resources require improved conditions and special care
to thrive. Barrier-free access to public spaces needs to be updated
to meet legal requirements. Visitor services, security, and educational
and community programs are essential to the Arboretum's public
The new master plan serves everyone
by achieving a balance between the Washington Park Arboretum's
functions as a world renowned botanical collection, and a treasured
urban refuge and park - a place to appreciate nature, to learn,
to play, and to be.
For more information about the plan
and the final EIS, please consult the project web site at www.seattle.gov/parks/arboretum/arboPlanindex.htm,
or call (206) 684-8020.