A periodic electronic newsletter
about Parks and Recreation news, programs, projects and events
from Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken Bounds
I hope you weathered the
recent earthquake without serious damage or injury. I happened
to be on the 12th floor of the soon-to-be-replaced Municipal
Building and spent 45 nervous seconds under a large conference
table. It was not a fun experience!
The good news is that of
our hundreds of parks and facilities, located all over the city,
most fared remarkably well. Only a few suffered significant
damage and I am proud of the way our Parks staff reacted both
during and after the tremor: making sure people in their care
were safe, and checking buildings and land for damage.
Several Parks buildings
were temporarily closed due to earthquake damage. The Green
Lake Community Center sustained a sizable crack in the floor
where the old part of the building meets the newer part. After
minor repairs, the building re-opened to the public this week.
Across the lake, the Green Lake Small Craft Center remains closed
after the shellhouse floor dropped three inches and the underlying
slab slid four inches to the east. We will need to raze the
structure and rebuild it, and in the meantime we are buying
a "pre-fab" shellhouse so that boating programs can
continue. There were also some minor cracks in the path around
Other minor damage in the
Parks system occurred at the Atlantic City Boat Ramp in southeast
Seattle, the Montlake Community Center, the South Lake Union
Armory and dock, the gym at Hiawatha Community Center, the Alki
Bathhouse (which is still closed), and Pier 59 next to the Aquarium.
The Aquarium was partially closed for a couple of days right
after the quake, while engineers gauged the damage.
At a recent meeting of
Parks and Recreation managers, I presented the department's
top five work priorities for 2001 and some keys to successful
implementation of these goals. I wanted to share these with
The "high five"
work priorities in 2001 for the department are:
* Project Lift-Off: This
is a City-community initiative to provide top-notch care and
programming for children age 0-18 during the hours they are
not in school. Our department will play a leadership role in
the 12-18 age group.
* Aquarium and Zoo: Both institutions are at critical junctures
with the Aquarium developing plans for a new facility and the
Zoo embarking on a Long-Range Plan; both the Aquarium and Zoo
will be making the transition to non-profit management.
* Environmental stewardship: We need to go the extra mile in
caring for our 6,000 acres of park lands and hundreds of facilities,
and in educating citizens of all ages about the importance of
environmental stewardship at our environmental education centers
and community centers, and in our volunteer and Adopt-a-Park
programs. We are putting the finishing touches on an "environmental
* Enhanced maintenance: Heeding the call of many citizens, we
are working hard to take care of our parks and facilities, especially
during peak-use periods.
* Community Center and Pro Parks levies: The $36 million community
center portion of the 1999 million Seattle Center and Community
Center Levy will fund improvements or new construction of nine
Parks and Recreation community centers; the 2000 $198.2 million
Pro Parks Levy will fund more than 100 park acquisition and
development, maintenance, and recreational programming projects
throughout the city. In 2001, we will continue to implement
the Community Center Levy and are getting organized to deliver
on our commitments with the Pro Parks Levy.
In accomplishing this ambitious
scope of work, I challenged my managers to:
* Fully understand our
mission and workplace expectations - especially our mission
to "build community."
* Understand and commit to our priority work programs (the "high
* Communicate to each other and to citizens our concerns, accomplishments
and kudos effectively, respectfully and in a timely manner.
* Look for and build successful connections - our ability to
achieve our goals hinges on our ability to work with others
and use our resources efficiently.
* Pay attention to the every day business of the organization
such as how we hire people, run programs, pay bills, respond
to citizen inquiries, and manage contracts.
* Be positive! Focus on what we as individuals can do to accomplish
the task at hand.
PRO PARKS COMMITTEE
In late February, the Mayor
and City Council approved the selection of the 16 dynamic and
diverse members of the Pro Parks Levy Oversight Committee. The
committee has already held two meetings, beginning their work
to advise us on levy implementation. In subsequent meetings
the committee will help develop the criteria and application
process for the $10 million Opportunity Fund. Parks staff are
finishing Pro Parks management and implementation plans that
will help guide our work over the next eight years.
The committee roster includes:
Karen Daubert (Chair), Russ Brubaker, Susan Casey, Doug Dunham,
Susan Golub, James Kelly, Cheryl Klinker, Marshall Livingston,
Peter Lukevich, Joyce Moty, David Okimoto, Jackie Ramels, Keith
Richards, Joanne Scott, Robin Maynard Seaver, and Renee Tanner.
If you'd like to receive
notices for committee meetings, please contact Catherine Anstett
at (206) 615-0386 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also consult our web site: www.seattle.gov/parks/communitynotices
SEATTLE PARKS RESUMES
CONTROL OF INTERBAY GOLF CENTER
Seattle Parks and Recreation
has resumed control of the Interbay Golf Center with the purchase
of a management contract for the popular golfing venue. Last
month, the Parks Department signed an agreement with Premier
Golf Centers, LLC, to manage the center on an interim basis
until a permanent management firm is selected.
The issue was in some doubt
as late as last month. On February 9, I traveled to New York
City to participate in a court-ordered bankruptcy auction. Seattle's
contract with the bankrupt Family Golf Centers, Incorporated
was on the selling block to the highest bidder. Our winning
bid and eventual purchase price of $5.65 million was reduced
by current rents and interest, and adjustments for pre-paid
items, so that the city's actual payment for the contract was
We are happy to have these
significant assets back in the hands of the citizens of Seattle,
and we are pleased that we could maintain high quality, affordable
services at Interbay Golf without interruption.
MARCH 28 PUBLIC HEARING
ON ARBORETUM PLAN
The Seattle City Council
and the Board of Park Commissioners will hold a joint public
hearing on the Arboretum Master Plan on Wednesday, March 28,
2001, at City Council Chambers, Municipal Building, 600 4th
Ave., 11th floor. E-mail and phone-in testimony will be taken
from 5 to 5:30 p.m. In-person testimony will be taken from 5:30
p.m. with sign up for speaking beginning at 5 p.m. The City's
government television cable channel, TV Seattle, will broadcast
the hearing live.
The special e-mail address
for hearing testimony is email@example.com
The telephone number for call-in testimony is (206) 684-TV21.
I firmly believe the plan
strikes the right balance between the Washington Park Arboretum's
functions as a renowned botanical collection and a treasured
urban park. After a long and constructive public process, in
which the ideas and concerns of neighbors and Arboretum supporters
were carefully considered and incorporated, it is time to adopt
the plan and begin implementation.
I will be in touch soon.