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Seattle Parks and Recreation

The View From Denny Park
News and Views From The Superintendent
No. 15 May 10, 2001


A periodic electronic newsletter about Parks and Recreation news, programs, projects and events from Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken Bounds


With the acquisition of land and buildings from the U.S. Navy a few years ago, Sand Point Magnuson Park became the Citys second largest park at 320 acres. It also presented an unprecedented opportunity to combine many active uses (sports, dog walking, arts activities, swimming, boating, childrens play) with park natural areas.

The Sand Point Magnuson Park Wetlands Forum, on May 31 and June 2, 2001, kicks off the planning for the restoration of such an area: a wetlands in the southeastern portion of the park. The Pro Parks Levy will provide funding for planning the project, which will provide habitat for birds and other animals, plantlife, drainage for adjacent parks areas and a site for environmental education opportunities.

The two primary forum activities are as follows:

Thursday, May 31, 7 p.m., Building 47: Public lectures on wetlands creation and the Lake Washington ecosystem.

Saturday, June 2, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Building 47: A planning "charrette" bringing together knowledgeable experts, educators and community members to help us develop a conceptual plan for the wetlands project. Participation is by invitation only, but the public is encouraged to attend background briefings from 9 to 10:30 a.m., and the closing session from 3 to 4 p.m.

For more information on the forum, please call Kevin Bergsrud, Seattle Parks and Recreation, at (206) 684-5831.


Thanks to the Seattle Mariners and Major League Baseball, Seattle will receive a lasting remembrance of this year's All-Star Game, which will be played at our own Safeco Field. Last week, the Mariners and baseball officials announced that they selected Lower Woodland Park as the annual recipient of baseball's "Legacy" program-a gift to the city hosting the All-Star Game.

The City of Seattle will receive proceeds from several All-Star weekend events totaling an estimated $600,000 to $1 million. Major League Baseball will contribute an additional $100,000 to the project that will greatly improve playing conditions on five existing Lower Woodland fields.

Preliminary plans will be presented to the public soon, and include extensive improvements and special touches to Field No. 1 and the cloverleaf fields (between the two soccer fields). The project may also include a public plaza at the north end of the parking lot and improved parking lot entryways.


On Monday of this week, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved a long-range master plan for the Washington Park Arboretum that will serve as a road map for improvements at the Arboretum for the next 20 years.

The Council made minor revisions and included implementation guidelines that provide design and construction consideration as the plan is implemented, but otherwise retained the integrity of the plan as submitted to the Council in January.

I want to thank the University of Washington, the Arboretum Foundation, Parks and Recreation staff, and in particular, the thousands of citizens who commented on and helped shape the plan. The process to update the master plan began in 1994 and was sometimes arduous and contentious, but the efforts were ultimately worthwhile. For me, the process was an indication of how people value the Arboretum, and how this treasured place means something special for everybody from the neighbor taking an afternoon walk, to students learning about Japanese maples, to the nature photographer snapping rhododendrons, to Japanese Garden aficionados, to landscape professionals admiring an arresting hillside.

We now have a vision for the future of the Washington Park Arboretum and we will be working with the University of Washington and the Arboretum Foundation on implementing the plan. As the first step, Seattle Parks and Recreation will make some infrastructure improvements to the Arboretum as part of a project funded by $2.2 million from the Pro Parks Levy. Planning work for these improvements is scheduled to begin in 2002.

For more information on the plan, please call (206) 684-8020 or consult our web site at and click on Arboretum Plan.


On April 30, the Seattle City Council honored more than 100 volunteers, including more than 65 from Seattle Parks and Recreation programs, people who give of their time, labor and expertise to aid dozens of City projects throughout the year. Councilmembers also commended our great team of volunteer coordinators. We now have four full-time volunteer coordinators in the Department, plus one coordinator each at the Zoo and Aquarium.

In 2000 alone, hundreds of volunteers logged more than 200,000 hours for Seattle parks and recreation programs. Figured at a rate of $12 per hour, that is nearly $2 million in labor costs. This is easily five times the number of volunteer hours worked five years ago in our department. We are grateful for their support.

I will be in touch soon.

More Information. For more information on the plan, please consult the project web site at or call (206) 684-8020.

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