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
WETLANDS FORUM AT SAND
POINT MAGNUSON PARK
With the acquisition of land and buildings from the U.S. Navy a few
years ago, Sand Point Magnuson Park became the City’s second largest
park at 320 acres. It also presented an unprecedented opportunity to
combine many active uses (sports, dog walking, arts activities, swimming,
boating, children’s 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
For more information on the forum, please call Kevin Bergsrud, Seattle
Parks and Recreation, at (206) 684-5831.
LEGACY PROJECT AT LOWER WOODLAND PARK
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
CITY COUNCIL APPROVES ARBORETUM MASTER PLAN
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
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 www.seattle.gov/parks 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.
For more information on the plan, please consult the project web site
www.seattle.gov/parks/arboretum/arboPlanindex.htm or call (206)