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Seattle Parks and Recreation

The View From Denny Park

News and Views From The Superintendent
No. 16 June 13, 2001
A periodic electronic newsletter about Parks and Recreation news, programs, projects and events from Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken Bounds


THE CODE FOR LIVING

You hear the stories in the national media with increasing frequency: young athletes and their families involved in violent altercations with each other, with coaches or with sports officials. At Seattle Parks and Recreation, we have taken positive steps to combat the problem -- and have seen dramatic reductions in the number of suspensions and ejections in our various leagues.

For the past two years, Dennis Cook and our Youth Recreation staff have instituted The Code for Living, which outlines basic precepts for athletes, parents and coaches based on mutual respect and civic responsibility. Conceived by Athletes for a Better World, the Code hangs in all of our community centers and is handed out to each sports participant at the start of the season. Athletes must get the Code signed by the coach and parents before participating. Parks staff also meets with players and parents to discuss the code.

The result has been a marked decline in game ejections from 10-15 a few years ago to three in each of the past two years. We hope to step up our Code training in the coming months.

NEW PARKS, NEW VISTAS

In the past few weeks, weve celebrated the completion of two new parks.

At Herrings House Park on W. Marginal Way, migrating salmon, great blue herons, ospreys and other wildlife have a new refuge in an unlikely location: along the heavily industrialized Duwamish Waterway, just north of Terminal 107.

The new 17-acre park contains a natural intertidal basin at the shoreline, and areas of marsh, meadow and forest in the upland portion of the park. Herrings House Park has already attracted hundreds of juvenile fish, harbor seals, ospreys, bald eagles, cormorants, great blue herons and other native waterfowl.

In the Alki neighborhood of West Seattle, the City and community celebrated the completion of Cormorant Cove Park. A year ago, this two-acre site at 3701 Beach Dr. SW was a vacant lot, fronted by a crumbling nine-foot high seawall. Since then, a community-based park development project, under the leadership of local artist Lezlie Jane, has transformed the site into an attractive and welcoming waterfront park.

The former bulkhead has been replaced by smaller, more natural barriers, submerged logs, smaller rocks and shoreline plants. The upper part of the park features an artist-made handrail, and accessible viewing platforms, one of which has a mosaic and a route down to the beach. The park features a stunning view of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.

Please check out two of the citys newest and most beautiful parks!

GRAY TO GREEN

Speaking of transformations, thats what the Gray to Green program is all about. Conceived by Mayor Paul Schell, Gray to Green converts deteriorated gray play spaces into multi-faceted green parks that can be used by both the school and by neighborhood families.

Seattle Parks and a host of community partners recently completed two projects, one at Orca School in Columbia City and the other at T.T. Minor Elementary School. At Orca, the project replaced a worn-out play yard with a new play area, landscaping, new asphalt surfacing and game striping, and perimeter fencing.

At T.T. Minor, a drab asphalt play space has become a vibrant green space with a new play area, sports field, a walking path, childrens garden, and benches.

As Seattle becomes denser, with less opportunity to buy park space, the City has increasingly been looking to form partnerships to develop space that can be used jointly and cooperatively. The Gray to Green program also has renovated school yards at Pinehurst AS-1 and McClure Middle School. Nine more projects are under way.

AUDUBON NATURE CENTER IN SEWARD PARK

I am excited about working with the Audubon Society to develop an environmental education center in Seward Park. The details need to be worked out but this great new partnership will help create a nature center in the currently underserved Southeast Seattle community with programs for kids, their families, and the general public.

A public process is under way to solicit community input on the project, which will renovate the historical Seward Park Annex building. A preliminary memorandum of understanding between Audubon and the Parks Department has been approved by the Board of Park Commissioners and is currently before the City Council for approval. Responsibility for Seward Park Audubon Nature Center staffing, programming and budget will be shared between our organizations.

Combined with Pro Parks Levy dollars, Audubons $1 million contribution makes possible a facility and programming that serve the public well and creates a significant legacy for future generations. Parks operates three other environmental education centers at Carkeek Park, Discovery Park and Camp Long.

PRO PARKS LEVY

Weve begun implementing the levy with the hiring of 17 peak-use maintenance workers to help us maintain parks and park restrooms during the afternoons, evenings and weekends. This is especially important as we head into the busy summer months.

The Levy Oversight Committee is making good progress in developing the process for the levy's $10 million Opportunity Fund. Preliminary direction is to establish two funding cycles, the first in 2001-2002, and a second cycle in 2004. The Committee is drafting criteria for the first $5 million funding cycle, targeting $1 million for development projects and $4 million for acquisition. The Committee will provide opportunities for public review and comment when they have completed their draft criteria, including a public meeting in July. Applications for nominations for Opportunity Fund projects will be available in late summer. For information, call Catherine Anstett, (206) 615-0386 or see the Pro Parks Levi Web Page.

I will be in touch soon.
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