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
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
NEW PARKS, NEW VISTAS
In the past few weeks, we’ve celebrated the
completion of two new parks.
At Herring’s 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. Herring’s 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The former bulkhead has been replaced by smaller,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 city’s newest and
most beautiful parks!
GRAY TO GREEN
Speaking of transformations, that’s 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
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, children’s 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, Audubon’s
$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
We’ve 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.