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The View From Denny Park

Gregory J. Nickels, Mayor
Kenneth R Bounds, Superintendent

No. 26. May 22, 2002
A periodic electronic newsletter
about Parks and Recreation news, programs, projects and events
from Seattle Parks & Recreation Superintendent Ken Bounds

The View from Denny Park: News and Views from the Superintendent

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

PARKS ARE OPEN AND READY FOR SUMMER

We all bear the brunt of difficult budget decisions like the ones now facing King County and its beleaguered parks and recreation system. If nothing else, it's a matter of public perception. In the past few weeks, we've received a number of calls and e-mail messages from people who mistakenly thought the City of Seattle was closing parks, too.

We at Seattle Parks and Recreation face our own spending cuts, but I want to make it clear that our parks and facilities are open and ready for business as the busy summer season approaches.

Please keep checking our web site at www.seattle.gov/parks for updated program and event information for the Summer of 2002. You'll notice all of the usual summer favorites such as our nine lifeguarded swimming beaches; our two outdoor pools, Pop Mounger in Magnolia and Colman in West Seattle; our popular wading pools and summer playground programs, still free and open to the public; Shakespeare and music galore in the parks; special events; and much more.

N.Y. TIMES EDITORIAL

Here is an excerpt from an excellent editorial from the New York Times, published in June 2001. It caught my eye because it is a great description of the true worth of parks in an urban setting.

"The parks are not, as many…believe, a frill. They are the city's lungs, essential components of its health and quality of life-cleaning the air, breaking the heat, breathing life into a neighborhood. They can provide recreation and a crime-free environment for schoolchildren and their families, an avocation for gardeners caught in their boxy apartments. Safe and improved parks can also improve surrounding real estate values, which in turn improve city revenues."

CITY, MARINERS REACH AGREEMENT ON FIELD PROJECT

I am happy to report that we are ready to sign an agreement with the Seattle Mariners for an exciting field renovation project at Lower Woodland Park being funded by the All-Star Legacy program. Major League Baseball created this program as a gift to communities in which the annual All-Star Game is held. As the 2001 host, Seattle received $1 million in proceeds from All-Star Weekend events for improvements to Lower Woodland's 90-foot baseball field and the set of four Little League/softball fields.

We will also install lights at the baseball field as part of this project. Improvements to the "cloverleaf fields" were completed this spring. Work will begin on the baseball field improvements this summer and will be completed by the spring of 2003. Installation of field lights will begin this spring. For more information about the project, please see www.seattle.gov/parks

PRO PARKS OPPORTUNITY FUND

On May 14, the Pro Parks Levy Oversight Committee completed its selection process for the first cycle of Opportunity Fund funding, and it unanimously recommended 16 projects that were nominated by citizens, including acquisition projects totaling $2 million and seven development projects totaling $1 million. The Mayor is currently reviewing the Committee's recommendation before sending it on to the City Council. The process for the second Opportunity Fund cycle, totaling $4 million, will take place in 2004 or 2005. For a project list and more information please visit www.seattle.gov/parks/proparks/opportunityfund.htm

JAPANESE GARDEN, WHEELCHAIR JAMBOREE

Two very successful events this early spring included the Washington Wheelchair Sports Jamboree at the Southwest Community Center and Pool in late April and Children's Day at the Japanese Garden in early May. The jamboree drew 200 wheelchair athletes of all ages who participated in basketball, road racing, tennis, track, handcycling, table tennis and swimming. Hundreds of people enjoyed the Japanese Garden's Children's Day festivities that featured taiko drumming, Japanese arts and crafts and martial arts demonstrations.

I will be in touch soon.

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