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Seattle Parks and Recreation

The View From Denny Park
Gregory J. Nickels, Mayor
Kenneth R Bounds, Superintendent


No. 35. May 1, 2003
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

NATIONAL VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION WEEK

April 27 to May 3 is National Volunteer Appreciation Week, and we at Seattle Parks and Recreation have a lot to be thankful for.

Just during the month of April, or “Earth Month” as we’ve come to call it, more than 1,500 volunteers pulled ivy and weeds, planted trees, restored trails or picked up litter at 85 park “work parties.” I was recently at a volunteer recognition event at the Seattle Aquarium, where volunteering is up 25 percent from last year. Our many recreation programs also benefit from the dedication and hard work of volunteer coaches, recreation leaders and advisory council members.

Last year, hundreds of volunteers contributed more than 200,000 hours of work to the Department. Figured at $14 per hour, this represents an amazing $2.8 million worth of labor.

So, thanks to all of you who donate your time, your expertise, and your goodwill. Seattle parks and the entire city are the better for it!

GAS WORKS PARK PROJECT

Earlier this month, I made a decision not to include an off-leash dog area within the “containment wall” area at Gas Works Park. This was consistent with the recent Park Board recommendation. Like the Board, I concluded that the several planning processes over the last 30 years did not contemplate such a use. It’s important that we honor the guiding park plans, such as the Parks and Recreation Plan 2000, Gas Works Park Master Plan, the 1990 Final Environmental Impact Statement, and the adopted Neighborhood Plan. In addition, the language of the Pro Parks Levy, which is funding the improvement project at Gas Works, did not mention an off-leash area. During the process that defined projects in the Levy, certain areas were specified as off-leash areas. Gas Works was not one of them.

Also consistent with the Board’s recommendation, I have directed Parks staff to work with the project designers to develop an option that will preserve the maximum number of trees as part of the project. Despite information to the contrary contained in some e-mails that I received, our intent in this project has always been to improve the public view “corridor” within the park and from the public Wallingford Steps project, and not to improve views of nearby condominium or apartment dwellers.

A public meeting on the tree issue only has been set for Thursday, May 15, 7 p.m., at Hamilton Middle School Auditorium, 1610 N 41st St. For more information, please contact Project Manager Tim Motzer at (206) 684-7060 or tim.motzer@seattle.gov

OLMSTED CONFERENCE IN SEATTLE

From May 1 to 4, the National Association for Olmsted Parks is holding its annual conference in Seattle featuring lectures, workshops, presentations and tours. I participated on a panel discussing current parks issues and challenges. Joining me on the panel were Kevin Moore with the Weequahic Park Association in Newark, New Jersey, and Tupper Thomas with Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York. It was a lively and informative session.

For more information on the conference, please visit www.seattle.gov/friendsofolmstedparks/ or call Kari Stiles at (206) 332-9915.

NEW AND NIFTY: PRO PARKS WEB PAGE

If you haven’t already seen our new and improved web page for the Pro Parks Levy Program, please go to

http://www.seattle.gov/parks/proparks/

Click on the interactive map on the upper right hand corner of the page to find projects in your neighborhood or other areas of the city. Many thanks to our web master Beth Somerfield for this handy and informative project guide!

I will be in touch soon.

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