THE VIEW FROM DENNY
News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 38. July 15, 2003
J. Nickels, Mayor
Kenneth R Bounds, Superintendent
A periodic electronic newsletter about Parks and Recreation news,
programs, projects and events from Seattle Parks and Recreation
Superintendent Ken Bounds
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In this issue:
in the City · Canada
Geese · Projects
Seattle' Award · Parks
Reviews Project Worth $5 Million for Discovery Park ·
Grist Joins Park Board · Miscellaneous
Updates · Annual
IN THE CITY
Summer is upon us with surprising summerlike weather. Shine or
rain, we are busy with myriad programs for school age children,
swimming beaches, wading pools, concerts, and other special events
in our parks. This year summer day camps will again offer environmental
stewardship activities that make learning about science and the
environment fun and engaging. For much more information about
our summer programs, please visit Summer
In The City. If you'd like a summer activity brochure, please
You have undoubtedly heard a lot about this issue in the media.
Here is an update. We will continue with the multifaceted approach
to control the Canada goose population, including the assistance
of U.S. Department of Agriculture staff to addle goose eggs (brushing
them with mineral oil, which prevents hatching) and to capture
and euthanize the geese from selected parks.
This is always a difficult decision, but in the end, my primary
responsibility is to ensure the health, safety and enjoyment of
park visitors. Despite the reduced number of Canada geese this
year, we are still experiencing the negative impacts from geese
at our parks, beaches, playfields and docks. Geese grazing damages
turf and the large amounts of goose droppings (up to three pounds
per goose per day) make these areas unpleasant-and unsafe. The
King County Board of Health agrees with our approach citing the
"increased risk of exposure to disease organisms by humans
who come into contact with the feces." Goose droppings contain
disease-causing organisms which include salmonella, giarda and
After meeting recently with representatives of the Progressive
Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), and the Humane Society of the United
States, I've agreed to consider a moratorium on lethal control
of Canada Geese in 2004. We have also taken them up on their offer
to work with us to clean parks, educate the public, and implement
non-lethal means of population control.
We reached major milestones this spring on several highly anticipated
community projects. I encourage you to stop by and check out these
wonderful additions to our parks system.
Park Environmental Learning Center: This is marvelous
new center, dedicated on May 31, has earned the highest "gold"
rating from U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design (LEED). The building includes photovoltaic
energy, radiant heating, salmon-friendly landscaping and other
innovations. Carkeek Park is at 950 NW Carkeek Park Rd.
Playfield: On June 8, we joined with the Friends of
Wallingford Playfield to dedicate the park improvements and
new play area funded by the Pro Parks Levy and the Neighborhood
Matching Fund (NMF). The playfield is located at 4233 N. 43rd
Rock: The Seattle Parks Foundation spearheaded this
project to restore the first manmade climbing rock in the U.S.,
located in our own Camp Long. On June 3, the Mayor, Parks Foundation
board members and staff and major funders REI and Mountaineers
celebrated the completion of the project. Camp Long is at 5200
35th Ave. SW.
- Soundview Park:On June 22, Mayor Nickels and dozens
of community members celebrated the park makeover and new play
area funded by a variety of public and private sources, including
the NMF and the Parks Neighborhood Response Fund. Soundview
is at 1590 NW 90th St.
Community Center: The Mayor helped us break ground on
the new Yesler Community Center on June 20. The new center will
be 23,000 square feet and include computer lab, teen room, fitness
center, arts and craft room, child care space, multipurpose
room, kitchen, and a gym. We expect construction to be done
by the end of 2004.
As more people purchase and use the motorized vehicles known as
Segway Transporters, I thought we should make our policy clear.
Seattle Parks and Recreation prohibits the use of all motorized
vehicles, including Segways, on trails managed by the Department.
The exception is vehicles such as motorized wheelchairs that are
used by persons with disabilities. Park trails were designed for
two-way use by a variety of non-motorized modes such as walking,
jogging, bicycling and in-line skating. Our trails often experience
high volumes of users, making it potentially dangerous to introduce
In addition to Segways, there is a growing number of relatively
small and lightweight motorized vehicles. These include gas and
electric powered scooters or power boards as well as motorized
bicycles. We've already received complaints about these vehicles.
We understands that Segways are currently legal to operate on
neighborhood streets and sidewalks. On park trails, however, our
first priority is to protect the safety of the non-motorized users
for which these trails were designed and built.
"CLEAN SEATTLE" AWARD
We were pleased to learn that Mayor Greg Nickels' "Clean
Seattle" initiative received a public service award from
the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), Evergreen
Chapter. The program won in the category of Singular Exemplary
Achievement Team Award.
"Clean Seattle" is the Mayor's interdepartmental effort
in partnership with citizen volunteers, civic organizations and
businesses to clean up city neighborhoods and make Seattle more
livable. Clean Seattle has collected more than 12 tons of litter,
cleaned 68 curb miles of residential streets, filled more than
12.5 tons of asphalt to repair potholes and streets, planted 466
plants and flowers, spread 33 yards of bark and wood chips, and
fixed more than 1,000 street lights. Many Clean Seattle projects
have been in and around Seattle parks.
PARKS REVIEWS PROJECT WORTH $5 MILLION FOR
We are engaged in a public process to review a proposal that will
provide $5 million in additional Shoreline Park Improvement Fund
(SPIF) money for a slate of projects in Discovery Park. A citizens
committee organized by King County recommended these projects.
We held a public meeting earlier this month to hear comment on
the projects. We'll hold another public meeting on July 16, and
a Park Board hearing on Aug. 28. For more information about the
projects and process, please contact Kevin Stoops at 206-684-7053
JOANNA GRIST JOINS PARK BOARD
Drum roll please. Our newest member of the Board of Park Commissioners
is Joanna Grist. Joanna is the executive director of the Washington
Wildlife Recreation Coalition (WWRC). WWRC works to secure funding
for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, which provides
grants to local communities to acquire land for outdoor recreation
and protect wildlife habitat.
I wanted to follow up on a couple of projects we reported on previously.
- Sand Point Magnuson Park Sports Fields/Wetlands/Drainage
Project: The Friends of Magnuson Park (FOMP) has filed an
appeal to the Hearing Examiner on the Final Supplemental EIS,
which was prepared after FOMP had filed an earlier appeal in
late 2002. The Hearing Examiner has set a hearing for July 28.
- Seward Park/Audubon Agreement: The City Council approved
the agreement between the City and the National Audubon Society
to jointly fund, renovate and operate the Seward Park Annex
Building and the Seward Park Fish Hatchery for environmental
programs. The design phase will begin this July and construction
is scheduled to begin in 2004.
For a succinct overview of Seattle Parks and Recreation accomplishments,
highlights and major programs in 2002, please see our recently
completed 2002 Annual Report, available online at our web site
I will be in touch soon.