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News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 38. July 15, 2003
Gregory 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:
Summer in the City Canada Geese Projects · Segways · 'Clean Seattle' Award · Parks Reviews Project Worth $5 Million for Discovery Park · Joanna Grist Joins Park Board · Miscellaneous Updates · Annual Report

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 write online.

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 cryptosporidium.

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.

  • Carkeek 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.

  • Wallingford 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 St.

  • Schurman 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.

  • Yesler 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 motorized vehicles.

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.

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.

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 or

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.

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