VIEW FROM DENNY PARK
News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 42. October 8, 2003
Kenneth R Bounds, Superintendent
A periodic electronic newsletter about Parks and Recreation news, programs,
projects and events from Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken
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In this issue:
Nations in Bloom | Budget Hearings |
B.J. Brooks | Implementing the Arboretum
Master Plan | Northgate Community Center and Park
| Sea Otter Pup | Restoring Salmon Habitat
| Trust for Public Lands Report
NATIONS IN BLOOM
city of Seattle placed second in the prestigious international "Nations
in Bloom" contest in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. Nations in Bloom is
an annual competition that recognizes excellence in environmental management
and the creation of livable communities in cities throughout the world.
Seattle vied against other finalist cities with populations between 200,000
and 1 million. Quanzhou, China placed first in the category. In addition,
both Quanzhou and Seattle received gold medals. Puyang, China placed third.
Other cities in Seattle's category were Aberdeen, United Kingdom and Den
Seattle's final presentation, given by staff from Seattle Parks and Recreation
and the city's Office of Sustainability and Environment, included slides
and information about the city's recycling, re-use, and conservation practices;
sustainable design of public buildings; forest, creek and wetland restoration
efforts; historic preservation; preservation the Olmsted park legacy;
community involvement; innovative partnerships with business and nonprofits;
and long-range planning efforts to preserve our natural and built heritage
for future generations.
For a glimpse at Seattle's presentation, please visit our web site at
www.seattle.gov/parks and click
on Nations in Bloom.
Autumn is budget season for city government. The Seattle City Council
will be holding two public hearings on Mayor Greg Nickels's Proposed 2004
Budget, one on Wednesday, Oct. 8, and the other on Thursday, Nov. 6. Both
hearings start at 5:30 p.m. at the new City Hall, 5th Ave., between James
and Cherry streets.
In the previous newsletters, I shared with you the major changes to the
Parks budget, but just to reiterate two of the highlights, the Mayor is
proposing to spend $1.5 million on a badly needed water treatment project
at Green Lake. The addition of aluminum sulfate (or alum) will help keep
the water free of the algae blooms that have closed the lake to swimming,
sailboarding and other "wet water" activities for the past two
Mayor Nickels also proposes to include $1 million in our 2004 Capital
Improvement Program for the completion of the wharf at South Lake Union,
a key element of the development of the park in keeping with a maritime
heritage theme. In addition to providing moorage for historic vessels,
opening the wharf will add a crucial missing link in the waterfront promenade
around the south end of the lake.
The proposed budget also makes $1.3 million in "General Fund"
reductions that include permanent reductions (e.g., cutting one of two
City-funded rowing regattas, park maintenance, and facilities maintenance),
temporary one-time savings (e.g., delays in projects, salary savings from
vacancies), and efficiencies (e.g., telephone and cell phone reductions,
energy saving lighting).
For details on the budget, please visit our web site at www.seattle.gov/parks
and click on Mayor's Budget Page.
am very pleased and excited to announce that Ms. B.J. Brooks will be joining
Seattle Parks soon as Deputy Superintendent.
B.J. brings with her a wealth of experience, mostly in the city of Denver,
Colorado, where she was born and raised. Most recently, she was the Director
of Focus Neighborhoods, appointed by former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb
to manage special community and economic development projects in inner-city
neighborhoods. Prior to that, she spent 10 years in the Denver Parks and
Recreation Department, most recently as Manager, which is equivalent to
Superintendent, and previously as Deputy Manager both for the park resources
and for recreation divisions. As Manager, she was responsible for Denver
Parks and Recreation's 14,000 acres of parks, maintenance and operations,
Botanic Gardens, Denver Zoo, Mile High Stadium, and Winter Park Ski Resort.
She managed a $57 million budget and the department's 1,700 employees.
B.J. has an exceptionally strong background in planning, community building
and high level management. She brings to the job a dynamic combination
of intelligence, humor, political savvy, and people skills. Her official
starting date is in early November.
IMPLEMENTING THE ARBORETUM MASTER PLAN
City and the University of Washington adopted "Renewing the Washington
Park Arboretum," the Arboretum's Master Plan, in May 2001. Since
then, we've worked with the University and the Arboretum Foundation to
develop an Implementation Plan that will guide the sequencing of projects
for the Arboretum, including the Japanese Garden. The Implementation Plan
will also guide the spending of Pro Parks Levy funds and future fund-raising.
The 2000 Pro Parks Levy provides $2.3 million for infrastructure and
landscaping improvements to the Arboretum and Japanese Garden.
The Board of Park Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the Implementation
Plan at its Oct. 23 meeting at 100 Dexter Ave. N. The meeting begins at
7 p.m. You can view the Implementation Plan at www.wparboretum.org
Click on ABGC.
NORTHGATE COMMUNTY CENTER AND PARK
The Northgate Community Center, Library and Park project is moving along
nicely. We've selected a citizen Project Advisory Team to guide us through
the design process. Our consultant designer, Miller Hull Architects, is
more than halfway complete with "schematic" designs for the
building and park. The Seattle Department of Transportation will be making
street improvements at the same time as our project. We anticipate construction
beginning in October 2004 and project completion in late 2005. For more
information on the Northgate project, please visit www.seattle.gov/parks/centers/current/Northgate_Community_Center.htm
SEA OTTER PUP
The Seattle Aquarium has agreed to raise a stranded female sea otter
pup named Calypso that was found on a beach in Cordova, Alaska in Prince
William Sound with no mom in sight. A fisherman discovered the pup and
observed it for 18 hours before determining the pup had been abandoned.
With permission from the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife the pup
was rescued from the beach. At the time of rescue, Calypso weighed 2.8
pounds and was estimated to be 14 days old. She now weighs more than 7
pounds and is eating solid foods as well as bottle-fed formula.
RESTORING SALMON HABITAT
this year, Seattle Parks and Recreation hired Anchor Environmental to
prepare an inventory of shoreline parks and to assess their potential
for salmon habitat restoration. The consultant also studied salmon habitat
needs, shoreline conditions and recreational use. Among the priority restoration
sites the consultant identified were Rainier Beach Lake Park, Beer Sheva
Park and Martha Washington Park, Seward Park and Pritchard Island Beach
Salmon use park shorelines as they migrate as juveniles from the Cedar
River, Duwamish River, Green-Duwamish River and smaller streams, and then
return to them as adults. Juvenile fish require availability of prey,
refuge from predators, migration corridors, physiological refuge and high
energy refuse. In general, the juvenile fish favor environments with shallow
water, overhead vegetative cover, and no barriers to migration.
Several efforts are under way to implement the results of the study.
At Seward Park, for instance, a project financed by the Shoreline Park
Improvement Fund, has provided for enhancement along the park's northeast
shore. On the south shore, we removed old concrete bulkheads and planted
native trees and shrubs. At Beer Sheva Park Seattle Public Utilities and
the Army Corps of Engineers has studied "daylighting" Mapes
Creek and restoring wetlands and the shoreline at Atlantic City Park.
TRUST FOR PUBLIC LANDS REPORT
A recent report published by The Trust for Public Land (TPL) called "The
Excellent City Park System" had good things to say about Seattle
Parks and Recreation.
Report author Peter Harnik researched best practices in major cities
throughout the United States. He was particularly impressed with our planning
and community involvement efforts as one of the seven measures of an excellent
city park system. "The combination of planning and participation
helps make the Seattle system one of the country's best," writes
Harnik. The report goes on to describe our many public/private partnerships
and our extensive network of volunteers and Adopt-a-Park program.
If you want to view the report online, please visit the TPL web site
I will be in touch soon.