VIEW FROM DENNY PARK
News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 46. March 5, 2004
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:
Bruce Bentley Nominated for Jefferson
Award | New Community Center at Sand Point Magnuson Park
| Improving Downtown Parks | The Emerald
City: Mayor's Environmental Action Agenda | Steps Toward
Good Health | One of Our Own "Women of Distinction"
BRUCE BENTLEY NOMINATED FOR JEFFERSON AWARD
This week the Seattle Post-Intelligencer announced the five winners of
its annual Jefferson Awards for community service. I was honored to nominate
Bruce Bentley for this prestigious award for his many years of community
volunteer work, parks and recreation advocacy, and youth mentorship.
Although Bruce didn't receive the award, he is a winner in our eyes.
Bruce is the chair of the Board of Park Commissioners and a longtime member
and leader of the Southwest Community Center Advisory Council. My nominating
letter read in part: "There are countless examples of Bruce's dedicated
and selfless service to the community and his positive impact on youth.
He is renowned for his willingness to pitch in at Southwest Community
Center's many public events such as egg hunts, Halloween parties, Christmas
Ship events, Spring Clean, sports card shows, and plant sales
has always been a strong advocate for major improvement projects at or
near Southwest Community Center. He led the drive to fund and build a
new outdoor play area at the center in 1997, and when it came time for
construction, Bruce led a team of volunteers in the pouring rain one Saturday
morning to install and connect the play equipment
Bentley's greatest accomplishment is his leadership and mentorship of
. Much more than a friendly face, Bruce has been an important
role model, leader, and 'street father' to kids. Southwest Community Center
staff recall many a wayward teenager who Bruce has guided into positive
For the full text of my nominating letter, please see http://www.seattle.gov/parks/parkboard/bentleynomination.pdf
NEW COMMUNITY CENTER AT SAND POINT MAGNUSON PARK
Ribbon Cutting on February 28th.
Sand Point Magnuson Park is fulfilling its great potential with the addition
of two renovated facilities that greatly enhance community meeting and
recreation space in northeast Seattle. I was pleased to join with Councilmember
David Della last Saturday to dedicate the completion of these two projects,
Building 47 or Sand Point Recreation Center, and Building 406 or Sand
Point Activity Center.
Building 47 was the recreation center for many years for Naval Station
Puget Sound. Funded by the 1999 Community Center Levy, the $4 million
renovation brought the building up to current seismic and building codes
and renovated formerly unusable spaces for community use. The new space
includes multi-purpose rooms, a renovated auditorium and a gym. We also
installed a heating system in the gym, put in new sprinklers, abated lead
paint, and replaced the deteriorating roof.
Building 406 was the former Navy brig, a holding facility for military
prisoners, and also, many may recall, for protesters during the World
Trade Organization conference in 1999. It was even used as a set for several
"X-Files" television episodes! Now the building has been renovated
with $619,000 from the 2000 Pro Parks Levy. Improvements included installing
wood floors for indoor recreation, opening up the lobby, which links to
the adjacent community garden, and improving the heating and ventilation
Read more about the Community Center at http://www.seattle.gov/parks/Centers/SandPoint.htm
Later this month, the Mayor will join us in the opening of the newly
renovated High Point Community Center in southwest Seattle. I invite you
to visit these wonderful new additions to our parks and recreation system.
Please see www.seattle.gov/parks
for more information.
IMPROVING DOWNTOWN PARKS
Before and after photos of recent work at Freeway
As part of the Mayor Nickels's goals to build healthy communities and
keep our neighborhoods safe, Parks and City staff are working on many
fronts to make parks in downtown Seattle safer and more welcoming.
- At Freeway Park, we are working with the Freeway Park Neighborhood
Association on safety improvements that include pruning shrub beds to
create better sight lines in the park, fencing off a few hidden areas,
widening pathways, adjusting lighting and renovating park benches. We
will be holding a Parks staff maintenance "jamboree" at the
park later this month, focusing on many of these projects, and hosting
a community volunteer "work party" on April 3 to mulch and
plant new plants.
- Building on the excellent foundation of the Pioneer Square Improvement
Plan, we are working with community stakeholders and the nationally
renowned Project for Public Spaces to help transform Occidental Park
into a vibrant public space for all to enjoy.
- At Regrade Park at 3rd Ave. and Bell St. we are converting part of
the park to a small off-leash area for dogs. This pilot project will
open to the public this Sunday, March 7.
- Another Pro Parks project at Boren-Pike-Pine Park will provide a paved
plaza for community events and cultural activities, a grass lawn, paths
- We worked with Seattle Public Utilities to install new self-cleaning
Automated Public Toilets at four parks downtown: Victor Steinbrueck,
Hing Hay, Occidental and Waterfront parks.
- Planning is just under way with community groups to seek park and
recreation opportunities in the north downtown area, which includes
the South Lake Union, Denny Triangle and Cascade neighborhoods.
- We will establish a downtown park and recreation advisory council
to assist in programming in downtown parks and the new International
District/Chinatown Community Center, which will open later this year.
If you have any questions about any of these projects, please contact
David Takami at 206-684-8020 or firstname.lastname@example.org
THE EMERALD CITY: MAYOR'S ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION AGENDA
On Feb. 23, Mayor Nickels unveiled his 2004 Environmental Action Agenda,
a citywide strategy to practice and promote environmental sustainability.
The 2004 agenda focuses on restoring the city's forests, environmentally
friendly development, and providing "green" jobs and businesses.
Seattle Parks and Recreation is a key agency in realizing this agenda.
Our urban forestry program will continue its aggressive efforts, working
with citizen volunteers and EarthCorps, to remove English ivy and other
invasive plants and plant native trees and shrubs. Our crews are reducing
pesticide use at golf courses and increasing the number of pesticide-free
parks. Our Planning and Development Division continues to design and build
"green," sustainable buildings. In 2004, these will include
the renovated High Point Community Center and the new Yesler Community
In other areas of department operations, we are increasing the use of
cleaning products that are safer for the public, staff and the environment,
reducing idling time in Parks vehicles, increasing recycling at parks
and buildings, and conserving water and energy wherever possible.
We've also issued some tips for homeowners based on our sustainable design
and construction practices. These included planting trees and shrubs in
clusters to save water, minimizing the use of pesticides, using skylights
and photo-sensitive electrical switches, recycling, and solar heating
For more a complete list of these tips and more information about the
Mayor's Environmental Agenda, please visit our web site, www.seattle.gov/parks
and click on the Environmental Action Agenda link.
STEPS TOWARD GOOD HEALTH
Seattle Parks and Recreation is participating in an important new program
to improve the health and well being of Americans.
Steps to a Healthier US is a five-year federally funded program that
aims to help people live longer, better, and healthier lives by reducing
the burden of diabetes, obesity, and asthma, and addressing three related
risk factors-physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and tobacco use.
In late 2003, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded
$13.6 million to fund 23 communities nationwide, including Seattle and
King County to implement community action plans to reduce health disparities
and promote quality health care and prevention services. Seattle/King
County's will receive $965,340 for various programs.
Parks is participating through a walking program for senior adults age
50 and older who have not participated in any structured fitness or walking
program. The program is up and running, that is walking, at the following
community centers: Alki, Garfield, Jefferson, Loyal Heights, Magnolia,
Meadowbrook, Miller, Queen Anne, Rainier, Sand Point, Southwest, and Van
Asselt. We hope to have 75 to 100 new walkers at each site. For more information,
please contact Trevor Gregg at 206-684-4664 or email@example.com
ONE OF OUR OWN A "WOMAN OF DISTINCTION"
Deputy Superintendent B.J. Brooks was among the luminaries honored last
week at an event at Miller Community Center: "Black History Month
Celebration: Women of Distinction." Joining B.J. as honorees were
Dr. Mildred W. Ollee, president of Seattle Central Community College;
Paula Boggs, executive vice president at Starbucks Coffee Co.; Sonya Johnston,
corporate attorney at Microsoft; May Snowden, vice president at Starbucks;
Theresa Jennings, division director at King County Department of Natural
Resources and Parks; Sandra Taylor, senior vice president at Starbucks;
and Regina Jones, executive director of the Washington State Commission
on African-American Affairs.
I will be in touch soon.