VIEW FROM DENNY PARK
News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 50. June 17, 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:
Wetlands/Ballfields Plan Gets Go-Ahead | Summer
Programs Set to Begin | Park in Ballard to Keep Skate Bowl
Feature | Navy/Fort Lawton Housing in Discovery Park
| Reviving Occidental Square | Senior Games
Under Way! | Southwest Community Center to Close for Renovation
| 2003 Annual Report
WETLANDS/BALLFIELDS PLAN GETS GO-AHEAD!
The project to develop wetlands and athletic fields at Sand Point Magnuson
Park will get under way after five years of intensive planning and discussion
and a public process that has involved thousands of Seattle citizens!
On Monday, June 14, the City Council passed legislation approving the
Sand Point Magnuson Park wetlands/sports fields Master Plan.
The Council action revised the Mayor's plan by reducing the number of
fields with artificial turf from 11 to nine, and the number of lit fields
from 11 to seven. The ordinance also requires that the lights on all fields
at the park be turned off at 10 p.m. Lights will be prohibited on Sunday
nights. The legislation included a multipurpose "sports meadow"
containing four additional grass fields. In 2001, the Council had approved
11 fields, seven lit, with the possibility of lighting additional fields.
We expect to award a construction contract for the first phase of the
project by the end of June and begin construction in July. Phase I includes
improvements to the existing sports meadow such as drainage and irrigation
upgrades and refurbishing the grass surface. In this phase, we will also
begin developing areas of upland forest.
Planning and design will continue on Phase II, a more complex part of
the project, requiring formal wetland delineations and numerous federal,
state and local permits. We will also seek funding beyond what is currently
available from the Pro Parks Levy. We hope to begin construction of Phase
II in late 2006 and finish in 2007.
For more information on the project, please visit www.seattle.gov/parks/parkspaces/spmp
SUMMER PROGRAMS SET TO BEGIN
With the school year ending next week, Seattle Parks and Recreation staff
are poised to begin our busiest time of the year.
This summer, as always, we'll be offering a wide variety of organized
programs, such as day camps and nature camps, and informal recreation
at our many beaches, wading pools, two outdoor pools, playgrounds, parks
and community centers. For a more details and fun ideas about summer activities,
please consult our Summer Guide 2004, available at your local Parks facility
or on the web at www.seattle.gov/parks
Beyond the typical summer fare, I wanted to let you know about three
STEPs Program: This is our third year of the Step Toward Environmental
Partnerships (STEPs) program, providing "at risk" and economically
advantaged teens with environmental training and hands-on work experience.
This summer, we expect to hire more than 60 young people, age 14 to 17,
from mostly central and south Seattle. They will learn life and job skills
and work on park and trail restoration projects at parks such as Lincoln,
Seward, Colman, the Arboretum, and Bitter Lake. The $85,000 in funding
for the program comes from a variety of sources: the Human Services Department's
Summer Youth Employment Program ($3,000), the Pro Parks Levy, the Associated
Recreation Council, and numerous community center advisory councils. Helping
us recruit program participants are Safe Futures Youth Center in southwest
Seattle, Treehouse, an agency that serves low-income foster children,
and our own Teen Development Leaders.
Special Populations Camp: For more than 30 years, Seattle Parks
and Recreation has offered a series of weeklong summer day camps and sleep-over
camps for young people with a wide range of mental and physical disabilities.
Unique in the Pacific Northwest, this summer program is always full-nearly
500 young people will attend this year. For many parents it is the only
respite they get from caregiving all year. The day camps, held at Lower
Woodland Park, begin on June 28 and end on Aug. 13. The sleep-over camps
begin on June 22 and end on Aug. 6. At Camp Long, a nurse is on hand 24
hours a day for special medical and medication needs. The campers' days
are filled with nature walks, field trips, games and many other activities.
Buggin' Out! Staff from our Environmental Stewardship Unit, Environmental
Learning Centers and community centers have teamed up this year to offer
three weeks of innovative programming at summer day camps on bugs of all
kinds-and the important role they play in the natural world. Parks naturalists
will visit community center sites to educate campers about the bug world-insects,
spiders, caterpillars and more-and kids will otherwise learn though field
trips, stories, games, and arts and crafts.
PARK IN BALLARD TO KEEP SKATE BOWL FEATURE
In late May, I decided to accept the recommendation of the Park Board
for a Ballard Civic Center Park design that includes a new skate bowl.
The new bowl would replace the existing temporary skate bowl structure,
and will be located in the same vicinity as the existing structure in
the southwest corner of the park.
I also directed staff to convene a Project Advisory Team, made up of
representatives from the skateboard community, nearby community groups,
and park neighbors, to help us refine the final design and to include
a decorative water feature in the park.
The public process for designing the park began with wide support for
a more passive park. As the project proceeded, skateboarders and supporters
of the popular "Ballard Bowl," built at the site as a temporary
skateboarding venue, organized and became involved in the process. The
Park Board held a public hearing, reviewed all of the materials submitted,
and recommended a design that kept a skate bowl feature.
Because some of these changes will cost more than is currently budgeted
for the project, I will ask the Pro Parks Oversight Committee to ask for
additional funds from the Levy's contingency fund. Our goal is to create
a park we can all enjoy.
For more information on the project, please visit www.seattle.gov/parks
NAVY/FORT LAWTON HOUSING IN DISCOVERY PARK
Mayor Greg Nickels announced earlier this month that the city remains
committed to working with the U.S. Navy to incorporate Navy-owned land
into Seattle's Discovery Park. The Mayor was responding to the Navy's
selection of the development firm, American Eagle Communities, for its
initiative to privatize Navy family housing in Washington State, including
the Navy housing at Discovery Park.
"From day one, the City and the Magnolia community have expressed
their strong belief the Navy's properties should be incorporated into
Discovery Park," the Mayor said. "I have personally conveyed
to the Navy's leadership how important Discovery Park is to the people
of Seattle. I look forward to working with the Navy and American Eagle
Communities, and I have directed City staff to initiate these discussions
A 1996 federal law, the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, authorizes
the U.S. military to engage in public-private partnerships to provide
housing. The Northwest Regional Housing Privatization initiative will
include the privatization or divestiture of Navy housing in more than
a dozen locations in Western Washington and the construction of new family
housing near Navy facilities. The Navy's 33 acres of housing land in Discovery
Park may be divested as part of the initiative since the properties are
no longer viable for continued Navy use.
The Discovery Park Long-Range Plan, adopted by the City in 1980, calls
for the eventual inclusion of this federal land in Discovery Park "for
REVIVING OCCIDENTAL SQUARE
Bocce ball playing. Art in the park. Lunch concerts. You may have noticed
more activity and events in Pioneer Square's Occidental Square.
At the urging of Mayor Greg Nickels, Seattle Parks and Recreation is
working with other City agencies and community organizations to revive
the park with a combination of physical and programming improvements.
We held a public meeting on Monday, June 14 to discuss the plan with
Earlier this year we worked a consultant Project for Public Spaces (PPS)
to come up with a proposal for transforming Occidental Square. PPS is
internationally renowned for its work in improving public spaces. Some
of the program changes have already begun. We installed temporary bocce
ball earlier this month. We held the first of monthly Art in the Park
evenings, and the first Out-to-Lunch concert. Also this summer, look for
bingo Fridays, outdoor movies, concerts, and other programs for families.
For the complete lineup, please see www.seattle.gov/parks/parkspaces/occident.htm
Possible physical changes could include replacing the cobblestone surface
in the park, replacing the pergola with a cafe, and removing some trees
to open up the space and let in more light. For more information about
the project, please contact Planner David W. Goldberg, Project Planner
at 206-684-8414 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SENIOR GAMES UNDER WAY!
athletes take your marks
. Beginning June 5 and running through the
beginning of September, senior athletes are competing in a series of competitions
that comprise the 2004 Greater Seattle Senior Games.
The Greater Seattle Senior Games has offered healthy competition in various
sports for people age 50 and older since 1998. The Senior Games model
has local, state and national competitions and their venues continue to
grow. The purpose of the Games is to promote physical activity and fitness,
and encourage healthy lifestyles and sports competition among senior adults.
This year the events include track and field, badminton, soccer, rock
climbing, golf, and "leisure games" For event information and
a registration brochure please call Seattle Parks and Recreation 206-684-4951
or Greater Seattle Senior Games 425-743-1752.
SOUTHWEST COMMUNITY CENTER TO CLOSE FOR RENOVATION
Southwest Community Center will close June 21 until March 2005 for a
major renovation project. The pool will remain open until Aug. 1 and then
close until March 2005. Funded by the 1999 Community Center Levy and 2000
Pro Parks Levy, the renovation project includes a new gym, a teen center,
computer lab, relocation of the play area, a family changing room for
the pool, and a new fire sprinkler system. For details, please see www.seattle.gov/parks
and click on Community Center Levy Program.
2003 ANNUAL REPORT
Please take a moment to check out our 2003 Annual Report, now available
online at www.seattle.gov/parks
It includes highlights of last year's accomplishments and activities.
I will be in touch soon.