VIEW FROM DENNY PARK
News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 51. July 30, 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:
Mayor Funds Day Camp Scholarships | Update
to Golf Course Management | Lifeguard Training Team to
the Rescue | Improvements to the Martin Luther King, Jr.
Park | Refugee Women's Alliance Sets Up Office In Rainier
CC | Parks Project Benefit From Neighborhood Matching Fund
| Aquarium Piers, Master Plan | Sonics And
Storm Team Up To Fix Courts | Upcoming Events
MAYOR FUNDS DAY CAMP SCHOLARSHIPS
Summer Day Camp
at Bitter Lake Community Center
In late spring, our community center staff were deluged with requests
for summer camp scholarships and demand quickly grew beyond available
That's when Mayor Greg Nickels stepped into help, pledging funds to enable
the 300 children who were on the scholarship waiting list to attend the
Summer Day Camp Program.
The camp costs $135 per child, per week. Parks offers 80 percent scholarships
to families that qualify, reducing the cost to $27 per child, per week.
The cost for providing day camp scholarships for the 300 children on the
waiting list was about $179,000. With the approval and support of the
City Council, excess funds from the current Families and Education Levy
will be transferred to Parks.
The day camp scholarship program is one of several extra-curricular programs
already supported by the current Families and Education Levy.
UPDATE ON GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT
We are progressing on plans to find long-term management for the operation
of Seattle's public golf courses, beginning in 2005. Last week, we sent
out a Request for Proposal (RFP) to the leading candidates for this job,
Billy Casper Golf, Kemper Sports Management, Oki Golf and Premier Golf,
which currently performs this function. The deadline for responding to
the RFP is late August.
The City owns three 18-hole courses, Jackson Park, Jefferson and West
Seattle, and a nine-hole course at Interbay. Parks maintains the 18-hole
courses, and Premier Golf maintains Interbay. Beginning next year, we
will also maintain Interbay.
These management changes combined with tighter financial control and
management oversight by the City provide a more efficient and fiscally
sound operation. In the meantime, there's never been a better time to
golf in Seattle. The weather couldn't be better, the courses are much
improved, and the price is right. I invite you to come play a round (or
two or three) at Seattle's great public courses before the end of the
LIFEGUARD TRAINING TEAM TO THE RESCUE!
You may have seen a buff and athletic group of young people on the shores
of Lake Washington this summer. For eight weeks through Aug. 19, Parks
is holding its annual lifeguard training program for 30 teens age 15 to
18 at Mt. Baker Beach. This program runs for eight weeks and provides
the skills and certifications needed for employment as a lifeguard.
The training also helps us diversify our workforce. The teens were recruited
from area schools, and from Parks community center and pools with the
goal of improving the ethnic diversity of lifeguard candidates at beaches
and pools. Seven of the 12 new hires in the 2004 summer beach program
are graduates of last summer's training program.
IMPROVEMENTS TO MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. PARK
We are excited about the ideas and plans percolating for Martin Luther
King, Jr. Park in southeast Seattle.
Pro Parks Levy funds will make the park more accessible to persons with
disabilities, and will improve the paths, landscaping and parking areas.
Earlier this month, I met with some of the original community leaders
who developed the master plan for the park and we heard many good ideas
for educational exhibits in the park and other features.
This summer and fall we are hosting a series of public workshops to listen
to community ideas and develop a schematic (preliminary) design. We will
likely need to raise additional funds to complete the project. For more
information, please see www.seattle.gov/parks/proparks/projects/mlk.htm
REFUGEE WOMEN'S ALLIANCE SETS UP OFFICE IN RAINIER CC
An innovative partnership with the Refugee Women's Alliance (ReWA) will
provide culturally relevant classes and services to refugee women at the
Rainier Community Center.
ReWA is a non-profit multi-ethnic organization that promotes inclusion,
independence, and strong communities by providing refugee and immigrant
women and families with appropriate and culturally appropriate program
services. The agency opened a satellite office in the former family center
space at Rainier CC on July 6.
The partnership resulted from a mutually-recognized need between Parks
and ReWA to provide services to refugee women and their families in southeast
ReWa's presence will also be of great benefit to Parks staff and patrons.
ReWA will conduct culturally specific training for our employees and volunteers.
They will run a food, nutrition, and fitness program for seniors in collaboration
with Parks Senior Adult Programs. The agency will also provide bilingual
services for Rainier Community Center customers and staff.
PARKS PROJECT BENEFIT FROM NEIGHBORHOOD MATCHING FUND
The Neighborhood Matching Fund is once again helping Seattle Parks and
Recreation "build community" through its support of creative
community-based improvement projects.
In the most recent round of awards, the NMF, administered by the Department
of Neighborhoods, awarded eight of 18 total grants to projects in parks.
The 18 awards, totaling $947,506, range from $15,000 to $100,000. In
addition to the City's contribution to the projects, the communities will
"match" the City's dollars with local resources valued at $2,077,815.
The eight park projects totaled $590,000 in NMF awards with a $1,171,000
community match. The projects included:
- Mt. Baker Rowing and Sailing - design development and construction
- West Magnolia Playground - equipment purchase
- Kiwanis Ravine - slope stabilization and forest restoration
- Seattle Children Play Garden - creation of a play area/garden designed
for kids with special needs
- 3100 S. Bradford - build a new park on land donated to the city
- Homer Harris - add to the park interpretive elements that reflect
upon the life of Dr. Harris
- California Substation - construct a new park on the site of the old
- Cesar Chavez - build a park on surplus king County land
For more information on NMF projects in parks, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/nmf/default.htm
AQUARIUM PIERS, MASTER PLAN
The piers under the Aquarium at Pier 59 are deteriorating and need replacing.
As you can imagine, this is a top-priority project that must be undertaken
sooner than later.
We are now in the process of engineering and design with construction
set to start in September 2005. Last week, the City Council passed legislation
authorizing the Parks to select a General Contractor/Construction Manager.
As part of the project, the east end of the pier and pier shed will be
torn down and replaced. Working with our nonprofit partner, the Seattle
Aquarium Society, we will develop an exciting new entry to the Aquarium,
including a new admissions area, visitor amenities and a major new exhibit.
We have also completed an amendment to the Master Plan for the Aquarium
and central waterfront. The amendment, based on the recommendations of
a Citizens Advisory Committee, revises the previous plan to expand the
Aquarium on Piers 62/63 at its current site and reserve the area of Pier
62/63 for park and open space use. We will submit legislation to City
Council to adopt the Master Plan soon.
SONICS AND STORM TEAM UP TO FIX COURTS
Sonics owner Howard Schultz cuts ribbon at Green Lake
basketball courts as Parks Deputy Superintendent B.J. Brooks (below
balloon column) looks on.
In June and July the Seattle Sonics and Storm T.E.A.M. Foundation unveiled
its latest two NeighborHoops basketball court renovation projects outside
Green Lake Community Center and at Burke-Gilman Playground, next to the
Ronald McDonald House. The ceremonies celebrating the re-opening of the
courts featured players and executives from the Sonics and Storm.
Besides Burke-Gilman and Green Lake the T.E.A.M. Foundation has sponsored
renovations of courts at Pratt Park, Meridian Playground, and Magnolia
Community Center. T.E.A.M. stands for programs that TEACH, ENCOURAGE and
MOTIVATE youth and families in Washington state. In addition to the thousands
of young people who play pick-up basketball at courts and at our many
community facilities, more than 5,300 school-age kids play in our winter
We are thankful to the Sonics, Storm and T.E.A.M. Foundation for their
support of youth sports in Seattle.
"Grease" at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center:
This year's summer youth musical at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center
is the crowd-pleasing musical GREASE! in Seattle's Paramount Theatre.
Matinee tickets cost $1 and $5 for evening shows. Youth tickets are two
for one. Call 206-684-4757 for more information.
ID/Chinatown CC Opens Doors: Just as we had hoped, the new International
District/Chinatown Community Center is bringing a whole new constituency
to parks and recreation facilities and programs. Located in the phase
II building of the mixed use International District Village Square at
8th Ave. S and S Dearborn St, the new center opens to some activity in
August with the grand opening set for Sept. 29.
Nearby agencies and residents have already shown great interest in using
the center spaces, which include a gym, multipurpose room, kitchen, activity
rooms and offices. For example, the International District Housing Alliance
plans to reserve space for first-time homebuyers workshops. Denise Louie
Education Center and the Asian Counseling and Referral Service are interested
in sports classes for youth. Center coordinator Allen Chinn has put together
a wide range of activities for youth and adults, including martial arts,
sports, movies, classes and much more.
For more information on the new center,
please call 206-233-0042.
I will be in touch soon.