VIEW FROM DENNY PARK
News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 69 December 21, 2005
Kenneth R. Bounds, Superintendent
A periodic electronic newsletter about Parks and Recreation news, programs,
projects and events from Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken
Want The View from Denny Park
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We've had another busy and rewarding year at Seattle Parks and Recreation.
On behalf of my staff, I'd like to wish you and your families the happiest
of holidays and best wishes for the new year.
Green Lake Pathway of Lights
on December 10
If you're in the mood, we have a lot going on this month, including Christmas
Ship events at parks, and hayrides at Seward Park. If you're more adventurous,
join the hundreds of celebrants at the annual Polar Bear Swim at Matthew's
Beach Park on Jan. 1. Visit our web site for details www.seattle.gov/parks.
In 2006, besides the usual programs, events, and projects, Seattle will
host the national convention of the National Recreation and Parks Association,
which will bring to town thousands of visitors from parks and recreation
agencies across the nation. It's a golden opportunity for us to showcase
the city and our precious parks and recreation system. I will share more
details about the convention as they become available.
2005 Denny Awards
Ward Springs Park
(Dept. of Neighborhoods award)
On Nov. 16, I was pleased to honor the winners of the third annual Denny
Awards for volunteer service. This year's winners were John Barber
of the Leschi neighborhood, Ruth Bell, who lives in Rainier Beach,
George Hildreth of Northeast Seattle, Seattle Works and
the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. The ceremony at City Hall
was well attended by family, friends and neighbors of the individual winners.
We simply couldn't do what we do at Seattle Parks and Recreation without
the extraordinary support of volunteers like these and the Denny Awards
were a small token of our great appreciation and respect for the people
and organizations who help us fulfill our mission as a department.
In brief, John Barber was recognized for his 30-year involvement
in the stewardship and preservation of parks and open space in Seattle,
especially in Leschi and Frink parks; John has played a leadership role
as chair of the Open Space Advocates, and on citizens committees for the
1989 King County Open Space Bond and the 2000 Pro Parks Levy.
Ruth Bell showed great leadership and involvement in numerous
projects in Southeast Seattle, particularly the wetland restoration at
Pritchard Beach, the Stroll Garden at Kubota Garden, and most recently,
the new play area at Beer Sheva Park.
George Hildreth's tireless commitment to the care of the Lower
Woodland Park softball and baseball fields for more than a decade has
made him an invaluable volunteer.
Seattle Works has worked on Seattle Works Day and throughout the
year to bring thousands of volunteers in their 20s and 30s to public and
private sites, including dozens of Seattle parks.
Since 1988, the Department of Neighborhoods with its innovative
Neighborhood Matching Fund has been a crucial partner in 465 improvement
projects in neighborhood parks, providing $14 million in seed money that
has made these projects possible.
Congratulations to the Denny Award winners and all of the award nominees.
I-5 Colonnade Provides Respite in Eastlake
I joined Mayor Nickels on Saturday, Dec. 3 to celebrate the opening of
the latest, greatest open space in the Eastlake and Capitol Hill neighborhoods:
Located under I-5, between Lakeview Boulevard and Franklin Ave. E, I-5
Colonnade is a 7.5-acre open space that results from the collaborative
efforts of Parks, the Eastlake and Capitol Hill communities, the Washington
State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), and the mountain bike, road
bicycle, and dog off-leash area communities, to create a unique urban
The project is located on WSDOT property, and has been converted into
a public space with pedestrian and bicycle commuter connections between
the Capitol Hill and Eastlake neighborhoods, a highly specialized mountain
bike course, Seattle's tenth dog off-leash area, and public art. It's
funded by $1.8 million from the Pro Parks Levy.
For more information, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/proparks/projects/i-5openspace.htm
More and more of our community centers and public recreation facilities
now offer online registration for their programs and classes.
With SPARC (Seattle Parks and Recreation Connection) you can register
online for winter courses at these community centers: Alki, Bitter Lake,
Garfield, Hiawatha, International District/Chinatown, Jefferson, Laurelhurst,
Magnolia, Meadowbrook, Montlake, Ravenna-Eckstein, and Rainier Beach.
The remaining facilities will be added in 2006.
For more information or to register for classes at the centers mentioned
above, please visit our web site www.seattle.gov/parks
We are moving closer to acquiring the Navys Capehart Housing area
located in the middle of Discovery Park.
You may recall that we signed an agreement a year ago with American Eagle,
the Navys designated housing developer and manager, to buy the 23-acre
property within a three-year timeframe. During this same period, American
Eagle is looking for replacement housing (for Navy families) in Everett
This year, weve made very good progress in lining up funding for
the approximately $10 million purchase. We now have about two thirds of
the funding, which includes settlement funds from the King County West
Point Sewage Treatment Plant expansion ($2 million), King County Conservation
Futures Tax (CFT) revenue ($2.7 million), state funding ($1 million).
We expect to receive another $1.3 million in King County CFT and $1 million
in state funding in 2006.
A big thank you to State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Wells, Representatives Helen
Sommers and Mary Lou Dickerson, County Executive Ron Sims, King County
Council President Larry Phillips and the CFT citizens review committee
for recognizing the importance and value of preserving this unique urban
resource. We are also looking to federal funding possibilities.
Green Seattle Guide
The City of Seattle's Green Seattle Guide is now available online at
The guide lists 101 actions you can take in your home, yard, and community
for a healthy urban environment. This guide is easy to read and use and
a good way to approach conservation and preservation in a systematic manner.
The guide was created and organized by the City's Office of Sustainability
and the Environment, Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle City Light, Seattle
Parks and Recreation, Department of Neighborhoods, the Puget Sound Clean
Air Agency and the Puget Sound Action Team.
Seattle Magazine's Best of 2005 Awards
In case you missed it, Seattle Parks and Recreation figured prominently
in Seattle Magazine's annual awards, published in the December issue.
- The Best Place for Hipster Dogs is Plymouth Pillars Park (Boren
Ave. between Pike and Pine streets)
- The Best Place for Kids' Birthday Parties is the Seattle Aquarium
- The Best Place to Take a Walk is Carkeek Park
- The Best Place to Have a Party is at Golden Gardens Bathhouse
Also mentioned in travel writer Rick Steve's list of spots in Seattle
"that look a little bit like Europe," was the Washington
Park Arboretum, which "looks like 'Monet's Garden at Giverny.'"
Baby Otter at the Seattle Aquarium
Good News for Aquarium Project
We just heard that Governor Christine Gregoire has included a $2 million
appropriation for the Seattle Aquarium's New Currents exhibit in her 2006
Supplemental Capital Budget.
The budget must still be passed by the State Legislature when it convenes
in January, but this is a huge step forward in funding the exhibit. The
$2 million would be in addition to the $4 million already raised in private
funds by the Seattle Aquarium Society Board for the $13.7 million exhibit
project. Work on the exhibit will take place after the City (Parks) completes
the $22 million project, currently under way, to replace the pilings under
the Aquarium and shore up the building's exterior.
for more information about the project.
I'll be in touch soon.