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News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 75. July 24, 2006
Gregory J. Nickels, Mayor
Kenneth R. Bounds, Superintendent
A periodic electronic newsletter about Parks and Recreation news, programs, projects and events from Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken Bounds
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In this issue:
Meeting with Mayor on Central Waterfront on July 26 | Northgate Community Center, Park, Library Open | Starbucks Support for Parks | Neighborhood Matching Fund Supports Parks Projects | Summer Parks Programs for SE Seattle Youth | 2 Parks Receive New Names


Mayor Nickels invites you to celebrate the city's plan for our central waterfront, on Wednesday, July 26, 10 a.m., at Waterfront Park, 1301 Alaskan Way (just south of the Aquarium).

The plan, which the Mayor is transmitting to City Council this month, is the result of many hours of work by hundreds of volunteers, as well as City staff, and shows us how, with the removal of the viaduct, our waterfront could become the most exciting destination in Seattle, truly a place for everyone. For more information, please visit


Opening Day Northgate
New Northgate Community Center

The beautiful new 20,000 square-foot Northgate Community Center is open for business and starting summer programming TODAY, July 28! Please call 206-386-4283, visit, or stop by the new building at 10510 5th Ave. NE across from the Northgate Mall.

Thousands of Seattle residents joined Mayor Nickels, City Librarian Deborah Jacobs, City Councilmembers and me in the long-anticipated opening of the community Center, park and library on Saturday, July 15. It was a festive and fitting celebration of many years of dreaming, planning, design and hard work.

Thanks to Seattle voters who approved the 1999 Community Center Levy, the 2000 Pro Parks Levy and the 1998 Libraries for All bond issue, the new public facilities will provide badly needed public gathering places in the densely populated Northgate community. Total public investment in the project was $22 million.

My deep appreciation and congratulations to the many community groups, neighbors and Parks and City staff who made this project happen.


Earlier this month, the Starbucks Neighborhood Parks Program announced 2006 grant recipients. Among the community groups that received $15,000 grants were eight that are doing work in Seattle Parks:

  • Big Howe Improvement Project/B-HIP (Queen Anne)
  • Children's Garden Project/Magnuson Community Garden (Magnuson Park)
  • Community Garden Project/Maple Leaf Community Council
  • I-5 Colonnade Mountain Bike Park/Backcountry Bicycle Trails Club
  • Mount Baker Ridge Viewpoint Park/Steering Committee
  • Occidental Park Improvement Project/Pioneer Square Community Association
  • Ravenna Park Play Area Renovation/Friends of Ravenna Playground
  • Statue of Liberty Plaza/Northwest Program for the Arts (Alki Beach)

In addition, Starbucks has adopted 14 Seattle parks throughout the city. Starbucks stores will work jointly to plan, sponsor, and host work parties and other events that will improve park appearance and functionality and attract new visitors. Most of the 14 adopted parks have no previous or current on-going community stewardship activity. Starbucks will continue to match each hour of employee volunteer service with a $10 donation to the sponsoring community organization. The 14 adopted parks are:

  • Burke-Gilman Trail
  • Colonnade Park
  • Danny Wu Community Garden
  • Freeway Park
  • Fremont Canal Park
  • Green Lake Park
  • LaFayette Community Playground
  • Occidental Park
  • Pioneer Square Park
  • Plymouth Pillars Park
  • Powell Barnett Park
  • Ravenna Playground
  • Victor Steinbrueck Park
  • Westlake Park


Mayor Nickels and Friends of Madison Park
Mayor Nickels and
Friends of Madison Park

Seattle parks receive support from so many sources, from both the private and public sectors. One of the most steady and long-standing sources has been the Neighborhood Matching Fund administered by the City's Department of Neighborhoods.

Earlier this month, Mayor Nickels announced 14 new funding awards, including, as usual, many projects in Seattle parks. The total amount of the grant awards is more than $1 million. The park projects include: Dahl Playfield "Skatespot," Madison Park Community Playfield improvement project, Powell Barnett Legacy project, and Counterbalance Square (Uptown).


Young people in Southeast Seattle will have a variety of parks and recreation activities to choose from this summer.

The Mayor announced last month a series of expanded youth programs in the neighborhood, offering a wide-range of recreational and educational opportunities while also strengthening ties to the community.

In the Rainier Beach/Henderson St. area:

  • Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Rainier Beach branch of the Seattle Public Library will offer learning opportunities for kids between 13 and 19 years old.
  • Parks will add Thursdays to its popular Friday and Saturday Late Night Program for 11 weeks during the summer at the Rainier Beach Community Center, 8825 Rainier Ave. S.
  • Parks will offer opportunities to earn the service learning credits required for high school graduation.
  • Parks will expand work opportunities in the Steps Toward Environmental Partnerships program. The program provides teens with environmental training and hands-on work experience.

For the Othello/Martin Luther King Jr. Way corridor:

  • Parks will offer a drop-in summer playground program at John C. Little Park at the base of NewHolly, serving youth between 5 and 13 years old.
  • Parks will schedule events and activities at Othello Park for families and youth, including a concert series, a 30th anniversary celebration of the park, and a multicultural heritage festival.
  • Parks will also schedule storytelling sessions, plays, and community game times at Othello Park.

For more information on these programs, please contact Parks Southeast Recreation Manager Katie Gray at 206-684-7090 or


I was pleased to recently announce new names for two parks: Jimi Hendrix Park and Chinook Beach Park.

Jimi Hendrix Park
Jimi Hendrix Park

Jimi Hendrix Park after the Seattle rock icon: Parks acquired this land, located next to the Colman School at 2400 S Massachusetts St. in Seattle's Central District and once the school's playground, in 1948. Then the Washington State Department of Transportation bought the land for use in staging construction of the I-90 lid project. Since 1997, Parks has leased the land from the state for parking for the adjacent Sam Smith Park. The 2000 Pro Parks Levy provided $309,300 for site improvements that include better pedestrian connections to the park and neighborhood.

The name honors the late '60s rock legend Jimi Hendrix and his childhood ties to Seattle. City Councilmember Jean Godden, a champion of naming the park after Jimi Hendrix, said, "This recognition is long overdue. I'm delighted the City has finally found a fitting tribute to honor the significant historical and cultural contributions of one of our most famous native sons."

Chinook Beach Park for its role as a habitat for migrating salmon: The City acquired the property, located along Lake Washington at the 9500 block of Rainier Ave. S, in the 1930s when Rainier Ave. S was extended to Renton. In 1960, the then-Seattle Engineering Department transferred most of the property to Parks, which then leased the site to the adjoining AquaMarina for the moorage of small boats. This moorage was destroyed in November 2003 by severe wave action caused by high winds.

I'll be in touch soon.

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