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News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 77. September 20, 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:
Mayor's Budget Proposal | 10,000 Visitors Expected at Parks Conference in Seattle | Occidental Square Park Reopens | Skatepark Planning Public Meetings | Urban Forest Managment Plan | Proposed Off-Leash Areas in Magnolia/Queen Anne | Public Process Audit | Summer Beach Program | Online Registration


Mayor Nickels will announce his 2007-2008 budget proposal on Monday, Sept. 25. Details will be available on the Mayor's web site on Monday at 3 p.m. ( I will let you know about specific Seattle Parks and Recreation budget proposals soon after that.


NRPA conferenceWe are very excited about the upcoming national parks and recreation conference in our home town. From October 10 to 14 more than 10,000 parks and recreation professionals and interested individuals from around the country (and the world) will come to Seattle to attend the annual "Congress and Exposition" of the National Recreation and Parks Association.

The host committee, including staff from Seattle Parks and Recreation and parks and recreation staff from throughout the Pacific Northwest, has put together a dynamic program of exhibits, tours and more than 200 educational workshops.

This is our chance to showcase our Olmsted-designed parks system and the city and region as a whole.


Occidental ReopeningPlease come downtown to take a look at the new look of Occidental Square Park in Pioneer Square. Earlier this month, Mayor Nickels joined the Pioneer Square Community Association, neighborhood residents and businesses, and many interested visitors in the reopening of the revitalized park.

Part of the Mayor's recommendations to enhance center city parks, the Occidental improvements include replacing existing cobbles with accessible pavers; an area for a future kiosk created by removing the glass and steel structure; relocated history panels; upgraded lighting to increase safety; performance and programming space; enhanced settings for the totems and carvings; and permanent bocce courts and chess tables.

Funds for the Occidental Square improvement project come from the Pro Parks Levy, the City's Cumulative Reserve Fund, and the South Downtown Foundation.


skaterWith thousands of skateboarders in Seattle and only two public skateparks, Seattle Parks and Recreation and a City Council-appointed task force are working on creating a citywide plan to help provide public facilities for this popular sport.

Using input from three public meetings and an open house held this past spring, the Seattle Skatepark Advisory Task Force has, over the last several months, drafted site selection criteria and come up with a list of locations that meet those criteria. Parks and the task force invite the public to comment on the draft list at the following public meetings:
Monday, Oct. 2, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Garfield Community Center, 2323 E Cherry St.
Thursday, Oct. 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Delridge Community Center, 4501 Delridge Way SW
Saturday, Oct. 7, 1:00-3:00 p.m., Northgate Community Center, 10510 5th Ave. NE

The task force will present its recommendations to the City Council Parks, Education, Libraries, and Labor Committee at its Wednesday, Dec. 6 meeting. The Board of Park Commissioners will hold a staff briefing and public hearing on the recommendations at its Thursday, Dec. 14 meeting.

A map of the proposed locations and the criteria for site selection are on the web at:


Seward Park TreeOn Sept. 6 Mayor Greg Nickels called on Seattle to reverse a decades' long slide in the amount of tree cover by planting hundreds of thousands of new trees on private and public land across the city. Seattle Parks and Recreation, which is steward to 6,100 acres of parkland, much of it forested, figures prominently in this plan.

The mayor set a goal of increasing Seattle's tree coverage by two-thirds over the next 30 years - or by about 650,000 new trees. To help launch the effort, the mayor announced the city will give away 2,000 coupons for free trees this fall.

The recently released draft Urban Forest Management Plan details how we will manage public and private trees and provide a road map for our efforts to preserve, restore and enhance Seattle's urban forest.

The draft forest plan, a product of the city's departments of Parks and Recreation, Sustainability and Environment, Planning and Development, Transportation, Neighborhoods, Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities, is now open for public comment and will be presented at two public meetings set for 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 23 at the Meadowbrook Community Center and 7 p.m. on Sept. 26 at the Jefferson Community Center.

To view the draft Urban Forest Management Plan, please visit


dog.Working with community groups and Citizens for Off-Leash Areas, Seattle Parks and Recreation staff have identified three possible sites for an off-leash area in the Queen Anne and/or Magnolia neighborhoods: Magnolia Manor Park, David Rodgers Park, and Lower Kinnear Park.

In making the recommendation, staff worked diligently to balance the need for passive open space with the need for active recreation areas, while minimizing the impacts of any new use,. We now have 11 off-leash areas, and the only unserved sector is Queen Anne and Magnolia.

The next steps in the process are the publication of an environmental checklist and an accompanying Declaration of Non-Significance, which is available for review on the web at:, and a public hearing before the Board of Park Commissioners, scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12 in the Park Board Room, 100 Dexter Ave. N.

If you have any questions, please call Lana Krisman, Parks Planner, at 206-684-7047.


The City Auditor's report on Parks' public involvement policy and procedures will be the subject of a public hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27 in the Council Chambers. We are pleased to be able to implement most of our suggested improvements immediately. You can find the report online at as of Thursday, Sept. 21.


Our Summer Beach Program celebrated 37 years without a drowning in a lifeguarded area at the end of the 2006 season and marked a record of 75 water rescues!

Lifeguards worked hard from the first day to the last. The long hot weather season and lack of rain brought huge numbers to all our nine Seattle beaches. The lifeguards watched over 225,097 people-- 27,000 more than last summer. Guards performed 56 first aides, and 388 children received swimming instruction.

The emphasis on professionalism from supervisors, daily staff training and coaching have been key in maintaining a quality program and safety.


SparcOnline registration has proved to be a big hit (pun intended) with our customers. On the first day of registration, more than half of all registration for fall programs came from the online registration system we call SPARC (for Seattle Parks and Recreation Connection). Check it out at

I'll be in touch soon.

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