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Seattle Parks and Recreation

Environmental Stewardship
Sustainable Operations

 
For more information contact:
Leah Tivoli | (206) 733-9704 | Leah.Tivoli@seattle.gov

Enviroment Report

For more information check out the 2013 Environmental Stewardship Report here.

Our Goals

As the caretakers of 11% of Seattle’s land and the third largest department in the city, limiting the environmental impact of our everyday work is a priority. This value is reflected throughout our approach to ongoing operations, from our management of water use and energy to pesticides and chemicals. To enhance our accountability to the residents of Seattle we have made a commitment to track and report our work towards the following goals.

RESPONSIBLY MANAGE ENERGY USE

We manage over two million square feet of building space including swimming pools, community centers and office buildings. With such a large portfolio of buildings it is going to take continuous operational and built solutions to move the needle.

Find out more about the City of Seattle'’s Resource Conservation Management Plan for the City’s buildings.

RESPONSIBLY MANAGE WATER USE

Parks staff practice smart irrigation by setting water targets for 343 irrigated parks and tracking monthly water use. Irrigation is scheduled based on weather patterns and historic trends.

Learn more about irrigation best management practices.

RESPONSIBLY MANAGE PESTS, WEEDS & INVASIVE PLANTS

Staff members are trained to use alternative methods of pest and plant management before resorting to chemicals. The use of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides are limited and primarily used at golf courses,
greenhouses and naturals areas where business needs or regulations require control strategies.

Find out more about our Integrated Pest Management Plan.

UTILIZE GREEN CLEANING PRODUCTS

We go the extra mile to keep our parks clean and healthy for our visitors and nature by using green janitorial products at our facilities. Some cleaning chemicals can be hazardous, causing problems ranging from skin rashes and burns to coughing and asthma. We have switched to green cleaning products because they are thought to be less hazardous to workers and the environment.

Learn more about our 2014 purchasing standard here.

DIVERT WASTE FROM LANDFILLS

Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. With growth comes additional consumption and garbage. It is critical we continue enhancing our recycling, composting and reuse programs to achieve the City of Seattle’s ambitious 70% target for waste diversion.

Part of a successful waste diversion is giving the public opportunities to learn and practice sustainable behaviors. In 2008, we expanded our recycling program to add 123 recycling cans to outdoor parks. Cans were located in areas with the greatest generation of recycling such as picnic shelters, boat ramps and playfields. We must continue creating opportunities to recycle in order to meet ambitious City goals.

Learn more about the City’s resolution to achieve ambitious waste diversion targets.

MITIGATE HAZARDOUS WASTE

Hazardous waste is a reality of construction work, maintenance, illegal dumping and remediation of polluted soils from former land uses. We report to the Washington State Department of Ecology to ensure the safety of Seattle’s residents and environment.

DECREASE VEHICLE EMISSIONS

With properties in every corner of Seattle, driving creates a significant greenhouse gas emission impact for Parks employees. In partnership with Seattle’s Green Fleets program, we are committed to optimizing our fleet and practices to minimize our emissions.

For more information please visit the Green Fleet Program.

ENCOURAGE SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES AT PUBLIC EVENTS

Not only are we dedicated to preventing waste from ending up in landfills, but we’re showing others how to do the same. In our Compost Squad program, we provide teens extensive training in soil building and food waste recycling techniques. The teens use this new knowledge to give back to their communities by providing the public guidance and advice at our special events.

For more information visit our Good Food Program and the Compost Squad.

 


 
Updated October 15, 2014

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