2017 Parks and Open Space Plan

A big thank you to the hundreds of citizens and staff that have submitted comments, given us input, reviewed our data, and participated in focus groups, public meetings and discussions on the draft 2017 Parks and Open Space Plan.

We are very pleased to release the draft 2017 Parks and Open Space Plan. Download the plan now.

The 2017 Parks and Open Space Plan is a six-year plan that documents and describes SPR’s facilities and lands, looks at Seattle’s changing demographics, and lays out a vision for the future. The 2017 Plan is required by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) to maintain the City of Seattle’s eligibility for state grants and funding programs that will help realize outdoor recreation development and open space acquisition projects.

This plan also guides SPR in addressing the future needs of the community and progress towards achieving our mission. The 2017 Parks and Open Space Plan works together with and is informed by other planning documents, including: Seattle 2035 – the City of Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan, 2014 Parks Legacy Plan, the 2016 Seattle Recreation Demand Study, the 2015 Community Center Strategic Plan and other city plans.

Download the draft plan

"did you know . . . that 94% of the housing units in the City of Seattle are within a 10-minute walk to a park?"

The Plan

  • Includes goals and policies in keeping with Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan,
  • Lays out action steps to implement those goals and policies in keeping with SPR’s mission and the plans desired outcomes,
  • Looks at Seattle’s demographic and recreation trends,
  • Provides an inventory and overview of SPR facilities,
  • Uses new technology to map out ‘walkability’ to parks and open spaces,
  • Recommends capital projects,
  • Allows Seattle Parks and Recreation to compete for State grants and funding opportunities.

Anticipated Schedule

This schedule is subject to change.

May 15 – 18, 2017 Public Release of Draft Plan
May 25, 2017 Park Board Briefing
June 8, 2017 Park Board Public Hearing
June 15, 2017 Public comment period closes for Draft Plan and SEPA
June 22, 2017 Park Board Discussion and Recommendations
September, 2017 Presentation to City Council
October, 2017 Submit plan to the State

Public Comment

The public comment period runs from May 18, 2017 – June 15, 2017. Public comments can be submitted by email or U.S. mail, or shared at a public hearing. All comments are weighted equally.  For Comments and Questions, please e-mail: 2017OpenSpace@seattle.gov

For U.S. mail, please use:
Seattle Parks and Recreation
Attention: 2017 Parks and Open Space Plan
800 Maynard Ave South, 3rd fl.
Seattle WA 98134

SEPA Determination of Non-Significance

Download the SEPA Determination of Non-Significance

Public comment period for the SEPA Determination of Non-Significance is open through 6/8 and the appeal period ends on 6/15. Note - this is a slightly different timeframe than the public comment period for Park Board, which closes on June 15th.

What’s proposed, what’s new and what is different?

The desire is for this plan to be more visionary and usable for future planning, and looks at city resources from the lens of accessibility and equity. We will be using equity and population density mapping, as one of many tools, to help us formulate our priority areas for acquisition. The intent is to gain a more accurate picture of access, by measuring how people walk to a park or facility. We are calling this ‘walkability’. 

What are the desired Outcomes?

  • Have an approach to Open Space and Recreation Facility distribution that is based upon access, opportunity, equity, and real time data.
  • Have a user friendly data interface that the public can access via story mapping and other new technologies.
  • Maintain a Baseline Level of Service for Citywide Open Space.
  • Have refined long-term strategies that look to acquire more land to add to the park network over time, and to increase the capacity of existing facilities to allow expanded use (e.g., converting grass fields to synthetic turf fields or adding a walking path in a park), where feasible.

What does ‘walkability’ mean?

SPR is using the Trust for Public Lands and the National Park Service definition of ‘walkability’ as the distance a person walks in 10-minutes, which is approximately ½ mile. ‘Walkability’ is both a measurement and an urban design concept. The measurement is the distance from a park. As an urban design concept, it is how an area or neighborhood is designed to encourage walking, including factors such as sidewalks or pedestrian rights-of-way, safety, traffic, road conditions and other public amenities such as open space.

How is ‘walkability’ measured?

‘Walkability’ is measured as a network that uses the street grid and measures the distance that a person would need to walk, or bike, to access a community center or park, and is measured from the park or facility entrance.

How does the Gap map work? Do I need a special program to view the maps?

SPR’s GIS staff mapped over 1000 park entry points and linked to SDOT’s walking network layer to develop the Walkability areas. In addition to park property, there is information on Greenway projects, bicycle and park trails, public school property, major institutions and universities, and other non-park owned property, such as Seattle Center.

No special program is needed to view the maps, just pull up the link on your smart phone, tablet, laptop or computer and zoom into the neighborhood you are most interested in. Story Mapping link: http://arcg.is/2fiW39Q

Previous Plans

The Seattle Park District website has more information on our facilities and projects. Download the 2016 Seattle Park District Facilities Map here.