Seattle—Today Seattle Parks and Recreation released a report summarizing the accomplishments and lessons learned for the first six-year cycle of the Seattle Park District, from 2015 through 2020.
The report features a map of Park District-funded projects and programs that shows the impressive citywide impact of the funding source. It includes four appendices that dive deeper into four topics: a full list of projects, initiative by initiative; significant financial changes that occurred during the first cycle; continuous improvement efforts; and planning for the next Park District Cycle. It also highlights the department’s 2020 response to the COVID-19 pandemic and features.
“We deeply appreciate Seattle voters, the City Council, Park and Recreation commissioners, and Seattle Parks and Recreation staff for enabling us to maintain our treasured park system, expand our recreation programs, and build and improve park amenities for a growing city,” said Jesús Aguirre, Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent. “I also want to thank the hundreds of thousands of community members who leant their voice and advocacy to help shape the Seattle Park District funds to propel equity, innovation, sustainability, and better stewardship of our city’s parks, recreation facilities, and programs.”
Here is a sampling of major accomplishments of this first six-year cycle include:
· Major Maintenance
o 7 structural pool repairs
o 9 play area and 5 bathroom renovations
o Synthetic turf installation or replacements at 3 ballfields and 1 ballfield lighting replacement
o 1,850 acres of forest restorations
· Maintaining Parks and Facilities
o Creation of an overnight maintenance crew for facility repairs
o Increased maintenance and doubled restroom cleaning at 41 parks
o Improvement projects at 8 off leash areas and 21 P-Patches.
· Programs for People
o Expanded community center hours
o Eliminated fees for drop-in programs
o $1.3 million in scholarships
o 3 new community-based grant programs (Arts in Parks, Get Moving, and Recreation for All)
· Building for the Future
o 5 new parks created (Alice Ball, Urban Triangle, Christie Park, Baker Park Addition, and Greenwood Park Addition)
o Four projects in design or pre construction (Lake City, Little Saigon, North Rainier, and South Park Plaza)
o Acquisition of 20 parcels totaling 12 acres
In 2014, Seattle voters approved Proposition 1 which created the Seattle Park District. A park district, also called a metropolitan park district, collects property tases to fund parks and recreation services including park and facility maintenance, recreation facilities and programs, land acquisition, park improvements, and new park development on previously acquired sites. As an ongoing funding source, Seattle's Park District provides more stable funding than time-limited levies, allowing SPR to more effectively plan and schedule investments and enabling flexibility when emergencies arise. Over the six years of the first cycle, approximately $253 million in tax revenues were collected to support park and recreation services and projects.
The Park District is governed by the Seattle City Council acting as the Park District Board, which votes on annual adjustments to the approved six-year funding plan. The Park District Oversight Committee provides community oversight to ensure SPR utilizes Park District funds equitably and transparently and completes the projects and programs described in the six-year plan. In the Interlocal Agreement between the City and the Park District, the parties agreed to engage in planning, development, and services on a six-year cycle, the first cycle being 2015-2020.
Due to the pandemic, planning for the next six-year Park District cycle was paused and one-year budgets were developed for 2021 and 2022. The next six-year plan will be adopted in 2022 by the Park District Board for 2023-2028.
Full report found here: http://www.seattle.gov/seattle-park-district/projects