Seattle Parks and Recreation focuses on inclusiveness and equity

13631451_10154265792878567_7123805924094841341_nSeattle Parks and Recreation is committed to utilizing Seattle’s parks and community centers to promote and sustain racial equity in our city. At Seattle Parks and Recreation, we know that access to outdoor space and community center activities are vital ways to keep communities healthy, strong, and supported. Yet in our city we know that these resources are not distributed equally to all Seattle residents. With an increasingly diverse Seattle, we work to make sure our programs and services are available to everyone by focusing on the following:

Investing in Youth of Color:

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  • SPR Community Learning Centers combat summer learning loss with 5+ week summer academic and enrichment programming for students who are at risk of falling behind or failing courses, many of whom are students of color. In 2016, the program served more than 900 students with all students meeting their academic performance goals.
  • Our Summer Food and Expanded Recreation Program offers free lunches and free drop-in activities to youth during the summer months. Programming helps ensure that vulnerable youth have access to healthy meals during the summer. In 2016, together with the United Way, we served over 40,000 meals at over 20 sites across the city.
  • Our Trails Program engages youth of color through the public schools’ service learning program in maintaining and restoring Seattle’s park trails.
  • O2, the Outdoor Opportunities program, is an outdoor expedition program designed to expose youth of color (ages 14-19) to environmental education, urban conservation, and stewardship.
  • SPR partners to annually put on the teen summer musical. This year, 88 young people enjoyed a nine-week theatrical journey full acting, song, dance and discovery through this program which is geared toward youth of color.

Reducing barriers to access:

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  • SPR wants all of Seattle’s residents to have access to recreation, and provides Scholarships to individuals and families for our programs and activities. We have processed 5,167 scholarships for the June 2016-June 2017 cycle.
  • Beginning January 2017, we have eliminated fees for most drop-in activities, including Tot Gyms, Fitness Rooms, Basketball, and many others.
  • We are extending hours at community centers in underserved neighborhoods to see how we can reduce barriers to utilizing our facilities and services. Community centers with expanded hours include International District/Chinatown, Magnuson, Miller, South Park, Yesler and Van Asselt community centers.

Culturally relevant programming:

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  • Our Food and Fitness program, funded in part by the Seattle Park District, provides opportunities for older adults to congregate and celebrate their culture and language through weekly gatherings that include a communal lunch and a social, educational and fitness component. We currently offer an East African and a Vietnamese meetup.
  • We offer Women’s Single Gender Swims at three of our eight indoor pools for women who, for cultural, personal or religious reasons, choose not to swim in a co-ed environment.
  • SPR’s Get Moving and Recreation for All programs fund culturally relevant physical and enrichment programming to under resourced communities and in neighborhoods where health disparities are prevalent.
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Friends of Piper’s Orchard to host apple wassailing and pruning work party

20550987630_2966e7cd40_kThe Friends of Piper’s Orchard and Seattle Parks and Recreation invite the community in celebrating Carkeek Park’s historic orchard on Saturday, February 4 for a wassailing and pruning work party. Wassail is a beverage originally made from mulled ale, apples, nuts, spices and curdled cream. Today’s version is usually eggnog or spiced cider. Historians have traced the wassail tradition back as far as the 8th century, and some look on it as the last revel of the holiday season.

This free event will feature hot apple cider and treats. The event will also feature the Sound and Fury Morris & Sword Dancers. Morris dancing is a traditional form of English folk dance accompanied by music; dancers often wear bells tied to their knees. For more information on Sound and Fury Morris & Sword, please go to http://soundandfurymorris.com/.

The Friends of Piper’s Orchard is a group of dedicated volunteers who rescued the historic North Seattle orchard from invasive plants. The volunteers ensure that the orchard, originally planted in the 1890s, will survive at least another 100 years.

This event is sponsored by Friends of Piper’s Orchard, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and Carkeek Park Advisory Council. For more information, please go to www.pipersorchard.org or email pipersorchard@gmail.com.

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Update on Burke-Gilman Trail work in northeast Seattle

UPDATE: Seattle Parks and Recreation continues to clear debris

Seattle Parks and Recreation(SPR) will continue work to clean up debris and provide ditch maintenance at two landslide sites along sections of the Burke-Gilman Trail in northeast Seattle. SPR opened the trail to users for the remainder of today, Jan. 19 and will resume work on Jan 20. The trail will be intermittently closed from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. to allow us to complete the project.

Trail users will experience short intermittently closures between NE 125th St. and NE 135th St. on the Burke Gilman Trail to allow trucks to access the site and remove debris. SPR will provide flaggers to minimize impact to trail users.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and patience during this maintenance project.

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We’re expanding operating hours at several community centers!

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Thanks to funding from the Seattle Park District, six geographically diverse community centers have received additional staffing to support expanded operating hours. We are extending hours at community centers in underserved neighborhoods to see how we can reduce barriers to utilizing our facilities and services.

Community Centers with expanded hours (see below for details):

  • International District/Chinatown Community Center
  • Magnuson Community Center
  • Miller Community Center
  • South Park Community Center
  • Yesler Community Center
  • Van Asselt Community Center

With additional staff and additional hours, many centers will add programming for seniors, teens, and people with special needs. Combined with our free drop-in activities, these efforts allow for more accessible programming to more people, and more consistent operating hours.

Community Center Operating Hours, 2016 vs. 2017

International District / Chinatown Community Center

Day 2016 Operating Hours 2017 Operating Hours
Monday 11am-9pm 11am-9pm
Tuesday 3-6pm 10am-7pm
Wednesday 12-9pm 11am-9pm
Thursday 11am-2pm 10am-7pm
Friday 11am-9pm 11am-9pm
Saturday CLOSED 10am-5pm
Sunday CLOSED CLOSED

 

Magnuson Community Center

Day 2016 Operating Hours 2017 Operating Hours
Monday 4:30-9 pm 2-9 pm
Tuesday 4:30-9 pm 2-9 pm
Wednesday 4:30-9 pm 2-9 pm
Thursday 4:30-9 pm 9 am-9 pm
Friday 9:30 am-4:30 pm 9 am-11 pm
Saturday CLOSED 9 am-5 pm
Sunday CLOSED CLOSED

 

Miller Community Center

Day 2016 Operating Hours 2017 Operating Hours
Monday 4-9 pm 12-8pm
Tuesday 9:30am-2:30 pm 9am-5pm
Wednesday 4-9pm 12-8pm
Thursday 9:30am-2:30pm 9am-5pm
Friday 4-9pm 12-8pm
Saturday CLOSED CLOSED
Sunday CLOSED CLOSED

 

South Park Community Center

Day 2016 Operating Hours 2017 Operating Hours*
Monday 12-8:30pm 10am-9pm
Tuesday 12-8pm 10am-9pm
Wednesday 12-8pm 10am-9pm
Thursday 12-8:30pm 10am-9pm
Friday 12-7pm 10am-7pm
Saturday 9am-3pm 9am-5pm
Sunday CLOSED CLOSED

* Beginning February 1, 2016

 

Yesler Community Center

Day 2016 Operating Hours 2017 Operating Hours
Monday 1pm-9pm 10:30am-8pm
Tuesday 1pm-9pm 10:30am-8pm
Wednesday 1pm-9pm 10:30am-8pm
Thursday 1pm-9pm 10:30am-8pm
Friday 1pm-7pm 10:30am-8pm
Saturday 10am-5pm 10am-5pm
Sunday CLOSED 9:30am-5pm

 

Van Asselt Community Center

Day 2016 Operating Hours 2017 Operating Hours*
Monday 3-8pm 2-8pm
Tuesday 3-8pm 10am-8pm
Wednesday 3-8pm 2-8pm
Thursday 3-8pm 10am-8pm
Friday 3-8pm 2-8pm
Saturday CLOSED 9am-4pm
Sunday CLOSED CLOSED

* Beginning February 1, 2016

 

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Get healthy this New Year with Seattle Parks and Recreation!

At Seattle Parks and Recreation, we’re here to help you start the New Year off right! From spending more time in nature, to being more active and connecting with others, to eating healthier, we have countless ways to support your 2017 health and wellness goals.

Reconnect with nature

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Intuitively we all know that a hike in the woods or gazing at the stars is relaxing and restorative, but did you know that there is a wealth of science that proves spending time in nature can have serious benefits for your health? From reducing depression and high blood pressure, to accelerating recovery from surgery or illness, spending more time in nature is a simple and effective way to improve your mental and physical wellbeing.

  • Washington Park Arboretum: Spanning 230 acres and featuring a dynamic assortment of plants, Washington Park Arboretum offers a stunning setting for a walk surrounded by greenery. For those preferring to connect with nature on water, canoes, kayaks and similar boats can be launched from a small landing along Foster Island Road.
  • Kubota Garden: Hidden in South Seattle, Kubota Garden is a stunning 20-acre landscape that blends Japanese garden concepts with native Northwest plants. The Gardens are a spectacular setting of hills and valleys, interlaced with streams, waterfalls, ponds, bridges, and rock out-croppings with a rich array of plant material—the perfect location to sit and meditate, reflect or simply unwind.
  • Seward Park: De-stress and relax with a walk, jog or bike ride through Seward Park! Located along the shores of Lake Washington, Seward Park boasts 300 acres of beautiful forest land, is home to eagles’ nests, and features old growth forest, a 2.4-mile bike and walking path, an amphitheater, a native plant garden, an art studio, miles of hiking trails, shoreline, beaches and more.

 

Play a new sport

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Step out of your comfort zone and try a new sport or activity this year! With 120 miles of trails, 25 miles of boulevards, 26 community centers, dozens of sports leagues, four golf courses, two small craft centers, eight indoor pools, 165 tennis courts, 204 athletic fields, 205 basketball hoops, 122 baseball fields, 120 miles of soft surface trails, and much more, Seattle Parks and Recreation has no shortage of opportunities for you to experiment with a new recreation hobby this year.

  • Rollerderby: Citywide Derby is at Ballard Community Center! We are partnering with One World Roller Derby. This training program is for all skill levels and includes roller derby training with the possibility of forming teams. Visit seattllerollerderby.com for more information.
  • Golf: Golfing opportunities are available for all skill levels in Seattle! Choose between Green Lake Pitch ‘n Putt, Interbay Golf Course, Jackson Municipal Golf, Jefferson Municipal Golf and West Seattle Municipal Golf Course.
  • Rowing: Get started in a rowing course for one of the best total body workouts available! We have classes and programs available for all ability and skill levels for ages 8 to 100+ in rowing, sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, stand-up paddle-boarding and more. Visit the Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center or the Green Lake Small Craft Center to explore all of these water-based activities.

 

Eat healthier

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If eating healthier is one of your New Year’s goals, Seattle Parks and Recreation can help you achieve it! From a diverse range of cooking classes offered at our community centers, to opportunities to grow your own food at our community gardens, we can help you from planting your first vegetable to serving up a complete meal.

  • Teen Top Chef: Teen Late Night Recreation sites send delegations of teens to compete for top honors in a citywide Healthy Cooking Program competition. Teens prepare healthy meals to be judged by a panel: one teen, one Late Night Recreation Program police officer, and one Seattle Parks and Recreation staff member.
  • Community garden sites: Community gardens and orchards strengthen neighborhood relationships, provide a sense of civic engagement, and create recreational and therapeutic opportunities for residents. Community gardens promote equity by providing opportunities for growing food to those who lack the private space to grow their own vegetables and fruit. Surplus produce is sourced to community centers for use in public programs, or donated to nearby food banks. Check out one of our garden sites to see the variety of ways healthy food is being grown and shared. Community gardens are located at Ballard, Delridge, Garfield, Meadowbrook, Miller, Rainier, Rainier Beach, Ravenna, South Park, and Yesler Community Centers, and at Piper’s Orchard at Carkeek Park.
  • Community Kitchens: Community Kitchens provide an opportunity for the community to come together to use harvested produce from local gardens to produce healthy meals for later consumption. The program teaches cooking techniques, food purchasing skills and healthy nutrition so that participants can cook and store enough food for multiple servings in a cost-effective manner. Community Kitchens are available at many of our community centers; please contact your local center for details.
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Call for Graphic Designers for Big Day of Play

In conjunction with the Associated Recreation Council, we are seeking proposals to partner with a graphic designer who will be able to create promotional materials for Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Big Day of Play, an annual celebration of our city’s diversity that encourages communities to play, build relationships and be active together. 

Click here to learn more about this Request for Proposal.  Submission deadline is February 3, 2017!

Questions? Contact Regina Lum, Associated Recreation Council, at regina.lum@seattle.gov.

To get a feeling of what Big Day of Play is all about, click here to view pictures from our previous events. This year’s Big Day of Play will take place on August 19 at Rainier Community Center.

To support the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI), we are looking at providing opportunities and access to underrepresented and underserved communities. Women Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) are preferred and youth participation is strongly encouraged.

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Seattle Park District funds the renovation of two Ballard park play areas

webster-8-003Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) renovated Gilman Playground (923 NW 54th St.) and Webster Park (3025 NW 68th St.) play areas, both of which opened in December 2016. The play area renovations replaced aging play equipment and improved park accessibility.

Gilman Park features a play structure with a 16-foot tall play tower, two new slides, and inclusive play elements designed for 5- to 12-year-old children. A structure with a slide and new swings was installed for 2- to 5-year-old children. The park also features an accessible ramp, providing access for all into the play area, as well as a new concrete seating plaza.

Webster Park includes a new play structure for 2- to 5-year-old children, complete with inclusive play elements and a rainbow slide similar in design to the old slide that was in the park. Play structures for 5- to 12-year-old children include rocks and rope elements that offer climbing and balance opportunities. SPR installed a new sand digging area and provided new basketball backboards, hoops, and nets. The entry at 68th St., along with a portion of the sidewalk, was improved to provide universal access into the play area.

Thank you to everyone that attending the public meetings and provide input for the improvements.

The Seattle Park District provided the funding for these play area improvement projects. Approved by Seattle voters in 2014, the Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding for Seattle Parks and Recreation including maintenance of parklands and facilities, operation of community centers and recreation programs, and development of new neighborhood parks on previously acquired sites.

For information about the projects and construction updates please visit: https://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/gilman-playground-play-area-renovation or http://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/webster-park-play-area-renovation.

If you have questions about these projects, please contact Katie Bang, Seattle Parks and Recreation at 206-684-9286 or katie.bang@seattle.gov.

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Seattle Parks and Recreation’s 2017 Budget

Friends,

As we begin the new year, I would like to let you know the outcome of the 2017 budget process for Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR). Overall, the 2017 SPR Budget is a good news story with the Seattle Park District in full swing along with critical investments in expanding access to our community centers and maintaining our parks as the gems of our city.

Seattle Park District

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This year, we begin our second year of full implementation of the Seattle Park District, a voter-approved initiative that provides permanent funding to support parks and recreation services. In 2017, we will continue to carry out the initiatives to renovate, develop and expand Seattle’s use of parks and recreation facilities. In 2017 we will expedite the renovation of Pier 62 on the central Seattle Waterfront.

Community Center Operations

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SPR’s adopted budget shifts $1.0 million within Park District funding from the capital side to the operating side to meet community needs by increasing hours of operation and staffing at centers in neighborhoods with fewer resources.  This shift has also allowed us to eliminate some of the basic drop-in fees at most centers, further increasing access for our residents. This move was championed by the Mayor as part of our  and supported by the Council in their role as Park District Board. Additionally, the adopted budget also provides $110,000 to fund a one-year pilot in which four facilities will be available for free showers for people experiencing homelessness.

Park Rangers

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As our approach to enlivening downtown parks has evolved, the budget includes the elimination of 1.5 vacant Park Ranger positions. With Park District funding for the Urban Parks Partnership Initiative, we have entered into contracts with downtown entities to provide physical improvements and public programming in downtown parks.

My Brother’s Keeper Program

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The adopted budget provides one-time funding of $100,000 for the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) program operated by SPR’s community learning centers. President Obama launched the MBK initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. This item will allow for the expansion of the MBK program from one middle school to five middle schools for the 2016-17 school year.

Capital Improvement Plan:

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SPR’s 2017 capital budget maintains a strong commitment to asset preservation and ongoing major maintenance projects, such as environmental remediation, landscape and forest restoration, irrigation system repair, pavement restoration, and replacing major roof and HVAC systems, as well as addressing basic infrastructure needs across the system. SPR’s 2017 Capital Improvement Plan budget also provides funding for:

  • Lake Union Park – the 2017 budget includes $3.6 million to correct problems with settling at Lake Union Park, including the walkways, pedestrian bridge and the park’s pond.
  • Victor Steinbrueck Park – the 2017 budget leverages a park renovation project funded by the 2008 Parks Levy by adding $3.5 million over two years to make major repairs to, or replace, the membrane between the park and the privately owned parking garage which the westerly portion of the park sits atop.
  • Athletic Fields Projects – revenues from increased athletic field use fees will support investments to expand athletic field capacity (see below for more information). By 2018, $600,000 per year in fee revenues will be collected in order to improve or expand athletic fields. In addition, there is $4.2 million in 2017-18 to help fund field improvements.
  • PreSchool Sites – The City Council added $1,500,000 of Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) II in 2017 to fund improvements at community centers where the Seattle Preschool Program will operate.
  • Danny Woo Park Improvements: City Council added $300,000 of one-time REET I funding for capital improvements at Danny Woo Park and adopted a proviso requiring $100,000 of existing funds be appropriated solely towards improvements at Danny Woo.
  • Additional Public Restrooms: Council added $300,000 of one-time REET II funding towards the purchase and installation of a Portland Loo-style public restroom, similar to the two SPR recently installed as a pilot at Rainier Beach Playfied.

Fees

The budget includes increases in fees for scheduling athletic fields, park event permits (both last increased in 2011) and swimming pools (last increased in 2013). The fee revenues, along with the General Fund, support increases in inflationary costs necessary to provide these amenities and services to the public. The fee increases for athletic fields, which will go into effect July 1, will also support investments in our fields (see above).

Many thanks to you for your continued support of and involvement with our programs and services, and to Mayor Murray and the City Council for making these investments in parks and recreation services.

Sincerely,
Jesús Aguirre

Superintendent
Seattle Parks and Recreation

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Celebrate Lunar New Year with Seattle Parks and Recreation

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Vietnamese Food and Fitness program is hosting a Lunar New Year celebration from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 in partnership with the Vietnamese Senior Association (VSA), Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Lifelong Recreation program, and Asian Counseling and Referral Service.

The Lunar New Year festivities will take place at Garfield Community Center (2323 E Cherry St.). The celebration will include cultural demonstrations like the traditional Lion Dance, Vietnamese food, and raffle prizes.

The VSA was founded in 1992 as a nonprofit organization. Its mission is to help Vietnamese refugees by reducing isolation and depression and other barriers refugees face in their new life, such as language, transportation, and life skills. For the past 11 years, the VSA has partnered with the Lifelong Recreation unit of Seattle Parks and Recreation to offer Food and Fitness, a program where people over age 50 can gather to share a meal, have a conversation, get resources, and engage in physical activity.

Lifelong Recreation offers a wide-range of fitness and social programs for people age 50 and better that change each season. For more information, visit http://www.seattle.gov/Parks/Seniors/index.htm.

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Spring Walk Training for adults 50+

startinglineReady to achieve new goals while meeting new friends and exploring the city? Each year, our Sound Steps Walking Program offers “Spring Training”, a FREE training program to prepare adults age 50+ to complete a 5K, 10K or Half Marathon Walk Event.

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How do I participate?

Saturday morning group training walks in north and south Seattle increase in distance from February through June. Join us for an information session on January 21 or January 25, then try out a walk.

Kick-off Events:

South Seattle: January 21, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Jefferson Community Center, 3801 Beacon Ave. S.

North Seattle: January 25, 1 to 3 p.m. Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave. N.

Upcoming Walk Events:

  • St. Paddy’s Day 5K on March 11.
  • Green Lake Loop 5K or 10K on April 15.
  • Lake Union Loop 10K or Half Marathon on June 10.
  • Walk of Champions, any distance on June 24.

For more information or to sign up for an event, contact Jill with Seattle Parks and Recreation  at 206-684-4664 or email sound.steps@seattle.gov.

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