Mayor Harrell Unveils Park District Funds Proposal to Maintain Parks Clear, Open, and Accessible to All


Proposal focuses on important upkeep whereas additionally taking necessary steps to enhance security, fight local weather change, help youth, and advance fairness

Plan would reestablish Park Ranger program, plant and keep hundreds of bushes, hold public restrooms operational, and open new and improved parks and neighborhood facilities

Seattle – Reflecting his deep dedication to a world class park system rooted in fairness, entry, and protected areas for all Seattle residents, Mayor Bruce Harrell immediately introduced his Seattle Park District finances proposal. Following months of neighborhood and stakeholder engagement, this plan will make investments roughly $115 million per yr towards making certain Seattle’s almost 500 parks, playfields, and neighborhood facilities stay welcoming areas for recreation, studying, and wholesome communities. Mayor Harrell’s finances prioritizes core upkeep wants whereas making vital investments towards security, local weather motion, youth alternatives, and fairness.

“When the pandemic uprooted lives, jobs, and relationships, parks grew to become an outlet for therefore many people to flee, recreate, and revel in one another’s firm, reminding us why these particular locations are integral for wholesome communities and powerful neighborhoods,” mentioned Mayor Harrell. “We’ve additionally been reminded that with out correct care and a focus, our parks can fall into disrepair. This Parks District finances proposal is targeted on restoring, renovating, and sustaining our parks and neighborhood facilities – making the numerous investments wanted to make sure these public areas stay distinctive reflections of our metropolis, now and for years to return.”

The finances is knowledgeable by enter from parks stakeholders, workers, the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, and neighborhood members. If accredited by the Seattle Metropolis Council, whose members function the Park District’s Governing Board, the proposal would proceed $58 million in mandatory providers at present funded by the Parks District Cycle 1 and make further investments to satisfy present wants and advance daring motion on key priorities. Highlights embody:

  • Opening 12 new park websites totaling greater than 10 acres.
  • Making main neighborhood middle renovations at Lake Metropolis, Inexperienced Lake/Evans Pool and Loyal Heights.
  • Making all 129 public restrooms accessible for year-round use by the top of 2028.
  • Reestablishing a strong Park Ranger program, including 26 Park Rangers (for a complete of 28) to reinforce security and promote voluntary compliance of park guidelines.
  • Including a brand new workers crew of 5 staff to reply shortly to graffiti and vandalism.
  • Planting and establishing an extra 600 bushes to extend city tree cover and mitigate warmth islands and restoring funds to the Inexperienced Seattle Partnership.
  • Decarbonizing an extra 6 neighborhood facilities and different SPR services, contributing to the One Seattle “resilience hub” technique to fight rising impacts of local weather change.
  • Doubling Neighborhood Engagement Ambassador hours from 3,000 to six,000 hours in as much as 15 languages.
  • Doubling dimension of the brand new Fairness Grant Fund to help community-driven park enchancment tasks in under-resourced neighborhoods.
  • Funding 20,000 hours of youth employment alternatives per yr serving 80 youth.

READ: Reality Sheet: Mayor Harrell’s Park District Funds Proposal

“We acknowledge that the affect parks have on our communities and lives extends far past sports activities fields and playgrounds – they’re fairness drivers and protected havens, outside examine halls and strongholds within the struggle towards local weather change,” mentioned Mayor Harrell. “All through my very own life, whether or not as a scholar athlete, coach, or father, Seattle’s parks have been crucial in fostering development and fostering neighborhood. Entry to parks, open house, neighborhood facilities, and recreation alternatives are very important to wholesome, thriving communities – this finances displays our dedication to defending and enhancing these areas.”

Seattle voters accredited the creation of the Park District in August 2014. The primary six-year cycle of funding spanned from 2015-2020 and planning for Cycle 2 was delayed in 2020 because of the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As an alternative, the Metropolis Council, performing because the Park District Board, handed annual budgets in 2021 and 2022.

The present proposal for Cycle 2 will span from 2023-2028 and represents 34% of SPR’s whole finances. To fund these providers and enhancements, the median worth home-owner in Seattle would pay $331 yearly, permitting SPR to serve each resident with high-quality services, parks, and packages and full work that was stalled by the pandemic.

“This proposal will carry us again to fundamentals to fund the important tasks that guarantee our parks and neighborhood facilities are well-maintained, protected, and clear for all residents to make use of,” mentioned Mayor Harrell. “It additionally permits us to embrace our One Seattle imaginative and prescient, advancing forward-thinking progress and constructing for a extra sustainable, equitable future by way of investments in local weather resilience and providers in neighborhoods which were traditionally beneath resourced.”

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Christopher Williams, performing Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation

“We’re really grateful to the taxpayers of Seattle for his or her continued help of our treasured park system and beloved recreation services. The park district has enabled us to make upkeep and neighborhood entry a precedence. As we glance towards our second cycle, our aim is to additional broaden entry to communities in want, present dependable upkeep of parks and services and enhance the resiliency of our buildings and pure areas.”

Marlon Herrera, Board of Seattle Parks and Recreation Chair

“With our parks and recreation use swelling all through the pandemic, we owe it to our neighbors to satisfy their wants and expectations by way of the voter-approved Park District. I’m excited to work with the Superintendent, the Mayor, and the Metropolis Council to implement the following spherical of investments.  I’m assured that the devoted public servants at Seattle Parks and Recreation will rise to the second.”



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