Five spots for beautiful sunsets

We don’t need to tell you that Kerry Park, Gas Works and Golden Gardens have some of the most beautiful sunset views. Your Instagram and Twitter accounts tell us you’re all over those sites.

But have you discovered some of the City’s less-traveled hot spots for glimpses of rose and gold? Here are some of our top picks for sunset snaps. [Read more…]

Green Lake Small Craft Center offers Adventure Camp

This summer Seattle Parks and Recreation and Green Lake Small Craft Center are offering Green Lake Adventure Camp 2015 for ages 11-14. The center is located at 5900 W Green Lake Way N.

The camp will be held from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, Aug. 3-14. Participants will learn canoeing, kayaking, sailing and water safety and can participate in tennis, golf, soccer and other activities around the lake.

The small craft center will provide all equipment and snacks. Some field trips may include traveling by van. Campers should bring a sack lunch, swimsuit, towel and change of clothes. [Read more…]

Seattle Parks and Recreation seeks input for Othello Park play area renovation

Seattle Parks and Recreation invites families, neighbors and friends of Othello Park to participate in workshops for the Othello Park play area renovation on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 from 10 a.m. to noon and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Both input workshops sessions will take place at Othello Park located at 4351 S. Othello St.

The neighborhood is encouraged to attend and provide input on which play equipment and design features work best at Othello Park. At the workshops, Seattle Parks and Recreation staff and Maggie Johnson from Johnson and Southerland will gather input about the play area and community preferences for youth play equipment. This input will inform the final design. [Read more…]

Saving Place: Restoring the Demonstration Gardens at Carkeek Park

Written by Deborah Phare, Seattle Parks and Recreation Volunteer

Graceful stems of old-fashioned Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris) in the Prairie Garden.

Graceful stems of old-fashioned Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris) in the Prairie Garden. Photo by Lorene Edwards Forkner

Public demonstration gardens begin with idealism, hope, and the best of intentions. In the mid-1990s, a small but ambitious project was undertaken in Carkeek Park, a 216-acre public park in north Seattle. With the help of many volunteers, a few Parks and Recreation department employees, and funding from two generous grants, gardens beds were installed adjacent to a meadow in a large open area behind the park’s administration buildings. The goal was to show the diversity of plants that could easily and successfully be grown in the Pacific Northwest without the use of fertilizers, insecticides, or pesticides, and with little-to-no supplemental water. Each bed focused on different soil and growing conditions that challenge gardeners in our region. Eights beds demonstrated a variety of plantings including a kitchen garden, woodland shade, a rain garden, a blue garden, and various plantings for pollinators and of Western natives.

But maintaining a garden requires attention and resources. And, as often happens with projects fueled primarily by volunteer effort, over time the demonstration gardens suffered from want of care and, eventually, neglect. Occasionally, staff would prune large shrubs and small trees to clear pathways, but no weeding was done. The garden beds became overgrown and many plants died.  [Read more…]

Camp Long hosts free overnight campout

Young barred owl at Camp Long

Young barred owl at Camp Long

Camp Long and the National Wildlife Federation hosted a campout for High Point Seattle Housing Authority families last month.

On Saturday, June 20, 67 people participated in a free overnight nature immersion experience.

For the third year the Camp Long Environmental Learning Center partnered with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) for NWF’s annual national initiative the “Great American Backyard Campout,” which aims to get more families outside. [Read more…]

Sound Steps participants end spring with 17,000 miles walked

Sound Steps spring training team

Sound Steps spring training team

Sound Steps spring training team

Sound Steps spring training team

Ninety-degree heat can’t stop dedicated fitness fanatics. Last month Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Sounds Steps spring training program concluded with two events, the Lake Union Loop and the Walk of champions. Dozens of participants completed the half marathon events under the sun.

Sound Steps is one of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s most popular Lifelong Recreation programs. The group gets together multiple times each month for five- to six-mile fitness walks in different Seattle neighborhoods. More than 100 participants ages 50+ trained throughout the spring to walk up to a half marathon. Collectively, the trainees walked roughly 17,000 miles from February to June. The group celebrated with a luncheon at Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center on July 11.

Community invited to celebrate expansion at Westcrest Park

boyer_flyers5Soccer, art, music and family fun

Seattle Parks and Recreation is hosting a community celebration for the Westcrest Park expansion on Saturday, July 25, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The  ribbon cutting ceremony is at 11:15 a.m. The event offers music by Correo Aereo, youth soccer fun by West Seattle Soccer Club, and an obstacle course relay by Camp Long Environmental Learning Center.  Additional family entertainment includes face painting, a bouncy house and model plane making.  What Up Dog and Full-Tilt Ice Cream will be at the community event. Westcrest Park is located in the Highland Park neighborhood in West Seattle at 9000 8th Ave SW. [Read more…]

Superintendent Listening Tour

Kids at community center

Dear Community Member,

My name is Jesús Aguirre, and I am delighted to introduce myself as the Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation.

My family and I relocated to Seattle from Washington DC, and we are thrilled to make the Emerald City our new home.

In Washington DC, I had the opportunity to serve the city through my work in education, both in the local school district as well as serving as the State Superintendent of Education for the District of Columbia.  I also managed DC’s department of parks and recreation for almost four years.  I am excited to bring my experiences and perspective to help Seattle Parks and Recreation continue its excellent work and positive trajectory.

I have been focused on getting to know Seattle Parks and Recreation, our parks and facilities, and the city’s neighborhoods and people. One of my main priorities is to get to know you better – our stakeholders, customers and residents.

I’m hosting a Listening Tour this summer and fall, and I’d like to hear directly from you.  I’m interested in hearing about your experiences – positive and negative, your desires for your park and recreation system and your ideas to make us even better. I’ve been working closely with Parks staff to set up several opportunities for me to connect with you directly. [Read more…]

Seattle Parks and Recreation improves Bergen Place landscaping

This summer, Seattle Parks and Recreation will provide landscape improvements at Bergen Place Park located in the heart of the Ballard on the triangular site between Leary Avenue, 22nd Avenue NW, and Market Street.

The goal of the planting maintenance and renovation work is to increase visibility from Leary Avenue, replace plants that are at the end of their life cycle and discourage rodents from using the park planting beds. [Read more…]