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Matthews Beach Park closed to water access

Toxic algae scum spotted in Lake Washington 

As a precaution, Seattle Parks and Recreation has temporarily closed access to the water at Matthews Beach Park in northeast Seattle.

Toxic algae has been found in accumulated scum in Lake Washington along the shores of Matthews Beach, which is located at 49th Ave. NE and NE 93rd St. Toxic algae blooms are most common in the summer and fall, but can occur any time.

King County Department of Natural Resources collected water samples and submitted them to the State Toxic Algae Program. The information was reviewed by Public Health – Seattle & King County. Tests have revealed that the toxins are currently found in the scummy algae that accumulate in some places along the shore.

In general, people and pets should not wade or play in the lake, especially where the scum has accumulated, and dogs should not drink from the lake. If there is water contact, it is important to rinse well to remove all algae.

For more information on toxic algae and symptoms of toxic poisoning, please visit Washington Department of Health toxic algae website.


Parks to host Natural Areas/Greenbelt Mini-Summit April 4

Seattle Parks and Recreation will host a Natural Areas and Greenbelt Mini-Summit to talk to members of the public regarding the use of natural areas and greenbelts in Seattle. The summit will be held from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, at the Armory Loft at Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St.

The intent of this effort is to develop values-based guidelines for the appropriate use of Seattle’s natural areas and greenbelts. This process will result in a vision for natural areas and greenbelts that will maintain the native forest ecosystem, protect public safety and enhance positive uses over the long-term.

The event will include a panel discussion and an open house with at least 20 participating organizations.

Panelists include:

  • Merica Whitehall, Executive Director Nature Consortium
  • Mark Jordan, Seattle University Biology Professor – habitat analysis
  • Peg Staeheli, SvR Design, Hydrologist, former Urban Forestry Commissioner
  • John Barber, Parks and Open Space Advocate, former Park Board Commissioner
  • Martin Westerman, Board Member, Seattle Green Spaces Coalition

This is an opportunity to engage with Seattle Parks’ staff and other local experts.

For more information on the Natural Areas/Greenbelt Mini-Summit, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/naturalareagreenbeltuse/default.htm.

Seattle Parks accepting applications for scholarship funding for youth programs

Seattle Parks and Recreation is increasing access to scholarships for teen programs with $40,000 from the 2015 Hope for Youth Fund.

$40,000 has been allocated for the 2015 Hope for Youth Fund to increase access to recreational and positive youth development activities by providing scholarships to youth and teens residing in the Seattle area.

2015 Hope For Youth Scholarship application

Proposals may be submitted by:
• An agency/organization that is a 501c3 serving youth ages 11 to 19
• Proposed activities/services to be funded must be completed  by December 31, 2015 [Read more…]

Making parks enjoyable to people and wildlife through creative compromise

Beaver in Magnuson Park. Photo by Robert Vandenbosch

Beaver in Magnuson Park. Photo by Robert Vandenbosch

Seattle was recently named one of the top 10 cities for wildlife and we take that title seriously. Every day Seattle Parks and Recreation works at stewarding a healthy environment for people and nature. Recently our creative environmental stewardship efforts have led beavers to establish their habitat in Magnuson Park.

Seattle Parks’ staff started noticing beaver activity in the central wetlands last spring, and by December 2014, the water level in the north Promontory Pond was 4 feet above the designed level. Staff were challenged with protecting the trails and vegetation, without destroying the beavers’ habitat. In order to keep beavers in residence, staff had to come up with a compromise between human and natural use of the wetlands. [Read more…]

Join Volunteer Park Trust for Spring Restoration Day


Join the Volunteer Park Trust from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 26, for Spring Restoration Day! Volunteers will be removing invasive plants, mulching and applying burlap to prevent future weed growth in a large bed near the Highland Street entrance at the west side of the park. Gloves and tools will be provided, but people may bring their own supplies.

The group will gather at 10 a.m. at the Black Sun sculpture across from the Asian Art Museum. No garden experience is necessary and kids are welcome.

This gathering is a wonderful way to meet neighbors, give back to the park and learn more about Volunteer Park Trust.

The Trust will provide doughnuts and coffee! For more details, visit the Spring Restoration Day event page.

Seattle Parks is hiring for summer lifeguards and other seasonal positions

UntitledSeattle Parks and Recreation, in partnership with the Associated Recreation Council and 37 citywide advisory councils, is now accepting employment applications for various summer programs.

Temporary positions are available at 24 community centers, eight indoor swimming pools, two outdoor pools, two small craft centers and many public beaches and wading pools. To find information on the current available summer program opportunities and positions, take a look through the 2015 Summer Recreation Employment brochure. If you need more information regarding the programs or positions, please inquire with the appropriate contact person for the program in which you are interested.

For more general information on aquatics employment, visit the Aquatics Employment and Training webpage.

Seattle Board of Park Commissioners to host public hearing on smoking ban

The Board of Park Commissioners will host a special public hearing on Thursday, April 16, to take comments on a proposed parks-wide smoking ban.

The Board of Park Commissioners public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Kenneth R. Bounds Board Room at Seattle Parks and Recreation Headquarters, 100 Dexter Ave. N.

The proposed new rule would prohibit smoking in all public parks in the city of Seattle. This ban would extend the original smoking prohibitions put in place in 2010, which banned “smoking, chewing, or other tobacco use…within 25 feet of other park patrons and in play areas, beaches, or playgrounds.” [Read more…]

MARCH 19 PARKS BUZZ: You haven’t been there unless you have a PIC to PROVE it

Send your photos to @seattleparks on Twitter for a chance to be featured on our blog!

Visit our homepage and subscribe to Explore More, our twice-monthly newsletter, to learn about new things happening in our parks and community centers this month.

@mamamonroe @ Gas Works Park

@mamamonroe @ Gas Works Park


@hillynakz @ Green Lake Park "First walk around Green Lake. Thanks @layko18 for the picture #seattle"

@hillynakz @ Green Lake Park
“First walk around Green Lake. Thanks @layko18 for the picture #seattle”


@katrsingh @ Volunteer Park "Lil Hen! @jillianreidc @bgauen #spring in #Seattle #babies #blueeyedboy #love"

@katrsingh @ Volunteer Park
“Lil Hen! @jillianreidc @bgauen #spring in #Seattle #babies #blueeyedboy #love”


@designdromat @ Discovery Park "Down the straight and narrow | #seattle #PNW #LiveWashington #king5 #IGers_Seattle"

@designdromat @ Discovery Park
“Down the straight and narrow | #seattle #PNW #LiveWashington #king5 #IGers_Seattle”


@tessagregs @ Gas Works Park "The Rhodes Scholar in his natural habitat @ Gas Works Park"

@tessagregs @ Gas Works Park
“The Rhodes Scholar in his natural habitat @ Gas Works Park”


@jeanswenson2 @ Discovery Park "The place teeming with people today & it was so glorious at @Discovery_Park_(Seattle) the loop trail beauty #Seattle"

@jeanswenson2 @ Discovery Park
“The place teeming with people today & it was so glorious at @Discovery_Park_(Seattle) the loop trail beauty #Seattle”


@pacificnwseasons @ Golden Gardens Park "Good night sun. #GetOutside #PNW #sunsetcity #GoldenGardens #Olympicssunset #Seattleparks #livewashington #lifeisabeach #PugetSound #SalishSea"

@pacificnwseasons @ Golden Gardens Park
“Good night sun. #GetOutside #PNW #sunsetcity #GoldenGardens #Olympicssunset #Seattleparks #livewashington #lifeisabeach #PugetSound #SalishSea”


@laliquekae @ Gas Works Park "#LandLtakeover #GasWorksPark A big smile and to Hand to Big Toe at Gas Works Park on a beautiful day in Seattle, WA #Yogalique #yoga #yogagirl #yogapants #sunsetstripes #bohemianisland #seattle #seattleyoga #yogaeverywhere #PNW #yogaanywhere #yogainspiration #publicdisplayofasana #PDA #BalanceBums #ChallengeYourBalance #wanderlust #travelyogi #travelingmats #travelingyogi"

@laliquekae @ Gas Works Park
“#LandLtakeover #GasWorksPark A big smile and to Hand to Big Toe at Gas Works Park on a beautiful day in Seattle, WA
#Yogalique #yoga #yogagirl #yogapants #sunsetstripes #bohemianisland #seattle #seattleyoga #yogaeverywhere #PNW #yogaanywhere #yogainspiration #publicdisplayofasana #PDA #BalanceBums #ChallengeYourBalance #wanderlust #travelyogi #travelingmats #travelingyogi”


@kdix89 @ Gas Works Park "#seattlelife"

@kdix89 @ Gas Works Park


@danbobbillray @ Golden Gardens Park "Beach weather #Seattle #TheGreatNorthwest"

@danbobbillray @ Golden Gardens Park
“Beach weather #Seattle #TheGreatNorthwest”


@corganfreeman @ Gas Works Park "#parklife @ Gas Works Park"

@corganfreeman @ Gas Works Park
“#parklife @ Gas Works Park”


@mary_zoe @ Carkeek Park "These two. #Stella #Henry #DSIII #carkeekpark #spring #seattle #kphc"

@mary_zoe @ Carkeek Park
“These two. #Stella #Henry #DSIII #carkeekpark #spring #seattle #kphc”


[Read more…]

Spring break staycationing with Seattle Parks and Recreation

Ah, spring break. You’re picturing yourself on a beach in Mexico. Or hiking in the Grand Canyon. You’re looking at airline and hotel prices and…wait. You’re not going anywhere.

Perhaps you can’t afford to go out of town for spring break or maybe you can’t escape the 8-5. Don’t you worry, friend. There are PLENTY of breathtaking and memorable activities to embark on right here. In fact, we don’t know why you’d ever want to leave! [Read more…]

Seattle Parks and Recreation begins Park District implementation


Green Lake Park


On Aug. 5, 2014, voters in the City of Seattle approved Proposition 1, which created the Seattle Park District. Property taxes collected by the Seattle Park District will provide funding for City parks and recreation including maintaining parklands and facilities, operating community centers and recreation programs, and developing new neighborhood parks on previously acquired sites.

The Park District will be governed by the Seattle City Council acting ex officio as the District Board. As established in an interlocal agreement between the City and the District, Seattle Parks and Recreation will provide services on behalf of the Park District. [Read more…]