Seeking Nominations for Annual Volunteer Service Awards

Seattle Parks and Recreation is seeking nominations for the Denny Awards, which honor volunteer service to the city’s parks system. The deadline for nominations is Oct. 18, 2011. 

The awards will be presented at the seventh annual recognition ceremony, which will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 29 2011 at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, 719 S King St. 

The Denny Awards acknowledge and honor the crucial role volunteers play in neighborhood parks, community centers, and recreation programs throughout the city. In 2010, more than 43,000 volunteers donated over 360,000 hours of service to Seattle Parks and Recreation. 

They do everything from pulling invasive ivy and planting native trees in our parks to coaching kids’ sports to working as docents at selected parks to serving on various advisory councils and boards. 

“Volunteers are one of our most important resources,” said Acting Superintendent Christopher Williams. “Without the help of the community, we could not run the first rate park and recreation system that Seattle-ites depend on.” 

The name of the awards reflects the early commitment by the Denny family to the preservation of parkland and open space for public use and enjoyment. David Denny donated land that became the first Seattle park, Denny Park, in 1864. 

Denny Awards nominees should meet the following minimum qualifications. The nominee must have:

  • Demonstrated exceptional stewardship to parks and/or recreation;
  • Provided stellar leadership related to enhancing and preserving parks and/or recreation programs;
  • Demonstrated a significant personal commitment of time and effort to assist Seattle Parks and Recreation, and
  • Gained respect of community peers for efforts to help Seattle Parks and Recreation.  

The nomination form for the award, specific criteria and related information (included with this news release) are available by contacting Adrienne Caver-Hall, Seattle Parks and Recreation, 206-684-7710, or Adrienne.caver-hall@seattle.gov. To download an electronic version of the nomination form, visit:  http://www.seattle.gov/parks/denny_awards

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Seattle Parks offers lunchtime adult boot camp

Seattle Parks and Recreation offers Lunchtime Adult Boot Camp at Green Lake Park this fall, featuring a certified and experienced Boot Camp instructor who will deliver guidance, encouragement, and safe and effective exercises in a friendly environment. Every participant will be challenged differently at his or her own level.

Dates: October 18 – Nov 22, 2011 (Note: No class Nov 24, Thanksgiving Day)
November 29 – Jan 6, 2012
Days: Tuesday and Thursday
Time: Noon
Cost: Program is six weeks. Cost for one day per week is $60 and the cost for two
days per week is $120.
Location: Camp meets at the Green Lake Gym, 7201 E Green Lake Dr. N, or at the outdoor
basketball court

What to expect:
• Stretching
• Abdominal and core training
• Running and walking
• Stair-climbing
• Resistance training
• Agility and endurance drills
• Partner and team drills

What to bring:
• Good, supportive running shoes
• Exercise mat
• One pair of three- to 10-pound dumbbells
• Water
• Layered clothing for the outdoors

To register, please call Antoinette Daniel at 206-684-4092.

Park Board to Hold Regular Meeting on October 13

The Seattle Board of Park Commissioners will hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 13, in the Kenneth R. Bounds Park Board Room at 100 Dexter Ave. N, in Denny Park at the corner of Dexter and Denny. 

The meeting agenda includes: 

Temporary off-leash area in the South Lake Union neighborhood. Parks staff will present a briefing on a proposal to locate a temporary off-leash area in the South Lake Union neighborhood, and the Board will hold a public hearing on the proposal. This neighborhood has seen significant growth in housing and jobs, and more growth is projected. Many of the apartment and condominium buildings allow dogs, and Amazon.com, which recently relocated to the neighborhood from Beacon Hill, has dog-friendly policies for its employees. Almost 1,000 dogs now “go to work” or live in South Lake Union. This creates demand for an off-leash area convenient for these new workers and residents. Parks’ North Downtown Plan: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/Publications/NDPP.htm calls for an off-leash area in this neighborhood. The Board will hold a discussion and make a recommendation to the Superintendent on the proposal at its November 3 meeting. Parks is also working on identifying a site for a permanent off-leash area in the neighborhood. 

Parks and Recreation proposed 2012 budget. Parks staff will brief the Board on the status of City Council consideration of the Mayor’s proposed 2012 budget for Seattle Parks and Recreation. Information is here: http://www.seattle.gov/financedepartment/12proposedbudget/documents/2-ArtsCultureandRecreation.pdf (see page 109). Information about the proposal to change the operating model for community centers is here: http://seattle.gov/parks/centers/operations.htm

Seattle Parks Foundation update on funding study. Seattle Parks Foundation staff will provide an update on work on their recent study, Sustaining Seattle’s Parks: A Study of Alternative Strategies to support Operations and Maintenance of a Great Urban Park System. To view the study, please go to t Urban Parks System http://www.seattleparksfoundation.org/Sustaining_Parks.html.

 Briefing papers on the off-leash area issue and the Seattle Parks Foundation study update will be available online by Friday, October 7 at http://www.seattle.gov/parks/parkboard

The Seattle Board of Park Commissioners is a seven-member citizen board created by the City Charter. Three members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council; three members are appointed by the City Council; and one member is appointed by the Park Board. The Board meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month to advise the Parks and Recreation Superintendent, the Mayor, and the City Council on parks and recreation matters. For more information, please call Sandy Brooks at 206-684-5066 or email her at sandy.brooks@seattle.gov

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2011 Denny Award Nomination Form

Name of individual, government agency, business or organization being nominated:

____________________________________________________________________________

Address_____________________________________________________________________

Telephone________________________________

E-Mail ______________________________________________________

Nomination Statement 

On one separate double-spaced typewritten page, please describe why you are making this nomination. How has this person, agency, business, organization, group, council or youth met the criteria of the Denny Awards, as described on the following page? You may submit up to two pages of optional background documentation, such as newspaper clips, support letters, resume or printed information. Nominators are strongly encouraged to submit pictures of the nominee and/or the work the nominee has done. (Winners are listed in a special program booklet distributed at the Denny Awards, and it is especially nice to include a picture. We may contact nominators to provide additional information or details for winners.)  

The deadline for nominations is 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 18.  Please submit nominations to: 

The Denny Awards

Volunteer Recognition Committee

c/o Adrienne Caver-Hall

100 Dexter Ave. N 

Seattle, WA  98109 

For more information, please contact

Adrienne Caver-Hall, 206-684-7710, adrienne.caver-hall@seattle.gov 

Nominated by:

Name_________________________________________

Affiliation______________________________________

Address______________________________________________________________________

Telephone______________________________________

E-mail address_________________________________________________________________


2011 DENNY AWARDS

FACT SHEET 

Background: Seattle Parks and Recreation initiated the Denny Awards in 2003. The awards are presented at a volunteer recognition ceremony each year. These prestigious awards reflect Seattle Parks and Recreation’s long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship and providing safe and welcoming recreational opportunities for all Seattle citizens. The awards acknowledge and honor the hard work and dedication of people who volunteer their time, energy, and resources to enhance parks, facilities and recreation programs.

Purpose: The purpose of this annual award is to recognize individuals, businesses or organizations deemed to have made an outstanding and exemplary contribution to parks and recreation in Seattle. 

Criteria: Denny Awards nominees should meet the following minimum qualifications. The nominee must have:

  • Demonstrated exceptional stewardship to parks and/or recreation;
  • Provided stellar leadership related to enhancing and preserving parks and/or recreation programs;
  • Demonstrated a significant personal commitment of time and effort to assist Seattle Parks and Recreation, and
  • Gained respect of community peers for efforts to help Seattle Parks and Recreation.

These contributions or qualities foster a spirit of teamwork in pursuit of a better quality of life for citizens of Seattle, and in helping to preserve and enhance parks and recreation facilities and services. Awards recipients are not advocates of any particular philosophy, or agenda, but act in a way that helps us leave a positive parks and recreation legacy for future generations.

Selection process and presentation: Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Volunteer Recognition Committee will make recommendations on award recipients to the Parks and Recreation Superintendent, who will make the final decision. The Committee will base its recommendations on information provided in the nomination in keeping with Denny Awards criteria. The Department retains the right to bestow more than one award, if so merited, or to bestow no award in the unlikely event of receiving no qualified nomination.

Presentation: The award will be presented at the annual Denny Awards volunteer recognition celebration on Nov. 29, 2011 at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. Recipients will receive a plaque, and will be acknowledged on another plaque to remain on display at Seattle Parks and Recreation administrative offices at 100 Dexter Ave. N.

For more information, please contact Adrienne Caver-Hall, Seattle Parks and Recreation,

at 206-684-7710 or adrienne.caver-hall@seattle.gov.

High Point Community Center Hosts Fabulous Family Fun

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s High Point Community Center is hosting the Fabulous Family Fun Series the third Saturday of each month through the end of the year. The series features entertainers and music that is sure to amuse kids of all ages. 

October 15: Louie Foxx, Magician

Louie Foxx’s one-man show is filled with tons of magic, comedy, cowboy tricks, juggling and more audience interaction than you can shake a stick at. Louie was recently on America’s Got Talent, and is a Guinness World Record Holder.

November 19: Jamtown

Experience the joy of hands-on music and art for children, families and music lovers of all ages. Become a part of the percussion instrument ensemble as we explore the music of Africa using hand-crafted indigenous musical instruments.

December 17: The Noise Guy

What bellows like a reindeer, jingles like a sleigh bell and flushes like a toilet? It’s the Noise Guy! Hear realistic noises you won’t believe! Join Charlie “the Noise Guy” Williams on a holiday sound adventure that will be sure to surprise and delight.

All events are held at High Point Community Center, 6920 34th Ave SW. Advance tickets are $3 per person and $5 at the door or $15 per family.

For more information, contact High Point Community Center at (206) 684-7422.

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Superintendent’s Message on the 2012 Proposed Parks and Recreation Budget

As we enter another round of public discussion on Seattle Parks and Recreation’s proposed budget, I’m reminded of all of the good people in our department who make it possible for our fellow residents and visitors to enjoy our parks, community centers, pools and other offerings.

Like almost every park agency across the nation, we face some very serious and undeniable financial challenges. Over the last several months, many in the department have worked diligently to review the status of our finances and to put forward a plan that balances our budget now and that will create stability in future years.

My message to you today goes beyond the specific detail related to budget changes that will affect our department in 2012. There are two key messages that I want to share with you, which I feel are essential if we are all to move forward together: 1) We are changing as an organization, and 2) we will constantly reaffirm our commitment to the mission and vision of Parks and Recreation.

To continue to be successful as a national leader in the field of parks and recreation, it has become clear that we must “change.” The change I am referring to goes beyond policy and procedural changes or operational changes that reflect FTE changes, reductions in hours of operation, reduction in mowing frequencies, or the number of program hours lost. The “change” I am asking Parks employees to make is a change in the way we approach and think about the work we do and a change in how we value the public that uses our parks and programs.

This means an increased focus on providing excellent customer service for you, our park users; becoming more flexible and fostering internal collaboration; and recognizing and acting on opportunities to serve you better.

As we make these changes, I vow to reaffirm our belief in what we do for the community and the essential, basic good that parks and recreation services and programs provide. We help make Seattle a great place to live and raise a family. Every day, our work enriches people’s lives by connecting and celebrating our community, preserving our environment, nurturing our children, and providing activities, services and events for our citizens regardless of age, access needs, or ability to pay.

I believe that parks and recreation programs are the foundation of our community, that they contribute to the social, physical and mental health of the City, and that they are essential building blocks for healthy families and citizens. These are important values to the people of Seattle.

There will be hardships. The paychecks of many public employees all across the state are going to be smaller than they once were. Our department is no exception. It’s important to acknowledge here that some of our workers will experience a significant financial hardship as result of budget cuts that will be implemented next year. They are real people with real families—and that means mortgages, tuition, auto loans and day care payments for kids. While we wish this were not the case, staff reductions and reductions in hours for some employees are an inevitable outcome of this year’s budget process.

Beyond the proposed community center staff reductions announced on September 12 and detailed here: http://seattle.gov/parks/centers/operations.htm, here is a summary of the other changes included in the Mayor’s proposed 2012 budget. They represent a combination of spending reductions and revenue increases. These changes result in a net reduction of 26.18 FTEs and a dollar reduction of $2,389,822.

Finance and Administrative Services/Accounting:

• One Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Accounting Technician II is abrogated.

Planning and Capital Development Division:
• The budget will be reduced by 6.95 FTE, including abrogations and FTE reductions, to reflect that the Parks and Green Spaces Levy is beginning to wind down, and that Parks’ allocation of major maintenance funding has shrunk because of the economy. The reductions include one manager and one strategic advisor.
• The Seattle Conservation Corps budget will be reduced by $250,000 to bring it into alignment with the current size of the program revenues and expenditures.
• The General Fund will provide $200,000 to help pay the debt service on the bonds financing improvements to Building 30 at Magnuson Park.

Superintendent’s Office:
• One .50 FTE Parks Concession Coordinator position will be abrogated.
• Parks will reduce its contribution to the Seattle Parks Foundation by $35,000
• One strategic advisor position will be abrogated.

Recreation Division:
• Community Center reductions have been announced. For detailed information, please go to http://seattle.gov/parks/centers/operations.htm.

• Parks will try out a higher fee for non-residents for programs at the Amy Yee Tennis Center.
• A Department of Neighborhoods Neighborhood Service Center will be located at the Southwest Community Center.
• The “Par Fee” will increase from 3.25% to 4%. This is a participation fee the City retains from gross Associated Recreation Council (ARC) classes, sports fees, and child care services to support community center operations. This will increase revenues from this source by almost $47,000.
• One position at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center will be abrogated, and the funding source for the facility’s operation will be the City admissions tax.
• Parks is raising the anticipated revenues from synthetic turf ballfields to reflect higher usage.
• The City Special Events Coordinator position and the associated Administrative Specialist II positions will transfer to the Office of Economic Development. The remaining event scheduling staffing will be modified in response to this transfer.

Parks Division:
• A total of 6.9 FTE are added (by expanding the hours for 31 positions and adding four new full time or part time positions) in order to maintain Parks’ new facilities.
• One environmental analyst position will be reduced from 1 FTE to .75 FTE.
• Parks will use Volunteer Park Conservatory reserve funds to replace (one-time only) $159,000 of General Fund support.
• The Facilities Maintenance supplies budget will be reduced by $150,000.
• One truck driver position is abrogated.

Other:
• We will save $143,000 (one-time savings) in new facility costs and other small line item reductions.
• We will use $1.65 million of fund balance to replace that amount in General Fund support for the budget.
• We will add approximately $1 million to cover COLAs and other benefits.
• While we have made great headway in resource conservation, newly increased utility rates require Parks to raise the utility budget by $108,000.
• We anticipate $31,000 in new revenue from a new parking pay station at Lake Union Park.

Christopher Williams, Acting Superintendent
Seattle Parks and Recreation

Community is invited to discuss planned improvements for Bitter Lake Reservoir

Seattle Parks and Recreation invites the community to participate in a planning meeting for the community initiated Bitter Lake Reservoir Enhancement project on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 from 7 – 8:30 p.m. at Tressa Apartments, 14200 Linden Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98133.

Parks will present a refined schematic plan for the project based on input heard at the first public meeting held in July. The overarching goal for this project is to provide a park-like atmosphere and useable amenities for the residents living in the Bitter Lake Reservoir neighborhood. This Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund project provides a new creative children’s play space between the new P-patch and the existing plaza, and brings social space improvements to the plaza. The project site is located along N 143rd St. and the corner of Linden Ave. N. 

This is one of 15 projects to receive funding through the first round of the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund. The Opportunity Fund provides $15 million in funding for community initiated park development or property acquisition projects. To view other projects that received funding please visit http://seattle.gov/parks/levy/opportunity.htm.

For additional information about the project please visit http://seattle.gov/parks/projects/bitter_lake_reservoir/enhancement.htm or contact Susanne Rockwell, Parks Planner at 684-0902 or Susanne.rockwell@seattle.gov.

Seattle Parks to hold meetings on potential renovation of Montlake Playfield football/soccer field

Seattle Parks and Recreation will hold two public meetings to share information with the community about potential renovations to the Montlake Playfield football/soccer field. 

The first is Monday, October 10 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Montlake Community Center, 1618 E Calhoun St. and the second is Thursday, October 13 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Montlake Community Center Tudor Building, 1618 E Calhoun St. 

Currently this field is virtually unplayable. The site was surrounded by “low, swampy ground covered with swamp grass and rushes,” according to a 1937 letter from the City Engineer. The low basin that is now the playfield was originally a peat bog. 

Despite repeated filling over the years, the playfield has been only intermittently playable because of uneven pressures on the viscous peat below that cause upheavals in the playfield area and shore lands. Field conditions continue to deteriorate and require seasonal renovation projects every year, including reseeding of the entire field, removal of existing turf, and importing thousands of pounds of sand and sod. 

There is now a renovation proposal before the City that would replace the current surface with a donated synthetic turf surface which would provide a sustainable field requiring less daily and annual maintenance and would meet the principal goals of a major renovation of the field: 

  • Increase playable hours.
  • Promote safety by providing an even surface with no bare patches or holes in the ground, thus reducing the risk of injury to ankles and knees.
  • Reduce the year round costs of field maintenance.
  • Reduce the expense of field preparation.
  • Conserve water, fertilizer, and reduce the use of soil amendments.

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Community Invited to Participate in Planning for Judkins Skatespot

Seattle Parks and Recreation is hosting a second public meeting on the new Judkins Park Skatespot on Wednesday September 28, 2011 from 6 – 7 p.m. at the Douglass-Truth Branch Library located at 2300 E. Yesler Way. 

At this meeting, Parks and the design team will present the proposed design for the new skatespot and invite the community to comment on the design and how it fits into the existing park. A final meeting will take place in October, at which time Parks will present the final project design. Judkins Park is located at 2100 S Judkins St. in the Central District. 

To review the notes from the first meeting, please visit the project web page at http://seattle.gov/parks/projects/judkins/skatespot.htm 

The Parks and Green Spaces Levy allocates funding to incorporate this new skatespot into Judkins Park. A skatespot is smaller than a full skatepark, but large enough to incorporate multiple skateboarding features. The skatespot is expected to be 8,000 square feet. For more information on Seattle Skatepark planning, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/skatepark.htm

Seattle voters passed the Parks and Green Spaces Levy that Seattle in November 2008. The new $146 million Levy provides acquisition funding for new neighborhood parks and green spaces and development funding for projects such as improved playfields, reservoir lid parks, renovated playgrounds, community gardens, and safety upgrades at city owned cultural facilities. 

For more information, please call Parks Project Manager Kelly Davidson at 206-684-0998 or email her at Kelly.davidson@seattle.gov

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Seattle Parks, WSU 4-H open Challenge Course at Camp Long

Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Washington State University 4-H, and the Camp Long Advisory Council will celebrate the opening of a new challenge course at Camp Long this Saturday, September 24 from 2 to 7 p.m. Camp Long is at 5200 35th Ave. SW. 

The event will feature hot dogs, chips, and cake for attendees, and live music by the Rusty Gate Wood Shed String Band. The official ribbon cutting will take place at 4 p.m. 

“We are very excited to expand the opportunities that Camp Long has to offer the community,” said David Kipnis, President of the Camp Long Advisory Council.  

Several elements of the ropes course are integrated into the forested areas of Camp Long and will provide an integral part of the developed curriculum. WSU 4–H, through 30 years of adventure education experience, has created student focused curricula that use activities to strengthen critical life skills including decision making, self confidence, positive risk taking, self esteem, teamwork, and leadership. 

A low ropes course is a set of real and imaginary challenges that inspire a group to collaborate to get a task done. Low ropes courses can include cables, ropes and obstacles attached to trees to test strength, agility and balance, and can also challenge participants to confront such fears as those of falling or losing control. Group members assume the role of spotters to ensure safety. 

Camp Long will join an extensive system of WSU 4–H Adventure Education programs and courses. Funding for this project is provided by Washington State University Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program. 

Schedule of events:

2 p.m.          Course opens to the public

4 p.m.          Dedication/ribbon cutting

4:30 p.m.     Partners’ presentation    

5:15 p.m.     Hot dogs, chips, cake!    

For more information, please call Camp Long at 206-684-7434. For more information on challenge courses, please see http://acct.affiniscape.com/associations/5266/files/attarian_bibliography.pdf.