We are excited to announce the 2018 budget proposal for Seattle Parks and Recreation!
We have had a wonderful and successful summer this year, partly in thanks to the beautiful weather, but more importantly, in thanks to our community, our team members, and our partners.
This fall 2017, we are setting our sights forward to the next year and are solidifying plans on how to continue to support our goals, staff, and community, while we promote innovation in 2018. Together, with the Executive’s Office, we are submitting the Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) Proposed 2018 Budget to City Council.
At SPR, we strive to serve each and every Seattle resident, each and every day. Our focus is on developing Healthy People, contributing to a Healthy Environment, and supporting the success of our city by helping to build Strong Communities. As such, SPR’s 2018 Proposed Budget is anchored in these three areas.
Expanding the Navigation Team
The City remains united in a coordinated effort to keep our city land both safe and accessible, while also providing resources to those living without shelter. The proposed budget includes funding for two crews including three park ranger positions to support the Navigation Team work up to three days per week.
Increasing Service Hours at Meadowbrook Pool
Additionally, the proposed budget will fund an increase in hours at Meadowbrook Pool, enabling this center to staff Sunday hours for the North-East Seattle community.
Supporting New or Renovated Parks
Funds have been allocated in the proposed budget to support ongoing operations at seven new or renovated parks (Bhy Kracke Park, Ernst Park, Greenwood Park, Julia Lee Park, Kiwanis Ravine, Marra Desimone Park, and the new trails at the Washington Park Arboretum).
Supporting Golf Courses
Additionally, for 2018, SPR has proposed funds to cover an anticipated shortfall in golf revenue. These proposed funds are especially important while we address certain course maintenance at Jefferson Golf Course that will result in 2-3 holes being unplayable most of the year. These facilities will require both our attention and innovation in the coming years.
Increasing Service at Lake City Community Center
SPR will directly operate Lake City Community Center beginning in 2018 and is committed to providing this neighborhood with access to recreational programming and community gathering space. Therefore, this year’s proposed budget includes funds to staff and operate Lake City Community Center approximately 25 hours per week. The proposed budget also includes a capital investment of $3 million to design and begin construction of new recreation spaces at Lake City Community Center.
Investing in other Community Centers
The proposed budget also provides $2.15 million to support improvements at Magnuson Community Center. In 2018, the community will also begin to see Community Center Rehabilitation projects underway at multiple sites funded by the Seattle Park District (and previous City investments).
Adding Dog Off-Leash Area
After completion of the People, Parks and Dogs Strategic Plan, SPR launched a community process to solicit both ideas and ongoing community stewardship of new dog off-leash areas in our city. To leverage potential community interest, the proposed budget provides funding to support the development and maintenance of one new dog off-leash area in 2018.
Activating South Park Plaza
The proposed budget also includes funding for the activation of South Park Plaza. This site is under development that will ultimately conclude in 2020, but the proposed funds provide for interim improvements that will allow us to program this space, providing a vital community gathering location for the South Park neighborhood.
Adding Community Engagement Position
The proposed budget includes a full-time community engagement position within the Superintendent’s office. This position will further SPR’s outreach efforts and will allow SPR to better engage the community in new ideas and pilot projects and expands SPR’s capacity to address unrest or unmet needs in the community.
A Culture of Continuous Improvement
SPR’s culture of continuous improvement has enabled us to apply several learnings from 2017 that will create efficiency use of our funding.
Initiatives for Increased Efficiency
In our Parks and Environment division, we will realign our park maintenance districts to more closely match City Council districts, reducing the number from nine to six districts. In addition, this change results in the creation of a special maintenance crew and an evening / weekend maintenance crew while also providing additional resources to support employee development. This realignment will allow us to increase our responsiveness to community requests while continuing to provide a high level of service, and remaining nimble enough to respond to emergent issues.
This budget cycle, SPR has proposed utilizing AmeriCorps volunteers in place of temporary City employees to support our Youth Employment Service Learning program.
SPR has also proposed transferring sign production out of our shops to increase efficiency of this work. We will be looking to partner with Women/Minority Owned Enterprise (WMBE) vendor(s). The staff currently filling this role will be moved to support other critical areas.
We continue our steadfast commitment to the people, land, and community of Seattle and look forward to 2018 as we make strides in the projects mentioned above. These goals are intertwined and supported with the funds provided by the Seattle Park District, which enable us to continue to develop landbanked sites, innovate in recreation, and undertake robust maintenance of the facilities in our system. We are truly grateful for the dedication of both our staff and our community partners, and we will continue to provide accessible and vital community spaces and programs that are the life of our city.