Dear Environmental Learning Center Visitors,
It is with a sense of regret that I report to you on the state of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s 2011 operating budget. Reductions in the budget have resulted in a sharp reduction in programming at the Camp Long, Carkeek, and Discovery Park environmental learning centers.
The City faced an unprecedented revenue shortfall for 2011, and we were directed to make deep cuts in every line of business, including grounds maintenance, building maintenance, recreation staffing, and environmental learning center staffing.
The net loss of staff from the environmental learning centers is 2.5 full time equivalents (FTEs). The naturalist staff, formerly 6.1 FTEs, is now 3.6 FTEs. The result is that Parks can no longer provide programs for the general public, and the Carkeek Environmental Learning Center will no longer function as a visitor’s center. The meeting room is still available as a rental; please call 206-684-0877 to inquire.
Our staff will continue provide programs for school children. Other activities that will continue are:
- Earthkeepers summer day camp at Carkeek Park
- Docent-led programs at Discovery Park
- Outdoor Opportunities (O2) activities for teens at Discovery Park, Camp Long, and Seward Park
- Programs for organized groups such as the Girl Scouts and Parks’ Specialized Populations customers at all three parks
- Volunteer work parties and other activities
While it is not a good budget year for us, I want to thank you for your support, your volunteer hours, your participation in programs, and your love of nature. It makes a difference, and I look forward to continuing to work with you at these gems, these parks that offer us an oasis of nature in the middle of the city.
You can subscribe to the Camp Long e-newsletter by going to our website: http://seattle.gov/parks/environment/camplong.htm and adding yourself. We also have set up a Camp Long Facebook page where you can follow our progress and be kept up to date on opportunities at Camp Long.