Seattle Parks and Recreation issues RFP for Volunteer Coordination and Leadership for the Green Seattle Partnership

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is seeking proposals for consultants to provide volunteer coordination and leadership for the Green Seattle Partnership (GSP) program in 2017, with the possibility of an extension for 2018.

The Green Seattle Partnership was formed in 2004 with a memorandum of understanding between the City of Seattle and Forterra; the partners created a 20 Year Strategic Plan with benchmarks and goals to restore all 2,500 acres of Seattle’s forested parkland by 2025. Now halfway through the initial 20-year strategic plan, Seattle’s forested parklands are well on their way to being restored to verdant, valuable and beneficial spaces for communities to enjoy. SPR is responsible for the support of the GSP’s efforts to engage the community and manage the citywide restoration of forested parklands.

Through this Request for Proposal (RFP) process, SPR is looking for a partner or partners who can develop long-term volunteer resources for the continued care of SPR’s GSP sites, focusing recruiting efforts on underrepresented community stakeholders. This is an exciting opportunity to work with SPR to recruit for, organize, and lead volunteers in forest stewardship activities; lead education activities for participating volunteers; organize volunteer appreciation efforts, and provide general Forest Steward Support among other tasks.

The RFP can be downloaded by clicking here, or you can request a copy and direct questions to:

Project Manager: Jon Jainga, Manager II
Seattle Parks and Recreation
1600 S. Dakota St.
Seattle, WA 98108

Proposals are due to Mr. Jon Jainga by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Proposers must submit one original unbound, two bound copies, and one electronic CD copy of the response.

15th annual Polar Bear Plunge set for Jan. 1 at Matthews Beach


Start off the New Year with a splash!

Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Meadowbrook Community Center Advisory Council are co-sponsoring the 15th annual Polar Bear Plunge at noon on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017 at Matthews Beach, 9300 51st Ave. NE. The Polar Bear Plunge is a FREE event. Registration begins at 10 a.m., and the plunge starts at noon sharp.

A 2017 Commemorative Badge of Courage will be given to all heroic Polar Bear participants who immerse themselves neck-deep in the water. The patch will show the world that participants braved the frigid waters.

As in previous years, younger polar bears and anyone else who needs a little more room can take part in the Polar Cub Club part of the event immediately preceding the main plunge. For the truly hearty, double-dipping is allowed.

Seattle Parks and Recreation offers a few tips for enjoying a fun, safe swim:

  • Make the plunge even more special by dressing up in a costume!
  • Come early, and carpool or take the bus (you can plan your trip at
  • If you have heart problems or other serious medical concerns, we recommend that you consult your healthcare professional before taking the Polar Bear Plunge. If you can’t go in the water, come and watch!
  • Don’t drink alcohol–it doesn’t warm you up, and it accelerates hypothermia.
  • Stay in the water for no longer than 15 minutes—you lose body heat 25 times faster in water than in air.
  • Keep your outer clothing on until you’re ready to get in the water. After the plunge, remove wet clothing before getting into dry clothes.

The Polar Bear Plunge was the first official event of its kind in the Seattle area and has inspired other, similar events throughout the region. Janet Wilson, Aquatic Center Coordinator at Meadowbrook Pool, started the event on Jan. 1, 2003. About 300 people participated in that first Polar Bear Plunge, and since then the attendance has soared to more than 1,900 brave bears. Like the plunge on Facebook here.

Board of Park Commissioners to hold regular meeting

The Board of Park Commissioners will hold their regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 8 in the Kenneth R. Bounds Board Room at the Parks Administration Building (100 Dexter Ave. N).

The Board of Park Commissioners will hold a study session on the draft People, Dogs and Parks Strategic Plan. Seattle Parks and Recreation staff will present the updated draft Plan, followed by an opportunity for the Commissioners to confer with professionals to address questions on animal behavior, environmental impacts and experiences from other urban park systems.The Board will also discuss the written and verbal testimony they have received, as well as proposed modifications to the plan based on public comment. The People, Dogs and Parks Strategic Plan is located here.

There will not be a vote and there will be no public testimony at this meeting.

The Board of Park Commissioners Agenda is available here.

The Seattle Board of Park Commissioners is a nine-member citizen board created by the City Charter. Four members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council; four members are appointed by the City Council; and one member is a young adult appointed by YMCA Get Engaged. The Board generally meets twice a month, normally on the second and fourth Thursday, to advise the Parks and Recreation Superintendent, the Mayor, and the City Council on parks and recreation matters.

Seattle Parks and Recreation winter holiday closures


Many Seattle Parks and Recreation facilities will be closed or on modified schedules in observance of winter holidays:

  • Community centers and environmental learning centers will close at 5 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 31, and will be closed Dec. 25 and 26, and Jan. 1 and 2.
  • Teen Centers and Late Night programs will be closed on Dec. 24, 25, 26 and. 31, and Jan. 1 and 2.
  • Indoor swimming pools will close at 3 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 31, and will be closed Dec. 25., 26, and Jan. 1 and 2.
  • Small Craft Centers will be closed on Dec. 24, 25, 26, and Jan. 1 and 2.
  • Golf courses will close at 2 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 31 and will be closed on Dec. 25. Golf courses will be open on Jan. 1. (Schedules subject to change. Some courses may be open later than 2 p.m. Please call specific courses directly before your trip. Contact information can be found at
  • Amy Yee Tennis Center will be open from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Dec. 24, 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 26, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 31, and 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Jan. 2. The center will be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.
  • The Moorage Operations Office will be open Dec. 22-23, Dec. 28-30 from 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Dec. 31 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. The office will be closed Dec. 24 and 25.

REVISED: Seattle Parks and Recreation seeks names for two new park sites in the Yesler and Fremont neighborhoods

The deadline for submitting suggested names for the planned Yesler Neighborhood Park is being extended to Feb. 1, 2017. Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is collaborating with the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) on outreach regarding the naming process. Over the next two months, SHA will be communicating with Yesler residents, external organizations, and residents and businesses in the surrounding neighborhoods to solicit park name suggestions.

Please submit suggestions for Yesler Neighborhood Park names to the Parks Naming Committee by Feb. 1, 2017.

Yesler Neighborhood Park: The scope of this project is to develop a 1.7-acre neighborhood park that is part of the Yesler Terrace Master Planned Community. The intent of the park is to serve as a gathering place for current and future residents of Yesler Terrace as well as people who live and work in the surrounding community. The 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy provides $3,000,000 for a new park at Yesler Terrace. Additional funding has been secured from the Seattle Housing Authority, State of Washington Recreation Conservation Office Recreation Grant, RAVE Foundation, Stim Bullitt Park Excellence Fund, Wyncote Foundation, and Pendleton and Elisabeth Carey Miller Foundation. The overall budget now totals $4,330,000. More information can be found here.

Nominations for Troll’s Knoll Park Development were due to the parks Naming Committee on Nov. 16, 2016.

Troll’s Knoll Park Development: This project utilized existing public land to create a new park in the heart of Fremont. The park is a model design of a sustainable park space and provides a critical pedestrian link to other areas of Fremont, particularly bus stops and the developing neighborhood business district in northern Fremont. The Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund allocated $685,000 to this project. More information can be found here.

About the Parks Naming Committee and Park Naming Policy:

The Parks Naming Committee is comprised of one representative designated by the Board of Park Commissioners, one by the Chair of the City Council Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Waterfront Committee, and one by the Parks Superintendent. Criteria the committee considers in naming parks include: geographical location, historical or cultural significance, and natural or geological features. The Park Naming Policy, clarifying the criteria applied when naming a park, can be found at

The Parks Naming Committee will consider all suggestions and make a recommendation to Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Jesús Aguirre, who makes the final decision.

Please submit suggestions for park names for Yesler Neighborhood Park in writing by Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, and include an explanation of how your suggestion matches the naming criteria. Send to Seattle Parks and Recreation, Parks Naming Committee, 100 Dexter Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98109, or by e-mail to

Pathway of Lights returns to Green Lake on Saturday, Dec. 10


Seattle Parks and Recreation presents the Pathway of Lights at Green Lake on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., rain or shine.

Join thousands of families, friends and neighbors for this beloved Seattle tradition. Travel the 2.8-mile path around the lake, taking in the warm glow of the luminaria, music and refreshments. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lights and candles to add to the ambiance.

Local musicians will perform at three sites around the lake:

  • Green Lake Community Center on the east side
  • The Aqua Theater on the south side
  • The Bathhouse Theater (Seattle Public Theatre) on the north side

This fun event is free, but community members are encouraged to bring non-perishable food donations to benefit neighbors in need through the FamilyWorks food bank. Food donation bins, as well as warm drinks and treats, will be available at the locations listed above.

Volunteers are needed to help place and light the thousands of luminaria and to clean up after the event. Individuals, businesses, community organizations and school and scout groups are welcome to participate. Setup takes place from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and cleanup from 7:30 to 9 p.m. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Vicki Allgood at 206-684-0780 or

This Seattle tradition is presented in partnership with the Green Lake Advisory Council and with help from community partners, PCC Natural Markets, the Green Lake Masonic Lodge #149, Seattle City Light, Green Lake Chamber of Commerce, FamilyWorks, and the Associated Recreation Council.

Become a fan of the Pathway of Lights Facebook page,, to get updates about the event. For more information, please contact Green Lake Community Center at 206-684-0780 or email Chris Easterday at

Entertainment lineup:


Seattle Parks and Recreation announces 2016 Denny Award winners

Annual awards recognize outstanding volunteer service

Today Superintendent Jesús Aguirre announced the winners of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s 2016 Denny Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Stewardship. The winners are a cross-section of Seattle’s most creative, dedicated and hard-working volunteers who donate precious time and energy to improving Seattle’s parks and recreation programs.

“Choosing award winners was a difficult task for us,” Aguirre said. “We are grateful to the many volunteers who contribute to Seattle Parks and Recreation’s mission of supporting healthy people, a healthy environment, and strong communities.”

In 2015, 38,386 people volunteered for Seattle Parks and Recreation, providing 270,360 hours of service, which is a donation valued by Independent Sector at $23.07 per hour or $6.2 million dollars in 2015.

Healthy People:
Leon Preston, Garfield Community Center
Leon Preston has served for more than 10 years as a Taekwondo teacher for participants ages 6 to adult at Garfield Community Center. Students from Leon’s program have competed in meets around the world. Leon’s goals while working with youth are to build life skills, self-confidence, leadership skills and compassion, and to promote racial understanding and engage at-risk youth. Leon has been teaching and practicing Taekwondo for 40 years and was a 2008 Olympic Games referee in Beijing, China.

Healthy People:
Leatha Bailey, Sound Steps, Rainier Beach Community Center
Leatha Bailey has volunteered for ten years as a Sound Steps walk leader, helping over 100 mostly senior walkers improve their health. Leatha helps support healthy people in the community by teaching behavior change, encouraging participants to lead a healthy lifestyle, transporting those who can’t walk to activities, and presenting at health fairs.

Healthy Environment:
Tom Kelly, Magnuson Environmental Stewardship Alliance and Green Seattle Partnership, Magnuson Park
For more than 20 years, Tom has removed invasive plants and planted native species to help restore acres of forested parkland at Magnuson Park. Tom has led hundreds of work parties with both students and corporate groups. In total, Tom has led 15,000 hours of volunteer work and planted 11,000 native trees and shrubs. This year, Tom’s quick action with CPR saved the life of a Forest Steward who had a heart attack at Magnuson Park. Tom is also a mentor for the UW Restoration Ecology Network Program.

Healthy Environment:
East African Senior Meal Program, Yesler Community Center
East African Senior Meal Program volunteers at Yesler Community Center grow food at the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and bring it to the community center to cook and share with others. Over the past seven years, the Senior Meal Program has grown from only Ethiopian/ Eritrean elders to include Asian, Caucasian, mixed and African American backgrounds. The program helps elder adults access free, healthy, homemade and traditional food.

Strong Communities:
Rainier Community Center Advisory Council
For more than 20 years, the Rainier Community Center Advisory Council has supported countless volunteers, special events and fundraisers to encourage new, diverse programs for community members in this multicultural neighborhood.Council volunteers have helped to not only advise Seattle Parks and Recreation staff but also to be proactive in recruiting new members, creating new events, supporting new community initiatives like Rainier Valley Radio and Community Kitchens.

Strong Communities:
Andrew Miller, Lake City Community Center
Andrew has donated his time and materials as an artist to engage Lake City Young Leaders Teens in making murals to highlight the diversity of the neighborhood. Lake City Community Center volunteers are helping Seattle Parks and Recreation engage teens in cultural placemaking in Lake City.

Equity Champion:
Carol Valdrighi, Magnuson Community Center and Magnuson Park Advisory Council
Carol has advocated and raised resources so that diverse children from low-income families who live in the Solid Ground housing at the Magnuson Campus can take part in programs. Carol has created partnerships with Sand Point Elementary and their Parent Teacher Association, has tutored young children and taught parents how to apply for scholarships, and has advocated for an expanded Magnuson Park Community Center with more program hours.

Equity Champion:
Nancy Olsen, Lifelong Recreation, Sound Steps and Dementia-Friendly Recreation
Nancy and her husband Steve joined Lifelong Recreation’s Sound Steps walking program in 2007, and they founded the Sound Striders in South Seattle walking group in 2008. When Nancy’s husband was diagnosed with dementia, they decided to continue their walks and connect with others dealing with this loss by providing walk participants with stimulation and a supportive community. The committee decided to recommend Nancy for the Equity Champion award because inclusion for all abilities is an important part of social equity.

Superintendent’s Award:
Sea Mar Community Health
Founded in 1978 with the sole mission to provide comprehensive health and human services to families in Washington State, Sea Mar Community Health Center is a supremely reputable community-based organization that has honed its services and ties to South Park by positively impacting the health and wellness of its patrons though the execution of case management, medical, dental, as well as behavioral health services. Leveraging Preventative Health Programs as well as Community, Education and Service Learning Programs that aim to increase the healthy eating habits amongst its clients, this organization engages in a plethora of program services that help South Park build a sense of community. In building that community, this organization has partnered with the South Park Community Center to extend its recreational and preventative health services. These services include not only a Soccer Preventative Health Program that serves an average of 235 youth annually, but also cooking programs, health education services and fitness activities that reach upwards of 1,500 community members annually.

Seattle Parks and Recreation is extremely grateful to the thousands of people who dedicate themselves to supporting healthy people, a healthy environment, and strong communities.

The Denny Awards are named after David T. and Louisa Denny, who in 1884 donated land for the first Seattle park (Denny Park), where Seattle Parks and Recreation headquarters is located.

Seattle Parks and Recreation gratefully acknowledges Denny Award sponsors and supporters: ARC, Seattle Park Foundation, and Parker Design House.




Public invited to the Third Annual Momentia Celebration for people living with memory loss


Seattle Parks and Recreation invites the public to attend the Third Annual Momentia Celebration on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Royal Room (5000 Rainier Ave. S). Momentia Celebration is a free event for people living with memory loss, their friends and family, and for all who support a dementia-friendly community.

Join us for a no-host happy hour, door prizes, music, and dance moves led by Southeast Seattle Senior Center Fitness Coordinator Mark Bryant, and enjoy a brief presentation on Southeast Seattle memory loss programs. Momentia Celebration is presented by the Southeast Seattle Momentia Committee with support from Seattle Parks and Recreation, Southeast Seattle Senior Center, Full Life Care, and Elderwise.

Over three years ago, a group of people living with memory loss, and their care partners, gathered to give input and share bold ideas for innovative new memory loss programs in Seattle. This process was supported by Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Lifelong Recreation, the Southeast Seattle Senior Center, Full Life Care, and Elderwise. The group came up with and piloted programs such as a dementia-friendly drum circle, a gardening program, and the Momentia Celebration. Three years later, these programs continue, and along with the Alzheimer’s Café at the Columbia City Tutta Bella, they offer Southeast Seattle residents living with memory loss meaningful ways to connect in the community.

For more information about Momentia Celebration, please contact Cayce Cheairs, Seattle Parks and Recreation, at or 206-615-0100.

Basketball coaches needed for winter youth recreational league

Basketball season is just around the corner, and at Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) that means hundreds of Seattle youth will be coming in to the community centers to sign up for teams.

It also means that we will need volunteer coaches for those teams. If you’re 18 or older, have a love of basketball, and want to be a positive influence in youths’ lives – consider becoming a coach! Visit our website at and register as a volunteer. We require that all coaches also pass our background check before working with youth.

You can coach at a center near your home or work with any of the 26 centers across the city. Not all centers get enough kids of the same age group for a team, in which case more than one center may put together enough kids to form a team. If your child and/or neighborhood kids are interested in playing, and you are interested in coaching, the staff at any community center can help form a team.

To register online please go to:

Seattle Parks and Recreation Veterans Day closures

Many Seattle Parks and Recreation facilities will be closed Friday, Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans Day.

These facilities and services are CLOSED:

  • Community centers
  • Teen life centers
  • Environmental learning centers
  • Indoor swimming pools
  • Green Lake Small Craft Center
  • Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center

These facilities are OPEN on regular schedules:

  • Boat ramps
  • Amy Yee Tennis Center
  • Interbay, Jackson Park, Jefferson Park and West Seattle golf courses