South Park Queer Pride Picnic

IMG_4006 (002)Seattle Parks and Recreation recently supported the sixth annual South Park Queer Pride Picnic, a community event for the LGBTQ community, friends and neighbors. The event featured live music, drag performances, activities for kids, and free food.

The picnic kicked off with a variety of lively drag performances, including a performance by local belly dancer Chucho. Audience members participated in the dancing and enjoyed the sunny day outdoors, as well as delicious complimentary tamales. Kids gathered around the craft table and played in the grass with artistic rainbow balloons.

“It’s important to have events like this in places to show that we respect each other, and that we are all one family, brothers and sisters,” said Martha, a member of Entre Hermanos, which helped organize the picnic.

This event was supported in part by the Seattle Park District’s Put the Arts in Parks initiative, which supports new and established community festivals, art happenings, and music concerts that are seeking to enliven Seattle parks by promoting arts and culture, celebrating diversity, building community connections, and energizing parks while connecting with underserved communities.

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Scholarships provide access to programs and activities


Thanks to the Seattle Park District, Seattle Parks and Recreation is distributing $400,000 worth of scholarships to individuals and families for our programs and activities. We recently heard from a community center user about the impact of the scholarship program:

“I am a mother of four children living in a single income household. For the last 10 years we have consistently used the community centers and public pools. As my family has grown and things have become more expensive it has been harder to take part in all the wonderful and enriching classes that are offered through these centers. This spring I was made aware that my family would qualify for financial help. I feel so lucky that my family will get to continue partaking in all the wonderful things that are offered in these centers.  Preschool and the many classes help to provide a well-rounded childhood experience, which is so important!” -A Loyal Heights resident

Click here for information on applying for scholarships.


Night crew helps keep facilities open for public use during the day

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Thanks to funding from the Seattle Park District, we’ve added a Night Maintenance Team, which works on a variety of repairs, upgrades, and other preventive maintenance to better preserve our facilities. And because this team works at night, facilities such as our pools and community centers don’t have to be closed, and people can use them during the day!

The Night Maintenance Team, which consists of skilled craft members including plumbers, painters, carpenters and electricians, is assigned to a different facility for a multi-week period and focuses on all kinds of electrical, irrigation, plumbing, painting, and installation projects, to name a few. In addition to working on projects at playfields, tennis courts, pools, and other facilities, the team has been busy making our community centers look great, while improving their function, efficiency, and safety.

Alki Community Center

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Dramatic improvements were made to Alki Community Center and include painting in all rooms facility-wide; restroom upgrades including new partitions, flush valves, and faucets; and repairing water damage to the ceiling.

Miller Community Center

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Staff spent three weeks at Miller Community Center working on a variety of repairs and upgrades, including painting the gymnasium and multi-purpose room, replacing ceiling tiles and a faulty ballast in the lobby, replacing damaged emergency exit signs and broken lighting, installing new flushometers and commode seats in the bathrooms, and repairing a faulty heating control valve.

Montlake Communtiy Center

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The team repainted the entire gymnasium and multi-purpose room, repaired damaged blinds, installed new doorstops, replaced emergency lighting and motion sensors, repaired plumbing, cleaned all light fixtures and reflectors, and replaced two toilets.

International District/Chinatown Community Center

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The team replaced emergency lights in the gymnasium, replaced exit signs, installed new safety cages around fixtures, installed a new folding wall partition, repaired dozens of wall dents and holes, sanded and varnished windowsills, and painted in several locations throughout the facility.

Van Asselt Community Center
The Night Maintenance Team installed new shelving, painted the child care room and staff office, repaired mirrors and divider walls in restrooms, upgraded lighting to LED, replaced emergency exit signs, and more.

Yesler Community Center
Work done at Yesler Community Center included repairs to wall heaters, blinds, gymnasium mats, holes in walls, kitchen cabinets, and restroom dispensers; painting the facility interior; re-lamping the entire gymnasium and spot re-lamping the rest of the facility; replacing emergency lighting; clearing slow-running drains and traps throughout the facility; replacing restroom urinals and flushometer valves; assembling a Ping-Pong table, and more.

Community centers get deep cleaning

No one likes to gather, workout, and play in uninviting spaces. That’s why we are thrilled our Enhanced Cleaning Team, funded by the Seattle Park District, is making our community centers and facilities shine! This new team is providing deep cleaning and preventive facility maintenance, including high dusting, pressure washing, cleaning kitchen grease traps, cupboards, tile and grout in bathrooms, shower stalls, walls, windows, and blinds throughout our community centers.

Thanks to the Enhanced Cleaning Team for working to ensure our community centers are warm and welcoming places to gather!

Before and after pressure washing of Yesler Community Center


High dusting of facilities

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Before and after carpet cleaning of  High Point Community Center

High Point Front Desk and Piano Room Carpets

Kids get creative at Ballard Commons Park with free art lessons


On June 3, local artist Blanca Santander held her first “Park in the Heart” kids craft table in Ballard Commons Park. With temperatures in the 80s, the park was full of children and families playing in the popular spraypark. The craft table offered a great place for kids to take a break in the shade and get creative!

Families were happy to learn that “Park in the Heart” will be bringing free art lessons to kids at Ballard Commons Park every Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through August 19. “We’re definitely going to be regulars!” said one excited parent. The art lessons provide a place for kids to have fun playing with colors and materials while exploring a different and exciting theme every Friday.

The series is being funded by the new Put the Arts in Parks program, made possible by the Seattle Park District. Put the Arts in Parks is funding 39 outdoor arts and culture projects in parks around the city this summer in conjunction with the Office of Arts & Culture. All events are free and open to the public. Click here to download the summer brochure.




Working to restore our urban forest


Awe-inspiring forests are part of the heritage and appeal of our city. They make our lives better by providing places to play, rest and contemplate. Half of Seattle’s city parkland consists of forested natural areas.

Helping to care for Seattle’s urban forest is the Green Seattle Partnership (GSP). The GSP is a unique public-private venture that works in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation to promote a livable city by re-establishing and maintaining healthy urban forests.

With funding from the Seattle Park District, the GSP is helping to plant native trees and shrubs, restore parkland, organize volunteer events, and more. Some accomplishments from the first quarter of this year include:

  • 364 GSP volunteer events
  • 5,039 volunteers
  • 16,830 volunteer hours to support our urban forested parkland restoration program
  • 22.42 acres of restoration
  • 21, 240 native trees and shrubs planted

“Put the Arts in Parks” kicks off with cultural performances at local parks


May 28 marked the kickoff of an exciting summer of events through the new Put the Arts in Parks program. Made possible by the Seattle Park District and in partnership with the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, this program is funding 39 outdoor arts and culture projects in parks around the city this summer. All events are free and open to the public. Click here to download the summer brochure listing all “Put the Arts in Parks” projects.

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Audiences at University Heights Plaza recently enjoyed a West African music and dance performance coordinated by the University Heights Center. The event featured the sounds of African world music artist Manimou Camara and the multi-ethnic dance and drum group Denbaya.

In Volunteer Park, the Eritrean Association in Greater Seattle hosted the 25th annual Eritrean Independence Day Celebration with performers of all ages honoring Eritrean arts, culture, and heritage. Both of these cultural events were supported in part by “Put the Arts in Parks.”

blog 3Put the Arts in Parks programs will run through September, and include public art installations, programs just for kids, art and music series, festivals, concerts, and more!

About the Seattle Park District: Approved by voters in 2014, the Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding for Seattle Parks and Recreation, including maintenance of parklands and facilities, operation of community centers and recreation programs, and development of new neighborhood parks on previously-acquired sites.

Click here to download the Put the Arts in Parks summer brochure and click here to apply for the 2017 grant cycle.Put the Arts in Parks


Seattle Parks and Recreation Scholarship Program

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Thanks to the Seattle Park District, Seattle Parks and Recreation has scholarships available to individuals and families for our programs and activities. Scholarships are based on income and family size, and are available to anyone who qualifies, including seniors and people with disabilities.

Scholarships help make our programs and activities more accessible to the community, and can provide discounts at any Seattle Parks and Recreation facility or program, including classes, swimming, enrichment programs, Life-Long Recreation (aged 50+), Special Population programs, Environmental Learning Center programs, school-age child care for before and after school, and much more!

How to apply: You can apply for a scholarship by filling out an application form, available at any of our community centers or pool locations, or by clicking on the links below. Application forms must be turned in to Seattle Parks and Recreation staff at a local community center or pool location. Income and dependency documentation are required–please bring your 2016 tax forms or other documentation with you. Approval can take up to several weeks. Click here to locate the nearest community center, or here to locate the nearest pool facility.

Please click the following links to download the application form in the appropriate language: Application in English, Application in Somali, Application in Spanish, Application in Vietnamese

Please click the following links to download the policy and guidelines for school age care in the appropriate language: Policy in English, Policy in Somali, Policy in Spanish, Policy in Vietnamese

Click here to see income eligibility guidelines and click here to download a scholarship drop notice.

Questions? Please visit a Seattle Parks and Recreation community center or pool and talk to a staff person for more information.

Seattle Parks and Recreation Scholarship Program is made possible by funding from the Seattle Park District. Approved by voters in 2014, the Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding for Seattle Parks and Recreation, including maintenance of parklands and facilities, operation of community centers and recreation programs, and development of new neighborhood parks on previously-acquired sites.