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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Seattle Parks and Recreation Fourth of July closures


Many Seattle Parks and Recreation facilities will be closed for Independence Day or on special holiday schedules. Some facilities may be open, but have limited operations. Please call in advance.

These facilities and services will have CLOSURES:

  • Community centers
  • Environmental learning centers
  • Indoor swimming pools
  • Green Lake Small Craft Center
  • Mt. Baker Rowing and Sailing Center

These facilities are OPEN:

  • Golf courses
  • Boat ramps
  • Beaches
  • Lowery C. “Pop” Mounger Pool
  • Colman Pool
  • Wading pools (Delridge, East Queen Anne, Green Lake, Lincoln, Magnuson, Sound View, South Park, Van Asselt and Volunteer).
  • Sprayparks

Bobby Morris Playfield renovation begins

Seattle Parks and Recreation awarded the construction contract to replace the aging synthetic turf at Bobby Morris Playfield to FieldTurf USA. FieldTurf USA began preliminary work on June 10, and they will install construction fencing on June 22. FieldTurf USA will be occupying parking spots on the west side of 11th Ave. adjacent to Cal Anderson Park to stage equipment. The project will be completed in early August 2016. The project includes new infill and testing, any structural repairs to curbing or base required, and new soccer goals and nets.

This pilot project will test the durability, safety, playability, maintainability and environmental health of a new synthetic turf infill material. Seattle Parks and Recreation has been looking for an alternate infill material for over three years. The industry is working to offer alternatives such as coconut fiber, minerals (light stone – zeolite), cork and Thermal Plastic Elastomer (TPE – a food grade inert plastic). Cork met Seattle Parks and Recreation’s playability, durability and safety criteria and has a reasonable cost. This pilot project will test the capabilities we believe cork has.

For more information and construction updates please visit For additional question please contact Jay Rood, Project Manager, Seattle Parks and Recreation at 206-733-9194 or


Free meals and programming for Seattle’s youth this summer!

Seattle Parks and Recreation is proud to host free programming and meals for Seattle’s youth this summer. From educational activities to games and sports, our programming helps ensure that youth remain connected, active and engaged over the summer months. And our food program helps make sure that children still have the opportunity to have healthy meals during the week while on vacation.

See below for a list of what’s available; programs will be held rain or shine.


Celebrate Tanabata at the Seattle Japanese Garden on July 9

IMG_9964 (002)The Seattle Japanese Garden invites the community to celebrate Tanabata from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 9. The annual Japanese festival is celebrated with magnificent colors, craft making and a tradition of writing wishes. The garden is located at 1075 Lake Washington Blvd E.

Tanabata (Evening of the Seventh), is based on the legend of Orihime and Hikoboshi, star-crossed lovers separated by the Milky Way. According to legend, each year on the evening of July 7, Orihime and Hikoboshi are allowed to reunite for one night. In Japan, Tanabata is celebrated by decorating bamboo branches with origami ornaments and tanzaku poems or wishes written on small strips of paper.

Visitors will have the opportunity to write wishes and tie them to bamboo sticks in the garden. Garden tours will be offered at 12:30 and 2 p.m. The Tateuchi Community Room will be open for guests to enjoy complimentary iced green tea, and to view an art exhibit by Roosevelt High School students, featuring stunning photography of the Japanese Garden.

Traditional tea ceremonies will be held at 1 and 2 p.m. in the Shoseian Tea House. A limited number of tea tickets are available at $10 for adults and $7 for youth, and can be reserved by calling the Japanese Garden ticket booth at 206-684-4725. There is no charge to observe the tea ceremony from the courtyard.

For more information, visit:

Event admission is free with regular garden admission. Admission for adults is $6; students with ID, youth age 6 – 18, seniors age 65+, and disabled, $4; children age 5 and under, free.  Annual passes will be honored. For more information, please visit



Google Trek of Volunteer Park, Oxbow Park, and Woodland Park Rose Garden – June 10

Seattle Parks and Recreation staff will be out in Volunteer Park, Oxbow Park, Woodland Park Rose Garden, and surrounding parks mapping the trails, pathways, and park lands this week. We will be using the trekker camera during the work day and should be confining our treks between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

For more information about our Google Trekker partnership and how mapping our trails works, please see our project blog post.

Algae bloom found at Pritchard Beach; people and pets should stay out of the water

Staff from the King County Water and Land Resources Division of the Department of Natural Resources and Parks, doing routine testing, found an algal bloom in the water of Lake Washington at Pritchard Island Beach, 8400 55th Ave. S. Seattle Parks and Recreation is posting warning signs at the site on the advice of the Washington State Department of Health.

People and pets should not wade or play in the lake where scum from the bloom has accumulated. Dog owners should be especially cautious not to allow animals to drink from the lake in these areas. If there is water contact for a pet, it is important to rinse well to remove all algae.

The lake remains open to fishing, boating, stand-up paddling boarding and other recreational activities. Lifeguarded beaches at Pritchard Island Beach, Matthews Beach, Madison Beach, Mt. Baker Beach, Seward Beach, West Green Lake and Magnuson Beach are scheduled to open for the season on Saturday, June 25. Beaches at East Green Lake and Madrona Beach are already open.

An early summer-like spring has promoted the algae bloom, and recent warm weather continues to promote it.

Symptoms of illness from liver toxin are flu-like and may include abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting. If symptoms occur after ingesting lake water, park users should consult a health care professional immediately. Pets are at highest risk.

For more information on cyanobacteria, please visit the Washington Department of Health toxic algae website at The signs will remain in place until there have been two consecutive weekly tests with algae concentrations at a healthy level. The next test is on Monday, June 13.

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

Dusting Vents and High Dusting

Before and after carpet cleaning of  High Point Community Center

High Point Front Desk and Piano Room Carpets