The Whispering Season

Carkeek Park demonstration garden photo courtesy of Terri Johnson, owner of Plumb Pixel Photography

Carkeek Park demonstration garden photo courtesy of Terri Johnson, owner of Plumb Pixel Photography

Written by Deborah Phare, Carkeek Park Steward

Between the closed-fist grip of deep winter and the gentle touch of early spring resides another, much shorter, season. Gardeners are familiar with this brief time of year and respond to its arrival with hope and joy. Its duration is brief – sometimes just three weeks – but its days are filled with the soft green shoots and emerging buds of early perennials and shrubs poking through a mist of soft fog or the crumble-top layer of tired mulch.

In the demonstration gardens at Carkeek Park, few plants are in bloom during this time of year but the gardens’ gifts are on full display. The garden has a large selection of Hellebores and Heucheras, as do most gardens, but above and beyond those important plants there is a full palette of subtle colors and interesting shapes best seen during this short season. [Read more…]

Seattle Parks and Recreation aquatics programs

Stay warm and fit this winter at one of our indoor pools!

Stay warm and fit this winter at one of our indoor pools!

Doggy paddle, breaststroke, butterfly, backstroke. We think it’s important to master one or two of these when you live in a city nearly surrounded by water. Our swimming pools offer swimming lessons, public swims and special events year-round, and best of all, they’re indoors. [Read more…]

Winter walks in Seattle parks

Carkeek Park

Carkeek Park

Winters in Seattle are wet and damp but they help keep our parks lush and green. Don’t let a little rain keep you from seeing the wonder of winter flora this season. We have dozens of trails that are waiting to be explored.

Carkeek Park
Carkeek Park offers extraordinary views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains. Explore the hidden gems of this Northwest Watershed just nine miles from downtown Seattle. The park encompasses 220 acres of lush forest, meadows, wetlands, creeks and beach and has more than a dozen trails running through it. Hike along Piper’s Creek or be awed by the Puget Sound. The Carkeek Park demonstration garden is alive with winter color this time of year. Kalmiopsis leachiana provides tiny pink buds and Mahonia repens shows its deepest purple, red and maroon. In total, the park offers just over six miles of trail. The Salmon to Sound trail, the Piper’s Creek trail from the lower meadow to Piper’s Orchard and the Wetland Trail are all ADA accessible. [Read more…]

Seattle Parks and Recreation winter programs

Register for winter programs today!

Register for winter programs today!

A new year is for new beginnings. Registration for our winter programs and classes is underway, and we have more than 50 new offerings this season. Find a class that’s right for you and start 2016 off right.

Draw and Paint Art Studio: The Draw and Paint Studio class located in the Alki Bathhouse will teach students various techniques for both drawing and painting. Students will acquire the skills to capture light, atmosphere and mood by working with water-based paints from their own drawings and photographs. The classes are intended for people 18 and older. The first session of classes runs Jan. 12-Feb. 16 on Tuesday evenings with a second session running March 1-April 5. Registration for each session is $120.

Innovation Club: Adventures in Coding 101: Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a programmer? Join Rainier Community Center for scratch programming and get your feet wet in the world of coding with projects like interactive stories or even games! The classes are intended for grades 1-3. The first session of classes runs Jan. 6-Feb. 17 on Wednesday evenings with a second session running Feb. 24-March 30. Registration runs from $90-105. [Read more…]

Your 2016 Seattle Parks and Recreation Winter Bucket List

For many of us, winters in Seattle are just something we have to get through – three months of cold and rain before the sun decides to break through in March. But treating the season like a chore is waste. There are dozens of opportunities to make memories and learn something during the winter months, and you should take advantage of them (mainly because we’re hosting).

So put on your best flannel and anorac and grab that Seahawks beanie. We’re going out. [Read more…]

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 teen life centers will close at 6 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 31 and will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.
  • Environmental learning centers will close at 5 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 31 and will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.
  • Indoor swimming pools and small craft centers will close at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 31 and will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.
  • 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 http://premiergc.com/-contact-us.)
  • Amy Yee Tennis Center is open from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Dec. 24 and Dec. 31. The center will be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.
  • The Moorage Operations Office will be open Dec. 21-23 and Dec. 28-30 from 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. The office will be closed Dec. 24-27.
  • The Volunteer Park Conservatory will be open 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1.

[Read more…]

Seattle Parks and Recreation shuts off most tennis court lights for winter to save energy

Amy Yee Tennis Center

Amy Yee Tennis Center

Seattle Parks and Recreation shut off the lights at most outdoor lighted tennis courts for the winter. This is an effort to create energy savings during the months when few people play tennis outside. There are 60 lighted outdoor courts throughout the parks system. [Read more…]

Registration for winter programs opens Dec. 1

two girls in swimming lessons

Registration for winter programs opens Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Ping pong, pottery, piano lessons or Pilates? What’s on your winter agenda?

Registration for most winter 2016 classes opens Tuesday, Dec. 1 at noon. Sign up yourself or your family members for swim lessons and community center classes.  Registration will continue until classes fill. Register online, over the phone or in-person at a community center or pool. Seattle Parks and Recreation offers significant price discounts for those who meet low-income eligibility requirements.  Those with low-income eligibility may qualify for up to a 90% discount in pricing. [Read more…]

Celebrate the season with Seattle Parks and Recreation

Holidays in Westlake Park, 2014, photo by TIA International Photography

Holidays in Westlake Park, 2014, photo by TIA International Photography

The holiday season seems to sneak up on us and then it’s over before we know it. There are so many activities and things to be done; it can be hard to keep track of them all. We’ve created a one-stop guide to all of our festive happenings. Find gingerbread decorating for the kids, take advantage of low-cost childcare options, discover where to buy local, unique presents and locate a drop-off spot for gift donations.

The holidays can be stressful when you’re going it alone. Luckily, you have us. [Read more…]

Teens host blanket and winter clothing drive

206 Forward-Blanket Drive

A note from Seattle Park and Recreation teens

We are 206 Forward: Youth Advocates of Seattle. Our program invites teens across the city to promote youth advocacy and have their voices heard as well as give back to the community. Our latest project is to start a blanket drive to collect blankets and warm clothes for the homeless people in Seattle. You can help us by donating any blankets and warm clothes. We have drop off boxes at the Jefferson, Rainier (in the teen room), Rainier Beach and Van Asselt community centers as well as at the Dexter Administration Building and will be taking donations until Dec.1, 2015.  We appreciate the help the Seattle Parks and Recreation community can provide to this cause!