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Get healthy this New Year with Seattle Parks and Recreation!

At Seattle Parks and Recreation, we’re here to help you start the New Year off right! From spending more time in nature, to being more active and connecting with others, to eating healthier, we have countless ways to support your 2017 health and wellness goals.

Reconnect with nature


Intuitively we all know that a hike in the woods or gazing at the stars is relaxing and restorative, but did you know that there is a wealth of science that proves spending time in nature can have serious benefits for your health? From reducing depression and high blood pressure, to accelerating recovery from surgery or illness, spending more time in nature is a simple and effective way to improve your mental and physical wellbeing.

  • Washington Park Arboretum: Spanning 230 acres and featuring a dynamic assortment of plants, Washington Park Arboretum offers a stunning setting for a walk surrounded by greenery. For those preferring to connect with nature on water, canoes, kayaks and similar boats can be launched from a small landing along Foster Island Road.
  • Kubota Garden: Hidden in South Seattle, Kubota Garden is a stunning 20-acre landscape that blends Japanese garden concepts with native Northwest plants. The Gardens are a spectacular setting of hills and valleys, interlaced with streams, waterfalls, ponds, bridges, and rock out-croppings with a rich array of plant material—the perfect location to sit and meditate, reflect or simply unwind.
  • Seward Park: De-stress and relax with a walk, jog or bike ride through Seward Park! Located along the shores of Lake Washington, Seward Park boasts 300 acres of beautiful forest land, is home to eagles’ nests, and features old growth forest, a 2.4-mile bike and walking path, an amphitheater, a native plant garden, an art studio, miles of hiking trails, shoreline, beaches and more.


Play a new sport


Step out of your comfort zone and try a new sport or activity this year! With 120 miles of trails, 25 miles of boulevards, 26 community centers, dozens of sports leagues, four golf courses, two small craft centers, eight indoor pools, 165 tennis courts, 204 athletic fields, 205 basketball hoops, 122 baseball fields, 120 miles of soft surface trails, and much more, Seattle Parks and Recreation has no shortage of opportunities for you to experiment with a new recreation hobby this year.

  • Rollerderby: Citywide Derby is at Ballard Community Center! We are partnering with One World Roller Derby. This training program is for all skill levels and includes roller derby training with the possibility of forming teams. Visit for more information.
  • Golf: Golfing opportunities are available for all skill levels in Seattle! Choose between Green Lake Pitch ‘n Putt, Interbay Golf Course, Jackson Municipal Golf, Jefferson Municipal Golf and West Seattle Municipal Golf Course.
  • Rowing: Get started in a rowing course for one of the best total body workouts available! We have classes and programs available for all ability and skill levels for ages 8 to 100+ in rowing, sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, stand-up paddle-boarding and more. Visit the Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center or the Green Lake Small Craft Center to explore all of these water-based activities.


Eat healthier


If eating healthier is one of your New Year’s goals, Seattle Parks and Recreation can help you achieve it! From a diverse range of cooking classes offered at our community centers, to opportunities to grow your own food at our community gardens, we can help you from planting your first vegetable to serving up a complete meal.

  • Teen Top Chef: Teen Late Night Recreation sites send delegations of teens to compete for top honors in a citywide Healthy Cooking Program competition. Teens prepare healthy meals to be judged by a panel: one teen, one Late Night Recreation Program police officer, and one Seattle Parks and Recreation staff member.
  • Community garden sites: Community gardens and orchards strengthen neighborhood relationships, provide a sense of civic engagement, and create recreational and therapeutic opportunities for residents. Community gardens promote equity by providing opportunities for growing food to those who lack the private space to grow their own vegetables and fruit. Surplus produce is sourced to community centers for use in public programs, or donated to nearby food banks. Check out one of our garden sites to see the variety of ways healthy food is being grown and shared. Community gardens are located at Ballard, Delridge, Garfield, Meadowbrook, Miller, Rainier, Rainier Beach, Ravenna, South Park, and Yesler Community Centers, and at Piper’s Orchard at Carkeek Park.
  • Community Kitchens: Community Kitchens provide an opportunity for the community to come together to use harvested produce from local gardens to produce healthy meals for later consumption. The program teaches cooking techniques, food purchasing skills and healthy nutrition so that participants can cook and store enough food for multiple servings in a cost-effective manner. Community Kitchens are available at many of our community centers; please contact your local center for details.