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Seattle Parks and Recreation announces 2017 Denny Award winners

Annual awards recognize outstanding volunteer service

Today Superintendent Jesús Aguirre announced the winners of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s 2017 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 is always 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 2016, 37,722 people volunteered for Seattle Parks and Recreation, providing 231,675 hours of service, which is a donation valued by Independent Sector at $30.04 per hour or $6.9 million dollars in 2016.


Healthy People:

Skate Like a Girl’s Youth Employment Skateboarding Members
Skate Like a Girl’s Youth Employment Skateboarding Members are youth leaders ages 12 to 19 who teach at Skate Like a Girl’s free 12 and under programs. Over the course of six years, more than 250 members have dedicated their summers to providing free skate lessons. Members support healthy living by encouraging people to get their heart rates going with skateboarding, and by modeling safe behaviors like wearing a helmet. These diverse young leaders serve as positive role models and help encourage cultural self-esteem by modeling that anyone can skate no matter his or her background.

Healthy Environment:

Weekday Workers (WEWO) Carkeek Park
Since 2006, the Weekday Workers (WEWOs) have been improving the natural environment in Carkeek Park by removing invasive species, planting native species, clearing blocked trails, and performing other forest restoration activities every Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., rain or shine. The WEWOs host approximately 60 work parties each year. In 2016 alone, the WEWOs removed invasive plants from more than a half-acre area; did weeding maintenance on over two acres; saved 101 trees from strangulation by English ivy; and planted 132 native trees, 77 native shrubs and 110 native ground covers. The restoration of Carkeek Park’s forest is vital to the successful salmon runs, which thousands of park visitors enjoy every fall.

Strong Communities:

Bob Anderson
Bob Anderson has been the president of the Freeway Park Association (FPA) Board for almost 10 years and has spent thousands of volunteer hours helping to galvanize the community around the iconic Freeway Park, our largest urban park. He is a tireless leader who has organized stakeholders and the public to raise awareness and increase usage of the park, as well as create organized community input and advocacy for this 5.2-acre space. Bob leads fundraising efforts which allow Freeway Park Association to thrive and to support programming and amenities for the park and park users. Perhaps most importantly, Bob cherishes this space and is always encouraging the FPA board and public to think of the park’s future as a bright one.

Strong Communities:

Wayne and Linda Fricke
Wayne and Linda Fircke have volunteered at Kubota Garden since 1996. Wayne designed the Entry Gatehouse and Ornamental Wall to help with garden security, and together with Linda, the two have recruited and worked with students from Seattle Central Community College Wood Technology Program, masonry apprentices, and other volunteers to construct the wall sections for the past 10+ years. In 1999, Wayne and Linda led a team of volunteers who built the cedar fence that runs along Renton Ave. Linda has been a tour guide, chaired the Foundation’s Design Committee, volunteered at plant sales, and handled Foundation merchandise. Since 1996 Linda has continued to serve in various capacities with the Foundation. Wayne and Linda are currently on the Foundation’s Garden Committee and are helping to guide the 2017 Ornamental Wall project, which will complete the wall to the corner of Renton Ave. and 55th Ave. S.

Equity Champion:

Russell Odell
Russell Odell has volunteered as a coach for the Jefferson Community Center Mock Trial team since 2008. Mock Trial is a program that allows students to learn about our legal system by researching case law and arguing legal issues. Russel is passionate about empowering and supporting teens in learning about legal rights and becoming civically engaged. Russell helps teach students to think outside of the box, problem solve, communicate clearly, and develop theories as part of their Mock Trial arguments. Russel goes above and beyond to support youth at Jefferson Community Center by helping them with their academic work, supporting students in leading healthy personal lives, and even by teaching youth how to dress for success.

Superintendent’s Award:

Seattle Board of Park Commissioners
The Seattle Board of Park Commissioners is a volunteer advisory board that consults with and makes recommendations to City Council, the Mayor, and Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Superintendent regarding the department’s policies for the planning, development and use of the City’s park and recreation facilities. Board members listen to public input on parks and recreation related issues, and help ensure that the department serves the needs of our communities. Members also serve as important advocates, stewards, and educators for access to open spaces and recreational programming. Board members are passionate about supporting healthy people, a healthy environment and strong communities and help ensure the sustainability of our parks system for generations to come.

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, Museum of History and Industry, and Parker Design House.