2017 Park District Highlights: Programs for People

2017 has been another great year for the Seattle Park District! We’ve been working in every corner of the city to preserve our urban forest, maintain our community centers and parks, encourage community members to get active, design new parks with community input, and much more! Read on to learn about our Programs for People, and look out for our comprehensive Seattle Park District annual report coming soon.

Click the links to read highlights from other Seattle Park District initiatives: Fix it First: Major Maintenance; Maintaining Parks and Facilities; Building for the Future.

Programs for People

These initiatives help the people of Seattle be healthy, active, and engaged. From providing more opportunities for people from underserved communities, to expanding and improving programs for the young, those with disabilities, and older adults, these initiatives contribute to our legacy of healthy people and strong communities.

In 2017, we offered $400,000 in scholarships to low-income community members to make our programs and activities more accessible. This year, we also began offering FREE drop-in activities such as tot gyms, fitness rooms, basketball, pool tables, and more.

The Get Moving program works to increase participation and opportunities for physical activities, prioritizing neighborhoods where health disparities are prevalent. This year, Get Moving partnered with 13 community groups, providing 532 hours of programming and engaging more than 3,500 community members. Programs served various cultural communities in 14 Seattle neighborhoods, resulting in program participants burning over 126,000 calories!

Big Day of Play is a celebration of our city’s diversity and it encourages neighbors, communities and families to have fun, build relationships and be active together. It’s the day to play your way! This year, the Big Day of Play was held on Aug. 19 at Rainier Playfields and Community Center. More than 5,000 community members came out to enjoy free live music and cultural performances, as well as a wide range of activities, including wheelchair rugby, Sepak Takraw (a kick volleyball sport native to Southeast Asia), inflatable obstacle courses, Goal Ball (a team sport for people with low to no vision), and more. Learn more here.

The Arts in Parks program supports new and established community festivals, art happenings, and music concerts that enliven Seattle parks by promoting arts and culture, celebrating diversity, building community connections, and energizing parks while connecting with underserved communities. In 2017, Arts in Parks funded 24 community organizations bringing interactive and learning art projects to parks. Events and activities included Guelaguetza 2017, an event dedicated to promoting the rich cultural traditions of Oaxaca, Mexico; TUFFEST 2017, a music and arts festival produced by female-identifying and non-binary individuals; African Village Experience, a week-long African Village setting with participants engaged in traditional African dancing, singing, drumming, masks and drum making, and more.