Find Posts By Topic

2018 Seattle Park District Major Projects Challenge Fund awards $6 million to Seattle Parks and Recreation facilities throughout the city

The Seattle Park District Major Projects Challenge Fund (MPCF) initiative leverages Seattle Park District funding with grants and community-raised matching funds to significantly expand the life and usability of a park facility providing greater opportunities for more people to make use of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s community facilities and parks.

The second round of community-initiated awards provide between $50,000 and $2.925 million, to three feasibility and design studies and three construction projects.

The MPCF awards were based on screening criteria that included equitable prioritization scoring matrix and came from the recommendation from the Seattle Park District Oversight Committee and confirmed by Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Interim Superintendent Christopher Williams after a screening process of the 14 applications received. The MPCF allows for projects/studies to be accomplished throughout the city. Recognizing that all communities are not equally able to provide matching funds, the initiative allows for a portion of funding to be allocated to assist communities and organizations that lack resources for a match.

“We know that the best ideas come from the community, not the top down,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “The Major Projects Challenge Fund is one way we can lift up the community’s vision and invest in Seattle’s parks in innovative ways. I look forward to seeing the projects awarded today become new, vibrant cornerstones of our communities and neighborhoods.”

Two of the 2018 awards build on previous MPCF awards and provide the needed funding to implement the community-initiated improvements to renovate, expand or upgrade parks or park facilitates. All projects will be completed with funding from a combination of City and community-generated funds.

Construction project:

  • South Park Community Center Playfield Improvements: The South Park Green Space Steering Committee initiated project will receive $2 million for design and construction improvements at the South Park Community Center, 738 S Sullivan Street, Seattle, WA 98108. This funding contributes to the implementation of the sitewide design completed with extensive community input and funding from the 2016/2017 MPCF. The total project costs for the sitewide design are estimated at approximate $10 million. SPR is working with the Seattle Academy of Arts and Science on additional funding for field redevelopment. Additionally, SPR is working with the South Park Green Space Steering Committee on grant(s) and additional fund raising.  The proposed improvements include:
    • Athletic Field – A synthetic turf field centrally located on the site, designed to accommodate a full-size soccer field and softball field with field lighting and fencing at varying heights
    • Sport Court – Two multi-use sport courts sized for professional basketball and pickleball
    • Two Playgrounds & Spray Park– Located on the east edge of the site (away from the highway) one playground for 2-5 years old and the other for 5-12 years old. Each includes resilient surfacing for fall protection, a play structure and age-appropriate swing set with a small plaza for families to sit while viewing the playgrounds and athletic field. The spray park will provide all ages seasonal water play
    • Air quality buffer – A thickened vegetated edge comprised of evergreen and deciduous plants that will function, root and branches, as a living filter to ameliorate elevated levels of air particulate matter and noise from SR-99;
    • Walking loop and adult fitness zone – Along the perimeter of the park, a half-mile walking loop that varies in width from 6 ft. to 10 ft. along its course to allow for two people to walk side-by-side with pedestrian-scale lighting with fitness equipment that will be determined through further outreach
    • A placeholder for a future off-leash dog area
  • Green Lake Small Craft Center Redevelopment A pre-design/feasibility study for the Green Lake Small Craft Center, 5900 West Green Lake Way N, Seattle, WA 98103, was funded through the MPCF in 2016/2017. The 2018 MPCF awards $2.92 million for the design, permitting and construction/redevelopment of the Small Craft Center. The Green Lake Rowing Advisory Council, the Friends of Green Lake Crew and the Seattle Canoe and Kayak Club submitted this new application for funding and estimates the total project cost at $6 million to $6.5 million. The match is a mixture of private fund raising, foundation donations and state grants. Two public meetings have been held for this project. To stay up to date on the progress of the Green Lake Small Craft Center visit
  • Volunteer Park Amphitheater The Volunteer Park Trust initiate project will receive $900,000 in funding from the MPCF for the design, permitting and construction/replacement of the current failing amphitheater in Volunteer Park, 1247 15th Avenue E, Seattle, WA 98112, with a modern structure that meets community needs for a versatile outdoor performance space; enhances the historic Olmsted landscape; improves the quality of space for daily park users; broadens performance diversity; provides full ADA compliance; improves acoustics, noise control, safety, and access; and reduces net maintenance and operating costs for the facility. Total construction costs for this project are estimated at $2.7 million. The proposed match totals $1,050,000 through a combination of private fund raising and grant(s). Additional City dollars have been identified for the restroom improvements but are not part of the match.

Feasibility studies and designs:

  • Cascade Playground Field Improvement Feasibility Study Cascade Playground community stakeholders application will be awarded $60,000 for a feasibility and design study in improve Cascade Playground Field located at 333 Pontius Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109. The study must be completed prior improvements and will inform:
    • Infiltration survey and design for play field excavation and underdrain placement, with potential for rainwater catchment cisterns and irrigation facility improvements
    • Removal of conventional turf and replacement with pollinator friendly, drought tolerant species which decrease mowing and irrigation requirements for SPR maintenance
    • Removal of declining sidewalk infrastructure and replacement with permeable pavement OR paved infrastructure to feed rainwater catchment facilities
    • Compliment or expand the existing green stormwater infrastructure at Cascade People’s Center with the installation of additional cisterns and educational resources to maximize storm water retention and re-use on site
    • Public safety improvements of public restroom facilities to maximize sight lines and ecological utility (i.e. reclaimed water, passive lighting, green roof, greywater)
    • Introduction of overhead lighting to all areas of the playfield
    • Design consistent entrances throughout the park, with an emphasis on activating current sites of illegal behavior, to be integrated with interpretive signage and artistic elements to maximize educational opportunity and inclusive community outreach (including multi-lingual and non-literate individuals)
  • Sail Sand Point Feasibility Study  Sail Sand Point, 7861 62nd Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98115 in Magnuson Park, is awarded $80,000 to cover a feasibility study for the proposed renovations of the Boathouse, Building 31, a complete structural survey of the existing building, pricing estimates and timelines for all components of the renovations, as well as the start of a capital campaign to ensure Sail Sand Point can raise the funds necessary for bringing the renovation to completion. At the time of the renovation Sail Sand Point will seek to improve the boathouse beyond its original purpose while maintaining the historic value of the building so that it may serve more people in the future. Those improvements will include easier access, more classroom space and additional lockers allowing for increased public use and expansion of our existing programming.
  • Seward Park Clay Studio Feasibility Study Since the 1960s, Seward Park Clay Studio has been the co-tenant in the historic bathhouse, a SPR facility, in Seward Park, 5900 Lake Washington Boulevard S, Seattle, WA 98118. The MPCF provides $50,000 for planning and design work for a future rebuild of the Clay Studio, Changing Rooms, Lifeguard and Comfort Station.

“These projects represent SPR’s core values supporting healthy people, environments, and strong communities. I want to thank the Seattle Park District Oversight Committee for dedicating their time to reviewing all the proposals and recommending these projects for a funding match,” said Christopher Williams, Seattle Parks and Recreation Interim Superintendent. “These partnerships are an important investment in our park system that enable us to expand our facilities to reach even more communities.”

For additional information, please contact David Graves at or 206-684-7048 or visit