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Seattle Parks and Recreation announces 2018 Denny Award winners

Annual awards recognize outstanding volunteer service

Today, Interim Superintendent Christopher Williams announced the winners of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s 2018 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,” Williams 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 through a lens of equity.”

In 2017, 36,198 people volunteered for Seattle Parks and Recreation, providing 196,448 hours of service, which is a donation valued by Independent Sector at $30.46 per hour or $5.9 million dollars.


Healthy People:

Leslie Whitman, Amy Yee Tennis Center

Leslie has volunteered for several Junior Tennis programs over the years, including QuickStart, NetGen and Middle School Tennis. Leslie always has a smile and a warm greeting for the youth she works with. Her enthusiasm for the game is infectious, and the kids pick up on how much she enjoys the sport.  Many young people who never would have tried tennis have been supported and encouraged by Leslie in trying something new.

Healthy Environment:

Sharon Baker, Lincoln Park

For the past 13 years, Sharon Baker, lead forest steward with Friends of Lincoln Park (FLiP), has led volunteers in creating healthy habitats in the park. Sharon has spent countless hours restoring beautiful Lincoln Park forest, benefitting the surrounding community, wildlife and ecosystems. Since she became a master forest steward in 2005, she has been committed to restoring and maintaining much of the park’s extensive forested areas. Sharon creates a warm and welcoming experience for anyone who wishes to join the efforts of FLiP.  Sharon welcomes many youth groups and local school

classes to experience the forested areas of Lincoln Park, and she knows exactly the right spots in the park that will spark their interest and imagination.

Strong Communities:

Timothy Crosley, The Licton Springs Blog

Timothy Crosley created the blog to bring together the Licton Springs community, especially around the Aurora Licton Urban Village, Mineral Springs and Licton Springs parks, transit projects, and retail business openings and events. LoveLicton reaches more than 1,000 people per month and hosts 1- 2 events for free per month for the community. The blog provides a connection point across the community to share ideas and concerns. Additionally, Timothy Crosley volunteers on the Licton Springs Community Council board and has recently used his skills as a software developer to redesign their website, making it easier for the community to find information and submit topics for discussion.

Equity Champion:

Lhorna Murray, Magnuson Park

Lhorna has been a primary advocate for residents of Magnuson Park. She activated the community following the fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles by Seattle Police, mobilizing residents into action to advocate for themselves. Lhorna has since worked with the Magnuson Park Advisory Committee, Magnuson Park Community Center Advisory Council, and Sand Point Arts and Cultural Exchange to effect change in the park for residents and visitors.

Superintendent’s Award:

Maisha Barnett, Park & Greenspace Advocate

Maisha has been a key contributor to the development of Powell Barnett and Jimi Hendrix parks, and has been an advocate of open spaces and green spaces throughout central Seattle, including the planned new Waterfront Park. Because of her leadership, millions of dollars have been raised in support of playgrounds and open spaces, and Powell Barnett Park continues to be recognized annually as one of the best playgrounds in the United States.

East Ballard Community Association, Gemenskap Park

Because of the East Ballard Community Association (EBCA), Seattleites have a new park: Gemenskap Park! EBCA had the vision to create green space on 14th Ave. NW between Ballard High School and the Lake Washington Ship Canal since early 2000, and the group officially came together in the fall of 2005 to make the project a reality. EBCA applied for and received Seattle Department of Neighborhood Matching Fund grants for the visioning and planning process, and then received funding from the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Opportunity Fund, which supports community-initiated projects. Today, because of the dedication of EBCA members, we have a new park that converted two blocks of 14th Ave. NW from existing roadway and parking median to a linear community park, providing green space and green infrastructure that incorporate safety improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.

Seattle Parks and Recreation gratefully acknowledges Denny Award sponsors and supporters: Associated Recreation Council, Seattle Park Foundation, and Parker Design House.

Join us at the 2018 Denny Awards: