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2020 Proposed Budget

Dear community member,

Today, Mayor Jenny Durkan is releasing her 2020 Proposed Budget. In the second year of the two-year budget biennium, this budget maintains core services while at the same time increasing investments in priorities like public safety, affordable housing, homelessness, transit and transportation safety, and opportunity and jobs for Seattle’s young people.

The following is a summary of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s key changes in the 2020 Proposed Budget.

The 2020 Proposed Budget maintains resources to Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and identifies efficiencies to implement budget-neutral staffing changes across the department. In addition, the proposed budget allocates funding to cover increasing costs associated with utility expenses and other citywide adjustments, adds funds to expand existing operations and recreation programming, and updates the Capital Improvement Program to reflect planned spending in 2020.

Improve Service Levels

The 2020 Proposed Budget implements a number of changes to improve service levels and help the department keep up with increasing demands at its recreation facilities and maintenance needs. These changes are budget neutral and include:

  • repurposing excess summer aquatic funds to eliminate a gap in access to swimming in low-income communities, making swim free to this population;
  • adding permanent staffing at the Arboretum Loop Trail, Japanese Garden, and the SPR 24-Hour maintenance request call center;
  • formalizing a commitment to the Teen Summer Musical and other performing arts programs by establishing dedicated funding for this work; and
  • expanding SPR’s administrative capacity and ongoing efforts to measure performance quality across the organization.

Expanding and Enhancing Operations

The 2019-2020 budget added $150,000 of Sweetened Beverage Tax funding to SPR for youth recreation scholarships. In 2020, SPR will receive additional funding to expand the number of Destination Summer Camp locations and to add hours for Summer of Safety programming at existing sites.

The 2020 Proposed Budget provides funding for additional Recreation Assistant Coordinators funded by ARC. The proposed budget also adds ongoing funding to expand the RV Remediation Program to cover the SPR staffing program costs that support this City-wide program.

Capital Improvement Program

In 2019, Outdoors for All was selected following the department’s issuance of a Request for Proposal process to renovate Building 18 at Magnuson Park to serve as the organization’s future headquarters. Outdoors for All enriches the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities through outdoor recreation. The Mayor’s 2020 Proposed Budget includes $1,000,000 of one-time funding in SPR’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) to assist Outdoors for All with capital renovations at the facility.

The 2020 Proposed CIP also includes an additional $700,000 of one-time Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for accessibility compliance; this will supplement existing funding for this work in 2020 and further advance SPR’s efforts to make parks and recreation facilities more accessible to all.


Over the next two months, the City Council will review the Mayor’s proposed budget. Final adoption of the budget is expected on Monday, November 25. More information about details in the budget can be found at, and you can also direct any questions to


Jesús Aguirre

Superintendent, Seattle Parks and Recreation