Strong Communities: 2019 Highlights from Seattle Parks and Recreation

This year, we worked in every corner of the city to expand recreational opportunities, restore our urban forest, build and design new parks, renovate play areas, and engage with community.

As Seattle’s population grows, and livability, affordability, and transportation issues continue to become more challenging, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is working hard to provide affordable, accessible programming that helps maintain the livability of our city, and to provide indoor and outdoor spaces for community to gather, be active, and connect with each other and the natural environment.

Read on to see how SPR helped support Strong Communities in 2019, and click the links to see how we supported Healthy People and a Healthy Environment!

Strong Communities:

  • Supported the citywide snow response: During the February 2019 snowstorm, SPR maintenance staff provided 6,151 hours of support to SDOT in snow and ice control, including removing snow from roads, sidewalks, and community centers, as well as hauling over 1,000,000 pounds of salt. SPR also opened two emergency shelters, one at Bitter Lake Community Center and one at Garfield Community Center, serving upwards of 50 residents each night for over two weeks.
  • Celebrated the 30th Anniversary of our Teen Late Night Program, a program that providing at-risk young people ages 13-19 with a safe place, a healthy meal, recreation programs, and the opportunity to develop life skills. 
  • Welcomed volunteers: Through the third quarter of this year, we have had 17,824 volunteers donate 116,160 hours of support to SPR programs, parks and activities.
  • Collaborated with the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs to hold 6 of their 14 Citizenship Clinics at SPR community centers. [Bitter Lake (twice), Meadowbrook, Van Asselt, Delridge, South Park]. A citizenship clinic is an event serving 25-50 people where volunteer attorneys, interpreters, and others assist eligible green card holders with completing their N-400 naturalization application. Attendees may also receive information about low-interest loans to pay for the naturalization application processing fee or help completing a fee waiver application.
  • Completed the Seattle Parks and Recreation 2020-2032 Strategic Plan that will guide SPR’s priorities and investments. This plan lays out a bold vision for how SPR can help achieve our vision of supporting Healthy People, a Healthy Environment, and Strong Communities and build a more equitable and inclusive parks and recreation system. As part of the process, we engaged with over 10,000 people in many ways at over 35 meetings, Parks and Rec Fests, listening sessions, social media, online and more. SPR’s Community Engagement Ambassadors attended meetings and events and were able to communicate with the public in 12 languages.
  • Supported a range of special events and activities in parks: Our Event Scheduling Office issued close to 5,000 use permits, including 237 ceremonies, 17 day camps, 977 special events, 263 film permits and 3,594 picnic reservations.