Seattle Parks and Recreation to pilot new opening and closing hours at Golden Gardens Park

Park will open at 6 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. beginning on June 23, 2021

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) will implement new opening and closing hours at Golden Gardens Park (8498 Seaview Pl. NW) on a pilot basis beginning Wednesday, June 23, 2021. The park will open daily at 6 a.m. (instead of 4 a.m.) and close nightly at 10 p.m. (instead of 11:30 p.m.). This modified-hours pilot, authorized by SMC 18.12.040, will last 270 days, at which point SPR will re-evaluate the park’s operating hours.

This time change is intended to help mitigate an increase in public safety issues and illegal activity at the park, including acts of violence, excessive noise violations, illegal fires, illegal parking, unpermitted events, and blocked access for emergency vehicles.

SPR has already implemented several strategies to try to discourage illegal behaviors at Golden Gardens:

  • Public education: To clarify and publicize beach fire rules and other park rules, we are using our website and social media resources, sandwich-board signs at the park, and most recently, two large electronic reader-boards stating that fires are allowed in authorized firepits only, and the time by which fires must be extinguished.  (Reader-board messaging may change to reflect updates.)
  • Enhanced staffing: Five staff are on the beach nightly. They remind park users that fires can be in firepits only and must be extinguished by 9:30 p.m.; remind park users that amplified music is prohibited; pick up litter; clean and restock restrooms.
  • Reduced hours for fires: Staff extinguish beach fires by 9:30 nightly.
  • Park entry: Staff deny vehicles entry when the parking lot is full.
  • SPD coordination: We stay in close communication and strategize with SPD regarding efforts to enforce laws and prevent illegal behaviors. A new Memorandum of Agreement between SPR and SPD, in effect May 30, is expected to enhance enforcement efforts.
  • Ambient encouragement: We installed trailers with clusters of powerful LED lights to discourage illegal activities by brightly illuminating the beach at 9:30 p.m. each night.

Despite these combined efforts, illegal activities have persisted at Golden Gardens Park, and we have heard increasing concerns from community members.

Golden Gardens Park will continue to allow beach fires this summer in designated fire rings. All beach fires must be extinguished by 9:30 p.m. and all visitors will be asked to leave the park by 10 p.m. Please see beach fire rules here.