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What Do You Want From Seattle Parks? Let Them Know

Posted by cgiampetro at Sep 29, 2021 02:34 PM |

The city of Seattle's Parks and Recreation Department wants to hear from you to help them shape their priorities for the coming years.

Planning for the future takes time. Seattle’s Parks and Recreation Department heard input for two years before they created and published their strategic plan in March 2020. After all that engagement helped create a solid plan, planners and community members were eager to watch it become a reality. But that was hard in the past year and a half, as there was not a whole lot you could plan for as we all adapted to the uncertainty of a pandemic.

Now, planners are getting back to work to develop a plan for how to bring the strategic plan to life in 2022-2024. Parks planners hope new community feedback will let them know how needs changed during the pandemic and help them decide which services to prioritize in the next few years.

At WTA, we’re excited to offer additional feedback about how critical urban trails are to community health. It’s a topic that’s vital to our Trail Next Door campaign. This is your chance to offer your input as well!Runners run under organe and yellow trees at Greenlake in Seattle.
Runners enjoy Greenlake, a popular destination for getting active and outside in Seattle. Photo by Emerita Wheeling.

The Plan

In March 2020, Seattle’s Parks and Recreation Department published their strategic plan, a report that explained how the department will focus its programming, services and investments from 2020-2032. The new plan built on the last departmental guiding document, which was published in 2014. With the latest version, the city accounts for significant population growth and new citywide priorities — including the city of Seattle’s new approach to racial equity called the Pathway to Equity.

The plan directs Parks and Recreation Department work using four umbrella goals that align with the city’s vision: healthy people, healthy environment, strong communities and organizational excellence. This is part of broader work across the city’s many departments to help create a citywide comprehensive plan.

Trails and Community

Seattle Parks and Recreation stewards a diverse system of parks, natural areas, community centers, beaches, trails and more, including:

  • 2,755 acres of urban forest slated for restoration
  • 12 community gardens
  • 120 miles of trails
  • 485 parks
  • 6,400+ acres of parkland and open space

These parks and spaces play a vital role in connecting people to nature, as well as providing welcoming and safe opportunities to play, learn and build community.

At WTA, we know the importance of outdoor opportunities to local communities. Through our Trail Next Door campaign, we strive to make sure nature is in reach for everyone. Equity is a large piece of our work on this front, something also reflected in the priorities of Seattle's Parks and Rec Strategic Plan. Time in nature is beneficial for our physical and mental well-being, and we hope to see the city of Seattle continue to increase equitable access to these benefits across their programming areas.

How you can Help

The way people enjoy and navigate outdoor spaces has changed dramatically since the publication of the strategic plan in March 2020. More and more people are exploring the benefits of the outdoors, including in their own neighborhoods.

The city of Seattle wants to incorporate perspectives that may have shifted in the eventful last year and a half to help guide their work in the next few years.

The city is asking residents and visitors to share their ideas and experiences through a survey, which is open through Oct. 13. The survey will help the parks develop an action plan for 2022-2024, as well as help prioritize where to invest resources between 2023 and 2028.

Sharing your thoughts can have a direct impact on Seattle Parks’ budget and operations. Let them know how you have used park spaces throughout the pandemic, and how you plan to use them in the future. Your input will shape the work that Seattle Parks does in coming years.

Tell Seattle what’s important to you by filling out the survey by Oct. 13!

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