Seattle Needs to Protect Urban Natural Areas

Six Reasons You Should Sign Our Petition:

Seattle Parks has drafted a new policy to open our Natural Areas and Greenspaces to unspecified “new uses”, including active sports installations like zipline courses, bike skills courses and more. We are trying to stop them, and we need your signature on our petition.

Here’s why:

  • The vast majority Seattle’s parklands have already been developed for active recreation, sports, or other uses. Only about 1 or 2% of Seattle’s total acreage is park natural area. It should remain preserved for passive, low-impact use only, and for wildlife habitat.
  • Nature is a dwindling, precious resource, and access to it must be fair to all people. Walking in nature is the top-rated activity (78%) in our parks. The few remaining natural areas should remain fairly allotted to the widest, and most inclusive user-group, not parceled out to specialized-user groups.
  • Developing natural areas for multiple special uses is unsustainable, and will lead to overuse, misuse, and degradation. Our urban nature is already stressed due to fragmentation and invasive species. Use of it should be passive, non-motorized, non-mechanized, pedestrian only.
  • Developing natural areas is unwise, because it threatens the integrity of our volunteer system, and would lead to multiple special-user groups each competing for their own “piece of the pie”. Parks should not offer exclusive use rights in exchange for “volunteer” eco-restoration services. This threatens to turn our citywide forest restoration program into a quid pro quo system that offers special rights to some people at the expense of the general population.
  • Seattle Parks has claimed that our natural areas are unsafe and developing them will help solve these problems. Nothing could be further from the truth. Natural areas are no more unsafe than city streets, and we believe they are far safer. In phone interviews of community policing representatives, we found that natural areas are rarely the locations of victim-based crime.lincolnparkwoodssm
  • Parks has claimed that developing natural areas will help connect people, especially children to nature. But, nature does not need a sugar-coating to make it “fun”. As our city becomes more crowded, people will naturally find their way into our natural areas, to enjoy them through low-impact use. It is the only fair, sustainable, and wise way to use our natural areas for the benefit of people, wildlife, and the future.

Please sign and share our petition – thank you!

A pdf flier you can print out and email to others:

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