First, the ALERTS
- On Sept 23, at 9:30 AM, the Energy sub-committee of the Seattle City Council will discuss the selling off of City Light substations no longer used. This has been a contested issue for nearly two years, and our friends at the Seattle Greenspaces Coalition and Plant Amnesty, as well as other groups, have proposed creative ways to keep those areas “green”. This meeting was announced Monday “out of the blue”, as reported by the West Seattle Blog. The meeting on Wednesday may be the only opportunity for public comment before a council vote.
- The next day, Sept. 24, the new Seattle Parks Superintendent, Jesús Aguirre, will be on a Twitter Chat at Noon:
— Seattle Parks (@SeattleParks) September 15, 2015
Here’s your chance to get involved online and dust off your Twitter account! Most other invited groups and individuals are very pro-activation/recreation with our park lands, so be sure to speak up with a question/comment about preserving and protecting our natural areas!
On September 28, the City Council will be voting on the proposal to put a mountain bike park in Cheasty Greenspace. This is also one of those issues that has been going on for two years – and the discussion/vote in sub-committee last week was also announced two days before public comment. (are we seeing a pattern here?) There is so much to say on Cheasty – we have been opposed from the beginning and have written about it frequently. This may be the final time the public can comment. It is worth noting that there are two legal challenges underway right now, which makes things even more contentious.
- The Seattle Park District will be starting up in 2016, and the mayor unveiled his proposal for how that money (much more than in previous Parks budgets and levies) should be spent. You can read it here (we are still searching for increased funding for our natural areas and forests). Here’s the mayor introducing it in a video.
- Another chance to get directly involved in helping shape Seattle’s future with its parks and greenspaces is coming on Sept 29: Urban Forest & Green Space Candidate Forum. This is a unique opportunity to hear from Seattle City Council candidates about their vision for green and open space in Seattle.
September 29, 7-9 pm
University of Washington, Botanic Gardens Center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle, WA 98105)
Now the UPDATES
The Supplemental Use Guidelines for Natural Areas and Greenspaces – in two parts:
- The proposal was tabled by the Park Board at their September 10th meeting. This came after a huge public response objecting to the guidelines, and two subsequent Revisions by the Parks Department. While nothing appears online to that effect yet, we have been told that Parks will continue to work on the guidelines and gather more “public input”. It is anticipated Parks will come back to the Park Board with a new version in the first quarter of 2016.
- The Petition Preserve Seattle Parks Natural Areas and Greenspaces was a resounding success! There are over 800 signatures so far, and even though the Park Board is not accepting written public testimony on the Supplemental Use Guidelines, they will continue to receive updates on signatures and comments from the petition – so it is not going away! We are also now directing the petition to Superintendent Jesús Aguirre.Many thanks to all those who have signed and have spread the word about the petition. If you would like to read some uplifting words of encouragement about preserving and protecting our park lands for ALL of us, please read through the 18 pages of comments the petition has received so far – Petition Comments through 9-15-15. Please feel free to share!