Do we support off-leash? Really?
Yes. We really do. We also support leashed dogs in all our parks and natural spaces (except where they are prohibited). We also support increasing passive recreation opportunities in all our natural places, especially in places that have been long-neglected by the city.
We support off-leash in appropriate places. Not in natural parklands.
Why is Seattle Nature Alliance Concerned?
We represent low-impact, Passive Users of Seattle natural parklands. We do this because Passive-Users are a quiet, introspective, disperse, non-organized non-group. Passive Users are the silent majority. And nature itself has no voice at all.
In contrast, there are a growing number of active/high-impact recreation, specialized-use, highly-organized groups looking for access to our natural spaces for their own forms of recreation. And, at some unknown point, for some unknown reason, Parks started listening to their demands. Quietly, last spring, Parks changed their approach to Natural Areas and Greenspaces from “science-based” to “values-based”. The traditional mode of “Passive-Use Only” is no longer the default. Now, popular demand is the default.
We represent Passive Users and Wild Nature because they need representation in this new demand-based park system. We believe that Nature is more than just green-colored space to recreate in. Nature is alive. It makes us healthy in mind and body. Its deepest value to society lies in what it sparks in the human spirit: creativity, scientific inquiry, exploration, and a sense of community with all living beings.
Are you trying to keep people out of nature?
NO! It is exactly the opposite. I have spent my whole professional life working to strengthen the people-nature connection. It is my life’s work—looking for creative ways to help people find meaningful connections with nature, for their own good and for the good of the planet. I work full-time as a self-employed designer, illustrator and writer on these very subjects and I have a body of work that spans over three decades.
The other two directors of the Seattle Nature Alliance are also committed professionals trying to help people appreciate the wonders of nature. Mark is retired after spending 30 years as a public school teacher in Seattle. In addition to his work at the Alliance, he volunteers at the Pike Place Market, helping 3rd graders connect to the rich heritage of the Market. Rebecca is an artist and former garden/landscape designer and presently works full-time as a Web designer/developer.
Together, the three of us and our membership and legions of followers are trying to make sure that future generations of Seattlites will have an urban lifestyle rich with the benefits of close-by nature.
And, we want wild animals to have a place to live, too.