Protect Discovery Park from Development
To Do: Write Letters/Sign Petition
An organized group is lobbying to convert part of the Discovery Park into an arts campus. We oppose this change to the park’s current use and purpose. Please sign and share the petition and/or by write the Interim Mayor or City Council to show your support for protecting Discovery Park and preserving its current use and purpose as a natural area park. Read our blog post to find out more…
Friends of Discovery Park petitionWrite Letters
To Do: Write Letters/Sign Petition in Support of Strengthening Tree Policy
Recent events, including an illegal tree cutting in West Seattle ( read our blog post…) and the discovery by a tree steward of trees tagged for removal in the Mt. Baker greenbelt by a neighborhood association, have prompted a citizen outcry for City leaders to review and adopt a more comprehensive tree policy. The importance of protecting our existing trees and increasing our tree canopy to mitigate the effects of climate change are finally making the news.
Since 2009, the Urban Forestry Commission has urged the City of Seattle to increase incentives for keeping well established trees. With what seems like never ending development, we urge concerned citizens to write their council person on behalf of tree preservation and preserving tree canopy. Read related article…
Volunteer Park / SAAM Expansion
To Do: Visit Protect Volunteer Park website to learn about what you can do
The recent decision to move forward with the expansion of the Seattle Asian Art Museum is being challenged by a citizens group – Protect Volunteer Park who are requesting a hearing examiner review the decisionand determine whether a more extensive environmental review needs to be performed before the project can move forward.
We are all arts supporters at Seattle Nature Alliance. We support the renovation effort. We question the need to expand beyond the original footprint of the historical building and by so doing change the work of art – Volunteer Park – as envisioned by the Olmstead brothers. Read our blog post…
Learn more about Protect Volunteer Park’s efforts at protectvolunteerpark.org.
Sword Fern Die Off in Seward Park
To Do: If you notice that your park is affected too, notify the group working on the issue
Read or watch a short video about the sword fern die off.
Send reports to: Paul Shannon
Issues on the Backburner
Off Leash Dogs in Parks / Update: People, Dogs & Parks Strategic Plan
To Do: Congratulate yourselves for making a difference.
Stay vigilant, watch for new proposals
Seattle Parks & Recreation released it’s final version of the People, Dogs & Parks Strategic Plan. (A very long, and detailed document, if you don’t have the time, read the shorter Executive Summary).
We are pleased that Parks did not pursue the idea of expanding off-leash access to nature trails and beaches, or in the unfenced recreational areas in parks. These expansions were pursued quite vigorously by the various off-leash groups. SNA participated in focus groups, attended meetings, wrote letters, and publicized the issue to get support from our membership and the public to convince Parks that nature and off-leash do not mix. We are pleased with the outcome but realize that COLA will most likely continue to pursue expanding off-leash areas in our Parks. With this plan, Parks outlines a process for submitting new off leash area proposals. We hope that any future proposals do not include the natural areas in our parks, but instead look to other city property or public/private partnerships, land more appropriate for the unique needs of off leash dogs.
COLA and their supporters often state how far behind Seattle is in comparison to other cities in offering off leash dog parks but fails to acknowledge the huge difference in available acreage. Read our blog post… or download our SNA Off Leash Dog Action Sheet.
Seattle Parks & Recreation Development Plan
To Do : Write a letter / Attend Community Meeting(s)
From the Parks website:
The 2017 Development Plan is a 6-year plan that documents and describes SPR facilities and lands, looks at Seattle’s changing demographics, and lays out a vision for the future. A goal in the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan is to consider access to our parks by transit, bicycle, and on foot when acquiring, siting and designing new park facilities or improving existing ones. SPR manages approximately 11% of the City’s land area, and is proposing a new mapping approach based upon walkability to inform the City’s long-term acquisition strategies for future open space.
Camping in City Parks and Greenspaces
To Do : Write a letter / Attend City Council Meeting
UPDATE: After outpouring of public opposition to the proposal in its current form, City Council members working to modify proposals for allowing homeless encampments. Read about the latest proposals…
Send a letter with your concerns to the City Council.
Council Members include: Sally Bagshaw (District 7), Tim Burgess (District 8), Lorena González (Citywide-Position 9), Bruce Harrell (District 2), Lisa Herbold (District 1), Rob Johnson (District 4), Debora Juarez (District 5, Heads Parks Committee), Mike O’Brien, (District 6)and Kshama Sawant (District 3).
Homelessness has become a heartbreaking reality in our city. You cannot walk downtown without encountering someone camped out on the sidewalk or taking shelter in a stairwell. Recently the Seattle City Council has introduced legislation that would create a right to camp on public property throughout the city including public parks and greenspaces. Clearly homelessness has reached a crisis point and the city should make finding a sustainable solution a priority. However, pitting the homeless need for housing against preserving the remaining natural spaces in our public parks is shortsighted. Nature – a healthy natural ecosystem- is essential to everyone’s health and well being. In addition it is contrary to the Parks Department commitment to the Green Seattle Partnership volunteers who spend countless hours restoring these areas. See what happened in Magnusen Park after only a few weeks of unauthorized camping.
Other cities are currently experimenting with allowing more camping in public places. The City of Vancouver has opened up camping in certain areas but restricted camping in public parks. Portland’s Mayor adopted a plan to open up camping in public spaces only to find himself reversing the decision approximately 6 months later, with much damage already done.
Seattle City Council should focus their attention on permanent low income housing solutions. If they move forward to opening up camping as an interim solution, they should select defined areas that would be able to withstand high-impact use and where they would be able to centralize public health/safety services . City leaders should solve the housing crisis without damaging our urban forests.
Read Councilman Tim Burgess’ post about the ordinance and what’s at stake.