Take Action

2017 Parks & Open Space Plan
To Do: Send a Letter by June 15, 2017

Comments are due on June 15th for the Parks Plan. This plan will guide how we acquire and use Seattle parks in the future. Our comments will urge Parks to keep natural areas in parks for passive recreation, wildlife habitat and scenic beauty. These special places should be protected from developed or built uses or other encroachments.  Learn more about this proposal

To comment on the Parks & Open Space Plan:

The public comment period runs from May 18, 2017 – June 15, 2017. Public comments can be submitted by email or U.S. mail, or shared at a public hearing. All comments are weighted equally.

For Comments and Questions, please e-mail: 2017OpenSpace@seattle.gov

For U.S. mail, please use:
Seattle Parks and Recreation
Attention: 2017 Parks and Open Space Plan
800 Maynard Ave South, 3rd fl.
Seattle WA 98134


Tree Policy
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…

Sign the Petitions
Protect Seattle Trees NOW!
Change Seattle law: stop people clear cutting greenbelts and risking landslides
Save UW Campus Trees


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.

Protect Volunteer Park group appeals Seattle Asian Art Museum decision (Capitol Hill blog)

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

People, Dogs & Parks Strategic Plan
To Do: Write a Letter

The much anticipated People, Dogs & Parks Strategic Plan  (draft ) is now available for public review and comment. The Seattle Nature Alliance supports the draft plan, and encourages people to  send a letter to the Board of Park Commissioners in support and encourage them to find alternative space outside the natural Parklands (where it is currently legal to have dogs on leash).  With the exception of one member, the entire board is new and it will be important to voice your opinion as you can be sure COLA and their members of off leash supporters will be voicing theirs.

Public Comment – Off Leash Parks on the Agenda – Parks Board Meeting

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.

Send letters:
Rachel Acosta
Phone: 206-684-5066
Email: rachel.acosta@seattle.gov
Board of Park Commissioners
100 Dexter Ave. N.
Seattle, Washington 98109

The Parks Board recommendation is scheduled to be released in early November and finalized by December 2016.

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.

Learn more:
2017 Development Plan, Gap Analysis and Long-term Acquisition Strategies for 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).

Background Info
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.