Seattle parks – Seattle WTO http://seattlewto.org/ Fri, 07 Oct 2022 19:52:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://seattlewto.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-3-120x120.png Seattle parks – Seattle WTO http://seattlewto.org/ 32 32 Seattle Parks Tax: City Leaders Out of Touch https://seattlewto.org/seattle-parks-tax-city-leaders-out-of-touch/ Fri, 07 Oct 2022 19:52:42 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/seattle-parks-tax-city-leaders-out-of-touch/ Re: “Seattle doubles park tax to add rangers and services” [Sept. 29, Local News]: Can we please stop the madness? Once again, city leaders show by their vote how out of touch they really are. The plan to use a steep increase in property taxes to pay, in part, for park services and to hire […]]]>

Re: “Seattle doubles park tax to add rangers and services” [Sept. 29, Local News]:

Can we please stop the madness? Once again, city leaders show by their vote how out of touch they really are.

The plan to use a steep increase in property taxes to pay, in part, for park services and to hire “rangers” is seriously flawed. Is it based on a current model elsewhere? Is it based on research?

I am a retired special education teacher from Seattle. My first job out of college was as a homeless case manager at Housing Hope in Snohomish County.

Seattle City Councilman Andrew Lewis promoted this tax with the incredible claim that we can pay to keep parks “clean, safe and open” with this tax increase measure. Such a costly, imperfect and happy hypothesis!

Please, city leaders, stop trying to “work out” your wealthy upper class guilt on the backs of the citizens of Seattle. Instead, you design another tax and another failed program full of false promises. Who do you really serve?

Thousands of people are hanging by a thread and struggling to stay in their homes here in Seattle, in large part because of sky-high property tax increases.

But hey, it’s always easy to spend other people’s money, right?

Laurie EricksonSeattle

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Seattle Parks and Recreation seeks name for new Lake City park https://seattlewto.org/seattle-parks-and-recreation-seeks-name-for-new-lake-city-park/ Wed, 05 Oct 2022 13:00:00 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/seattle-parks-and-recreation-seeks-name-for-new-lake-city-park/ By Seattle Times Staff Reporter A new park opens Saturday in Lake City, and Seattle Parks and Recreation needs help deciding on a name. The park, which measures approximately 10,000 square feet, features a domed structure with a climbing net, half basketball court, benches, picnic tables and a P-Patch garden court. The park also includes […]]]>

A new park opens Saturday in Lake City, and Seattle Parks and Recreation needs help deciding on a name.

The park, which measures approximately 10,000 square feet, features a domed structure with a climbing net, half basketball court, benches, picnic tables and a P-Patch garden court. The park also includes a public sculpture titled “Rock Stack” by artist Elizabeth Gahan.

The Park Service will host a community groundbreaking event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The park is located at 12510 33rd Ave. NOT

According to the ministry, the property was purchased in 2010 with funding from the 2008 Parks and Open Spaces Levy. The parks department and community members came up with the design after the office building was demolished. on the property in 2016.

Planning took place in the fall of 2020 and construction began last year.

Community members can send suggestions for the park’s name to paula.hoff@seattle.gov through the end of October. The Parks Nominations Committee will review all suggestions and then make a recommendation to the Superintendent of the Parks Department, who will make the final decision.

Suggestions should follow the naming criteria and make reference to geographic location, historical or cultural history, distinctive geological features, community or neighborhood, community identity, or a person who died there. at least three years ago and have made a significant contribution to parks or community culture.

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Mayor Harrell appoints AP Diaz as Seattle’s next Superintendent of Parks and Recreation https://seattlewto.org/mayor-harrell-appoints-ap-diaz-as-seattles-next-superintendent-of-parks-and-recreation/ Thu, 29 Sep 2022 19:10:30 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/mayor-harrell-appoints-ap-diaz-as-seattles-next-superintendent-of-parks-and-recreation/ Seattle – Today, Mayor Bruce Harrell announced the appointment of Anthony-Paul (AP) Diaz as acting superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation. Diaz will lead the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation and advance Mayor Harrell’s agenda for clean, safe and accessible parks. Diaz is currently the CEO and Deputy CEO of the Los Angeles Department […]]]>

Seattle – Today, Mayor Bruce Harrell announced the appointment of Anthony-Paul (AP) Diaz as acting superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation. Diaz will lead the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation and advance Mayor Harrell’s agenda for clean, safe and accessible parks. Diaz is currently the CEO and Deputy CEO of the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.

WATCH: Mayor Harrell appoints AP Diaz as Seattle’s new superintendent of parks and recreation

“Seattle’s parks, playgrounds and community centers are essential to building healthy communities – they are places of growth, learning, play and opportunity for everyone in our city,” said Mayor Harrell. “AP understands what our parks system stands for – how parks create opportunity, advance equity, provide safe spaces and support youth through mentorship. With a track record of working collaboratively and innovatively with the community and a commitment to preserving open spaces, I believe AP Diaz will bring the values, leadership and experience needed to ensure our world-class parks system reflects our city. and our vision for A Seattle.”

“I am thrilled to join the Seattle Parks and Recreation team because I share Mayor Harrell’s vision for our parks system – recognizing how essential they are to healthy and thriving communities,” said AP Diaz. “As superintendent, I will treat Seattle’s parks and community centers as critical infrastructure that generates opportunities for recreation, mentorship and education, equity and climate action. I am a data-driven, performance management-driven leader who will drive Seattle Parks and Recreation to be transparent and accountable, while working with Seattle’s diverse communities to never lose sight of our shared priorities that parks make the better life !

Diaz is currently the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) General Manager and Deputy General Manager overseeing all day-to-day operations of the department, including financial services, capital projects, special operations, recreation, l maintenance, human resources and risk reduction, governance and leadership issues while assisting the General Manager in all governance, legal, support and policy matters related to the City Parks Commission, the City Council, City Attorney’s Offices and Mayor’s Offices and the LA Park Foundation.

Prior to serving as general manager and deputy general manager, he served as general counsel for the Park Department of Los Angeles. He has notably worked on the transformation, restoration and management model of the historic Greek theater which opened in 1930 and remains one of the most recognized outdoor entertainment venues in the country.

“AP will help us emphasize safety, equitable access, and climate-conscious facilities across our park system,” said Mayor Harrell. “I want to thank Acting Superintendent Christopher Williams for his many years of leadership in the Park Service – never hesitating to step up and support our parks and our people. I look forward to his continued leadership in managing our parks and ensuring they remain open, clean, safe and accessible to everyone.

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) operates a 6,441-acre park system comprising more than 489 parks and expansive natural areas in Seattle, providing welcoming and safe opportunities to play and learn. SPR offers sports fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, specialty gardens and over 25 miles of boulevards and 120 miles of trails. The system comprises approximately 12% of the city’s area. SPR also manages many facilities, including 25 community centers, eight indoor pools, two outdoor (summer) pools, three environmental education centers, two small craft centers, four golf courses, an outdoor stadium and more. Again.

This week, City Council, acting as the Parks District Council, approved a second round of funding by advancing a budget focused on essential maintenance and restoration, reinstating the Park Ranger program and investing in the equity, climate resilience, youth mentorship, etc.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Andrew Lewis, City Council Member and Chair of the Seattle Park District Board

“With AP, we have a capable leader ready to implement the funded mandate for clean, safe and open parks. I look forward to supporting his nomination throughout the Council process.

Norma Edith Garcia-GonzalezDirector, Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation

“I am delighted to congratulate Mayor Bruce Harrell and the people of Seattle on the appointment of AP Diaz as Superintendent of Parks and Recreation for Seattle. AP is recognized as a leader for equity and access to parks and recreation in the city of Los Angeles and nationally. He has been instrumental in developing the broadest and most accessible investment in youth and adaptive sports in partnership with the LA2028 Olympic Games. AP is a Park Champion and will lead innovative, inclusive and diverse programs, services and partnerships to benefit children and families in Seattle. I applaud Mayor Bruce Harrell’s vision to bring together the best of the best to serve and lead Seattle’s parks.

Tiffany Harris, Co-Founder/CEO of Inclusion Matters by Shane’s Inspiration

“AP Diaz will be an amazing gift to the City of Seattle and its Department of Parks and Recreation. He is both a visionary leader and someone who will step up to the plate to ensure every detail is handled with care. excellence in supporting EVERYTHING to do with parks. AP’s love for parks is infectious and their support for the diverse people who use them is immense. We are thrilled to see their collaborative vision unfold and commend Mayor Harrell for his wise selection of AP Diaz as Superintendent of Parks and Recreation for Seattle.

Kristine Stratton, President and CEO of the National Recreation and Park Association

“On behalf of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), I extend my enthusiastic congratulations to the City of Seattle on the appointment of Anthony-Paul (AP) Diaz as Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent. AP has a long track record of promoting excellence in parks and recreation through his volunteer leadership with the NRPA and his work in the City of Los Angeles.In recent years, this has taken the form of a promoting equity and inclusion in meaningful everyday practices. AP embodies the truth that parks and recreation are essential to the health, well-being and resilience of our communities. Additionally, it promotes this truth every day through his leadership. We are excited to continue to support AP and the entire team at Seattle Park and Recreation and to continue to partner with him and the team to strengthen the field nationally.”

David Michaelson, Chief Assistant District Attorney for the City of Los Angeles

“I’ve worked with AP for nearly 20 years, first as a smart government lawyer solving problems and tackling quality of life issues in our neighborhoods, then as a competent general counsel for Los Rec & Parks, and over the past five years as General Manager of LA Rec & Parks, providing exceptional leadership and visionary direction for a department critical to the well-being and vibrancy of LA.AP is that rare public servant who works collaboratively and effectively with ministry staff, local authorities and community stakeholders, while always seeking to innovate and advance new policies and programs that make a real difference in people’s lives. public service at its core and exemplifies the best of local government. I know that as Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, the City of Seattle will benefit greatly from the intell AP’s strength, experience and commitment to excellence and community service.

AP Diaz (left), Mayor Harrell (center) and Christopher Williams (right) pose for a photo.

ABOUT AP DIAZ

Anthony-Paul (AP) Diaz is the general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) and an assistant general manager overseeing all day-to-day operations of the department, including financial services, capital projects, special operations, recreation, maintenance, HR and risk reduction issues, governance and leadership issues while assisting the General Manager in all governance, legal, support and policy matters related to the Parks Commission of the city, city council, city attorney’s offices and mayor’s offices and the LA Park Foundation.

Prior to assuming his current role, AP served as General Counsel for Recreation and Parks, helping to guide the department through many large and significant projects including transformation, restoration and business model of the historic and iconic Greek theatre.

AP has 24 years of professional experience and service to the City of Los Angeles.

Prior to assuming his role at RAP, he served as a city attorney in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, litigating hundreds of cases in the Criminal Branch and a special purpose attorney in the District Attorney Program of the city working on non-traditional methods to reduce community delinquency. Subsequently, he served in the Municipal Law Division of the Civil Division as Legal Counsel for the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, General Services and as Senior Contract Counsel for the Police Department and Los Angeles Fire Department. He also served as a key city attorney advising and staffing the Los Angeles City Council.

Prior to his municipal service, AP practiced civil law at Knapp, Petersen & Clarke and served as a court clerk for the California Court of Appeals.

AP is an instructor at the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Fire Department Leadership Academies, teaching adult development theory and transformational leadership; is a faculty member of the National Recreation and Parks Directors School (NRPA); Chairman of the Editorial Advisory Board of NRPA’s Parks & Recreation Magazine; board member of World Urban Parks and Pro Tem judge for the Los Angeles Superior Court.

AP is a native of Angeleno, born in Hollywood and graduated from Santa Monica High School. He holds a Bachelor of Science in International Politics from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and a Master’s Certificate from the Spanish language from the Universidad de Sevilla, Spain.

In his spare time, AP enjoys running, swimming, playing tennis, reading historical biographies, travelling, international relations, city planning and urban planning. He lives in Pasadena CA with his wife, Krista, an educator and has two children Megan (16) and Max (11). He has two dogs, Lola and Bella.

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Paid Internship for High School Youth with Seattle Parks And Recreation https://seattlewto.org/paid-internship-for-high-school-youth-with-seattle-parks-and-recreation/ Thu, 29 Sep 2022 12:00:00 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/paid-internship-for-high-school-youth-with-seattle-parks-and-recreation/ Young people looking for an opportunity should look into these internships at Seattle Parks and Recreation. The Career Exploration Program is currently accepting applications. This 11-week, stipend-based internship program is designed for high school students residing in the city of Seattle who want to gain work experience through real work applications. Internships are an essential […]]]>

Young people looking for an opportunity should look into these internships at Seattle Parks and Recreation. The Career Exploration Program is currently accepting applications. This 11-week, stipend-based internship program is designed for high school students residing in the city of Seattle who want to gain work experience through real work applications.

Internships are an essential part of education and income opportunities. The program runs from October 11, 2022 to December 30, 2022. The deadline for fall applications is October 4, 2022. Apply now here. Interns will be paid the equivalent of $17.64/hour based on meeting all requirements.

The Seattle Parks and Recreation Career Exploration Program includes in-person and virtual program assignments. The virtual program will focus on workplace etiquette, time management and career enhancement. The in-person program will focus on creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The parks and recreation manager said the goal of Career Explorations is to give interns the tools and experience to confidently apply skills such as teamwork, communication, organization and attention to detail to their future applications and increase the value of their meals with nutritional alternatives to their favorite foods.

Young people must apply. Good advice is to apply because you never know what can happen. Opportunities lead to more opportunities. Youth should email if they have any questions (Davena.Grayson@seattle.gov)

Terms:

  • Must be vaccinated
  • Must be in high school
  • Must live within Seattle city limits
  • Must pass background check
  • Must have own transportation
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More funds going to Seattle parks, but what defines a “park”? https://seattlewto.org/more-funds-going-to-seattle-parks-but-what-defines-a-park/ Thu, 29 Sep 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/more-funds-going-to-seattle-parks-but-what-defines-a-park/ Seattle residents love their parks: The Seattle City Council on Tuesday approved a huge proposal from the mayor that would double the amount of property tax that funds parks — without organized opposition. Mayor Bruce Harrell – who is also appointing a new superintendent of parks on Thursday – said the funding will help maintain […]]]>

Seattle residents love their parks: The Seattle City Council on Tuesday approved a huge proposal from the mayor that would double the amount of property tax that funds parks — without organized opposition.

Mayor Bruce Harrell – who is also appointing a new superintendent of parks on Thursday – said the funding will help maintain “nearly” 500 parks.

But in mayoral announcements, in legislation, and even on Google, there are different (and sometimes conflicting) numbers of parks in Seattle.

Turns out it depends on how you define a park.

When Acting Superintendent Christopher Williams started Seattle Parks and Recreation 29 years ago, there were 450 parks. But today the number is a bit more vague – he said it was “485 plus”.

That’s because much of the land at Seattle Parks and Recreation isn’t what most people would really consider a park.

“People usually associate parks with green lawns or benches, playgrounds and jogging paths,” Williams said. “And I can name 15 parks that don’t fit any of those criteria.

Some of those places are barely bigger than Williams’ office, like Laurelhurst Triangle. Others are not really accessible to the public. Some places with “park” in the name are like this, like Me-Kwa-Mooks Park in West Seattle, which is mostly dense woods on a steep incline with very narrow paths.

The city categorizes these spaces as undeveloped green belts and natural areas. They make up a huge portion of Seattle’s park land – nearly 40% of the department’s 6,500 acres.

Why is it important to make the distinction? Consider Crescent Place: a place near Green Lake that Google calls a park. This is land owned and maintained by Seattle Parks and Recreation.

But if you could see Crescent Place, you wouldn’t think it was a park. It’s really just a grassy circle in the middle of a roundabout with a few bushes, a mast and an old lamppost with no bulb.

“Because of its size, its small size, and the lack of amenities,” Williams said, “you know, it’s like, well, what would you do there other than walk past it?”

This touches on the central issue of a park: Williams said a park is something the public should be able to use.

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Join the Seattle Parks iNaturalist Project and share your sightings https://seattlewto.org/join-the-seattle-parks-inaturalist-project-and-share-your-sightings/ Tue, 20 Sep 2022 22:15:58 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/join-the-seattle-parks-inaturalist-project-and-share-your-sightings/ September 20, 2022 by administrator by Todd Burley Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) seeks to expand our knowledge of the species that live in our parks, and you can be part of the effort! SPR has set up a “project” in iNaturalist called Seattle Parksand you can join this project to record your observations of […]]]>

by Todd Burley

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) seeks to expand our knowledge of the species that live in our parks, and you can be part of the effort! SPR has set up a “project” in iNaturalist called Seattle Parksand you can join this project to record your observations of the plants, animals, and fungi you find in Seattle’s parks and natural areas.

In the spring, SPR joined with Woodland Park and Point Defiance zoos to raise awareness of the City Nature Challenge, a similar community science effort to understand what species live in our area. Thousands of public sightings have added to our awareness of our city’s biodiversity, which we hope will continue into the future so that we can assess trends over time.

You can join this community science effort any time of the year! Start by creating a iNaturalist account. Then find and join the “Seattle Parksproject. Take your phone to your local park, snap a photo of a plant, animal, or other life, and log your observations via iNaturalist. That’s it!

Volunteer experts can validate your contributions if you don’t know what you saw, or you can identify the species yourself. Through this collaborative effort, we not only collect what many people are able to see, but the observations can be verified by others, adding to their scientific value.

So grab your phone, head to your local park, and take pictures of what you see! Or better yet, organize a BioBlitz with your friends, community group or neighbors for intensive observation for a few days. Whether informal or organized, all sightings add to our knowledge of local biodiversity.

A bunch of purple grape-like berries growing on the stem of a shrub
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Seattle Parks Forgot to Make Bike Weekends Car-Free, So Cyclists Moved the Signs Themselves https://seattlewto.org/seattle-parks-forgot-to-make-bike-weekends-car-free-so-cyclists-moved-the-signs-themselves/ Tue, 06 Sep 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/seattle-parks-forgot-to-make-bike-weekends-car-free-so-cyclists-moved-the-signs-themselves/ Labor Day weekend was supposed to be the second-to-last Lake Washington Boulevard bike weekend of the year, a chance to experience the car-free lakeside street. Bicycle Weekend is an extension of Seattle Parks’ Bicycle Sunday program, which has opened this street to people outside of cars since 1968. But when people arrived they found the […]]]>

Labor Day weekend was supposed to be the second-to-last Lake Washington Boulevard bike weekend of the year, a chance to experience the car-free lakeside street. Bicycle Weekend is an extension of Seattle Parks’ Bicycle Sunday program, which has opened this street to people outside of cars since 1968.

But when people arrived they found the streets still packed with cars as none of the road closure signs were in place.

After realizing that none of the signs were up more than 12 hours after the scheduled Friday night start time, people stopped waiting and moved the signs themselves. After many confused and frustrated posts on social media, SDOT and Seattle Parks finally sent staff on Saturday afternoon to check the signage. Many people assume that SDOT is in charge, but Lake Washington Boulevard is one of the classic Olmsted boulevards in the city. SDOT and Parks usually partner on street-related matters, but the event falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported during the failed carless event. But since this is a kid-friendly event that attracts people of all ages and abilities, including people who don’t feel comfortable riding their bikes in mixed traffic, it was a big mistake. Seattle Parks admitted the mistake on Tuesday.

We are trying to understand why the barriers were lifted late,” the department said. wrote in a reply to Seattle Bike Blog. “We apologize for the inconvenience. We are working to ensure that this does not happen again.

The last bike weekend of 2022 is from September 16 to 19. With a bit of luck.

Showing up to an event without a car to find the streets still filled with cars is a demoralizing experience. It also underlines once again why the city needs to find a permanent solution for the street. People need to be safe when biking on Lake Washington Boulevard every hour of the day, not just on certain days or weekends. It would be less confusing for everyone and it would provide a safe and much needed bike path in southeast Seattle. The city is said to be carrying out a “visioning process” for the future of the street following a public outreach in 2021 that overwhelmingly supported banning cars on the street permanently.

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Seattle Parks and Recreation completes Georgetown Playfield turf replacement project https://seattlewto.org/seattle-parks-and-recreation-completes-georgetown-playfield-turf-replacement-project/ Tue, 30 Aug 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/seattle-parks-and-recreation-completes-georgetown-playfield-turf-replacement-project/ Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is pleased to announce that the Georgetown Playfield is open and the synthetic turf replacement project is complete. The renovated field now has on-field markings for soccer and the ultimate Frisbee game. Additionally, the southeast corner of the field offers markings for kickball, softball, or baseball games. All of them […]]]>

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is pleased to announce that the Georgetown Playfield is open and the synthetic turf replacement project is complete. The renovated field now has on-field markings for soccer and the ultimate Frisbee game. Additionally, the southeast corner of the field offers markings for kickball, softball, or baseball games. All of them can be played without inserting bases.

To allow time for natural grass to establish, orange fencing is in place around hydroseeded areas. The fence allows access to the field, the playground, the tennis court and the basketball half court. Georgetown Playfield is located in southwest Seattle at 750 S Homer St., Seattle, WA 98108.

SPR awarded the construction contract to Coast to Coast Turf, Inc. which mobilized to the playing field in early June 2022 and substantially completed the project in late August 2022. This project replaced the aging synthetic turf on the field of game by advanced equipment. synthetic turf systems that provide a safe, playable and durable pitch. The project included the removal of old ‘worn out’ synthetic turf and structural repairs to curbs, basement and drainage. SPR continues to lead the way in the development and installation of alternative synthetic turf pitch design sections/materials.

SPR conducted condition assessments of all of our synthetic turf pitches in 2018 and the results of these assessments informed both immediate maintenance actions by our parks resources and turf crews as well as the order in which the projects were funded for the replacement.

To keep up to date with the progress of other turf replacement projects, please visit: https://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/projects/athletic-field-projects or for any questions regarding this project, please contact Peggy Tosdal at peggy.tosdal@seattle.gov. For more information on SPR Sports Grounds programming, please visit https://www.seattle.gov/parks/reserve/sports-fields.

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West Seattle Blog… | ‘Increased maintenance,’ comfort station challenges: What Seattle Parks told city council members https://seattlewto.org/west-seattle-blog-increased-maintenance-comfort-station-challenges-what-seattle-parks-told-city-council-members/ Wed, 17 Aug 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/west-seattle-blog-increased-maintenance-comfort-station-challenges-what-seattle-parks-told-city-council-members/ (Photos of Parks Slide Deck, Westcrest Park before/after ‘maintenance surge’) We have already spoken of Seattle Parks‘ recent maintenance issues – including this report from the Alki Community Council‘s June meeting. This afternoon, park managers told city council Public Property and Homelessness Committee that they’ve caught up via what they call a “maintenance push.” This […]]]>

(Photos of Parks Slide Deck, Westcrest Park before/after ‘maintenance surge’)

We have already spoken of Seattle Parks‘ recent maintenance issues – including this report from the Alki Community Council‘s June meeting. This afternoon, park managers told city council Public Property and Homelessness Committee that they’ve caught up via what they call a “maintenance push.” This was Parks’ first of two presentations to the committee, and you can watch the 48-minute video recording of the meeting:

Their priorities so far have been mowing, maintenance of sanitary blocks (stand-alone toilets), graffiti removal and garbage collection. Staff were one of the main reasons they fell behind, parks officials told council members, but other challenges also hampered their work – like 21 rainy days in May and 19 days rain in June. They couldn’t do anything about the weather, but they worked on hiring, starting the year with over 80 jobs in the maintenance division, filling 50 of those positions by July and expecting to fill 10 more this month. In the first month of the “push”, for example, they spent 688 hours removing graffiti, nearly 50% more than the same month last year. During the same month, they collected 330 tonnes of waste from the parks, compared to 270 tonnes a year earlier. As they catch up in these areas, the next level of priorities includes cleaning sports fields. Here’s the slideshow with all the numbers they shared.

After that, the park managers continued with their second presentation, on the 129 “comfort stations” around the system. Unlike the presentation on maintenance, this one had a bottom line – the department is looking for more Parks District financing to expedite replacements and cover repairs required by damage. Currently, toilet blocks are replaced on average every 42 years; if the current annual budget of $1.6 million is increased to $2.8 million, this could fall every 34 years. The additional funding recommendation also includes half a million dollars to cover arson and vandalism. Between that and maintenance/repair needs, they respond to about 1,400 work orders a year, council members were told. The average reconstruction of a toilet block costs $540,000, Parks said. (The one that opened late last year at 57th/Alki cost $638,000 to build.) Asked how many others need to be replaced, the acting superintendent Christopher Williams replied, “Most. A list of “priority” projects presented at the meeting (here is the full slide deck) included two in West SeattleLincoln Park from the paddling pool/north playground and Westcrest Parkon the south side, Parks also says he is working on a system to remotely lock and unlock toilet blocks to improve efficiency.

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Elevate the cricket in the inbound picks from Bellevue, Kirkland and Seattle parks https://seattlewto.org/elevate-the-cricket-in-the-inbound-picks-from-bellevue-kirkland-and-seattle-parks/ Sat, 13 Aug 2022 14:00:00 +0000 https://seattlewto.org/elevate-the-cricket-in-the-inbound-picks-from-bellevue-kirkland-and-seattle-parks/ Elected and professional cricketers at Tollgate Farm Park (Courtesy Claudia Balducci) Pickleball aside, it’s time to give honor to another burgeoning sport in Puget Sound. “Cricket has grown exponentially in our area,” longtime Bellevue resident Yatin Aras said in an interview with The town planner. “The number of cricket teams has grown from six when […]]]>
Elected and professional cricketers at Tollgate Farm Park (Courtesy Claudia Balducci)

Pickleball aside, it’s time to give honor to another burgeoning sport in Puget Sound. “Cricket has grown exponentially in our area,” longtime Bellevue resident Yatin Aras said in an interview with The town planner. “The number of cricket teams has grown from six when I played here in the 90s to over 200 teams today in the amateur, recreational and youth leagues.”

This translates to over 3,100 active and organized players in the region, with many more cricketers playing casually and/or unorganized. The sport’s growth is perhaps most pronounced in the youth circuit. “There were no organized youth teams for my sons in 2010. Now there are four youth academies on the east side with 18 teams,” Aras said.

The expansion of cricket is not just for men and boys, but also for women’s and girls’ teams. There are six women’s teams organized in the recreational leagues with a strong pipeline formed with many girls participating in the youth leagues and academies. Jivana Aras, Yatin’s daughter, excelled in sports, competed on the United States Women’s Under-19 cricket team and currently plays in the National Women Cricket League.

Young cricketers playing a game
A youth cricket match (Courtesy of Vamshidar Rawal)

Despite the regional boom in cricket, Yatin Aras was quick to mention the limited infrastructure to support the cricketing community as resulting from the “growth [being] severely limited by lack of facilities. Cricket is a popular activity in the thriving South Asian/Desi community of Seattle and the Eastside, so in Puget Sound, cricket is an obvious parks and racial equity issue.

This dynamic should be a major consideration as some of the largest cities in King County consider renewing the park levy. Major population centers of the South Asian community like Nice view and Kirkland are currently working on new park fees. A golden goose for park dollars, Seattle plans to double park tax at $108 million. To keep pace with the growing community of cricketers, park fees must keep up and flow.

What is cricket anyway?

Cricket is a bat and ball game. If you are new to the game, you can learn more about its rules from the YouTube video below.

Cricket is usually played on an oval pitch. International Cricket Council standards require pitches with boundaries between 65 and 90 meters from the center of the pitch, so usually over 20,000 square meters in area. The smaller fields, which exist in the region, can vary between 11,000 and 13,000 square meters. For comparison, a football/soccer field is about 12,000 square meters. Depending on the type of cricket, these games last five days, a full day (7 hours) or half a day (3.5 hours). Typically, full day cricket is played.

Puget Sound Cricket Community

The sport is mainly played by Commonwealth countries, mainly Great Britain and the past and present territories. Based on a combination of immigration and other demographic dynamics, Puget Sound’s cricketing community is predominantly Indian/Native American, but other Commonwealth nationalities such as Australians, other South Asians, and West Indians / Caribbean are also represented. These same immigration dynamics are also fueling the growth and importance of youth cricket leagues.

Yatin and the boys playing cricket
Yatin and some local cricketers playing a game. (Courtesy of Yatin Aras)

Because our immigration system favors skilled workers and Puget Sound’s professional population has recently exploded, the population of immigrant children and U.S.-born children of migrants from Commonwealth countries is relatively new and growing. . Building Puget Sound’s cricketing infrastructure is perhaps most critical for this population of young people and their families looking to continue their cultural pastime in their new homes. Failure to provide them with appropriate cricketing facilities would have a particularly strong impact on immigrant children whose social capital and passion are linked to cricket.

In general, the Indian/American Indian population is growing rapidly in the Puget Sound area. Grouped in the 2020 Census with other “Asian” Americans, the Asian American population jumped nearly 50% between 2010 and 2020. That figure was an astonishing 80% for eastern cities, such as Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond and Sammamish. Kent and southern Snohomish County also saw a significant increase.

Now, five-year-old data from the 2017 American Community Survey, which breaks down Asian Americans on a more national level, has revealed major concentrations of Indian/American Indians everywhere. These populations are particularly large in the Eastside, with some census tracts having more than 30% or even close to 50% of the population being “Asian Indians”. Those numbers are likely even higher today with tens of thousands of Desi, or people from the Indian subcontinent counties of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh living in the Puget Sound, at least.

Indian demographic representation in the Puget Sound region
Dark areas indicate a large East Indian population. The black circles show where East Indians make up the highest percentage of Asian Americans. The larger the black circle, the larger the population of East Indians in a census tract. (Courtesy of AAPI DATA)

Local cricketers have organized themselves into four leagues. This includes the Seattle Thunderbolts, our local professional team and a young professional team. One level below is the amateur league with four divisions, 44 teams and over 903 registered players. The recreational league is more than twice the size of the amateur league and then there is the youth league. Further growth is limited by the number of facilities in the region.

Some activity has taken place around the construction of cricket facilities in Puget Sound. At North Bend Toll Farm Park, six recently opened turf fields. In 2020, a state-of-the-art facility opened in Bellevue. Recently, the King County Council passed a motion to support the construction of a Major League cricket ground to replace the Marymoor Park facility. Of course, not all cricket infrastructure news is always current, the cricket ground at North Robinswood Park in Bellevue will be lost due to the construction of the Bellevue Big Picture School. The ground Aras played on in the 90s was also lost. Historically, cricket grounds have been replaced or lost, rarely added. Often our local cricket community has to use temporary solutions with moveable pitches on pitches for other sports. It is time for the cities of Puget Sound to make significant public investments in this community.

Rental of a possible cricket facility
Rendering of a possible cricket facility at Marymoor Park (Courtesy of Major League Cricket)

Let’s fund cricket

As Bellevue, Kirkland and Seattle consider future park levies, supporting cricket should be a pronounced priority. The growing population of cricketers and the communities they come from should make this need for investment necessary and pragmatic. Especially for cities that aren’t Seattle, passage for parks funding isn’t guaranteed at the ballot box. Wise city governments should activate the vote of a growing Indian population and other cricketing communities to help pass their park taxes.

It is also good urban planning to create spaces for all members of your locality. Investing in cricket demonstrates the cultural competence of immigrant communities in Commonwealth countries. Plus, these types of investments are fun and exciting. They can produce professional cricketers like Jivana.

“With the possible introduction of cricket at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, we know that this second most-watched sport in the world will only grow in popularity in the years to come,” said Yatin Aras.

Why not jump on the bandwagon and send some of our own to cricket competitors around the world?

If you want cricket funded and sent to the polls, let your local elected officials and city governments know. Yatin and Jivana Aras both spoke at a Bellevue council meeting. Be like the Aras family if you want to support cricket, email your local council members, take part in town polls, testify at town council meetings and generally just engage with local government.


Portrait of Shaun Kuo

Shaun Kuo is a junior editor at The Urbanist and a recent graduate of The Jackson School at UW. He is originally from Seattle and has lived in Wallingford, Northgate and Lake Forest Park. He likes to explore the city by bus and on foot.

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