7 West Seattle proposals vying for Parks Levy Opportunity Fund $

For the second time since voters passed the Parks and Green Spaces Levy in 2008, a share of its Opportunity Fund is awaiting allotment to community-proposed projects. This round of the process – with $8 million to be spent – started a year ago (here’s the timeline) with draft criteria, and is now starting the review phase for the 53 formal applications submitted from around the city. We’ve obtained the application-summary list from Pete Spalding, the West Seattleite who chairs the levy’s Oversight Committee; seven of the 53 proposals (full list here) are from West Seattle. From the list, their names, locations, proposed price tags, and summary descriptions, ahead:


By making infrastructure improvements to the grounds and facilities at Camp Long, the park will be able to offer year-round camping and environmental education experiences for the public and schools. This project both reduces cost to schools and funds the Parks department by directing students to Camp Long for environmental education. Previous opportunity funds upgraded the learning environments and food preparation areas in the Camp Long Lodge, and the Large Match Fund added a full Challenge Course on the grounds. This project will be the final step in creating an ideal, full service, year-round environmental learning facility for Seattle’s youth.


With the new spraypark and public art project planned for Highland Park Playground, we will see an increase in an already steady flow of users. Two unresolved gaps remain for Highland Park Playground: access into the park, and new play equipment. Attention to pedestrian flow will tie its new pieces together into a cohesive whole, create a better connection to the neighborhood, make the park more usable and safe for everyone, and is a proactive measure to address increased use. The park also needs some fresh play equipment that adds to the diversity of play experiences in the neighborhood.

48TH SW & SW CHARLESTOWN (map) – estimated $600,000-$800,000

Acquisition of open green space for use by neighbors and community in nearby urban village; for recreation, physical exercise, gardening, orchards, walking, etc.

ERSKINE WAY PARK ACQUISITION (4845 45th SW) – estimated $1,079,000

Acquisition of double lot near West Seattle Junction. Lot has quite the vista of sound and mountains and would make a terrific park connecting the urban village to single-family-home neighborhood.


Further (development) of the recently remodeled Lafayette Playground to incorporate community access to educational gardens. The new gardens will utilize rainwater harvesting, active composting and solar panels for energy offsets. There will be a new outdoor classroom/amphitheater type stair incorporating a new ADA compliant ramp connecting the school and garden area to the playground. The area will be maintained by the student body, teachers and PTA. The recent remodel of the playground (completed Sept. 2011) was supported with a Department of Neighborhoods matching grant.


We propose the construction of a covered stage in Greg Davis Park that will provide a community performance and meeting space venue for our underserved neighborhood. The park, currently underutilized, offers the opportunity to site a performance space that won’t significantly impact neighbors. The space will also be used as an outdoor classroom by organizations such as schools, Camp Long, and numerous non-profits at nearby Youngstown. The project will include solar panels to self-power the facility and a rainwater collection system to protect nearby Longfellow Creek. Eventually, our stage will generate revenue to support its own operation through user fees.

GENESEE HILL PARK – estimated $750,000

Develop a two- to four-acre park adjacent to Genesee Hill School. The park will increase community access, renovate and improve existing open space. The proposed park is common sense use of existing open space, a good investment for the future, and good for kids and all ages residing nearby. Recommendations are:
1) create at least two welcome, attractive entrances.
2) open the site for north and south pedestrian and bicycle access.
3) create, renovate, restore, salvage existing play fields, play structures, play courts, gardens and paths.
4) collaborate with school district via joint use memorandum of agreement/understanding.

Parks staff will make its recommendations next month; project proposers will make their pitches at a hearing before the Oversight Committee early next year – no date announced yet – and then after a variety of other reviews and discussions, a funding recommendation will go to the City Council next spring. Levy money also has funded dozens of projects outright, separate from the Opportunity Fund; they’re shown on this citywide map.

12 Replies to "7 West Seattle proposals vying for Parks Levy Opportunity Fund $"

  • let them swim October 24, 2012 (8:58 am)

    I heard the Parks Dept. is going to spend over one million dollars at the W.S. Golf Course. I do not see it listed above.
    Any info for us on that decision for such a huge amount with no public hearings? Possibly from another fund?

    • WSB October 24, 2012 (9:13 am)

      Not from the Opportunity Fund. There is no Golf Course project on the boards there. A year and a half ago, you might recall, the driving-range proposal was scrapped. There were other things in the Master Plan for its future – like a perimeter trail, and there was much clamor for an improved clubhouse – but I can’t find anything pending, nor is there anything in the budget proposal for the next biennium http://clerk.seattle.gov/~public/budgetdocs/2013/1_DPR_IID_20121024.pdf
      … Let me know (offsite at editor@westseattleblog.com if you don’t want to post here) if you have any more specifics.

  • fauntleroy fairy October 24, 2012 (9:27 am)

    The Erskine Way “park” proposal sounds a little sketchy. They have wanted to sell that bed and breakfast for years with no luck. Now they want to dump it on the public and walk away with over 1 million taxpayer dollars? I don’t think so.

  • Trying! October 24, 2012 (9:58 am)

    The Erskine Way proposal was proposed by a neighborhood group that has nothing to do with the B&B. It is a beautiful location and it is near the Junction where there are few available lots for a park. The Parks system uses many different measures before deciding on a land purchase and they will not buy a property that is out of line with assessed value.

  • wetone October 24, 2012 (10:57 am)

    Come on now ff, the parks department staff need a nice place to have lunch. But seriously I agree with you 100%. I hear there is also going to be a couple new houses going up on 46th that might change the view alittle. It is to bad they can’t use the money to maintain what we have instead of building more parks that will cause a need for increasing our taxes once again to maintain them.

  • Tuesday October 24, 2012 (12:00 pm)

    How about we straighten out the Metro and the schools before we hit people up for more money for parks? When money is tight we have to prioritize for essentials. No one seems to get that.

    • WSB October 24, 2012 (12:06 pm)

      Tuesday – this isn’t hitting people up for more money for parks – this is the Parks and Green Spaces Levy approved by voters four years ago. No new money. The levy approved by voters created a fund for certain specified projects, and then the Opportunity Fund for citizen-proposed projects. This is money the levy is already taking – from your property taxes and mine, but there is no changing that, as voters approved it. This is about who gets that money – how will it be split up; which of the 53 proposed projects citywide will get a share. There will be school levies next February (next story on that is just hours away); transportation, I’m sure something is being drafted as we speak … TR
      P.S. Re: the maintenance issue – that’s been brought up time and again and it would seem it’s really important for people to keep in mind if any new parks levy comes up in the future – to make sure it has maintenance dollars as well as acquisition … The budget woes weren’t really so crystal clear when this was approved (2008, you’ll recall, was boomtimes).

  • Mike October 24, 2012 (12:03 pm)

    We are already strapped for money to maintain the parks we have. We should be very apprehensive about taking on more. I know that every neighborhood feels it needs this kind of space, and many folks say they will help with maintenance, but as a practical matter, maintenance of our parks is not adequate, and volunteer efforts have not been sufficient.

  • Trying! October 24, 2012 (12:14 pm)

    Apparently, for this round, any land that is purchased will be held for future development. They will not be creating new parks until some future date. One of the reasons that community groups have sent in purchase proposals is because of the rapid rate that West Seattle land is being bought up for condos and other large project developments. The next Parks levy isn’t for another four years and even that date may stretch beyond that time schedule.

    • WSB October 24, 2012 (12:25 pm)

      Thanks for the context, Trying! – Even the major proposal approved in the first round (Puget Ridge Edible Park) hasn’t become reality yet. Some levy money did also go to the Highland Park Spraypark conversion – with construction finally scheduled to start in the months ahead so it will be open next summer.

  • sam-c October 24, 2012 (12:49 pm)

    the reason that PREP hasn’t gone any-where is an intersting and frustrating story (made me less of a fan of the Parks Dept.). WSB- you should contact Stu H. to talk about it. for some reason I thought he was going to contact you long ago, but maybe not.

  • Pete October 24, 2012 (4:39 pm)

    The reason that the Puget Ridge Edible Garden has not gone anywhere is because there is such a huge gap between the appraised and assessed value of the land. There has been some movement on the assessed value recently and the discussions between the property owner and Parks are still ongoing. So this project is not dead and could still happen. The oversight committee is still wanting this project to happen and that is the reason that the funding has not been canceled for it.

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