Park District Board Adopts 2023-2028 Financial Plan

On Tuesday, September 27, the City Council, acting as the Seattle Park District Council, adopted the 2023-2028 Seattle Park District Financial Plan. The financial plan will invest $118M in 2023, $122M in 2024, $127M in 2025, $131M in 2026, $137M in 2027 and $143M in 2028 to keep the parks clean, open and accessible to all . The plan was adopted after months of community and stakeholder engagement and takes important steps to improve safety, fight climate change, support young people and advance equity.

Highlights include:

  • Opening of 12 new park sites totaling over 10 acres.
  • Major renovations to community centers in Queen Anne, Lake City, Green Lake/Evans Pool and Loyal Heights.
  • Make all 129 public toilets available for year-round use by the end of 2028.
  • Re-establish a strong Park Rangers program, adding 26 Park Rangers (for a total of 28) to improve safety and promote voluntary compliance with park rules.
  • Added a new team of 5 employees to quickly respond to graffiti and vandalism.
  • Plant and establish more than 600 additional trees in landscaped parks to increase the urban tree canopy and mitigate heat islands and restore funds to the Green Seattle Partnership.
  • Decarbonize at least 6 additional community centers and other SPR facilities with the goal of having half of our community centers carbon free by 2028 (pending additional funding), contributing to the A Seattle “cluster of resilience” strategy to combat the growing impacts of climate change.
  • Doubling Community Engagement Ambassador engagement hours from 3,000 to 6,000 hours in up to 15 languages.
  • More than double the size of the new Equity Grant Fund to support community-led park improvement projects in inner city neighborhoods.
  • Fund 20,000 hours of youth employment opportunities per year serving 80 young people.
  • Creation of two new off-leash areas (OLAs) and funding to plan a third OLA.

“Seattle’s parks, playgrounds and community centers are an integral part of healthy communities – they are places of growth, learning, play and opportunity for everyone in our city,” said Mayor Harrell. “This level of investment is what is needed to maintain, restore and renovate our world-class parks system, as we also advance efforts to foster equity and build community resilience to climate change. I want to thank Parks Board Chairman and City Council Member Andrew Lewis for his tireless work on this Parks District budget. Working together, this investment delivers on our shared commitment that Seattle’s parks are well-maintained, safe and accessible for all residents to enjoy.

“We are truly grateful to the taxpayers of Seattle for their continued support of our valued parks system and beloved recreation facilities. I would like to thank the community and our partners for their involvement and valuable feedback during the Park District budget planning process. The Park District has enabled us to make maintenance and community access a priority, and I look forward to the next six years as we continue to work to further expand access to communities in need, provide reliable maintenance of parks and facilities and improve the resilience of our buildings and natural spaces,” said Christopher Williams, acting Superintendent of Parks and Recreation Seattle.

About the Seattle Parks District:

Seattle voters approved the creation of the Park District in August 2014. The Seattle Park District is a sustainable source of funding to repair, maintain, and restore basic services at the city’s parks, community centers, and regional attractions. The first six-year funding cycle spanned from 2015 to 2020 and planning for cycle 2 was delayed into 2020 due to the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the city council, acting as the park district council, passed annual budgets in 2021 and 2022. More information here: Seattle Park District | seattle.gov