Planning and Policy Document Library

Here are some of our most requested policies and planning documents. Contact us if you have questions or need specific documents.

City of Seattle Legislative Department SPR Recreation Division Evaluation

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) provides recreation opportunities that help Seattle residents of allages and backgrounds, and with all manner of interests, relax, stay healthy, and learn new skills. This study is intended to describe how SPR's Recreation Division operates, evaluate SPR's performance, andrecommend opportunities for improvement. This evaluation is in support of providing enhancedaccountability for voters following the creation of the Seattle Park District in 2014. The evaluation was conducted through a financial and document review, staff and stakeholder engagement, and acomparison of SPR to peer recreation service providers. Read the full study here. For a summary of recommendations, please see this document.

Survey of Seattle Residents

How are we doing? That simple question was the impetus behind a survey Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) conducted late last year and it is one important way that we measure and evaluate our performance as a department. SPR hired EMC Research to conduct the statistically valid online survey of randomly selected Seattle residents to gather baseline data on park visitor attitudes, usage and priorities for SPR.

Complete summary of survey results2019 survey final report update

The Parks Code is Chapter 18.12 of the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC). It includes, in a single chapter, all City ordinances pertaining specifically to parks and park property. You can find the Parks Code on the City Clerk's web site. It is updated quarterly. Also visit our Rules and Regulations page for clarification on common questions. 

Recreation Demand Study

In 2015-2016 a consultant hired by Seattle Parks and Recreation conducted a demand study focused on 7 areas of recreation: community centers, athletic fields, senior programs, programs for people with disabilities, environmental learning, teen programs and off-leash areas. The study combined data from diary studies, surveys and an assessment of level of service standards. Current demand was assessed and projections were made based on estimated future growth in Seattle. Download the Recreation Demand Study

Bicycle Use Policy and Multi-Use Trail Policy

Seattle's multi-use trails are paved shared-use paths that allow for multiple users including bicycles, pedestrians, and others. The new Multi-Use Trail Policy, and updated Bicycle Use Policy, create regulatory consistency with other trail owners such as Seattle Department of Transportation and the University of Washington, following the passage of a new Washington State law in 2018. The new policies allow for the use of electric-assist personal mobility devices - such as e-bikes, e-scooters, e-skateboard, and electric unicycles - that fit the definition of Class 1 and Class 2 e-assist bicycles. Such devices must have electric motors no more powerful than 750 watts, and have e-assist limitations up to 20 mph. In addition, a new 15 miles per hour speed limit is in effect for all users on Multi-Use Trails managed by Seattle Parks and Recreation. 

Living Landscapes Project

Download the Living Landscapes report

The 2016 PDD summer intern research project "Living Landscapes'" mission is to "propel Seattle and the Seattle Parks and Recreation's organization into the forefront of environmental stewardship and valuable place-making for our current generation and future generations to come." This research project looks at the quality and beauty of our parks with the focus on vegetation and the value it holds to make spaces unique, beautiful, and ecological to achieve Seattle Parks and Recreation's mission to create "Healthy People, Healthy Environment, and Strong Communities."The "think tank" includes Philip VanDevanter (WSU Junior), Margot Chalmers (UW Master's Student), Arthur Ung (UW Recent Graduate) and Jaen Gomez (UW Recent Graduate). Together they spent many hours this summer doing case study work, creating and implementing surveys of Seattle Parks and Recreation departments staff, community members, and design consultants. The summer's work culminated into their final research document which takes the research and provides recommendations on how we can work holistically as a department to achieve this goal.

Park Naming Policy

Criteria the Parks Naming Committee considers in naming parks include: geographical location, historical or cultural significance, and natural or geological features. A park may be named for a person no longer living (deceased a minimum of three years) who made a significant contribution to parks and/or recreation. The Park Naming Committee, created by Ordinance 99911, consists of the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, the Chair of the Board of Park Commissioners, and the Chair of the city Council committee that considers parks and recreation issues, or their designated representatives. Download the full policy

Citywide Skatepark Plan

The Citywide Skatepark Plan identifies a network of safe, legal places throughout Seattle for people of all ages, races and sexes to enjoy. It also offers recommendations intended to change the way people think about and experience skateboarding. For history about our skateparks and projects, download our Citywide Skatepark Plan

Vegetation Management Plans

Vegetation Management Plans are written to guide the growth, development, and maintenance of parks and open spaces. Each Vegetation Management Plan is designed to bring together the diverse interests at work (and at play) in a park or open space, and inform and direct the actions of the organizations and individuals that manage it. Contact us with questions or to request specific plans for parks or greenspaces. 

Public Involvement Policy

Public Involvement Policy for Parks Planning Processes and for Proposals to Acquire Property, Initiate Funded Capital Projects, or Make Changes to a Park or Facility

Adopted July 1, 1999
Amended October 1, 2002
Amended August 30, 2006
Amended July 31, 2012

The purpose of this policy is to describe the role of park users and neighbors in park planning processes, and in review processes for funded capital projects and other proposals that have the potential to change the look or use of a park or facility. It describes the planning processes that become the assemblage of needed projects for which Parks applies for funding. It lays out circumstances in which Parks does not seek public input. It calls for a description of what factors have impacts on a given decision, how professional Parks staff incorporate, or do not incorporate, suggestions from the public in their recommendations, and identifies information to be presented to the Board of Park Commissioners. Download the full policy. 

Agreement for the Joint Use of Facilities

Between the Seattle School District No. 1 and Seattle Parks and Recreation

All public facilities and grounds, either owned by the City or District, shall benefit and be used by Seattle children, adults, and families to the maximum extent possible. The District and City have mutual interests in helping young people learn and develop recreation skills and in providing opportunities for people of all ages to participate in recreation activities. It is incumbent upon the District and Parks to develop a unified approach to serving the community's recreation needs and to cooperatively maintain City and District facilities and grounds in order to foster community and neighborhood learning and vitality.

Non-Parks Use of Parks Land Policy

If you need or want to use park property for a non-park use, you must obtain permission from the Department of Parks and Recreation, usually in the form of a Revocable Use Permit. Find out how to get a permit for non-park use of park land

"Permits for Non-Park Use of Park Property" includes any private use of park land or park open space that limits or diminishes the public's ability to use or enjoy park land, even temporarily. This would include activities such as making repairs or changes to your property, installing or replacing utility lines, storing belongings on park property, and adding or removing landscaping. View the Policy for Non-Park Uses of Park Property

Park lands include parks, playgrounds, viewpoints, boulevards, and other land under control of the Department of Parks and Recreation. If you are not sure, please check with the Department before proceeding. Contact the Department's Property Management office at (206) 233-7935. Permits are revocable upon thirty (30) days notice or immediately upon failure of the Permittee to comply with the terms and conditions of the Permit. Unauthorized use of park property, including failure to apply for and obtain a Revocable Use Permit, is unlawful and subject to enforcement actions or other remedies as specified in Seattle Municipal Code 18.30.

Golf Master Plan

Download the full plan

The City of Seattle operates four golf facilities with a total of three 18‐hole courses, three 9‐hole shortcourses, two driving ranges, and one putting course (mini‐golf). Four clubhouses are also operated to provide food and beverage service, merchandise sales, and general support at each of the courses. While the courses continue to be popular with local golfers and economically sustainable for the City, many of the clubhouses, maintenance facilities, restrooms, and other support facilities have reached the end of their useful life and are in need of upgrade or replacement. Missing elements such as driving ranges and banquet facilities also impact the golf experience at some locations and prevent the golf program from reaching its full revenue generating potential.

City Park Marine Reserves Rule

Download the full rule

The "City Park Marine Reserve" protection builds upon years of work done by the Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project, King County Water and Land Resources, the Seattle Aquarium and Seattle Parks and recreation. Work to explore opportunities for further protecting marine habitat began in 1990 to address overharvesting of marine resources in our City parks. In addition to these efforts, the Washington Department of Natural Resources - Aquatics Land Division worked with the City of Seattle to extend our Marine Reserve areas into subtidal areas. We are now able to provide further protection for park sites along Puget Sound.

City Park Marine Reserves are located in the marine and intertidal areas within certain portions of Golden Gardens Park, Carkeek Park, Charles Richey, Sr. Viewpoint, Lincoln Park, Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook and Discovery Park. Although many of the activities prohibited in a Marine Reserve are already unlawful in a City park, this rule specifically designates City of Seattle park sites along Puget Sound as Marine Reserves and in so doing prohibits taking of shellfish, capturing of any wildlife species and otherwise damaging or destroying submerged or intertidal lands within our parks. This rule gives us an opportunity to highlight the importance of our critical marine habitat and further educate people about activities that are prohibited in these designated areas.

If there is a legitimate public purpose for any of these activities, the Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation may grant permission, provided that it does not violate other applicable federal, state or local law. Marine Reserves are open to the public, but the Superintendent has the authority to close all or part of a City Park Marine Reserve for a specific period of time.

If an individual witnesses a violation of the City Park Marine Reserve Rule, please call the police at (206) 625-5011 or Seattle Animal Shelter at (206) 386-7387, extension 7, to report the violation. 

Pickleball Pilot Study Report

The sport of pickleball has made strides in popularity since its conception in 1965. To accommodate this growth, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) hosts approximately 5,000 hours of indoor pickleball play each year in its community center gyms. In 2017, SPR expanded opportunity for pickleball play outdoors through a pilot program that added pickleball lines to existing tennis courts for a total of 26 new courts and expanded free access to nets, paddles, and balls. The overwhelming response to this pilot program was positive and many of the new courts are well-used. The report linked-to below summarizes the findings of the pilot program and includes recommendations to maintain the existing dual-striped courts and to expand the number of dual-striped and possible dedicated courts in the future at specific locations. It also includes recommendations to support sustained indoor programming of pickleball at SPR community centers. 

Download the full pilot study report here. Please direct any comments on the draft report to: pickleball@seattle.gov.

Boundaries and Encroachments

Are you a neighbor of City park land? City park lands include developed parks, playgrounds and trails, undeveloped greenspaces, and streets that have been designated as park boulevards. These park lands are Seattle's natural treasures and home to many native species of plants, birds and animals. To help preserve and protect these valuable areas, the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation wants to work with neighbors and others who enjoy our parks to clarify boundaries and promote the proper use of park lands.

Where are the boundaries?
Boundaries along park lands, especially undeveloped areas and boulevards, are often difficult to locate exactly. Many park areas have not been surveyed or are not clearly marked on the ground. Existing fences or landmarks may not be reliable. Lines determined from plat maps, utility lines, roadways, or various commercially produced maps may not be accurate. Don't just "eyeball" it.

What is an encroachment?
Encroachment is the unlawful, unauthorized, or unpermitted use of the property of another. An encroachment is often thought of as a structure, such as a fence or part of a building, but an unauthorized use, such as parking, a storage area or garden, may also be considered an encroachment.Encroachments on public land often include:

  • buildings or structures, such as garages, sheds, fences, playhouses or tree houses, swing sets or other play equipment;
  • private-use areas, such as parking spaces, patios, gardens, play or sport areas;
  • storage areas for belongings, such as boats, RV's, firewood, gardening equipment;
  • "stuff you usually keep out of sight", such as trash cans, compost bins, yard waste piles, junk cars, dumping of other debris or litter;
  • privately installed landscaping, such as hedges or borders that "claim" public property or limit the public's use or enjoyment of it.

There is no adverse possession of public property, which means private owners cannot establish rights to City land by using it for a number of years. The Department may issue permits which allow very limited, temporary non-park use of park lands. To obtain an application form, please contact us at (206) 233-7935 or email parkproperty@seattle.gov.

What about driveway access along park boulevards?
Property owners living adjacent to park boulevards often have rights of access, even if not explicitly defined in land ownership documents. Contact us with questions about individual access.

What's wrong with dumping yard waste?
Lawn clippings and yard waste may seem harmless, but piles of this kind of waste can kill everything they cover including tree roots. They may also present a fire hazard, attract rodents, or contribute to the instability of slopes. Yard waste can be composted, used as mulch, or disposed of through the City's "clean green" yard waste collection program or at City transfer sites. For information, please call Seattle Solid Waste Utility at 684-3000.

Are there restrictions on tree cutting or pruning?
Cutting, pruning or trimming of trees or plants on park property is not allowed. Trees are an invaluable asset to the beauty and health of our park system. Untrained "topping" or "chopping" to improve a view, or for any other reason, can permanently damage or kill a tree. In areas where trees are mature and reaching the end of their lifespan, the Department works with community groups to develop and implement reforestation projects. For more information please call the department's Green Seattle Program at (206) 615-1046. If you have questions about tree safety, please call the Department's Arborist at (206) 386-1688.

Is it OK to clear out low vegetation from park lands?
Generally, NO. Trees, shrubs, and plant life in our park system not only contribute to a neighborhood's beauty and character, but they also provide unseen benefits such as runoff buffering, slope stabilization and habitat for wildlife. "Cleaning up" the undergrowth disturbs the protective ground layer which is essential to a healthy forest and may destroy shelter and food sources for native birds and small animals. The natural habitat can be enhanced by planting desired native trees and shrubs and managing the existing vegetation. The Department works with volunteers through the Adopt-A-Park program to eliminate noxious weeds, such as non-native blackberry and ivy, and re-establish native plants on park lands. To help in this effort, call 684-4075 for information on Adopt-A-Park.You can contact the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at (360) 902-2515 for more information on landscaping for wildlife habitat.

What can you do to be a good neighbor?
Maintaining and enhancing the natural beauty of our park lands is a BIG JOB. If you would like to volunteer your time and talent to help, please call 684-4075 for information about the Adopt-A-Park program.

Questions? Contact:

Property and Acquisition Services
(206) 233-7935
parkproperty@seattle.gov

Irrigation and Water Usage

We're always working to conserve our natural resources and preserve our watershed. Please report any leaks or other water issues you see in Seattle parks to the Parks Jobline at (206) 684-7250 or e-mail PKS_Work_Order_Desk@seattle.gov.

Here's what we're doing at Parks:

  • Inspecting and repairing our irrigation systems.
  • Implementing parts of our water shortage plan, which enables us to use much less water while protecting our valuable landscape assets.
  • Suspend new landscape installations until the shortage is lifted or rain is enough for new plants.
  • Discontinue washing City vehicles.
  • Giving careful consideration to, and preparing to make changes in, how we use water for our wading pool program, our irrigation systems, and cleaning hard surfaces, should the shortage get worse.
  • Following these tips from Seattle Public Utilities on how to use water wisely; we hope you'll follow them at home too.
    • Put shutoff valves on outdoor hoses, and use them!
    • Don't leave water running in sinks when you don't need it.
    • Use water diffusers on sink faucets.
    • Wash only full loads of clothes.
    • Fix leaking toilets and faucets.

Water Shortage Contingency Plan

This plan provides guidelines for a systematic response, should the need arise, to reduce demand in the event of a water supply disruption or weather related water shortage.

Seattle Public Utilities Water Shortage Contingency Plan:

Seattle Parks and Recreation Department's Tree Maintenance Program maintains the health and safety of trees through out the City's park system. Along with the Urban Forest Restoration Program the Department has devoted resources to help maintain our urban forest canopy. Tree Crews maintain trees inside the City's parks and boulevards, the respond to citizen inquires regarding trees along the boundary of Parks, conduct hazard tree reviews from staff and citizens, and answer a significant number of tree health and care questions from the general public. For more information about our policies around plants, trees, gardens, and park lands, visit our Horticulture Program page.

Tree Management, Maintenance, Pruning, and/or Removal
The purpose of the tree management policy is to maintain, preserve and enhance the urban forest within parks. To increase the overall tree canopy, tree health and tree longevity within parks and to ensure that parks trees are managed in a manner that is consistent with other departmental and municipal policies. Tree Work Permits applications are not being considered by Seattle Parks and Recreation at this time.

Download our Policy 

Horticulture

The Horticulture Program has a long history in Seattle Parks and Recreation. Its heritage goes back to the beginning of 20th century when the Park Commission invited the Olmsted Brothers to plan and design the framework for the park system for the City of Seattle.

Washington Park Arboretum

At present, within the 2,300 acres of developed landscapes in Seattle Parks, there are more than 280 acres of Specialty Gardens, 240 acres of plant beds and more than 1,800 acres of turf area. There is a wide variety of horticulture programs and magnificent floral displays within developed parks, and in the Japanese GardenKubota GardenWashington Park ArboretumVolunteer Park Conservatory, and Woodland Park Rose Garden.The Department has its own greenhouse and nursery facilities where more than 180,000 annuals and perennials, woody ornamentals and native plants grown each year. The Department has also undertaken a number of horticultural and landscape renovation projects, trail improvement and maintenance projects, and urban reforestation program (GSP) that have successfully restored natural ecosystems.From the very cultural to the very natural, we have horticultural programs to meet everyone's taste.

Gardens

Japanese Garden

Seattle Parks and Recreation's Specialty Gardens are some of Seattle's most beautiful and inspiring places. In addition to beauty and comfort, these gardens also provide education and conservation opportunities. They are the sparkling jewels within the Seattle Parks system.

Seattle Parks also have unique, historical designed landscapes and small gardens that are popular with the community. They offer respite from the city's noise, quiet places to sit and reflect, and a riot of color and fragrance in the spring.

The gardens and horticultural parks display diverse and unique collections of plants, landscape features, and culture heritages. They reflect the human effort to create a harmonious blend of nature and art.

Landscape Restoration Program

Landscape crew planting trees

Landscape plantings have a life span, and because our park system is over 125 years old, the Department has an ongoing program for landscape renovation and or restoration. The goal of this program is building an ongoing landscape system with sustainability and functionality in mind. The quality, safety and beauty of park landscape assets are restored so that these will be used by the current generation and be carried and maintained healthy and ecologically for next generation. This program also allows the Department to reevaluate landscape areas to determine if redesign is needed in addition to restoration. It's also an opportunity to upgrade infrastructure such as irrigation and drainage systems.The Landscape Restoration program focuses on removal, improvement, and renovation of developed landscapes in parks, at community centers, pools, and other park facilities.  Specific Areas of Landscape Improvement:

  • Invasive removal
  • Structural pruning of ornamental specimen trees and large shrubs
  • Tree and shrub suitability assessment and replacement
  • Low maintenance and/or water wise plant selection and landscape installation
  • Design native or ornamental planting
  • Control common weeds and invasive plants
  • Site grading and drainage solutions
  • Irrigation upgrade and adjustment
  • Erosion control
  • Path construction
  • Stairway and wall construction
  • Trail renovation and restoration
  • Shoreline (lake, pond, & waterfront) embankment restoration and erosion control
  • Urban wildlife and pollinator habitat restoration

Propagation and Production Program

Plant Propegation

Seattle Parks and Recreation has a propagation facility at Jefferson Greenhouse, to produce plants that are utilized in Parks and other city landscapes. Jefferson Greenhouse gardeners grow 100,000 to 120,000 annuals and perennials, plus an additional 75,000 woody natives and ornamentals every year. We provide these plants for the Department's Park resources and natural areas through Green Seattle Partnership and citywide Landscape renovation programs and trail program.

Integrated Pest Management

Current Actions 

In August 2019, Mayor Jenny Durkan signed an executive order placing the pesticide glyphosate in the most restricted category under the City's IPM program, following increasing evidence that it is a probable carcinogen. In addition, she directed all land management departments to participate in an IPM interdepartmental team, which would update the City's IPM plan by the end of 2019, including the list of approved pesticides. Learn more about the City's IPM program and the executive order 

While most plants and wildlife co-exist peacefully within Seattle's parks and open spaces, these urban habitats also include non-native pest species which negatively impact native species. Pests can be insects, plant diseases, invasive weeds, animals or birds. They disrupt the natural ecology of a habitat and landscape, creating an unhealthy environment for plants and sometimes for humans and pets.  Since the late 1970s Seattle Parks and Recreation has used a process called Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to maintain healthy landscapes. IPM is a comprehensive strategy which prioritizes preventative non-chemical methods to reduce pests such as thoughtful plant selection, using mulch to reduce weeds and build soil health, and hand weeding and other non-chemical techniques. In IPM, pesticides are used sparingly as a last resort in targeted applications by trained professionals.  

History of IPM

In 1999, the City of Seattle implemented a Pesticide Reduction Strategy to eliminate the use of the most potentially hazardous herbicides and insecticides, and to achieve a 30 percent reduction in overall pesticide use. Starting in 2001, Seattle Parks and Recreation began maintaining 22 pesticide-free parks (~50 acres), and currently maintains over 250 areas - including playgrounds, picnic shelters, community gardens, and turf fields - without pesticides. In 2015 Seattle became a "Bee City, U.S.A.," institutionalizing the commitment to collaborate with the community on establishing and maintaining healthy pollinator habitats within Seattle.

IPM at Seattle Parks and Recreation

Seattle Parks manages over 6,400 acres of parks and open space, nearly 12% of the city's land. These public spaces provide recreation opportunities for people and habitat for a variety of urban wildlife. 

IPM has been practiced by SPR for over 40 years and is our standard operating procedure in natural areas, neighborhood parks, specialty gardens, golf courses, and greenhouses. An IPM program begins with park design and continued attention to plant care and culture, as healthy plants resist pests. If a pest concern is identified, SPR staff use cultural, mechanical, biological and (if needed) chemical control methods. For example, cultural could mean planting the right plant in the right place, mechanical might mean hand-weeding, biological could be insect predators or bacterial products for mosquito control, and chemical might be a synthetic or naturally derived herbicide.An IPM program considers the anticipation of potential pest problems to be the most important tool in pest management. Staff are trained and knowledgeable landscape maintenance professionals who understand the plants cultural needs and the potential for pest impacts and monitor landscape assets continuously in their daily work. Each park facility is unique, and staff evaluate their IPM strategies the over time and make adjustments as needed for long-term successful pest management.

Horticultural and grounds maintenance staff share responsibility for managing pest problems. Staff who apply pesticides are required to have a Washington State Public Pesticide Operator's license and attend continuing education classes in IPM on an annual basis to update their skills and knowledge in pest management.

The department also employs an IPM Coordinator who monitors overall programs, and insures that regulatory requirements are met, including tracking pesticide use. This coordinator works with staff to research and develop new pest management strategies, especially regarding alternatives to pesticide use. The Coordinator also sits on the City of Seattle's Interdepartmental IPM committee, which reviews programs annually and makes adjustments to procedures and protocols. 

Pesticide-Free Parks

SPR maintains 22 parks without the use of pesticides:

Sustainable Landscapes Programs

Patricia Bakker
(206) 233-5019
Patricia.Bakker@seattle.gov

ADA: Serving Patrons with Disabilities

In accordance with the requirements of Title II of the American Disabilities Act of 1990 Seattle Parks and Recreation has a policy of non-discrimination against persons with disabilities in its programs, services, and activities. For more information download our forms or contact ADA Coordinator or mail 4554 NE 41st, Seattle, WA 98105 or call (206) 684-7548 for ADA questions.

Pollinator Habitat

Part of Seattle Parks and Recreation's commitment to sustainable land management is to support the many pollinators that live in or near our 6,400-acre system of parks. Many native insects and birds, such as hummingbirds, butterflies and bees, depend upon certain flowers blossoming throughout the year, and also require other habitat elements for survival such as woody debris and water sources. These pollinators need this healthy habitat in connected corridors or expansive ecosystems during critical times of the year.


Seattle is a "Bee City USA," which means that we have made a commitment to support native bees in how we manage our land. SPR's Integrated Pest Management program ensures we do not use pesticides that can harm bees and other native species and also provide the habitat elements needed through the use of wood chip mulch, large woody debris and installation of native plants. Additional support comes in the form of our Native Plant Policy and the various Vegetation Management Plans that guide park care.Pollinators are crucial to the health of our urban ecosystems and to a local food system. Native bees such as mason bees are highly productive, able to pollinate 95% of the flowers they visit compared to 5% for the non-native honeybees. These pollinators are helpful for native plants, as well as the abundant ornamental flowers in parks and yards, and the many vegetables and fruit trees in our orchards.

Meadows in Parks

a hillside of long green grass surrounding a concrete sculpture resembling a staircase, against a blue sky

Seattle Parks and Recreation has designated at least six areas as meadow habitat throughout the city. These open habitats are managed to reduce invasive woody plants and support species that rely on these ecosystems. Wildflowers, grasses, and small shrubs provide the food and shelter that animals such as songbirds, Garter snakes, butterflies, and bees need. Meadows are mowed every one to three years to control invasive plants such as Scotch Broom and Himalayan Blackberry, but otherwise left to grow naturally.  You can find these meadows in Genesee Park, Discovery Park, Bitter Lake Park, Hubbard Homestead Park, Mineral Springs Park, and Lake Washington Boulevard.

Pollinator Gardens

An educational sign on a post next to a garden, with a grassy field and a large building in the background

Many parks in Seattle have designated pollinator gardens to create habitat to support these insects. The gardens make for beautiful landscapes and learning opportunities. By integrating these intentional habitats, SPR is able to create a web of natural areas where pollinators can thrive throughout the city. Look for gardens at locations such as Jimi Hendrix Park and Bradner Gardens. New Pollinator Corridors are also in development, starting with parks along Seattle's rebuilt waterfront and beyond in partnership with the Port of Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, and Expedia Group.

Meadows on the Margins

a grassy field covered with yellow and white flowers. Sculptures of dome-shaped discs are placed throughout the field.

Many areas in parks receive little active use and are mainly enjoyed for their aesthetic aspects. Following a shift in resources away from mowing during the COVID-19 pandemic, SPR realized many of these "passive turf" areas that grew to their natural height were a real boon for wildlife and enjoyed by many residents. In 2021, SPR is allowing some areas that would normally be mowed to grow longer and provide the same benefits of our larger meadows. Longer grass holds on to water longer (good for our summer drought), absorbs more carbon dioxide (helps with our climate goals), saves staff resources (good for the budget). Look for "This is Pollinator Habitat" signs or areas with longer grass to see where we are creating new meadow habitat.