Seattle Parks Foundation Programs
We select, implement, and steward green space projects in neighborhoods throughout Seattle, and we provide fundraising support, technical assistance, and fiscal sponsorship to community groups implementing projects in their neighborhoods. We also manage the official Bench, Tree, and Yellow Swing donation programs for Seattle parks.
We connect Seattle's open space network with improved trails, boulevards, and linear parks, all guided by our Bands of Green report. Projects currently in progress include the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop, a safe and signed route around Lake Union, and the Lake to Bay Loop, a pedestrian and bicycle route linking Lake Union, Seattle Center, Myrtle Edwards Park, the Olympic Sculpture Park and Elliott Bay. And we are committed to helping create Neighborhood Greenways
We promote parks and green space throughout Seattle, including working with experts and colleague organizations to implement sustainable funding for Seattle's parks and recreation system. We also have representation on the Central Waterfront Partnerships Committee and supported the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Since 2001, Seattle Parks Foundation has been involved in more than 40 park projects in roles ranging from fundraising and advocacy to technical assistance and project management. We have raised more than $40 million for projects such as the Melrose Promenade, which is turning a bleak concrete streetscape on Capitol Hill into a green pedestrian- and bike-friendly corridor, and the Lake to Bay Loop, a walking and cycling route linking Lake Union to Elliott Bay.
In 2012, our efforts were instrumental in securing a $2.3 million commitment from the city to restore the Volunteer Park Conservatory, a beloved Seattle landmark. Our success in making the project a priority for the parks department hinged on our commitment to raise $750,000 toward the effort; in just a few months, we raised that amount and an additional $100,000 to establish a long-term fund for maintaining the century-old Victorian greenhouse.
This year, we are launching a capital campaign for a completely different kind of garden facility—Rainier Beach Urban Farm, a partnership with Seattle Tilth that is transforming a decommissioned city nursery site in South Seattle into a multi-faceted urban agriculture education center. Located in the city’s most ethnically diverse and economically challenged neighborhood, the project will connect two lakefront parks to create a single 10-acre gathering place and will produce fresh, organic food for thousands of people while providing nutrition programs and green jobs training.