Community groups encouraged to partner with Seattle Parks and Recreation on facility expansions and improvements

Application letters due end of March 2016

Seattle Parks and Recreation encourages community groups to apply for funding from the Major Projects Challenge Fund. The Seattle Park District funding initiative will provide up to $1.6 million per year as a match to fund a significant improvement or expansion to an existing Seattle Parks and Recreation facility.  To apply for the funding match any community group can submit a two page proposal letter that outlines their project and funding needs.  The application letters are due on March 31, 2016 and the community is encourage to contact David Graves this week with any questions about this funding source and application letter.

“The Seattle community showed their support of Seattle Parks and Recreation by passing the Seattle Park District,” said Jesús Aguirre, Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent. “This funding initiative provides a great avenue for us to partner with community groups to expand and improve our park and recreation facilities. We want to be responsive to the needs of the community today and build a strong Seattle Parks and Recreation for future generations.”

This initiative supports building a strong and healthy Seattle Parks and Recreation. It allows Seattle Parks and Recreation to be more responsive to community project proposals and to partner with community groups by providing matching funds. Often, the City is asked to provide financial support to major capital development projects that focus on parks and recreation and no funding is available. The Major Project Challenge Fund will provide City funding to leverage funding generated by others for renovation of our facilities.

An application process will prioritize community-initiated projects that have a parks-and-recreation mission, encourage public access, leverage non-City funds, and are on a Seattle Parks and Recreation property and/or a Seattle Parks and Recreation owned facility. Other criteria that the projects must meet are listed below. The 2007 renovation of the Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center in partnership with the Mount Baker Boating Advisory Council is an example of a major project which would have been considered for the Major Projects Challenge Fund.

A portion of funding from the Major Projects Challenge Fund will be allocated to assist diverse communities and organizations that lack resources for a match. Groups that are unable to identify any match should contact David Graves, at david.graves@seattle.gov or 206-684-7048. Mr. Graves will help the group with the funding process and help identify funding source(s) for submitting the application.

Approved by voters in 2014, the Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding for Seattle Parks and Recreation including maintenance of parklands and facilities, operation of community centers and recreation programs, and development of new neighborhood parks on previously acquired sites. 2016 is the first full year of implementation and will include funding to tackle the $267-million major maintenance backlog; and will fund the improvement and rehabilitation of community centers; preservation of the urban forest; major maintenance at the Aquarium and Zoo; day-to-day maintenance of parks and facilities; more recreation opportunities for people from underserved communities, programs for young people, people with disabilities, and older adults; development of new parks; and acquisition of new park land. For more information, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/ParkDistrict/default.htm.

For more information please and funding criteria visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/ParkDistrict/default.htm or contact David Graves, 206-684-7048 or david.graves@seattle.gov