Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and partners will host a variety of free events and activities at downtown (Center City) parks this summer. Offerings include community yoga classes at Freeway Park, gardening workshops at Cascade Playground, family fun evenings at Donnie Chin International Children’s Park, and a chalk art and music festival at Bell Street Park. Hardly a summer day will pass without art, music, or community activities taking place in several downtown parks at once. Download the 2018 Center City Parks Summer Schedule here, or see the event calendar online at https://www.seattle.gov/parks/find/downtown-parks.
Once seen as bland and not very welcoming, downtown parks are undergoing a renaissance thanks to a collaboration between SPR and downtown community partners whose missions overlap with SPR’s.
“At Seattle Parks and Recreation, we have three big priorities in everything we do: to support healthy people, a healthy environment and strong communities,” said Christopher Williams, Interim Superintendent. “Activating our downtown parks makes an impact in all three of these areas by providing ways for residents to be active outdoors and connect with one another in our parks and open spaces.”
The downtown partnership model began as a one-year trial in 2015, with the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) taking on the programming and activation of Westlake Park. The success of that pilot led to the relationship being extended to include Occidental Square Park and to continue for another 5 years. Additional partnerships were also developed with the Freeway Park Association, InterIm Community Development Association, South Lake Union Community Council, Belltown Community Council, Friends of Waterfront Seattle, and Friends of Denny Park to involve, so far, a total of 12 downtown parks.
Working together, SPR and its “Urban Parks Partners” combine efforts and investment to enliven our downtown parks and provide free and welcoming activities for all.
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