Seattle Park District Major Project Challenge Fund improves Seattle Parks and Recreation facilities

Update on community-initiated projects and studies

The Seattle Park District Major Project Challenge Fund (MPCF) initiative leverages Seattle Park District funding with community-raised matching funds to significantly expand the life and usability of a park facility, providing greater opportunities for people to make use of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s improved community facilities and parks. The first round of the community-initiated projects, announced in December 2016, provided small awards of $30 – $96,000 for feasibility and preliminary design work to help define the scope of potential future projects and awards to two construction projects with a total cost of approximately $2 million each. The MPCF awards were based on screening criteria that included equitable prioritization scoring matrix, and came recommended from the Seattle Park District Oversight Committee and confirmed by Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Superintendent Jesús Aguirre after a screening process of the 19 applications received. The MPCF allowed for projects/studies to be accomplished throughout the city. Recognizing that all communities are not equally able to provide matching funds, the initiative allowed for a portion of funding to be allocated to assist diverse communities and organizations that lack resources for a match.

The six completed studies are:

  • Magnuson Community Center Architectural and Engineering Maintenance Evaluation Study
    • INNOVA Architects completed the study and estimates renovation costs at $1.8 to $2 million.
  • Magnuson Park Playfield Development Study
    • DA Hogan & Associates completed a schematic field design and cost estimate. The preliminary project cost estimate is $4 + million.
  • Daybreak Star Capital Needs Assessment and Facility Improvements Study
    • INNOVA Architects completed the feasibility study and estimated project cost to be $4 million for short and long term needs.
  • Madrona Bathhouse Theater Improvement Study
    • INNOVA Architects completed the feasibility study and estimated project costs at $2.3 million
  • Green Lake Small Craft Center Redevelopment Study
    • Schacht Aslani Architects is completing study on the building and programming, and the study will be completed by the end of 2017.
  • South Park Community Center, Playground and Playfields Renewal
    • Broadview Planning and SPR planning staff conducted public outreach over 2017 with attendance at community events, and the community is encouraged to participate in this survey for South Park Community Center’s Major Challenge Fund Site Study

The two construction projects include:

  • Amy Yee Tennis Center, which is proposing to build an enclosure over the six existing outdoor courts that will be heated, lighted, secure, and programmable for tennis year-round. Currently these outdoor courts are only used during the summer months. The project will expand the capacity of the tennis center and enable it to offer more programs to more people. The tennis center is located at 2000 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. SPR has assigned a project planner; initial planning work has started and community outreach will begin in early 2018.
  • Kubota Garden phased construction project, plus funding for a master plan. The first phase is the completion of the wall to the north of the Entry Gate along with accessibility improvements. The second phase involves an update to the master plan, additional wall work and other potential improvements. Kubota Garden is located at 9817 55th Ave. S.

SPR will be launching the second round of the Major Projects Challenge Fund in January 2018 with proposal letters due in March 2018. Funded projects must renovate, expand or upgrade parks or park facilitates with funding from a combination of City and community -generated funds.

For additional information, please contact David Graves at or 206-684-7048 or visit

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Seattle Parks and Recreation invites the community to Open House for Cal Anderson Park Lighting Study

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) encourages the community to attend the Cal Anderson Park Lighting Study Open House on Thursday, December 14, 2017 form 5 to 8 p.m. at Cal Anderson Shelterhouse. This is an opportunity for the community to learn about and provide feedback on potential changes to lighting at Cal Anderson Park. Cal Anderson Shelterhouse is located in Cal Anderson Park at 1635 11th Ave. on Capitol Hill.

Over the past few months, SPR consultants, the Berger Partnership and Dark Light Design, have evaluated and narrowed down options for improving pathway and entryway lighting within the park. Together with our consultants and representatives of Cal Anderson Park Alliance, Capitol Hill Champion, Seattle Police Department, and Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Park, we have been working on a lighting solution that works for the community. SPR staff and the design team will be presenting top choice(s) at the Open House.

The goals of the study include:

  • Evaluate lighting alternatives to improve park visitors’ experience and retrofit existing light fixtures for greater energy-efficiency.
  • Develop specific projects for SPR’s Asset Management Plan with planning-level cost estimates and detailed cost estimates.
  • Maintain the historic Olmsted character of the landmarked park.

For more information on the play area project, please visit  For questions about the project or if you need an interpreter or accommodations, please contact Oliver Bazinet, Seattle Parks and Recreation, at or 206-386-1959. Thank you to the Capitol Hill Art Walk for their support of this event. For more information on art walk please visit




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Commemorate the re-birth of Seattle’s first commercial district during the Seattle Fire Festival community event

Seattle Parks and Recreation(SPR) and Page Olson, member of The Last Resort Fire Department are hosting the Seattle Fire Festival on Saturday, July 8, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Bell Street Blvd Park between 5th and 3rd on Bell Street.  This annual festival, once known as the Pioneer Square Fire Festival renamed Seattle Fire Festival in 2016, has been an almost annual community celebration since 1971.    The first Fire Festival was held in June of 1890 to celebrate the first anniversary of the fire, the rise from the ashes of the new commercial district, and the resilient spirit of the Seattle residents.

This event offers:

  • family fun for all age
  • a glimpse into Seattle fire department’s past and present with antique and modern fire equipment displayed by the Last Resort Fire Department and the Seattle Fire Department
  • time to visit, have fun with activities that let you get a taste of a firefighters’ job
  • watch Seattle Fire Cadets and other fire explorers put on skill demonstration
  • an open house at Fire Station 2
  • spend time with child author TJ Spencer – a real firefighter – as he shares his Nozzlehead books – awesome kids firefighting adventure books – in interactive readings
  • and information on the Great Seattle Fire and its aftermath.

In addition, we are working on getting Smoky Bear, and Pluggie the talking fire hydrant to attend.  The event will open with a Fire Cadet/Explorer honor guard ceremony at 11:00 a.m. in Bell Street Blvd Park at 4th.

Learn more at For any questions about Seattle Fire Festival or if you are interested in volunteering your time at the festival, please email Page at:

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Celebrate the Seattle Fire Festival on June 4

Join us in celebrating the annual Seattle Fire Festival on Saturday, June 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bell Street Park (located between 4th and 5th on Bell St. in downtown Seattle). This free, annual festival commemorates the re-birth of Seattle’s business district following the Great Seattle Fire of June 6, 1889.

The Seattle Fire Festival includes a display of antique fire items (including fire trucks), as well as live music and family-friendly activities. Come cheer on the area Fire Cadets and Explorers as they compete against each other; you can also pan for gold, check out the City Service Ladder on display, or color a picture while sitting in the back of a 1940s fire engine! Author and firefighter TJ Spencer will read from his Nozzlehead Adventure Series children’s books at 11:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2 p.m.

The Fire Festival gives attendees of all ages a glimpse into Seattle’s past with antique and classic displays by Last Resort Fire Department and Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park-Seattle. Seattle Fire Department will showcase a variety of fire equipment and provide tours of Station 2, and the Seattle Fire Department’s Medic II program will have a display in the Belltown Community Center.

Sponsors and partners of the Festival include Friends of Bell Street Park, Last Resort Fire Department, Seattle Fire Department, and Seattle Parks and Recreation.

For more information, visit the Seattle Fire Festival on Facebook at