Get healthy with us

It’s a walk in the park

Starting a new fitness routine can be intimidating, that’s why we’re recommending that you start this one step at a time – literally. The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) recently released a video encouraging people to walk more.

According to the NRPA, one-third of the adults in the United States are overweight, and less than 50 percent of adults get their needed amount of recommended weekly exercise.  Walking just 30 minutes each day has long-term benefits. It can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, depression and some cancers and can lower blood pressure and sugar levels.

So let’s get started. Seattle Parks and Recreation has 120 miles of developed and semi-developed trails scattered through beautiful forests, beaches and meadows. Take a look at the list here and pick a walk for yourself this weekend. If you want something more urban, do some laps at Green Lake Park or Maple Leaf Reservoir Park or walk along the water at Lake Union.

With 400+ parks in our area, there’s no reason not to get moving! Grab your tennis shoes and get healthier.

Put on your party hat, Seattle Parks is throwing a month-long bash

What’s your favorite thing to do in July? Eat popsicles? Take vacation? Stargaze? Celebrate National Park and Recreation Month?! There’s only one correct answer here, folks.

The National Recreation and Park Association has hosted Park and Recreation Month since 1985, and this year, they’re asking people to celebrate it under the theme totally tubular ‘80s. Challenge accepted.

This July we’ll be holding a variety of activities in our parks and community centers, so pick one that sounds rad and we’ll see you there like, fer sure.

Ah, push it!
July 7-28 | Hiawatha Community Center
So you just want to be like ‘80s hip hop super stars Run-DMC? The Beastie Boys? Janet Jackson? Prince? July is your chance. Hiawatha Community Center is teaching Beginning Hip Hop from 5-6 p.m. on Tuesdays, from July 7- 28 for ages 6-12. Students will learn the basics of bop, break dance and funk. For details, go here (page 28).

 

Whatchu talkin’ about, Willis?
July 11 and 25 | Bell Street Park

The ‘80s introduced us to some classic family sitcoms like Diff’rent Strokes, Family Ties, and Who’s the Boss?, but Park and Recreation Month is about making memories with your real-life family and we know the perfect occasions. From 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., on July 11 and 25, we’re hosting Family Fun Days in Bell Street Park. The park will be filled with the Imagination Playground’s big foam shapes and other games, kid-friendly concerts and entertainers and special activities. A similar event, Sunday Fun Days, will be held from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on July 12, 19 and 26 in Westlake Park. For details, go here (page 1).

Hey, you guuuuys…
July 16 | Golden Gardens Bathhouse
Eighties kids were swept away with dreams to find pirates’ treasure after watching the 1985 adventures of Mikey, Brand, Chunk, Mouth, Data, Andy and Stef in The Goonies. Today’s kids aren’t so different. From 5-7 p.m., on Thursday, July 16, we’re inviting explorers ages 3-8 to find buried treasure at Golden Gardens. The event is sponsored by Ballard and Loyal Heights community centers and spaces fill quickly. For details, go here (page 9).

 

Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.
July 17 | Jefferson Park
Park and Recreation Month began in 1985, the same year the hit movie Back to the Future was released. Coincidentally, we happen to be showing that very movie as part of our Outdoor Movie Series in Jefferson Park on Friday, July 17. Movies begin in the park at dusk, so pack a picnic, hop in your flying car and head over. For details, call Jefferson Community Center at 206-684-7481.

Let’s get physical.
July 20 and 27 | Freeway Park

Leg warmers and leotards. The ‘80s are practically synonymous with aerobics. From 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Mondays, July 20 and 27, the Washington Athletic Club is sponsoring modern-day aerobics in Freeway Park, a.k.a, Zumba.  The classes are free, and people of all abilities are welcome. For details, go here (page 2).

To learn more about National Park and Recreation Month, visit NRPA’s website. To find more activities taking place this month visit our Summer Guide and check out our community center and aquatics brochures.

And as always, tell @seattleparks how you’re celebrating this month on Twitter #JulyPRM30.

Rainier Vista Environmental Leadership Institute earns $20K Parks Build Community grant

Project coordinator Justin Hellier with Rainier Vista youth last year.

 

In April, we asked you to vote on which Seattle Parks and Recreation project should receive a $20,000 grant from the National Recreation and Park Association, and the results are in. Seattle voters selected the Rainier Vista Environmental Leadership Institute as their top project.

“Seattle is a community that is committed to the environment, committed to equity and committed to developing young leaders,” project coordinator Justin Hellier said. “The Rainier Vista Youth Environmental Leadership Institute is an opportunity to bring all three of those commitments to life this summer.”

The Rainier Vista Environmental Leadership Institute will connect diverse, low-income youth to nature by engaging them in a six-week summer employment program focused on urban farming, urban forest restoration and community leadership development. The youth will work with a variety of community partners including the Seattle Housing Authority, Solid Ground and Earth Corps. The program will make tangible physical improvements to several local parks and will build the capacity of participating youth to connect to nature and serve as environmental leaders. The program will culminate in a community volunteer event led by the youth.

“Young people in Rainier Vista are the most diverse youth in our city, and in my experience they are creative, passionate, and looking for a chance to make a difference in their community,” Hellier said. “This project will give them an opportunity to spend time in Cheasty Greenspace restoring our urban forest, at the Seattle Community Farm growing food destined for the Rainier Valley Food Bank and developing their skills as community leaders. It doesn’t hurt that they’ll earn a pay check and build their resume, too!”

The grant was awarded through an initiative called Parks Build Community.  During Earth Month, the National Recreation and Park Association and Disney | ABC Television Group and ESPN collaborated to invigorate park and recreation programs and facilities across the U.S.  through Parks Build Community — an initiative that gives back to the places that shape so much of our lives. One of three Seattle Parks projects was eligible to receive a $20,000 grant – and Seattleites got to choose which one.

“We are hopeful that we will be able to continue this program into the future,” Hellier said. “We’ve already written a second grant proposal to support it next year. I have a dream of a generation of Rainier Vista young people, year after year, becoming environmental leaders through hands-on stewardship of their neighborhood forest and farm.”

To see all of the Parks Build Community grant recipients, visit http://www.parksbuildcommunity.org/.

You choose: Which Seattle Parks’ projects should receive a $20,000 grant?

A detailed look at the nominees

Last week we announced that three Seattle Parks and Recreation projects are nominated for a $20,000 grant through an initiative called Parks Build Community, and we’re asking the public to vote for the recipient.

This Earth Month, the National Recreation and Park Association, Disney | ABC Television Group and ESPN are working together to help fund park and recreation programs and facilities across the country through the Parks Build Community grant. Now through April 30, you can vote for which Seattle project you’d like to see made possible through this effort.

Here’s an in-depth look at each of the nominated projects to help you choose:

PROJECT 1: Rainier Vista Environmental Leadership Institute

The Rainier Vista Environmental Leadership Institute will connect diverse, low-income youth to nature by engaging them in a six-week summer employment program focused on urban farming, urban forest restoration and community leadership development. The youth will work with a variety of community partners including the Seattle Housing Authority, Solid Ground and Earth Corps. The program will make tangible physical improvements to several local parks and will build the capacity of participating youth to connect to nature and serve as environmental leaders. The program will culminate in a community volunteer event led by the youth.

The youth will spend:

  • Two weeks improving the Seattle Community Farm’s ability to grow fresh produce for neighbors in need.
  • Two weeks improving Cheasty Greenspace through restoration and trail-building.
  • Two weeks coordinating a major community volunteer event.

At the end of the program, the youth will receive $600 stipends.

The Rainier Vista community is one of Seattle’s most diverse and low-income neighborhoods. Many of the youth come from immigrant and refugee families from all over the world, mostly representing Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Vietnam, Cambodia and China.

PROJECT 2: Central Seattle Good Food Garden Expansion and Beautification

The Central Seattle Good Food Garden Expansion will focus on the Garfield and Homer Harris Park Good Food Gardens. The two gardens are located in Central Seattle. The multi-cultural neighborhood’s demographic is about 30 percent African American, 10 percent Asian and Pacific Islander and 7 percent Latino. About 18 percent of people living in the community have a household income below the poverty level. The two gardens were established to address a critical need for access to public land for food production in low-income communities of color.

This project would upgrade the existing garden beds and plant structures with improved materials to better meet ADA standards and would add new sustainable landscaping features, a covered seating area and on-site tool storage. Staff would install educational/interpretive signage to provide a self-serve educational resource. The signs would allow passersby to access information on their smart phones about the landscape features, plants and nutritional information.

PROJECT 3: Meadowbrook Teen Life Center upgrades

The Meadowbrook Teen Life Center is the smallest of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s three teen life centers. It is visited by about 100 teens daily for activities, sports and social recreation. The facility often reaches capacity at peak hours and often times there is not enough space to offer a variety of sports and activities. Currently, the facility can only utilize its gym and classroom for programming. The large concrete lobby is unsafe for activities.

This project would enhance programming at the center by reconfiguring the lobby into a multi-use space. Funds would be used to:

  • Purchase and install an operable sliding room divider system.
  • Purchase rubberized flooring to create a workout room for martial arts, boxing and gymnastics.
  • Purchase portable wood flooring and create a mirror wall to allow for aerobics, dancing, cheer classes, yoga and bar workouts.
  • Remove the front desk and redesign the office space.
  • Repaint the facility.
  • Repair and replace faulty kitchen equipment.

Decide which project means the most to you and your community and then visit NRPA.org/beinspired to cast your vote!