Murray statement on Council approval of parks funding measure

Mayor Murray today issued the following statement on the City Council’s approval of a proposal to fund Seattle’s parks:

“I want to thank my colleagues at the Seattle City Council for their support of the Seattle Park District proposal. The City Council’s 8-0 approval today of a $48 million package shows a robust commitment to the parks system while taking us one step closer to protecting our parks for generations.

The principles of the package I sent to the Seattle City Council remain intact. We will take care of what we have. We will support programs for changing and emerging demographic needs. We will grow and plan for the future.

Currently, our parks system faces a $265 million backlog of desperately needed repairs. The Seattle Park District will put us on track towards resolving the backlog through a dedicated and sustainable funding source. Additionally, the Seattle Park District will restore much needed community center staffing lost during the recession and will help develop new neighborhood parks on land the City of Seattle already owns.

The Seattle Park District is our best opportunity to take the park legacy that has been entrusted to us and pass it onto future generations to enjoy as we do today.”

The Mercer Garage roof becomes an award-winning public garden

The garden on top of a three-story garage near Seattle Center won this year’s top award from the Washington Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. … The 30,000-square-foot garden is on Mercer Garage at 300 Mercer St. City officials say it is the first publicly accessible, large-scale community rooftop garden in the U.S.

City of Seattle releases progress report of key environmental goals

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray today released Moving the Needle, an environmental progress report that pulls together Seattle’s key environmental goals and reports on their progress and achievements.

“Seattle has been an environmental leader for years, with many laudable environmental goals throughout the city’s offices and departments. Until now, these have all been tracked separately,” said Murray. “Moving the Needle presents the key goals and metrics and paints a single picture of how we are doing on the environmental commitments we’ve made over the years.”

Moving the Needle reports on 35 goals across seven areas: buildings and energy; transportation and land use; food; waste; water; trees and green space; and climate change. This report provides a comprehensive look across environmental sectors, and demonstrates how the goals work together to create a bold environmental vision for the Emerald City.

View the report here.

“Informed by Moving the Needle, I look forward to working with the community to identify where we are strong, where we can do better, and where there are real opportunities for innovation,” said Murray. “In the coming months I will convene environmental leaders and community partners to ensure the city’s environmental priorities reflect a strong commitment to equity, race, and social justice and I plan to put forward an environmental action agenda by Earth Day 2015.”

Moving the Needle will be updated biennially to track progress over time. The report was developed by the City’s Office of Sustainability and Environment, which works with City departments, community organizations, nonprofits, residents, and businesses to help Seattle achieve its environmental goals.