Welcome Friends and Supporters of Athletic Fields
Friends of Athletic Fields (FAF) is busy keeping up with the many activities and meetings associated with active recreational facilities around the Puget Sound region and state-wide. Here are some of the issues that have been our recent focus:
Seattle Parks Legacy Plan
Seattle Department of Parks & Recreation (SPR) posted a new draft of the Parks Legacy Plan on their website on April 24th and has requested public comment. There will also be several public meetings in May to solicit public input with one devoted to sports and recreation on May 8th at Green Lake Community Center. The Plan is being developed in three phases and this Phase 2 product presents the state of SPR today with regard to staffing and organizational structure, services and programs offered, and how it is all paid for. Although there is lots of interesting data, there is not a whole lot to comment on yet since the heart of the matter, to figure out the path forward and especially how to pay for it all will not be presented until Phase 3 in June. Feel free to provide email comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned for the Phase 3 draft Plan, that's when we really need to be paying attention.
Seattle Parks Future Funding Options
Things have picked up in 2013 regarding options for future funding of Seattle Parks. In 2011 and 2012, CM Sally Bagshaw and City Council's Parks Committee directed SPR to report on maintenance costs for athletic fields and associated fees and to evaluate future funding options now with eyes towards a 2014 ballot measure that may or may not be devoted to strictly to maintenance needs [SPR does have a $200 M backlog on maintenance projects.] The Parks Legacy Plan plays into this and a Parks Ballot Measure Steering Committee has now been established with efforts to run from June through December 2013. The steering committee is planned to use findings in the Plan to assist with their efforts and to identify a preferred alternative for future Parks funding - and what will be on the 2014 ballot measure. The ballot measure could be a maintenance levy (short-term or long-term) or could set the groundwork for establishing a parks district. The ballot measure would be developed in early 2014 with possible voting to occur with the August primary or November general elections. FAF plans to work informally with the steering committee to promote active recreation interests during this process.
Magnuson Park - Future Fields and "the parking lot"
The Final Magnuson Strategic Development Plan document was posted on the Warren G. Magnuson Park webpage in 2012 (despite what it might say about second draft status). Field users can take comfort that "building more athletic fields" is one of the top priorities for the "Land" category. The next challenge is to get funding for these fields that were approved in the 2004 Magnuson Master Plan. FAF has taken every opportunity to promote the need to build these approved fields with SPR, the Mayor, and City Council. Our focus is to NOT build the parking lot on top of the Sand Point grass fields (as shown on the Master Plan) and to build multi-use fields that can be used by multiple sports throughout the year.
Background: Several sports leagues and FAF attended the kickoff workshop and several public meetings on the SDP in 2012. Field users really stepped up by submitting 70% of the email comments, which showed tremendous public support for building more of the athletic fields. See the Magnuson SDP and other info here: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/Magnuson/.
Field Construction Project Updates:
We are active in many community and municipal organizations including Seattle Parks' Sportsfield Review Committee (SRC), Seattle Sports Advisory Council (SSAC), and the Parks Levy Oversight Committee. We do all this while endeavoring to keep up with our own sports activities both as players and coaches. Please take whatever time you can to join us in helping the active recreation community improve the quality and quantity of the athletic fields available to both youth and adults. Feel free to contact us via email if you have any questions or want to become more involved.
Check out the Current Issues page for the latest news.
(last updated April 28, 2013)