Welcome Friends and Supporters of Athletic Fields
Friends of Athletic Fields (FAF) as a non-profit, volunteer organization 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:
Support Seattle Parks for All and Vote YES on Prop 1 in August
The August 5th Primary Ballot will offer Proposition 1 to the public to decide whether to approve a Seattle Park District that will provide a stable, long-term funding source for the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation. Athletic field upgrades and many other projects and programs are included in the ballot measure so this is worth paying attention to and supporting the campaign, Seattle Parks for All, that is promoting establishment of the park district. The planned athletic field projects include:
Go to Current Issues to learn more about what a park district, also called a metropolitan park district (MPD), entails and for more details on the ballot measure.
Mayor Murray's Parks Funding Plan - March 2014
Mayor Murray announced his Parks Funding proposal on March 13th with some adjustments to the Legacy Committee's recommendations. He has recommended a vote on the MPD funding method at a proposed $54M level for the first 6 years. The biggest impact on field users is the neglect of adding any new sportsfields to increase availability and reduce the need to squash many teams on one field for practice time and to reduce driving to far away facilities. In addition, the Mayor eliminated the initiative to provide for more synthetic turf maintenance that included purchase of a 2nd Sport Champ grooming machine. Given that more regular maintenance is reported to extend the life of the synthetic carpets by 2 years, FAF feels that this would still be a worthwhile investment with long-term cost savings and should be included in the measure to get the most out the synthetic surfaces already installed. Let the Mayor and Council know what you think of the latest proposals. <see CURRENT ISSUES for more details on fields initiatives>
All here on the Mayor's blog: http://murray.seattle.gov/parkdistrict/#sthash.yDAuW0e6.dpbs
Seattle Mayor and City Council Electeds November 2013
Congratulations State Senator Ed Murray on being elected our new Seattle Mayor. We look forward to meeting you and working together on DPR and active recreation issues. Thank you Mayor Mike McGinn for paying attention to athletic field issues and helping address our concerns. Congratulations also go out to the elected Seattle councilmembers: Sally Bagshaw (current Parks Committee chair), Mike O'Brien, Nick Licata, and newest member Kshama Sawant. A big thank you goes to outgoing CM Richard Conlin who has helped support Seattle parks and playfields over his many years of service to Seattle citizens; you will be missed.
Seattle Parks & Rec Field (Schedule) Viewer
One item that has been promoted at the Summit and other meetings is the ability of field users to be able to view online what fields are already scheduled and availability. DPR has developed a pilot test version of Field Viewer that provides a beta version for doing just this. You can only see availability in this version and cannot reserve fields (yet) but it shows good promise and progress. Only certain fields (at Riverview, Lower Woodland, Magnuson, Jefferson PF, Bitter Lake, and Magnolia) are currently programmed in with hopes to have the full athletic fields inventory included in the near future. Take a test drive and let Athletic Field Coordinators Raft Hollingsworth (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Joe Green (email@example.com) know what you think. [https://class.seattle.gov/parks/Facilities/FacilitiesSearchWizard.asp]
Mayor's 2013 Athletic Field Users Summit, August 12th at City Hall
The Third Annual Fields Summit was held on August 12th at City Hall with about thirty people in attendance. Mayor McGinn, Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, Superintendent Christopher Williams and associated staff made presentations and engaged in worthwhile conversations about all things to do with sportsfields. The Central Budget Office evaluated options for a potential dedicated fund through rental fees for synthetic turf replacement that included fee increases at varying levels. Youth leagues better review the details. Thanks to Ainsley Close/Mayor's Office for organizing this event once again and helping make sure progress is being made.
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 DPR, 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 June 26, 2014)