Seattle Parks District Funding￼
In 2014, Seattle voters formed the Seattle Parks District, which supplements the Seattle Parks & Recreation’s (SPR) budget by over $50 Million per year. This money is allocated on a six-year cycle. In the first cycle (2015-2020), only about $100,000 of the $50 million per year in Parks District money went towards the dog parks. In 2020, planning for the second cycle was delayed by a year due to the pandemic, then delayed again in 2021. Now, in 2022, it’s time to make your voice heard in the budget planning process! This is an important process because it determines how this money will be used for the next six years.
Seattle Parks and Recreation engages in many surveys, which provide valuable information for planning. The latest survey shows that off-leash areas are used by 35% of Seattle residents, and that off-leash space is one the most requested facilities that residents would like to see more of. Given the dearth of dog parks in Seattle and their relatively low cost of development, this is by far the easiest way for the city to make major progress towards facilities that residents are asking for. Unfortunately, the Parks Department has missed this opportunity so far.
Public comment is open until Thursday, May 12th to the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners (BPRC). Seattle City Council will ultimately vote on the budget, but the BPRC’s recommendation is a crucial milestone. The BRPC surveys only addresses broad, high-level concepts that don’t capture how Seattle residents use city parks (including dog parks), so the best way to voice support for dog parks is to click here to write an email to the BPRC and City Council. All it takes is a sentence or two in your own words. You could tell them how they could benefit from better surfacing due to overcrowding, or how poor the accessibility is, or how small and inconvenient they are, or simply that off-leash areas need real funding in a city that ranks top-five in per-capita parks spending.
Public comment is only open one more week, so share this with your dog-friendly neighbors.
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