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Petitioning Seattle Board of Park Commissioners and 2 others

Preserve Seattle Parks Natural Areas and Greenspaces

Natural areas in parks serve to support a diverse ecosystem and are essential to our health and well-being. These spaces should not be divided up to benefit special user groups, they should be accessible to all. Parks are for everyone.

As advocates for preserving and protecting the natural areas and greenspaces in Seattle parks, we call on the Board of Park Commissioners to reject the Supplemental Use Guidelines proposed by Seattle Parks Staff (June 3, 2015) which if approved would open up our protected natural areas to be developed for unspecified new uses.

The City of Seattle estimates 120,000 more people will be moving here in the next few decades, but that does not mean we need to give up Seattle’s natural areas. Our greenspaces and natural areas must be preserved for the future as they were preserved for us: for wildlife, for passive recreation, and for scenic beauty.

Currently, all citizens enjoy equal access to all of our natural areas, and we should continue to support increasing passive-recreation opportunities in our natural areas. However, this summer the Parks Board will be asked to approve guidelines allowing new uses of natural areas and greenbelts. If passed, this will allow previously protected natural areas to be developed for unspecified new uses including - but not limited to - commercially-run, fee-based zipline parks, mountain bike “skills courses” and more. Access to Seattle’s protected park lands should not be given over to specialized user-groups, to those who can afford expensive recreational equipment, or to those who can afford to pay for the right to use certain parts of our parks. Our protected park land, every square foot of it, belongs to EVERYONE.

Parks’ proposed changes to the existing usage guidelines threaten our natural areas and greenspaces. Seattle must protect those areas from the overwhelming impacts of population growth by using them wisely and carefully. Low-impact use is the only sustainable and equitable way to use these fragile areas. There is precious little Urban Wild remaining in Seattle, and it is in danger of disappearing altogether. Let’s make sure we preserve it for our children and future generations.

For more information:

This petition was delivered to:
  • Seattle Board of Park Commissioners
  • Seattle City Councilmember
    Jean Godden
  • Seattle Parks Superintendent
    Jesús Aguirre

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