The popular vote may not count when we’re selecting the next President, but in three weeks you’ll be able to vote yes/no on $1.5 million dollars for skateparks in the next 6 years.  This is a huge deal.  Tell your friends, browbeat your neighbors, and register your dead relatives.  Without this levy, we’re going to have a hard time raising money for any future skateparks for a long time.

Dear skaters and skatepark supporters,

The Pro-Parks levy, which has provided various park improvements and 150 new parks throughout Seattle, expires in November and finding money in these tough economic times to continue these park improvements will be difficult without an additional levy. Proposition 2, known as the Parks for All levy, can continue this important funding if passed during the November elections.  The levy has earmarked $1,450,000 specifically for skatepark and skatedot development.  There are no other assured funding opportunities for skateparks, especially of this magnitude.  Given the economic downturn, it is going to be very difficult for the SPAC to lobby additional funds for skateparks out of an already dwindling budget.  Prop 2 is the skaters best opportunity for ensuring more skateparks are built in the near future – period.

I am not saying that you should vote yes just for skateparks.  Rather, I urge to do some research and see what other benefits the levy provides.  In short, the levy would provide a total of $145 million over the course of the parks measure’s six-year life.  There is money for P-patches, sports fields, playgrounds and trails. There are forest and stream restorations, park developments on 66 acres of new reservoir lids and money for acquisitions of more land. There is attention to making the waterfront more publicly accessible. Almost $1 million would complete the remaining phases for the Children’s Play Garden at Colman Playground, designed from the start to offer full accessibility for kids with disabilities.

In summary the following potential skatepark projects (all of which were identified in the Citywide Skate Park Master Plan as priority projects for funding) are identified with total funding at $1,4500,000:

  • Jefferson Park District Facility (up to 30,000 sf!)
  • Myrtle Skatedot
  • Judkins Skatespot
  • Roxhill Skatespot

I think it is important to remember that during these tough economic times, the first reaction from city officials is to tighten the purse strings.  However, in this case your dollars will go to additional park space that is one of the only primary FREE recreational, healthy activities to do when you are trying to save money.

Please educate yourself on this important proposition and VOTE YES to provide funding for the broad ranging list of important projects and property acquisitions.

Ryan Barth
Chairperson, Seattle Parks and Recreation Skate Park Advisory Committee

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