Parks Funding Study

Client: Seattle Parks Foundation

Conducted a study of options to create a dedicated funding source for parks operation and maintenance. In recent years, the Seattle park system has grown as a result of public support for parks levies, but the funding for operation and maintenance has not. Cedar River Group’s tasks included surveying parks systems in cities nationwide to identify funding options, evaluating their strengths and weaknesses, and recommending solutions. (2010 – 2011)

Results: The Foundation conducted extensive public review of the recommended solutions, including dozens of neighborhood meetings and thousands of comments. The Foundation’s Board adopted the recommendation to establish a “Seattle Metropolitan Parks District” to provide a new source of dedicated funding. The Foundation Board proposed the creation of this district to the Seattle City Council, who adopted it unanimously. Seattle voters approved the ballot measure to create the district in August 2014, which will provide permanent and sustainable funding (roughly $50 million/year) for parks and recreation in Seattle.