Proceeds will be used to expand 2 parks
StoryTwo parks will add greenspace thanks to the proceeds from the adopted King County Parks Levy Levy and funds from the Conservation Futures Fund. Morgan Junction Park and Dakota Place Park were recommended to receive funding to acquire nearby property and approved in the budget the King County Council adopted on November 17.
“Both of these parks are small but well used. Expanding them will serve West Seattle well,” said Councilmember Joe McDermott, who represents West Seattle on the County Council.
Morgan Junction Park requested $700,000 to purchase an adjacent quarter-acre property. The community around the park is underserved with open space, and Seattle Parks is looking to expand the small park to increase its utility, rather than find a separate park site.
The property has been the location of a dry cleaning business for many years, and Seattle will need to confirm all necessary cleanup of any remnant hazardous materials from the dry cleaning operation before the property is used for park purposes. The owner is closing the business, and Seattle has reached an agreement to purchase the site, which would otherwise be sold for multiple-unit residential development.
Dakota Place Park will use the $375,000 they received to purchase a small parcel located immediately to the north of the Park, at SW Dakota Street and California Avenue SW. The existing park contains a restored, historic brick Seattle City Light power substation that serves as a popular local community center.
The historic value of the building adds to the enjoyment of the park, but the amount of available outdoor greenspace in Dakota Place Park is limited to a small lawn area. The adjacent properties will double the available green space of the park, which counts among its users many families with young children, and students from nearby schools.
The Conservation Futures Fund is supported by a countywide property tax, which by state law can only be used to purchase open space or resource lands. While county government and incorporated city governments are the primary applicants for these funds, citizen groups and individual citizens have received Conservation Futures Funding through partnerships with local jurisdictions committed to helping acquire the open space. Recommendations on parcels for purchase are made by a Citizen Oversight Committee in a competitive application process.
Renewed by voters in 2013, the King County Parks Levy raises revenue for the maintenance and operations of the County’s regional park system, as well as funding for local city parks and the Woodland Park Zoo.