King County Parks has evolved from 150 acres in 1938 to more than 26,000 acres today. Our mission is to serve communities and enhance regional quality of life through partnerships, entrepreneurial initiatives, and sound stewardship of parks, trails and public open space. Per our business plan, we also seek to cultivate strong relationships with non-profit, corporate and community partner to enhance park amenities for King County residents while leveraging taxpayers' dollars.
Today, our system consists of more than 200 parks, 175 miles of regional trails, and 180 miles of backcountry trails. From regional treasures such as Marymoor Park and Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park to amenities such as athletic fields, regional trails, and pools, there is something for everyone in King County Parks. Learn more about open space in King County - read the King County Open Space Plan: Parks, Trails, and Natural Areas (2010).
We hope you enjoy your time in King County's award-winning parks!
Awards and Recognition
- 2008, KUDOS Marketing and Communication Award, National Recreation & Parks Association
- 2008, Certificate of Excellence - White Center Heights Ultimate Park Makeover, Public Relations Society of America - Puget Sound Chapter
- 2006, Center for Sustainable Communities Award, National Association of Counties
- 2006, Public-Private Partnership Award, Performance Institute - National Council for Excellence in Government
- 2004, Achievement Award - Parks Business Plan, National Association of Counties
In August 2007, King County voters overwhelmingly approved two modest property tax levies that help secure the future of King County's 26,000 acres of parks. Proposition 1, which passed by more than 63%, is a five-cent, six-year levy to replace the operating and maintenance levy that expired at the end of 2007. This levy will keep parks open, as well as restore maintenance to pre-2002 budget crisis levels.
Proposition 2, which passed by 59%, is a companion five-cent levy that will enable King County Parks to protect and preserve shrinking stretches of unspoiled open space and to acquire and develop regional trails. This levy also includes matching grant money for open space and trails within King County cities and some funding for Woodland Park Zoo to expand environmental education and capital programs across the county and for green space enhancements on zoo grounds.
Download the Parks Future Task Force Report (March 2007) (pdf).