Looking Ahead, Looking Back
In the 1980s and 1990s park functions began to be linked with various county planning and land resource departments. With many individual county parks being turned over to newly-incorporating cities, Park System photographers concentrated on capturing appealing human-interest aspects of activity programs for designated groups (particularly children , youth and senior citizens), or of large, sponsored events such as the Special Olympics, the Heritage Festival at Marymoor Park, or the King County Fair at Enumclaw, where this girl was exhibiting her sheep in 1994.
Two other small collections from this period contain color slides by noted Northwest photographer Johsel Namkung, commissioned for Parks publicity in 1983; and visual and textual documentation of the career of master wood carver and Parks artist-in-residence Dudley Carter.
Supplementing these photographs is a series of oral history interviews conducted in 1988 with individuals prominent in the development of King County parks. The oral histories (tapes and transcripts) are available as Record Group 166.03, Series 50, at the King County Archives. At a time when the Park System is evolving from a traditional county department to a regional land manager of over 200 parks and nearly 22,000 acres of natural resource lands, its oral histories and photographs provide an affectionate glance backwards over its past fifty years.