The King County Parks Levy needs to be renewed by voters this August. First created in 2003, the parks levy has become an essential funding source to conserve critical natural lands and build and maintain spectacular parks in King County. Over the years it has supported a variety of projects in the Greenway, including the rehabilitation of Tolt MacDonald Park’s playground, the construction of the East Lake Sammamish Trail, and the acquisition and preservation of 226 acres that have been added to the Cougar-Squak Corridor.
The current levy was voted on and approved in 2013 and is set to expire at the end of December. The next six-year levy proposed by King County Executive Dow Constantine would generate around $810 million for the county’s extensive park and trail system in 2020-2025.
“The renewed King County Parks Levy would connect and improve regional trails, increase access to green space, and help keep parks clean, safe and open throughout our rapidly growing region,” stated Constantine. Furthermore, a portion of this funding goes toward the acquisition of more open space lands for recreation as well as habitat connections for fish and wildlife.
Some Greenway projects in the 2020-2025 levy include:
- Design and development of missing trail connections along Eastrail (Eastside Rail Corridor), Lake to Sound Trail, and Green River Trail Extension North
- Trail repair on East Lake Sammamish Trail and Green to Cedar River Trail
- Ballfield turf replacement for Preston Ballfield and Redmond Ridge
- Improvements to the trailhead parking and signage at Rattlesnake Mountain
- Infrastructure maintenance at Marymoor Park and Skyway Park, including improvements to pathways, roofs, fencing, and electrical systems
- Restoration of play area equipment at Marymoor Park, Maplewood Park, and Big Finn Hill Park
- Backcountry trails maintenance at Taylor Mountain Forest, Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, and Tolt MacDonald Park
The King County Parks Levy is supported by numerous outdoor recreation and conservation organizations including the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, Washington Trails Association, Cascade Bicycle Club, Forterra, Wilderness Society, ECOSS, YMCA, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Sports Commission, Maury Island Land Trust, Marymoor Velodrome Association, Serve Our Dog Areas, Seattle Running Club, and MerGeo.
- King County Parks Levy website
- Map of levy investments
- Photo gallery: King County Parks
- Executive’s statement about Council decision to put the levy on the ballot