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King County Council approves $30M in levy grants for park improvements

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(The Center Square) – The King County Council voted 9-0 to approve a $30 million funding package being distributed to 53 park improvement projects.

The various projects will construct and upgrade aquatic facilities, enhance parks and trails, and protect and restore river corridors. Recipients of the funding package include cities, park districts, school districts, tribes and community organizations.

The $30 million comes from the King County Parks, Recreation, Trails and Open Space Levy. The levy is expected to generate an estimated $810 million over six years, costing approximately $7.60 per month for the owner of a home with an assessed property value of $500,000.

“We are investing in community-led projects to grow and enhance King County’s already impressive parks, trails, and pools,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a news release on Tuesday, the day of the county council’s vote. “You will have more options to gather, relax and play throughout King County and its cities thanks to these grants.”

The Highline, Lake Washington and Mercer Island school districts, along with the cities of Enumclaw, Renton and Sammamish are receiving a combined $5.8 million to improve accessibility, public safety and energy efficiency at its aquatic facilities.

Seattle Parks and Recreation is receiving $800,000 for its Garfield Super Block project, which consists of a new multi-use court for tennis and basketball, as well as the city’s first public parkour park. Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said the Garfield Super Block project will help improve the city’s central district and create more recreational spaces.

“We are thrilled that funding from the King County Parks Levy will go toward the Garfield Super Block Renovation project, enhancing this special part of Seattle’s Central District… honoring the rich history and exceptional vibrancy and diversity of this neighborhood,” Harrell said.

South of Seattle, Tukwila is set to receive $280,000 to go toward the design of the Chinook Wind Extension, which will connect new shoreline habitat along the Duwamish River to the upstream Duwamish Gardens park.

Other notable grant recipients include $500,000 for the Si View Metropolitan Park District to construct a playground and soft-surface trails near North Bend, $1 million for Snoqualmie to construct a new pool, and $199,398 for the After-School All-Stars Puget Sound program, which provides free out-of-school and summer programming for middle school students in underserved areas of Kent, Tukwila and Federal Way.

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