Executive Constantine’s proposal will expand King County’s 200 parks, 175 miles of regional trails, and 28,000 acres of open space. Photo Courtesy of King County.

Executive Constantine’s proposal will expand King County’s 200 parks, 175 miles of regional trails, and 28,000 acres of open space. Photo Courtesy of King County.

Executive Dow Constantine announces plan to renew King County Parks Levy

The proposal for the August ballot would generate an estimated $738 million over the next six years.

County Executive Dow Constantine announced his plan to renew the King County Parks Levy on Feb. 21.

The current King County Parks Levy — approved by voters in 2013 — is scheduled to expire Dec. 31. Constantine’s proposal for the August primary election ballot would generate an estimated $738 million over the next six years.

The proposed 2020-25 King County Parks Levy would expand King County’s 200 parks, 175 miles of regional trails, and 28,000 acres of open space.

“My plan delivered to the council today, ensures that we manage and maintain our today, 28,0000 acres of parks and trails,” Constantine said at the Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center. “And that we persevere, protect and restore the natural beauty that makes this place so special.”

Constantine added that the proposal is not just about access to parks and recreation — it’s about the generational investment “in our environment.”

His proposed plan includes building and designing regional trails, improving trailheads by adding parking and signage, replacing 11 ball fields, rehabilitating play area equipment in six parks, repairing trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding, and maintaining park infrastructure (pathways, roofs and fencing).

“This parks levy advances my environmental priorities,” Constantine said. “To preserve and protect rivers and forests, and to do our part to tackle climate pollution.”

The renewed levy could cost 16.82 cents per $1,000 of assessed property values. An owner of a home valued at $500,000 would pay about $7, which is about $2 more per month.

$60 million would be allocated to King County cities to support local parks and recreation and $35 million would go to cities to protect and obtain open space. Woodland Park Zoo would receive $36 million for conservation and environmental educational programs for under-served youth. And $8 million would be provided to Seattle Aquarium to construct its new Ocean Pavilion.

The proposed levy would also continue providing funding for the Community Partnerships and Grants Program. And about $1 million per year would go toward equity-focused grants.

Some regional trails investments in the proposed levy include opening about 12 miles of the 16-mile-long Eastside Corridor to the public (making accessible the Wilburton Trestle and connecting the cities of Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond and Woodinville), paving the final part of the East Lake Sammamish Trail to complete the 11-mile long corridor to connect the cities of Redmond, Sammamish, and Issaquah.

“The parks, trails and open spaces we create and care for today are smart and, I believe, essential investments in the future of our communities,” said executive director of Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, Jon Hoekstra. “[The levy] proposal [will be] ensuring that people in all communities have access to green places and wild spaces in King County.“

More in News

Malena Gaces, left, and other members of Washington CAN protest unfair move-out charges and alleged discriminatory behavior outside Kitts Corner Apartments in Federal Way in 2018. Sound Publishing file photo
King County could increase tenant protections

The council is considering ordinances designed to help renters.

124th Avenue Northeast is one of many Bellevue locations affected by construction. Blake Peterson/staff photo
‘It’s really helping us build some firsts in Bellevue’: Checking in on transportation projects in the city

The council received an update on transportation projects at a recent study session.

The 2015 Wolverine Fire in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest near Lake Chelan. Photo courtesy of the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
The smoky summer that wasn’t

While Washington had a mild season, wildfires burned near the Arctic.

Dane Scarimbolo and Dominique Torgerson run Four Horsemen Brewery in Kent. They were almost shut down in late 2017 by King County, which after years of letting them operate a brewery and taproom, decided they were in violation of county code. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Proposed winery ordinance irks King County farmers, neighbors and businesses

Concerns include more traffic, higher land prices, code enforcement and compliance.

Balducci runs against Hirt for District 6 county council seat

The former Bellevue mayor is essentially running unopposed.

Pos. 7 city council candidates discuss Bellevue’s character, housing options

Jennifer Robertson and James Bible responded to questions posed by the Reporter.

Zahn and Yu seeking pos. 5 on the city council

Zahn is the incumbemt; Yu is a principal engineer system architect

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Kim Schrier held a roundtable at the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank on Oct. 3 to talk about the Trump administration’s plan to further change SNAP food benefits rules and reduce the number of people using them. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Murray, Schrier vow to fight White House restrictions on food stamps

Senator and Representative met Oct. 3 at Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank.

Most Read