Seattle's 'Unsustainable' Parks System

As the parks system grows in Seattle, it is becoming more difficult to afford to maintain. One local official calls the system "unsustainable".

The city is trying to figure out what to do to save it.

"Each new gem means a little skimping elsewhere; a bathroom gets cleaned less often, a ballfield goes unlined. "We're giving with the right hand," says interim Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams, "and taking away with the left."

That's why, with the city swimming in a pool of red ink, the Department of Parks and Recreation eliminated 112 jobs representing 11 percent of its staff, cut hours at community centers, increased fees by almost $1 million, deferred repairs on leaky roofs and shut down programs. The department now uses the $750,000 Environmental Learning Center at Carkeek Park, which attained a gold rating for green buildings, only for rentals."

Full Story: Seattle's parks in peril: the choices are to shrink, skimp or pay up

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