Seattle Parks Foundation was originally founded as a nonprofit partner to Seattle Parks and Recreation. Fueled by the energy of civic leaders who wanted the freedom to advocate and fundraise for projects beyond city budgets, Seattle Parks Foundation became an independent nonprofit in 2001. 


Throughout our history, Seattle Parks Foundation has worked to support capital campaigns, large-scale community park planning, civic-scale parks, and public space advocacy initiatives. These are just a few of our milestones.


Implementation of Partner advisory council.

Launch of new brand/logo and website, inclusive of members-only partner portal.

Be’er Sheva goes to bid for construction of expanded lake access. The improvements are the result of more than two years of community outreach and planning funded by matching grants from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and the Seattle Parks Foundation.


A new Mission, Vision, and Strategic Plan are launched.

SPF facilitated public polling and mobilized our community to advocate for the renewal of the Metropolitan Park District, a $780M investment in our parks.

Duwamish River People’s Park and Shoreline Habitat opens, a span of 14 acres representing the largest environmental restoration project to have been undertaken on the Duwamish River in a generation.

Detective Cookie Chess Park opens, sixteen years after the Rainier Beach youth chess club was formed by Detective Denise “Cookie” Bouldin.


Occidental Square Pavilion opens as a result of the Urban Parks Activation Partnership. A partnership between the Downtown Seattle Assocation, Alliance for Pioneer Square, Friends of Waterfront Seattle and Seattle Parks Foundation, this pavilion offers a covered space for outdoor education, performances and more.


Rebecca Bear joins as President and CEO. The Seward Park Torii restoration is complete, rebuilding a beloved icon of international friendship given to the City of Seattle by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in 1934. The new torii is built with native basalt and western red cedar, replacing the original that decayed and was removed in 1985.
Credit: Pamela Eaton-Ford


Completion of Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands redevelopment. Today the farm is a 10-acre community hub dedicated to organic food production and distribution, environmental education and wetlands restoration, co-operated by Friends of RBUFW and Tilth Alliance.

Published the Georgetown Open Space Vision Framework, which included outreach and engagement efforts throughout the community to assess existing public spaces, and the facilitation of community-led planning for a system of green, connected public spaces.


Tiny Trees Preschool opens in four locations, with startup capital from Seattle Parks Foundation.

Work commences to enhance safe access to school for students in the South Park neighborhood at Concord International Elementary School.


Ran the successful ballot initiative to establish the Metropolitan Park District, a sustainable funding source to repair, maintain, and grow our city’s parks, community centers and regional attractions. Publication of the South Park Green Space Vision Plan, a collaborative effort to bring to light the challenges residents of the last remaining industrial neighborhood face, and a call for positive change through community-led planning and development.
Credit: Charlie Montes


Cheasty Trails and Bike Park work begins, following a transformation of the southernmost 10 acres of the 43-acre restoration site. The next phase will include mountain bike trails and pedestrian access in a wooded parkland.
Credit: Tom Reese


Seattle Parks Foundation commissioned Sustaining Seattle’s Parks: A Study of Alternative Strategies to Support Operations and Maintenance of a Great Urban Parks System, which provided a framework for the four-year effort to establish the Seattle Park District.


Thatcher Bailey joins as Executive Director and the fiscal sponsorship model is launched.


Opening of Lake Union Park following a $20M capital campaign. This 12-acre waterfront park was a project nine years in the making; a realization of the “Seattle Commons” originally envisioned when civic leaders founded Seattle Parks Foundation.
Credit: Tonhya Kae Photography


Parks and Green Spaces Levy Campaign: advocating for the approval of $145.5M for parks and recreation. 


Successfully advocated for implementation of the Bands of Green plan, which has guided work on enhanced green streets and trail connections throughout the city.


Completion of Lake People (Xacua’bs) Park: Seattle Parks Foundation supported the acquisition and development of Lake People (Xacua’bs) Park, and oversaw the maintenance for the first three years beyond its opening.


Restoration of Schurman Rock at Camp Long. The historic climbing wall was off-limits for three years due to cracking as a result of soil sliding prior to restoration.


Seattle Parks Foundation becomes a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, with Karen Daubert as the first Executive Director. 

Thank You!

Seattle Parks Foundation donors have contributed over $80M to support 275 community-based projects throughout King County.

To learn about some of the projects that are currently underway:

Send a check

To make a donation by mail, please send a check payable to Seattle Parks Foundation to:

PO Box 3541
Seattle, WA 98124-3541

If your gift is intended for one of our community partners, please add their name in the memo line or with an accompanying note.

A tax receipt will be mailed to you upon receipt of your contribution.

Thank you!

Donate Your Car

Have an old car taking up space in your driveway?

Donate it to Seattle Parks Foundation!

We accept most cars, trucks, trailers, boats, RVs, motorcycles, off-road vehicles, heavy equipment, and other motorized vehicles. All or part of your donation may be tax deductible.

To get started, simply complete the online donation form or call 855.500.7433 or 855.500.RIDE to speak to a representative. You can also read more at

Have an old car taking up space in your driveway?