Vote yes on the King County Parks Levy | GUEST OP

Preserve our green spaces to protect public health and well-being

  • Friday, August 2, 2019 5:00pm
  • Opinion
Greg Wingard, left, and James Schroeder. COURTESY PHOTOS

Greg Wingard, left, and James Schroeder. COURTESY PHOTOS

By Greg Wingard and James Schroeder, for the Auburn Reporter

South King County residents enjoy special parks and open spaces where our kids can learn and grow outdoors. We should be leaders in the nation by showing how an urban county can maintain a healthy environment and high quality of life. That is why we support King County Proposition 1 in the Aug. 6 primary election.

This measure will fund maintenance and upgrades to playground equipment and ballfields in every community in the county. It also supports the county’s open spaces, places we can access today – such as the Green River Natural Area – as well as newly protected forests and river corridors and miles of new trails.

We are particularly excited that King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove helped to include in Proposition 1 a new River Corridor Grant program, a first-of-its-kind approach at the county level. This program would support projects designed to reduce flood risk, improve habitat and account for the needs of working agricultural lands.

The county-level grant program for floodplains would help communities access state and federal funding, including from Washington’s Floodplains by Design program, which has seen great on-the-ground success and has the support of our organizations.

Floodplains by Design has previously funded projects on the Middle Green River in the Porter Levee Natural Area. This year, the Legislature came up just short of funding the program to include King County’s Lones Levee Setback and Floodplain Restoration project, located within the Green River Natural Area. The project would improve flood and erosion protection for private property, replace failing levees sooner, reduce farmland flooding, and help Green River Chinook salmon and steelhead.

Proposition 1 replaces an expiring levy and would raise millions of dollars for King County’s parks, trails, and open space. The property tax would cost about $7.60 per month for the owner of a home valued at $500,000 ($2.25 more per month than the expiring levy). Proposition 1 also partially exempts families and individuals living on a fixed income, such as low-income seniors, veterans with disabilities, and others with certain financial burdens. The measure was written to equitably expand access to parks, especially for residents of low-income neighborhoods.

This is an investment in South King County’s future, and now more than ever we need to make sure we preserve our green spaces to protect public health and well-being as our region grows and changes.

Join us in protecting our parks and rivers and vote yes on King County Proposition 1 by Aug. 6.

Greg Wingard is president president of the Green River Coalition, works with an intern program at Green River College and lives in Covington. James Schroeder is the director of Conservation for the Nature Conservancy in Washington.

More in Opinion

A look at the races for the state’s 9 top jobs

Nine of the most powerful political jobs in Washington state will be… Continue reading

Diverse programs serve diverse communities

Waste Management’s outreach programs make waste reduction and recycling accessible to everyone

Amateurism must be maintained to preserve education-based sports

While we addressed a number of important issues with our member state… Continue reading

High costs drive people to move

Too often, elected officials overlook the cumulative costs of regulations, taxes and… Continue reading

This political break-up couldn’t come at a worse time

As backers of I-1000 gear up, a legal spat involving others is casting a shadow on their efforts.

High school football is thriving, not dying

By Karissa L. Niehoff, NFHS executive director When the annual High School… Continue reading

Sen. Mona Das. COURESY PHOTO
After a senator’s claim is debunked, a call for an apology

The GOP wants a Democratic senator held to account for accusations which an investigation found to be false

Mitsubishi launching into regional jet space

Traditionally, media coverage of the Paris Air Show focuses on the battle… Continue reading

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease this Grandparents Day

Pacific Medical Centers doctor shares top signs of the disease, as well as tips to maintain cognitive health

It is time to talk about our national debt

Our nation is on an unsustainable borrowing trajectory and it could get… Continue reading

Libraries are welcoming spaces for everyone

King County Library System is committed to inclusion – the idea that… Continue reading

Gov. Jay Inslee. REPORTER FILE PHOTO
Inslee passes up a chance to confront corporate ‘blackmail’

Governor skipped a meeting about tax breaks, he said, Boeing squeezed out of the state.