Parks & Recreation: 311 or 509.755.2489
Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at 10:59 a.m.
SPOKANE – The City of Spokane Parks and Public Works divisions are entering a new 10-year partnership to conserve water on our beloved public outdoor spaces.
Through a new Memorandum of Understanding approved by the Park Board and City Council, Public Works will provide Parks with annual funding for water-savings projects that support the Water department’s stewardship program.
These projects might include improved Parks irrigation systems that replace manual irrigation. This could allow timers to be set so watering can more easily be done at night; reduce water leaks and waste; provide better irrigation coverage to support every-other-day watering; and schedule watering around peak times in the summer to reduce demand in various pressure zones across the City.
Projects might also involve replacing some turf areas with “water-wise” plants or grasses, and updating older splash pads with sensors that shut water off when not in use. Parks will support the Water department’s community education efforts and provide examples of water-saving projects community members could put in place at their homes or businesses.
The agreement will provide up to $250,000 per year for 10 years. Projects will be mutually agreed upon and serve to protect capacity in the water system for the benefit of the community.
“Water conservation is critical for water system planning and allows the City to keep costs more affordable for all ratepayers by limiting the need for additional water capacity projects over time,” says Marlene Feist, Public Works director. “This work will help our parks be demonstration sites for how to create beautiful outdoor spaces while saving water.”
“This incredible collaboration ensures that Parks can continue to provide the community with important shared outdoor spaces while also practicing thoughtful water conservation,” said Garrett Jones, director of Parks & Recreation. “We manage more than 4,000 acres of public land, and outdated irrigation systems make water conservation difficult in some areas. It’s important for us to preserve and steward these incredible community assets in a condition that is healthy, attractive, and sustainable, and we are grateful to Public Works for their long-term vision and partnership to help us fund improvements that will save water.”
In the past two years, Parks & Recreation has completed projects that save approximately 70 million gallons annually through golf course irrigation upgrades, improvements to the ponds in Manito Park, and turf reduction zones. Some of these projects have been done in collaboration with Public Works. Visit www.SpokaneParks.org/ParkHealth for more information on Parks & Recreation’s ongoing work to foster healthy parks, including pollinator projects, water conservation, and pesticide reduction.
About City of Spokane Parks & Recreation
City of Spokane Parks and Recreation stewards nearly 120 properties across 4,000 acres of park land, including manicured parks, natural lands, aquatic centers, golf courses, sports complexes, and an arboretum. We also offer hundreds of recreation opportunities for all ages and abilities to improve the health and quality of life for our community. Enjoy all your city has to offer by visiting spokaneparks.org. Follow us @SpokaneParks on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.