Natural Area/Greenbelt Supplemental Use Guidelines

The Supplemental Use Guidelines are on hold.

Version 3 of the Natural Area and Greenbelt Supplemental Use Guidelines incorporates many of the comments we heard from the public (see link to Version 3, below). Continued refinement of the Guidelines has been postponed. For more information, please contact Susan Golub at There has been some confusion expressed about the differences between:

  • Natural Area and Greenbelt Supplemental Use Guidelines
  • Parks Classification Policy
  • Green Seattle Partnership 10-Year update
  • Cheasty Mountain Bike and Pedestrian Pilot Project

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet, which provides information about each of these projects and how they differ from one another, as well as answers to other commonly asked questions.

We are in the process of developing the Natural Area Greenbelt Supplemental Use Guidelines. In response to public input and input from the Board of Park Commissioners at their July 23 meeting, we have revised the supplemental use guidelines and extended the public comment period to September 17.

Natural Area and Greenbelt Supplemental Use Guidelines - Revised Version 3


Seattle's population is expected to increase by 120,000 people over the next 20 years. Seattle Parks and Recreation needs to continue to provide recreation opportunities for our changing population while also providing opportunities to contemplate and build community, preserve and enhance forest habitat, tree canopy and water quality. Stronger access and exposure to our environment is needed in order to build a sense of responsibility and promote stewardship of these lands with the next generation. The Supplemental Use Guidelines will minimize the adverse impacts of proposed uses in Natural Areas and Greenbelts, and their surrounding environment, while providing access, opportunity and sustainability.


The purpose of the Supplemental Use Guidelines is to provide a transparent tool to evaluate use proposals in Parks' classified Natural Areas and Greenbelts. This tool will include a check list of criteria that will allow for low-intensity, passive and active recreation activities while minimizing adverse impacts on the environment.

The intent of this effort is to develop values-based guidelines for the appropriate use of Seattle's Natural Areas and Greenbelts. This process will result in a vision for Natural Areas and Greenbelts that will maintain the native forest ecosystem, protect public safety and enhance positive uses over the long-term.  

Parks Legacy Plan Goals to Preserve the Legacy:

  • Connect teens and young adults to nature by providing outdoor and environmental opportunities.
  • Ensure a variety of programs that foster awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of nature in their neighborhood and across the city and region.
  • Engage people in activities to protect our environment.
  • Improve the environment and wildlife habitat by restoring forests and expanding the tree canopy.
  • Protect habitat and other wildlife areas for use, education, and interpretation by increasing capacity for professional wildlife management programs.
  • Ensure a safe and well maintained system of walking trails.
  • Preserve and reclaim Parks' property for public use and benefit, and ensure continued access to parkland for a growing population.
  • Look for innovative ways to approach major maintenance activities so that environmental sustainability is maximized.
  • Pursue partnerships with other organizations that have compatible values and goals, and which result in mutual benefits.


Seattle Parks and Recreation seeks to restore and manage a variety of natural areas including forested areas, shorelines and wetlands. Restoration of forested parkland is achieved through a unique, volunteer driven public-private partnership called the Green Seattle Partnership (GSP). The GSP was launched in 2005 with a community driven goal to restore 2,500 acres of forested parkland by 2025. Park and Recreation's role in the partnership is to manage the program, oversee the work of non-profits, volunteers and contracted labor spanning 800 restoration sites. Volunteers organize site-specific work parties and provide over 80,000 hours of the labor each year-more than 575,000 hours since the program began. There are now 865 acres in active restoration.

Important links

Forterra and Nature Consortium are two of our City Partners in the Green Seattle Partnership

City Council Resolutions

Parks and Recreation

AP Diaz, Interim Superintendent
Mailing Address: 100 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, WA, 98109
Phone: (206) 684-4075
Fax: (206) 615-1813

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