Trails for everyone, forever

Home News Blog Love King County Parks? Vote Yes on Prop. 1

Love King County Parks? Vote Yes on Prop. 1

Please join WTA and our local partners in supporting King County Proposition 1, the County Parks Levy. Take the pledge to vote yes on the Aug. 6 ballot.

Any day now, King County voters will start to see ballots for the Aug. 6 election appear in their mailboxes. While you're waiting for your ballot, please take our pledge below and join with WTA to vote yes on Proposition 1. 

Morning sunlight on Squak and Cougar mountains, both King County Parks. Photo by trip reporter Stuke Sowle.


King County Prop. 1, also known as the County Parks Levy, is the most crucial funding piece for open spaces and recreation, including trails, in King County parks. The revenue from this levy would support countywide investments in parks, trails, recreation and open space protection for the benefit of all King County residents, no matter where they live. Here's what you need to know about it:

  • Prop. 1 would replace the current levy, approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2013, which expires at the end of this year. The proposed Prop. 1 continues current, essential funding for the parks system.
  • Prop. 1 would provide 80% of money needed to keep King County parks open, safe and usable for the next six years. It would generate an estimated $810 million over six years. 
  • The owner of a home with an assessed property value of $500,000 would pay approximately $7.60 per month. 


King County trails provide an escape to nature that’s close to urban areas and accessible by public transit, including Trailhead Direct (which is in part funded by levy money). And, if you drive, no parking pass is required at most county parks. (Be sure to double check before you head out.) They provide safe areas to commute to work, exercise or connect with friends and loved ones. Because King County Parks are mostly at lower elevations, the trails tend to remain snow-free in the winter, making them a great choice all year. They are ideal for those new to hiking and families with young children.

But to do all of those things and serve all of those users, trails need careful design, planning and investment.

Some of the region’s most popular open spaces are part of the King County Parks system. Proposed projects for Prop. 1 include:

  • Backcountry trail maintenance at more than five sites (including Taylor Mountain Forest, Green River Natural Area, Cougar and Squak Mountains and Tolt-MacDonald Park).
  • Improved parking at three trailheads (including the Tennant Trailhead at Rattlesnake Mountain and one on Vashon Island).
  • The design and construction of sixteen regional trail connections (such as for an Interurban Trail to the Burke-Gilman connection, the Eastside rail corridor and a missing link of the Green River Trail). 

As the main source of investment for King County Parks, Prop. 1 stands to keep these places and many more open, safe and accessible to those who enjoy them.

EQUITY & Community partnerships

Thanks to the Community Partnerships and Grants program, which is made possible by the current levy and would continue in the new levy, WTA has been able to provide thousand of hours of trail work on King County land. We believe our work in county parks matches up with our efforts to reduce barriers to getting outside, by providing easily accessible outdoor experiences.

We’re also especially excited that new levy includes $10 million for a new, equity-focused grant program that aims to make parks, recreation, trails and open spaces more accessible, as well as expand access for historically underserved communities and people with disabilities. We look forward to working on this effort with the county and seeing how it expands access for underserved communities.

WTA volunteers work on the Margaret's Way Trail earlier this year. 

King County and WTA

WTA staff and volunteers have worked hard to maintain King County trails since the mid-90s as we established our volunteer trail-maintenance program. This partnership has continued to strengthen over time. In 2018, WTA volunteers completed 160 work parties on King County lands, working a total of 15,338 hours. We're on track to match those numbers this year. Find out where you can join us on an upcoming work party in King County.   

Additional investments

Aside from trails, Prop. 1 also provides funding for:

  • Repairing and renovating local park infrastructure like play areas, pools and ballfields and regional facilities like the Woodland Park Zoo and the Seattle Aquarium.
  • Environmental education for King County students.
  • Expanded free admission programs and other program opportunities at the zoo and aquarium.
  • The protection of open spaces through acquisition of new land and support recreation opportunities along river corridors. Fifteen percent of the levy would go toward acquisition and help to ensure that regional system can meet the needs of a growing population. 


WTA is one of many local outdoor recreation and conservation groups to endorse Prop. 1. We are joined in support of the levy by our partners at Cascade Bicycle Club, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, Forterra, Issaquah Alps Trails Club, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, Outdoor Industry Association, The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land, The Wilderness Society, Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust, Washington Bikes, Washington Conservation Voters and Washington Environmental Council.

Please join WTA and many of our local partners in supporting this effort. Pledge below and then vote yes on Prop. 1. King County hikers and outdoors’ lovers of all kinds thank you.



Penguino on Love King County Parks? Vote Yes on Prop. 1

"And, if you drive, no parking pass is required at county parks..." Marymore has charged for parking since 2003. Please correct your article.

Posted by:

Penguino on Jul 16, 2019 05:33 PM

Christina Hickman on Love King County Parks? Vote Yes on Prop. 1

Hi Penguino. Thank you for bringing that to our attention. We are fortunate that the large majority of King County's 200 parks don't charge a parking fee.

Posted by:

Christina Hickman on Jul 17, 2019 09:02 AM