July 19, 2017
Contact: John Brosnan, Executive Director, (206) 523-8243 ext. 101 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On July 19, 2017 Seattle Audubon was made aware of an unauthorized skate park having been constructed on Duck Island on Green Lake. It is our understanding that this structure was created in response to a contest sponsored by the Nike Corporation, challenging participants to create skate parks in unique settings. While we can appreciate the recreational value of the skate park and the creativity of its makers, it is Seattle Audubon’s responsibility to consider the wildlife impacts of such an installation.
What is now known as Duck Island was originally built in 1936 as a wildlife sanctuary and was officially made a reserve by the state game commission in 1956. Though that designation formally ended in 1983, the island remains part of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Bald Eagle management buffer zone and off-limits for safety reasons. The island is important habitat for a variety of local bird species, including breeding ducks, geese, and birds of prey.
Quality habitat in the city is a limited resource that must be protected. Green Lake Park is a regular field trip and bird walk destination for Seattle Audubon, precisely because of the species diversity it supports. This disturbance on Duck Island could seriously impact that diversity. Seattle Audubon will continue to monitor this situation and work with our partners to find an amicable resolution for the benefit of birds and people.