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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 18, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 25
Arts & Entertainment
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Letters

AN OPEN LETTER TO CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS, PARKS DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT

Dear Mr. Williams,

The Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA), Greater Seattle's LGBT Chamber of Commerce, is committed to promoting the economic vitality of our neighborhoods and region and believes saving the Conservatory on Capitol Hill is a good investment in our parks. As a neighborhood, Capitol Hill is identified as the historical and cultural center of the LGBT community, and therefore is a destination for LGBT and allied tourists looking to experience the arts, restaurants, and nightlife offered on Capitol Hill. To truly provide a rounded tourist experience on Capitol Hill, Volunteer Park, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, and the Conservatory offer a green experience in the heart of the most dense urban neighborhood in Seattle.

The Conservatory draws over 100,000 visitors per year to Volunteer Park and therefore to Capitol Hill as well. The Conservatory, designed by Olmsted Brothers, includes an amazing array of plant collections, including its well-known orchid collection. The Conservatory also organizes environmental educational programs and attracts a large number of tourists for its annual holiday open house and plant sale in May.

The Greater Seattle Business Association understands the need for budget cuts during our current economic crisis, but given the low cost of maintaining the Conservatory and the large number of tourists and residents who enjoy this neighborhood asset, we encourage the Council to work with the Parks Department to keep the Conservatory open. Although not our largest city attraction, it is a small jewel within a neighborhood which adds to our uniqueness and is one of the treasures of Capitol Hill, which its residents and visitors currently enjoy and use on a regular basis.

Thank you in advance for making an effort to retain an open and supported Conservatory in Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill.

Sincerely,

Louise Chernin
Executive Director, Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA)

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