Westlake Park in downtown Seattle has a lot going on. Besides the café tables, the foosball tables and the park rangers, you’ll find free classes almost every day. On Monday at 10 a.m., kids will be building stomp rockets out of paper. Tuesday evening there’s a Yoga class.
But the park is better known for drug dealing than downward dog.
The new activity is part of the city’s efforts to bring more people into downtown public spaces to reclaim them for everybody.
Update: Two days after this story was published, on Tuesday, June 30, Gov. Jay Inslee signed Washington’s state budget. The new budget includes $20 million over the next two years for drug prevention and education.
The campaign to legalize marijuana promised that almost a quarter of the taxes from those sales would fund education and prevention efforts.
Over the past year, street sweepers in downtown Seattle saw a dramatic increase in the number of syringes on the ground. But those numbers have declined since March. They’re a data point in the larger debate over policing and drug use downtown.