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City of Seattle and King Conservation District announce funding for environmental justice and natural resource improvement projects

Six organizations to receive a total of $395,458 through the King Conservation District – Seattle Community Partnership Grant Program

The City of Seattle and the King Conservation District have announced funding for projects that advance environmental justice and improve natural resources in Seattle. Six community organizations were awarded grants ranging from $50,000 to $75,000 for projects that will launch in 2019. A total of $395,458 was awarded.

The King Conservation District and the City of Seattle have worked together since 1995 to fund projects that support water quality, soil protection, ecosystem restoration, and urban agriculture within city boundaries. In 2017 the program guidelines and criteria were updated to reflect Seattle’s commitment to environmental justice. Project proposals are now required to address the goals of the Seattle Equity & Environment Agenda as well as natural resource priorities. The Office of Sustainability and Environment coordinates the City’s involvement in the program.

“Seattleites are proud of our natural resources and healthy environment,” said Jessica Finn Coven, the director of the Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment. “However, we know that not all Seattle residents benefit equally from our environmental progress and we have a responsibility to address those inequities. We appreciate the partnership with King Conservation District that enables us to invest in environmental equity.”

“King Conservation District values its partnership with the City of Seattle,” said Bea Covington, King Conservation District Executive Director. “We are committed to working together to develop community-based natural resource projects that address the priorities of the Equity and Environment Agenda and ensure that all Seattle residents have access to local food, healthy forests and clean water.”

The organizations receiving funding and their proposed projects are:

iUrban Teen: Yesler Terrace Goes Green
iUrban Teen is an African-American-led organization focused on career pathways for low-income youth of color. This project will create a durable, cooperative urban farm and promote environmental stewardship in the Yesler Terrace neighborhood by providing economic opportunities for the Black Farmers Cooperative and environmental education and career opportunities for youth.

Na’ahIllahee Fund: Seattle Urban Native Community Indigenous Food & Ecological Knowledge
This project will support a cohort of Native women & girls in learning permaculture design, increasing traditional knowledge, and engaging volunteers in ecological restoration (enrich ponds & surrounding wetlands, remove invasive plants, amend soil, plant native plants. This project will ensure the Master Plan at Discovery Park is informed by Native people.

Young Women Empowered: Y-WE Nature Connections
This project supports a mentoring program for girls (13-18 y.o.) of color and adult women of color that includes an Environmental Leadership Council that focuses on environmental justice and healthy food. Workshops and on-site learning at Marra Farm integrate STEM learning in real-world contexts: habitat protection, urban agriculture, fruit tree maintenance, food preservation, and animal care.

Delridge Neighborhood Development Association: Delridge Wetlands Restoration
This project continues DNDA’s wetlands restoration project at Longfellow Creek, focusing on engaging neighborhood community groups and STEM K-8 teachers & students to restore habitat and native plants and plan a garden for residents and students to grow food. DNDA will engage diverse local organizations & stakeholders to participate in restoration, environmental education, and long-term stewardship of this wetlands area.

A Common Acre: The Green Line – Pollinator Pathway
This project supports the next phase of a demonstration pollinator conservation and native planting project along Seattle City Light’s Creston-Duwamish transmission corridor. In partnership with Unkitawa (a Native American coalition) and Rainier Beach Action Coalition, this project will engage local community members to inform, lead, and model long-term stewardship of this demonstration project.

Zero Waste Washington: Youth green jobs to reduce plastic pollution in the greater Duwamish Valley
This project supports a youth green jobs program in the Duwamish Valley that will assess litter and engage with local businesses to reduce plastic pollution in waterways. This project provides environmental education and career opportunities and engages local organizations in natural resource improvements.