The City of Seattle and King Conservation District are continuing their longstanding collaboration to invest in natural resource improvements that are led by or in deep partnership with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted these communities, but has not changed the need for improved natural resources or access to healthy food and green space. Instead, it has amplified that need.
Nearly 30 proposals totaling over $1.8M were received. Proposed projects represented a range of activities and ideas including, community education and empowerment, green career pathways, youth leadership, arts, food sovereignty, food access, soil remediation, urban forest restoration, and many more.
This year, the King Conservation District and City of Seattle are thrilled to announce awards to the following community organizations:
African Community Housing & Development: Farmers Market for the Delridge African Diaspora Immigrant & Refugee Community
ACHD seeks funding for a new farmers market in the Delridge neighborhood, designated by the City of Seattle as a “Low Economic Opportunity/High Displacement Area.” The market will prioritize BIPOC vendors, and feature culturally-significant foods for the African community. They will leverage grant funding from other sources to purchase food at full price from farmers to provide free healthy food to food-insecure families.
Black Star Farmers: Walker Street Aquaponics Gardening Lab Project
Black Star Farmers in partnership with Black Farmers Collective will revitalize the Walker St. Aquaponics Gardening Lab by incorporating stormwater management and infrastructure, sustainable environmental design elements and renewable energy technologies in an effort to develop a renewable food system for the local First Hill, Rainier Valley and south Beacon Hill community. This project will include funding for a community member to serve as onsite management of the aquaponics and greenhouse system.
Hip Hop is Green: Cherry Street Farm, Lab & Culinary Anthropology Project
Cherry Street Farm, Lab & Culinary Project is a food security, food justice, health equity oriented, urban farm/teaching lab with greenhouse, onsite kitchen and community gathering space. Through a STEM lens, paid BIPOC youth interns learn to be environmental stewards while building community through a hands-on, immersive experience in building a garden, taking Culinary Anthropology cooking classes, communing with nature, and growing and sharing food with people in need via food box distribution.
iUrban Teen: Resilience, Innovation and Sustainability in a Changing World Project
Students will learn about soil sampling and soil remediation at YES Farm (continuation of last year’s KCD grant) at Yesler Terrace (three cohorts – 24 students). Students will learn about Climate Change and GIS Mapping and use AI as tools to research solutions (two cohorts – 24 students). They will partner with GirlTrek and Outdoor Afro to create four educational nature hikes for teens focusing on watersheds and creek restoration (four hikes with 12 students each hike).
Na’ah Illahee Fund: Daybreak Star Restoration for Sovereign Futures Project
Na’ah Illahee Fund (NIF) will partner with United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and community members to restore surrounding land, waters, and gathering areas of Daybreak Star in Discovery Park. Through revitalizing land, plant life, preserving sacred foods and medicines, and addressing park maintenance for increased accessibility, they will create a space for cultural preservation, learning, and activities for our communities.
Villa Comunitaria: Salsa De La Vida Project
This food access and food security project in the South Park neighborhood is organized and implemented by resident farmers called Promotoras. Funding will support farm infrastructure, soil remediation, farming, CSA distribution, traditional medicine kit distribution and cooperative development costs of the Salsa De La Vida Project located at Marra Farm.
This year’s grant process was delayed in order to hear from previous grantees about how the pandemic was impacting their projects. Based on this feedback and guidance from the philanthropic community, we shortened the application process, offered more opportunities for one-on-one support, and provided applicants the opportunity to give an oral presentation in addition to the written application. We also connected organizations to each other and gave them an opportunity to share lessons learned.