This year marks a big year for the Duwamish Valley Program. In June of 2018, the City released the Duwamish Valley Action Plan, which has been our north star as we coordinate City investments in South Park and Georgetown. This summer, the Action Plan celebrated its 5th year anniversary of release!
We’ve made some great strides in implementing the mid-term opportunities and developing the long-term strategies identified in the Action Plan, and we’ll provide a full report in our end-of-year update to be released in early 2024! Stay tuned for more information about major accomplishments and the status of implementing the Action Plan.
While there is much to celebrate to recognize the collaboration between community members, community-based organizations, and City of Seattle departments, 2023 began on rough footing for families in the Duwamish Valley. The December 2022 flooding left significant damage and trauma behind for families in South Park.
Since then, the City has supported families as they recover from the flooding and is implementing plans to prepare for the future. This year, Seattle Public Utilities received $1.5 million from the King County Flood Control District to increase community resilience to flooding. In addition, these funds will support the City’s response to the upcoming wet weather season that begins with the coming King Tide season. Most of this funding will be used to deploy the temporary sandbag barrier that was installed in January of 2023.
Relatedly, Seattle Public Utilities, the Duwamish Valley Program, the Seattle Department of Transportation, and the Office of Arts & Culture held an event this September titled “One Duwamish Valley: Celebrating Community Resilience and City Investments” at the newly opened South Park Pump Station. This event focused on the recognition of the 5th Year Anniversary of the Duwamish Valley Action Plan and the opening of the pump station and major roadway conveyance work.
The South Park Pump Station will help address regular flooding in the industrial area of South Park during regular high tide events when the water levels in the river block the pipes that drain into the river. The pump station will force the water into the river even when the water is above the pipes. The roadway conveyance work represents major investments into sidewalks and pipe systems that will help move stormwater as it falls into storm drains out to the river. Together, these two projects in the industrial areas of South Park will reduce the annual flooding and ponding that businesses and residents experience.
However, it is important to note that the pump station will not help solve the problems that resulted in the flooding in December 2022, when the river over-topped the banks. To help address those problems, the City is designing a Duwamish Valley Resilience District. We will continue working with the Resilience District Advisory Group, City departments, other agencies, and you as we continue to move this work forward. Please stay on the lookout for upcoming opportunities to engage in this work.
Here are some other project-specific updates related to work in the Acton Plan:
Heavy-Duty Truck Electrification: The City launched this pilot project this summer to help truck drivers who drive heavy trucks with toxic fuel emissions transition to electric vehicles. The City investment will fund point-of-sale rebates for new electric vehicles operating in the Duwamish Valley. Incentives are available for Battery Electric Class 8 Tractor Trailer Trucks and will cover 40% (Up to $180,000) per truck for a total of $1.7 million available in funding.
Parks & Open Spaces
South Park Plaza: The City opened up the bidding process for construction this summer. However, due to some hiccups in the bidding process, the project had to go out for bid a second time, which delayed the ultimate timeline for beginning construction. Seattle Parks & Recreation (SPR) anticipates that construction will begin this fall.
South Park Community Center and Site Redevelopment: The City is currently working on renovations to the South Park Community Center. In the interim, SPR is offering weekday evening programming at Concord on Tuesdays/Wednesdays, and Late Night on Fridays/Saturdays.
South Park Community Center programming is moving to Concord International Elementary School located at 723 S Concord St, Seattle, WA 98108. Programming will occur in the Gym and Cafeteria spaces of the school beginning on September 15, 2023. Weekday evening programs will be open to the public for all ages. Friday, our Late Night Program will be held for teens ages 13-19, and Saturday our Late Night Program will be held for tweens ages 9-12.
The hours for programming at Concord are as follows:
- Weeknight Programs from 6:30 p.m – 8:30 p.m.
- Friday Teen Late Night Program from 6:30 p.m. -10:30 p.m .
- Saturday Tween Late Night Program from 3:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Amadanyo Oguara can be contacted for information regarding Late Night Programming at email@example.com.
Zara Soares can be contacted for information regarding weekday programming at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Georgetown Community Spaces: The Duwamish Valley Program led community engagement efforts in Georgetown from Fall 2022 – Summer 2023 to understand residents’ priorities on investing $500,000 in community spaces in Georgetown. Currently, the City has two contracts for this work.
- Resilience Hub Programming at Mini Mart City Park: the Mini Mart will embark on retrofitting the facilities to help support residents during extreme weather events. Additionally, they will develop a resilience hub program plan for the facility. To increase community accessibility to the premises, the Mini Mart will expand their operating hours, add additional community programming, and create outdoor accessible features like tables and benches.
- Building Design Program for a Neighborhood Center: the City has hired MAKERS architecture & urban design and Environmental Works to lead residents through a design process to understand what kinds of facility needs Georgetown would want in a community-owned and operated neighborhood center. This project is in its early conceptualization. There will be a community advisory group that will guide the consultants throughout the year on the project.
Duwamish River Opportunity Fund: This year, the Office of Sustainability & Environment began to manage the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund (DROF). The City has $240,000 available this year to award to community-based organizations that serve Duwamish Valley communities with programming and projects. Applications closed earlier this summer, and decisions will be announced later this fall.
Mobility & Transportation
Reconnect West Seattle – Dallas Ave S: As part of Reconnect West Seattle, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will be making improvements to Dallas Avenue South in South Park. Through engagement with residents, SDOT has decided on a preliminary plan that will work to keep all trees on the street. The plan is to save as many trees as possible and the new design accommodates that, however, it is still possible that some will be removed. When the crews are done removing the old sidewalk, SDOT will have Urban Forestry inspect the roots to make sure the trees are in good health. Residents will be able to join Urban Forestry if they want to see the roots/process.
So far, there have been only two trees identified for concern: the trees in front of 8331 Dallas Ave S, as they sustained some fire damage in the past.
The current plan is to keep all the trees depending on their root health conditions. SPNA and community members have communicated that so long as the trees don’t pose any danger to the roadway/adjacent property, they’d like to keep them.
Economic Opportunity & Jobs
Support for Small Businesses: The Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE) continues its support of Duwamish Valley businesses through a contract with Vision 7 Advertising. OSE is awarding $500 mini grants to small businesses to support their efforts in South Park and Georgetown and provide technical support.