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Airport Community Ecology Fund

Environmental clean up 

Applications will open on Jan. 16, 2018. Come back to this site then to download the application.

What is the Airport Community Ecology Fund?

The Airport Community Ecology (ACE) Fund, authori​zed by the Port of Seattle Commission in November 2016, recognizes that neighboring communities that experience more impacts from airport operations should also experience more benefits. The Commission directed that the program support environmental projects and programs in the cities of SeaTac, Burien and Des Moines.

Healthy forested parks and green spaces have the power to strengthen neighborhoods, provide safe access to nature and offer numerous benefits and “green services“ to our cities.  Without a coordinated effort to restore and care for our urban parks, we are at risk of losing the many benefits these forests and natural areas provide. The Port and local cities are partnering with Forterra, a local non-profit organization, to launch the Green Cities Partnership Program in SeaTac, Burien, and Des Moines. Already active in nine other cities in our region, the Green Cities Partnership supports a lasting, community-based urban forestry program in each city. If you’re interested to get involved, contact us and let us know!

Congrats to the Fall 2017 recipients!


  • Farmbot – Ecotech in an Urban Garden, Key Tech Labs, Des Moines. This project will combine STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and healthy food education by teaching youth how to build a robot which will tend a community garden in Des Moines’ high poverty area of Pacific Ridge.
  • Beach Heroes –  Environmental Science Center, all cities. Grant will sustain program’s ability to partner with Highline School District teachers to bring 1,200 students to an education center at Burien’s Seahurst Park.
  • Making Burien Awesome –  Weed Warriors, BurienWeed Warriors, a local non-profit, will use grant funds to host three habitat restoration work parties in Burien parks, coordinate a public forum at the Library and provide information on the local impacts of climate change at community events.
  • Midway Community Garden – Reach Out Des Moines, Des Moines. Grant funds will be used to acquire materials to start constructing the Midway Park Community Garden project in Des Moines.
  • Community Garden and Healthy Food Classes –  New Start Community Garden, BurienThe grant will enable community volunteers to buy garden soil, plants, and other materials for a community garden located at New Start High School and increase access to healthy meals for youth participating in the summer program.
  • Plastics and Litter Reduction Program –  Zero Waste Washington, Burien. This project will create a litter assessment tool, test and refine the tool during cleanup events, produce waste reduction educational materials and conduct outreach to motivate residents to reduce their plastic waste and littering to protect stormwater and freshwater pathways flowing into Puget Sound.
  • Futurewise –  all citiesThis program aims at increasing Highline Public Schools students’ understanding of stormwater, reduce behaviors contributing to pollution and inspire stewardship long-term by providing hands-on, experiential education.
  • Neighborhood Heritage Garden –  Highline Botanical Garden Foundation, SeaTacGrant funds will support the development of a neighborhood history research project that will inform the design of the new Neighborhood Heritage Garden.
  • Puget Sound Environmental Sculpture –  Des Moines LegacyFoundation, Des MoinesThe grant enables the Foundation to collaborate with a local artist and community partners to create a public art sculpture to be located on the Des Moines waterfront.
  • Invasive Weed Removal and Awareness Campaign –  Friends of Saltwater State Park, Des MoinesThis project aims to remove invasive ivy and other species that are taking over Saltwater State Park and create a community awareness campaign regarding healthy environmental stewardship in Des Moines.
  • Midway Park & Play Area Restoration –  Des Moines Rotary Foundation, Des Moines. The grant provides funds that enable volunteers to repair and maintain park equipment to enhance the beauty and recreational value of the park for youth and families to enjoy.​
earth day cleanup

I have an idea for an environmental project in my neighborhood. How can I learn more about applying for one of the Small Matching Grants?

The Application document offers instructions, eligibility requirements, criteria and scoring information, suggestions for meeting the 3:1 required match, and submission guidelines. A new application will be released January 2018 for the next round of funding.
Examples of projects may include, but are not limited to: habitat restoration parties, environmental education events, public amenity improvements (interpretive signage, public art), neighborhood clean-ups, landscape and stormwater infrastructure, community gardens, renewable energy investments, greenhouse gas reduction awareness campaigns, environmental improvements to a public building, strategic planning for environmental stewardship, or others.

My question isn’t answered on the website. How do I learn more?

Look at our FAQs about the ACE Fund Small Matching Grants Program!​​​​​​ If you have further questions about the program or would like to get involved with the Green Cities Partnership, you may send them by email to: ​​​​

Who can submit a grant proposal?

Local community organizations, chambers of commerce, service organizations, youth or athletic associations, or other associations located in or providing services in the cities of SeaTac, Burien and Des Moines.

Projects must  meet these criteria:

  • Applicant is an eligible organization
  • Project occurs within the cities of SeaTac, Burien or Des Moines
  • Project accomplishes specific, measurable outcomes
  • Project shows a match of 3:1 the grant value (through funding, volunteer labor, donated materials, supplies, and/or professional services)

Additional information on eligibility criteria is outlined on the application document.

How will the grants be awarded?

A seven-member panel, consisting of Port staff and representatives from each of the three cities will evaluate each application.

The “ACE Fund Small Matching Grants Program” will distribute a total of $550,000 in small grants over the course of three years (2017-2020).

In the first grant cycle, individual award amounts will not exceed $10,000. Total awards will not exceed $92,000. Subsequent phases will be conducted in Spring 2018 and Summer 2018.

The award amounts may be adjusted as the program matures, applicant data and feedback are collected, and the first awards cycle is completed.