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Airport Community Ecology Fund

Environmental clean up 

Deadline for submitting an application was Sept. 1, 2017

Before you submit: Be sure to read the latest FAQ! If you’ve asked a question or attended a drop-in session, all answers and more information are compiled FAQ here for your convenience.​ Follow submission guidelines listed on Section V of the application. Late applications will not be reviewed. 

​What is the Airport Community Ecology Fund?

The Airport Community Ecology (ACE) Fund, authorized 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.

To ensure maximum environmental benefit to communities, the Fund takes a two-pronged approach. The brand new Small Matching Grants Program offers community members of SeaTac, Burien, and Des Moines the chance to apply for Port funding to improve the local environment. Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, youth or athletic associations, chambers of commerce, and community groups located in or providing services in SeaTac, Burien, and Des Moines.

Next, the cities of SeaTac, Burien and Des Moines can benefit from the Ecology Fund through the Green Cities Partnership Program.

The Port is partnering with Forterra, a local non-profit organization that promotes livable cities for all residents through a lasting, community-based urban forestry and environmental education program. Some potential features of Forterra’s Green Cities Partnership include tree planting and invasive weed removal programs, forest steward trainings for residents, tree giveaway events, and much more that benefit the quality of life for residents in each of the three cities. Community and city input will determine and prioritize program features throughout ACE Fund’s three years of implementation.

The Green Cities Partnership Program will first engage the community to get input and feedback about priorities that will be included in a work plan. Then the program will develop an evaluation of trees on parks, schools, public squares, and/or habitat sites, and support community and environmental stewardship projects.

How does the Ecology Fund help airport neighbors?

The ACE Fund improves ecological and environmental attributes in airport-area communities. Environmental and ecological benefits may include programs and projects that make improvements to the quality of life and livability of a community.

earth day cleanupLivability is the sum of the factors that add up to a community's quality of life - including the built and natural environments, economic prosperity, social stability and equity, educational opportunity, and cultural, entertainment and recreation possibilities. ACE Fund goals include:

·  Creating a stronger sense of community by working together on projects

·  Enhancing public awareness of ecological issues

·  Supporting existing projects that need funding.

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.

Applications submitted by Friday, Sept. 1 will be considered for grant awards this fall. Late submissions will not be considered eligible. Applicants may apply for up to $10,000 during this first round of funding. Total awards will not exceed $92,000.

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 or application. How do I learn more?

To ensure fairness and make sure all potential applicants get the same information prior to submittal, the program does not respond to direct email or phone call inquiries. If you have questions about the program, please carefully review this website, Frequently Asked Questions and the application document. Both resources provide information on eligibility, criteria, application scoring, deadlines, submission guidelines, sample projects, and how to satisfy the legally-required 3:1 match.

If you have further questions about the program, you may send them by email to: Please note that all questions submitted will be collected on a weekly basis (questions sent before the end of the day Wednesday will be answered the following Friday). Once collected, answers will be sent as a mass “digest” email to anyone who has submitted questions. Answers will also be posted onto this website as a weekly-updated FAQ. You are strongly suggested to regularly check this website for updated FAQs each Friday throughout the course of the grant cycle. Any email or phone call made directly to Port or City staff related to the ACE Fund will be responded to with this information only.

Find FAQs about the ACE Fund Small Matching Grants Program here!​​​​​

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.