SKCF Environmental Grants Program to fund fourteen organizations for 2021
Fourteen organizations serving South King County communities have been recommended to receive nearly $218,000 in Port of Seattle environmental grants. Port Commissioners approved the recommendation for the first round of funding for South King County Fund Environmental Grants Program (SKCF EGP) during today’s Commission meeting. The funding awards were approved by the Port of Seattle Commission on February 9, 2021, and are contingent upon successful contract negotiations.
Selected projects reflect the rich diversity in South King County and demonstrate the Port’s commitment to community-led environmental improvements in the near-airport cities that have been hit hardest by COVID-19.
The SKCF EGP is a new cycle of the South King County Fund that supports projects that improve the environment in the near-airport communities of Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Normandy Park, SeaTac, and Tukwila. Funds support activities such as:
- Public space improvements (including parks, school playgrounds, public square or port habitat sites)
- Equipment or artwork installations
- Neighborhood or environmental stewardship projects
The program expands the reach of the successful Airport Community Ecology (ACE)program into more communities that surround Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA). Communities in South King County disproportionately experience environmental harms due to a long history of inequitable land-use practices and economic displacement that have pushed marginalized communities farther and farther south. With the additional health and economic impacts of COVID-19 on low-income populations and communities of color, there is a stronger than ever need for investment in South King County, where residents have less access to parks and green space than in the rest of the County.
The program has revolutionized how the Port works with communities to improve access to funding opportunities. Throughout 2020, the Port worked with a group of multicultural, multilingual liaisons to identify and remove barriers to participation by co-creating grant materials and training liaisons to conduct community outreach to promote the grant opportunity.
- Requests can be up to $20,000.
- Projects must take place on public property.
- Projects must demonstrate a 3:1 match, meaning every dollar awarded by the Port must be matched by three dollars from the grant recipient or project partners. The Port offers several ways to meet this match including volunteer time, attendees of public events, contact hours, lifetime environmental value of trees planted, carbon emissions reductions, in-kind contributions, contributions of project partners, and cash.
- Proposers must be a nonprofit organization with 501(c)3 or 501(c)6 status or community group that works with a 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor.
- Organizations must demonstrate experience in serving diverse near-airport communities that experience economic and environmental injustice.
- Organizations must submit a written proposal and participate in a discussion with the review panel.
Round One Funded Projects:
Learn more about the fourteen (14) organizations that received funding for the first round of the SKCF Environmental Grants Program. This South King County Fund Story Map also shows where projects were funded.
1. Federal Way Korean American Association will build a Korean garden in Federal Way’s BPA Trail, and create a cultural space where community members can nurture and sustain the garden through intergenerational bonding. This project is also a larger part of a five-year plan with the organization’s sister city in Korea to build out the garden. This project will take place in Federal way and funded at $20,000.
2. Multicultural Self-Sufficiency Movement will develop a community garden for community members, youth, and older adults to engage with the natural spaces; have access to safe and healthy food; and grow and cultivate the garden space. This will be led by intergenerational families and community members. This project will be taking place in Federal Way and funded at $9,000.
3. Bridging Cultural Gaps will support Black and East African immigrant families and youth to organize park clean up days and a recycling initiative that will be in multiple East African languages. They will also accept nature photography submissions and hold podcast conversations in several languages to better engage community members. This project will take place in Tukwila and funded at $20,000.
4. Bhutanese Community Resource Center aims to educate young adult and youth immigrants and refugees in Tukwila to learn about native plants the region, and how to reduce waste through composting. They will also adopt and clean up the Cascade View Community Park in Tukwila. They are funded at $14,000.
5. Congolese Basketball will focus on improving Crystal Spring Park in Tukwila. The group and volunteers will host small group park clean-up days, install basketball and tennis nets, and redesign the courts with art installations. They are funded at $20,000.
6. New Start Community Garden will add culturally relevant art pieces for the garden fencing at New Start Community Garden, which is home to community gardeners and New Start High School student gardeners. This project aims to commission the art from students and local South King County artists to create a more welcoming garden space. This project will take place in Burien and they are funded at $15,000.
7. Partner in Employment will work with immigrant and refugee youth to learn about, and work on park restoration and maintenance; identify native and non-native plant species; restore and design planting sites; and reach out to others in a variety of environmental fields to sustain the work. This project adds capacity to host five additional youth beyond what was funded through their Economic Recovery Grant. This project will take place in SeaTac and Tukwila and they are funded at $20,000.
8. EarthCorps’ young adult crew members will clear 60,000 square feet of invasive blackberry bushes at the Hilltop Park . They will also work with community volunteers to plant native trees for shade habitat and a safe place for community members to gather and enjoy the park. This project will take place in Burien and they are funded at $15,000.
9. Highline Botanical Garden Foundation seeks to expand the Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden by moving twelve mature bonsai trees donated from The Seike Family in SeaTac. The original garden was impacted by airport expansion and the twelve trees will be incorporated into the new garden location. They are funded at $20,000.
10. Environmental Science Center will serve 1100 Highline School District students in Kindergarten through 3rd grade with virtual beach habitat and stewardship classes live streamed and recorded at Seahurst Park. The naturalist-teachers from ESC will also clean up beaches during and after each of the fifty classes taught. Schools with at least 50% of their students on free or reduced lunch will be given priority. This project will take place in Burien and they are funded at $10,000.
11. Friends of Normandy Park Foundation will engage Highline School District families and friends to remove 20,000 square feet of invasive plant species at Marine View Park. The community members will then replace the area with native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. This project will take place in Normandy Park and they are funded at $8,683.
12. Summer Search will work with eighty young people of color and underrepresented youth to explore land, water and air issues. The youth will develop and research four small group outdoor work sessions that will include planting trees and maintenance improvements around Tukwila’s parks. The students will also be in YMCA’s Summer Outdoor Leadership School, which was successful during COVID-19 in 2020. They are funded at $20,000.
13. Puget Soundkeeper Alliance will empower youth leaders to support immigrant and refugee families as they do debris cleanups on kayak patrols, water quality monitoring, and microplastic education. This project will take place in Tukwila, Burien, Des Moines, and Federal Way and they are funded at $10,902.
14. Tilth Alliance will train twenty volunteers on urban farming techniques. The volunteers will then install rain gardens, habitat restoration, and create and support community gardens. They will partner with a local immigrant and refugee organization and serve Federal Way, Burien and Tukwila. They are funded at $15,000.