You choose: Which Seattle Parks’ projects should receive a $20,000 grant?

A detailed look at the nominees

Last week we announced that three Seattle Parks and Recreation projects are nominated for a $20,000 grant through an initiative called Parks Build Community, and we’re asking the public to vote for the recipient.

This Earth Month, the National Recreation and Park Association, Disney | ABC Television Group and ESPN are working together to help fund park and recreation programs and facilities across the country through the Parks Build Community grant. Now through April 30, you can vote for which Seattle project you’d like to see made possible through this effort.

Here’s an in-depth look at each of the nominated projects to help you choose:

PROJECT 1: Rainier Vista Environmental Leadership Institute

The Rainier Vista Environmental Leadership Institute will connect diverse, low-income youth to nature by engaging them in a six-week summer employment program focused on urban farming, urban forest restoration and community leadership development. The youth will work with a variety of community partners including the Seattle Housing Authority, Solid Ground and Earth Corps. The program will make tangible physical improvements to several local parks and will build the capacity of participating youth to connect to nature and serve as environmental leaders. The program will culminate in a community volunteer event led by the youth.

The youth will spend:

  • Two weeks improving the Seattle Community Farm’s ability to grow fresh produce for neighbors in need.
  • Two weeks improving Cheasty Greenspace through restoration and trail-building.
  • Two weeks coordinating a major community volunteer event.

At the end of the program, the youth will receive $600 stipends.

The Rainier Vista community is one of Seattle’s most diverse and low-income neighborhoods. Many of the youth come from immigrant and refugee families from all over the world, mostly representing Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Vietnam, Cambodia and China.

PROJECT 2: Central Seattle Good Food Garden Expansion and Beautification

The Central Seattle Good Food Garden Expansion will focus on the Garfield and Homer Harris Park Good Food Gardens. The two gardens are located in Central Seattle. The multi-cultural neighborhood’s demographic is about 30 percent African American, 10 percent Asian and Pacific Islander and 7 percent Latino. About 18 percent of people living in the community have a household income below the poverty level. The two gardens were established to address a critical need for access to public land for food production in low-income communities of color.

This project would upgrade the existing garden beds and plant structures with improved materials to better meet ADA standards and would add new sustainable landscaping features, a covered seating area and on-site tool storage. Staff would install educational/interpretive signage to provide a self-serve educational resource. The signs would allow passersby to access information on their smart phones about the landscape features, plants and nutritional information.

PROJECT 3: Meadowbrook Teen Life Center upgrades

The Meadowbrook Teen Life Center is the smallest of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s three teen life centers. It is visited by about 100 teens daily for activities, sports and social recreation. The facility often reaches capacity at peak hours and often times there is not enough space to offer a variety of sports and activities. Currently, the facility can only utilize its gym and classroom for programming. The large concrete lobby is unsafe for activities.

This project would enhance programming at the center by reconfiguring the lobby into a multi-use space. Funds would be used to:

  • Purchase and install an operable sliding room divider system.
  • Purchase rubberized flooring to create a workout room for martial arts, boxing and gymnastics.
  • Purchase portable wood flooring and create a mirror wall to allow for aerobics, dancing, cheer classes, yoga and bar workouts.
  • Remove the front desk and redesign the office space.
  • Repaint the facility.
  • Repair and replace faulty kitchen equipment.

Decide which project means the most to you and your community and then visit NRPA.org/beinspired to cast your vote!