Seattle Parks volunteers log nearly 13,000 hours during Earth Month

April was Earth Month, and Seattle Parks and Recreation volunteers donated more than 12,775 hours to improving our parks and other greenspaces. The hard work and commitment of volunteer trailblazers, forest builders, environmental educators and urban farmers expands the depth and breadth of our programs. These volunteers and the community members they inspire represent the current and future generation of environmental leaders, and we’re so thankful for all they do.

There were 108 work parties hosted in April by various community partners. For more information on getting involved with our volunteer programs, go here.

 

There’s still time! Find an Earth Month event near you

At Seattle Parks and Recreation, we work toward improving the quality of life for Seattle residents every day. Because our parks and natural areas provide tremendous educational and recreational opportunities, it is vital to maintain them; but we can’t do it without your help.

Volunteers play a crucial role in the City and their contributions are invaluable to Seattle Parks and Recreation. In 2014, 36,633 volunteers donated nearly 260,000 of hours of service to the department.

This April, we’ve been hosting work parties and other volunteer events in honor of Earth Month, and there are still plenty of opportunities to pitch in.

For a complete list of volunteer opportunities, visit the online calendar. Always call ahead to ensure that the volunteer event is still taking place.

Tuesdays in the Garden, 9:30 a.m.-noon, April 14, Kubota Garden
Head to Kubota Garden for a volunteer work party. This is a great opportunity to work with experts in horticulture.
Details here.

Restore Deadhorse Canyon, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., April 15
Join volunteers for a restoration work party at Lakeridge Park.
Details here.

Carkeek Park’s 35th Earth Day celebration, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Join Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Public Utilities, the Carkeek Park Advisory Council and the Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project for Carkeek Park’s 35th Annual Earth Day event. This inspiring day of service will include both one-time, day-of volunteer projects, such as a beach cleanup and trail restoration, as well as an opportunity to learn more about and sign up with volunteer groups and organizations that work in the park year-round.
Details here.

DuwamishAlive! 10-year anniversary event, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., April 18
Join DuwamishAlive! for its 10-year restoration event! Hundreds of volunteers will be working in 12-plus Duwamish Watershed sites to make lasting improvements in the vitality and health of native habitats.
Details here.

Golden Gardens Earth Week Work Party, 10 a.m., April 18
Help remove blackberry and other invasive plant species from Golden Gardens Park!.
Details here.

Seattle Tilth Drop-in Wetland Work Party, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., April 18
Drop in for a few hours (or the whole day!) and help Seattle Tilth staff, famers, volunteers and neighbors restore six acres of wetlands and forests on Seattle’s largest urban farm.
Details here.

Jackson Park Perimeter Trail Work Party, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., April 18
Help maintain one of Seattle’s newest walking trails surround Jackson Park Golf Course.
Details here.

Friends of Lincoln Park Work Party, 9 a.m. – noon, April 19
Head to the shores of Puget Sound and do your part to maintain Lincoln Park’s 80 acres of stunning, mature forest.
Details here.

Green Lake Litter Patrol, 9 – 11 a.m., April 19
Get some fresh air and exercise as you walk around Green Lake and help pick up litter.
Details here.

Llandover Woods Work Party, 9 a.m. – noon, April 19
Join the Friends of Llandover Woods for a Sunday work party.
Details here.

Greenwood Park Native Planting and Clean Up, 10 a.m. – noon, April 19
Help restore the southeast corner of Greenwood Park with native plantings including ferns, salal and huckleberry.
Details here.

Fremont Peak Park Work Party, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., April 19
Join the Friends of Fremont Peak Park and help weed and tidy the park in honor of Earth Day.
Details here.

Spring Cleaning at Linden Orchard Park, noon – 3 p.m., April 19
Join in a work party at Linden Orchard Park.
Details here.

Work Party in Discovery Park, 1- 4 p.m., April 19
Join the Green Seattle Partnership for a restoration work party at Discovery Park.
Details here.

Alki Beach Earth Day Cleanup, 2 – 4 p.m., April 22
Join Surfrider and help keep one of our beloved beaches clean.
Details here.

Earth Day Work Party at Crown Hill Glen Park, 4 – 7 p.m., April 22
Celebrate Earth Day by weeding, trimming or moving mulch in the park.
Details here.

North Beach Park Work Party, 9 a.m. – noon, April 25
Join Green Seattle Partnership for a work party in North Beach Park.
Details here.

Revive Forest Habitat at Me-Kwa-Mooks Park, 9 a.m. – noon, April 25
Join Green Seattle Partnership for a restoration work party at Me-Kwa-Mooks Park.
Details here.

Work Party at Kirke Park, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., April 25
Help volunteers spread bark chips in the north end of Kirke Park.
Details here.

Sea Shepherd Earth Day Beach Cleanup, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., April 25
Join the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in cleaning up Alki Beach.
Details here.

St. Mark’s Spring Abundance, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., April 25
Join Green Seattle Partnership for a restoration work party in St. Mark’s Greenbelt.
Details here.

Dakota Place Park Spring Cleanup, 9 a.m. – noon, April 26
Join Seattle Parks and Recreation for a spring work party at Dakota Place.
Details here.

Volunteer Park Trust Spring Restoration Day, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., April 26
Join Volunteer Park Trust in Volunteer Park to help remove invasive plants, mulch and prevent weed growth.
Details here.

 

Join in Carkeek Park’s 35th Annual Earth Day celebration

Join Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Public Utilities, the Carkeek Park Advisory Council and the Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project for Carkeek Park’s 35th Annual Earth Day event from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 18. This inspiring day of service will include both one-time, day-of volunteer projects, such as a beach cleanup and trail restoration, as well as an opportunity to learn more about and sign up with volunteer groups and organizations that work in the park year-round.

Other activities include a nature walk with a park naturalist, visiting and feeding salmon fry in the Carkeek Park Imprint Pond, tours of the King County Wastewater Pump Station and a guided tour of Piper’s Orchard.

If you’re interested in volunteering in the park on the day of the event, please wear appropriate clothing and shoes.

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

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!

Help restore heron habitat

Commodore Park, photo by Laurel Mercury

Join Green Seattle Partnership from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 11, to help restore forested habitats for the Great Blue Heron and other wildlife in Commodore Park! Tools and gloves will be provided, but volunteers should dress in appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes.

Volunteers will meet near the parking lot of Commodore Park (3330 W Commodore Way). To register or for more information, click here.

For a full list of Seattle Parks and Recreation volunteer opportunities, visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/calendar/volunteer.htm.