Conservation Grant Applications Now Being Accepted!

The King Conservation District (KCD) – Seattle Community Partnership Grant Program is requesting applications from non-profit organizations and community groups committed to making natural resource improvements and advancing environmental equity. Organizations and groups are encouraged to apply for projects that meet at least one goal of the City of Seattle’s Equity & Environment Agenda and improve Seattle’s natural resources through direct improvements, education and outreach, pilot or demonstration projects, or capacity building.

Letters of Intent (LOI) are due by 5pm on Monday, May 7, 2018. For more information and for application guidelines please visit the KCD website. For any questions, contact Jessica Saavedra at 425.282.1906.

GSI Summit Focuses on ‘Getting Growth Right’

The Office of Sustainability & Environment is pleased to again be sponsoring and serving on the host committee for our region’s 2nd annual day-long Green Infrastructure Summit, taking place on Thursday, February 16th at the Mountaineers Club.

The Summit, convened by Stewardship Partners, will bring together  thought leaders from government, academia, business, and the non-profit sector to share models for innovation and strategize on intersectional green solutions to stormwater pollution – solutions that improve neighborhoods, help us prepare for climate change, and further racial equity in our communities during this time of intense growth across the region.

This year, Summit organizers are thrilled to welcome MacArthur Genius award-winner, Majora Carter, as the event’s keynote speaker and Seattle Public Utilities’ new director, Mami Hara, as its closing speaker. There is still time to register!  Visit  www.12000raingardens.org/summit/  for additional information. We look forward to seeing you on the 16th!

Working to restore our urban forest

re-posted from the Parkways blog

Awe-inspiring forests are part of the heritage and appeal of our city. They make our lives better by providing places to play, rest and contemplate. Half of Seattle’s city parkland is forested natural areas.

Helping to care for Seattle’s urban forest is the Green Seattle Partnership (GSP). The GSP is a unique public-private venture that works in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation to promote a livable city by re-establishing and maintaining healthy urban forests.

With funding from the Seattle Park District, the GSP is helping to plant native trees and shrubs, restore parkland, organize volunteer events, and more. Some accomplishments this year include:

  • 364 GSP volunteer events
  • 5,039 volunteers
  • 16,830 volunteer hours to support our urban forested parkland restoration program
  • 22.42 acres of restoration
  • Planted 21, 240 native trees and shrubs

Visit Website

Seattle’s equity and environment agenda aims to flip the script for social justice

Reposted from Resource Media

April 25, 2016

The Duwamish is Seattle’s only real river. It is also the city’s only Superfund site, and it’s a doozy, a complex mishmash of contaminated mud and sediment from years as Seattle’s main industrial artery. People live along the Duwamish, lots of people. 60 percent of these residents are people of color. According to a report by the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition:

“Duwamish Valley residents are more likely to live in poverty, be foreign born, have no health insurance or leisure time, and are more likely to be sick. Georgetown and South Park residents have up to a 13-year shorter life expectancy (at birth) than wealthier parts of Seattle.”

So when Seattle Mayor Ed Murray came to banks of the Duwamish on the morning of Earth Day to announce Seattle’s new equity and the environment agenda, he was standing on ground zero for the connection, or far too often, the disconnect between social justice and environmental protection. As 2014’s Green 2.0 report outlined in stark terms, mainstream environmental groups remain predominantly white, both nationally, and here in Seattle. Jose Vasquez, the Director of Programs for the Latino Community Fund and a resident of the Duwamish Valley put it this way. “We are the first to be impacted and the last to be included.”

Of course this troubling gap between impact and inclusion is sometimes explained away by the baseless claim that people of color don’t care as much about the environment as white people do. If the consistent polling that shows the exact opposite to be true isn’t enough to crater that myth, the array of dedicated activists standing behind the Mayor when he announced the agenda presented a penetrating image of the real face of environmental change. Jose Vasquez said, “Today, we are flipping the script.”

The people doing the script-flipping are people of color who lead by working in and advocating for their communities. Their organizations often struggle to get funding, especially when compared to mainstream environmental groups. That is one of the discrepancies the people standing behind the mayor have been wrestling with for the last 12 months.  They were part of a Community Partners Steering Committee that worked many hours to draft Mayor Murray’s ambitious agenda. At a high level, the agenda seeks to address inequities in the environmental health of the places people of color live, inequities in city-level decision making, inequities in the opportunities people of color have to participate in efforts to make their communities safer and more just. Running through all the agenda items is an idea that amounts to common sense. People bearing the brunt of a problem like poor water quality or inadequate open space or barriers to civic participation usually have some of the most insightful and specific solutions.

I saw that principle in action first hand when Resource Media participated in the latter part of the agenda development as a mainstream ally group. During one of the opening exercises, both the mainstream and people of color (POC) led groups were asked to list ideas for addressing environmental justice inequities in Seattle. The ideas from the POC led groups were specific and actionable. The ideas from the ally groups, including my own, were flaccid platitudes by comparison. It drove home a lesson for me that was very much on mind as I watched Mayor Murray on the banks of the Duwamish, flanked by the people who can actually make his agenda come to life if we give them the resources and support they need and deserve. As the Mayor himself said “We need to create environmental leaders who look like this city.” Based on my experience working with his steering committee, we already have them if we choose to listen.

Written By: Scott Miller, CEO of Resource Media

Online Resources, Photos and Talks from GSI Summit

This past February the City of Seattle was pleased to join Stewardship Partners, The Nature Conservancy, Washington Environmental Council, Washington State University, MIG-SvR Design, Boeing, Vulcan, and many other collaborators and sponsors to co-host the first Puget Sound Green Infrastructure Summit.

Resources, photos and talks from this Summit are now available on-line at: www.12000raingardens.org/summit/