Seattle Parks and Recreation invites input on design of new North Rainier park

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) invites the community to an Open House on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 to provide input on the design of a new park for the north Rainier community. Join SPR’s staff from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Columbia Gardens, 3610 33rd Ave. S to learn about the new park and provide design input. Neighbors of all ages are encouraged to attend and provide feedback on what amenities and park elements are preferred for the neighborhood. Light refreshments and children’s activities will be provided.

SPR purchased multiple parcels located at or adjacent to 3655 35th Ave. S, north of the Safeway parking lot, to provide approximately .75 acres of open space for the urban village. The design of the park will incorporate accessibility features in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and provide access to open space within this high-density urban village. SPR will work with the community on the design and encourages community participation. Please participate in a short survey to inform the design: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NorthRainierPark 

“This park will be an important addition to the north Rainier area as a whole and a wonderful complement to the multi-generational Rainier Court community,” said Jay Woolford, Executive Director of SHAG, which is hosting the meeting and helping support the park concept. “We urge the public to come to the Open House to contribute ideas about how this open space can be most accessible and beneficial to people of all ages.”

Funding for this park project is provided by the Seattle Park District. Approved by Seattle voters in 2014, the Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding for SPR including maintenance of parklands and facilities, operation of community centers and recreation programs, and development of new neighborhood parks on previously acquired sites.

For more information or for meeting notification translations, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/north-rainier-landbanked-site-park-development. For questions about the project or if you need an interpreter or accommodations, please contact Karimah Cooper Edwards, Seattle Parks and Recreation, at 206-233-0063 or Karimah.edwards@seattle.gov.

 

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Join Us for FREE Ice Cream at CityScoop

Join the City of Seattle for CityScoop, a fun way to share your ideas with City staff while enjoying free ice cream. The City has important topics on which we need your input, so we invite you to relax in our tents, provide us your feedback, and enjoy a free treat courtesy of Full Tilt Ice Cream.

CityScoop will be open from 1 – 3pm on Saturday, August 13. You’ll find us on Rainier Avenue between Dawson and Brandon Streets just south of the Rainier Valley Heritage Festival and on the route of Summer Parkways 2016, the fun family biking event and party. Translators will be on hand to assist visitors as well.

A few of the topics shared under our big tent will include:

  • Discussion on the best ways for the city to engage with you
  • New and creative uses for neighborhood streets
  • Information on the city’s plan for walking safely in neighborhoods
  • Next steps in affordable housing
  • Sharing transportation investments happening around your neighborhood
  • Information on discounted bus passes and car sharing for low-income residents

After visiting CityScoop, make sure to stop by Big Day of Play at Rainier Community Center presented by Seattle Parks and Recreation.

CityScoop will also be at Summer Parkways 2016 in Ballard on August 27 and in West Seattle on September 25. Learn more at www.seattle.gov/cityscoop.

Advancing Equitable Outreach and Engagement

Message from Kathy Nyland, Director

Mayor Murray recently issued an Executive Order directing the city to approach outreach and engagement in an equitable manner. Putting an equity lens on our approaches is bold and, yes, brave. It shows a commitment to practices that address accessibility and equity.


What does this mean?

  • We often hear that meetings can feel like we are “checking a box.” The Mayor’s action means we can create processes that are more relationship-based and build authentic partnerships.
  • It means that we can create plans that are culturally sensitive, which includes an emphasis on translated materials.
  • It means we broaden access points, identify obstacles and turn them into opportunities.


What else does this mean?

  • It means we have an opportunity to recreate, re-envision and reconcile many lingering issues, including defining the difference between neighborhoods and communities, providing clarity about roles, and creating a system of engagement that builds partnerships with, and between, communities throughout the city of Seattle.
  • It means that we will be working to expand choices and opportunities for community members throughout this city, recognizing a special responsibility to plan for the needs of those who face barriers to participation.
  • It means that we’ll work with city offices and departments on community involvement to ensure that they are effective and efficient through the wise use and management of all resources, including the community’s time.
  • And it means we will expand the toolbox and make some investments in digital engagement.

 

Seattle is a unique city, and we are fortunate to have so many valuable partners currently at the proverbial table. Those partners play an important role and that role will continue. While we are appreciative of the countless hours our volunteers spend making our city better, we recognize and acknowledge there are barriers to participation. There are communities who cannot be at the table, while there are some communities who don’t even know there is a table. This is where the Department of Neighborhoods comes in.

This is not a power grab. It is a power share. At the heart of this Executive Order is a commitment to advance the effective deployment of equitable and inclusive community engagement strategies across all city departments. This is about making information and opportunities for participation more accessible to communities throughout the city.

 

“This is not about silencing voices. It’s the exact opposite. It’s about bringing more people into the conversations or at least creating opportunities for people to participate so they can be heard.”

 
Face-to-face meetings are incredibly important and those are not going away. But not every person can attend a community meeting, and the ability to do so should not determine who gets to participate and who gets to be heard.

We’d love to hear what tools YOU need to be successful and how WE can help you. Share your ideas with us:

  • Send an email to NewDON@seattle.gov.
  • Share your comments below.
  • Contact us at 206-684-0464 or mail us at P.O. Box 94649, Seattle, WA 98124-4649.
  • Join and follow the conversation online using #AdvancingEquitySEA at:

Facebook – @SeattleNeighborhoods
Twitter – @SeaNeighborhood

This is about making things easier and less exhaustive. This is about connecting communities to government and to one another. This is about moving forward.

Kathy Nyland, Director
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods

People’s Academy for Community Engagement Now Accepting Applications

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is accepting applications to the People’s Academy for Community Engagement (PACE), our civic leadership development program for the next wave of community leaders. The fall session begins September 27 and runs through December 6.

During the 10-week program, 25-30 emerging leaders (18 years and up) will learn hands-on strategies for community building, accessing government, and inclusive engagement from experts in the field. PACE has a strong focus on Seattle’s community and neighborhood organizations and the city’s governmental structure and processes.

Fall sessions will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Miller Community Center. Topics include: Approaches to Leadership, Government 101, Community Organizing, Inclusive Outreach and Public Engagement, Meeting Facilitation, Public Speaking, Conflict Resolution, and Sustaining Involvement.

Tuition for the 10-week program is $100. Tuition assistance is available. To apply, visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/programs-and-services/peoples-academy-for-community-engagement/pace-application. The application deadline is Friday, August 12 at 5:00 p.m.

Given the popularity of the program, PACE will be offered three times a year: winter, spring and fall. The winter session will begin in January of 2017. For more information, visit our webpage and for questions, email PACE@seattle.gov.

Deadline Approaches for Matching Funds to Support your Neighborhood Project

September 2 workshop for interested applicants
Application deadline is October 5

If your group needs funds to do a neighborhood project, our Neighborhood Matching Fund may be able to help. However, you’ll need to be quick because the application deadline for the Small and Simple Projects Fund is Monday, October 5 at 5:00 p.m. This fund provides awards of up to $25,000 to for community-building projects that are matched by community contributions.

To learn about the Small and Simple Projects Fund, visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/smallandsimple.htm. This is the last opportunity in 2015 to apply to this fund.

The final workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at University Heights Community Center (Room 209), 5031 University Way NE. The workshop provides an overview of the Neighborhood Matching Fund, the qualities of a good project, and the application process and requirements. To RSVP, go online at surveymonkey.com/r/ZHM36BJ or call  206-233-0093. The workshop is open to all.

Our Neighborhood Matching Fund staff is available to advise groups on ways to develop successful applications and projects. You are strongly encouraged to call 206.233.0093 or email NMFund@seattle.gov to discuss your project idea with one of our project managers.

The Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) Program awards matching funds for projects initiated, planned, and implemented by community members. Its goal is to build stronger and healthier neighborhoods through community involvement and engagement. Every award is matched by a neighborhood’s contribution of volunteer labor, donated materials, in-kind professional services, or cash.