Winter Gardening Wishes, plus a great gardening resource

When I first came to Seattle,  I quickly found a community with Seattle Tilth Association. At that time Binda Colebrook’s Winter Gardening in the Maritime Northwest was not quite a book and was typed on a manual typewriter and  printed up by hand.   Now in its 5th Edition, this book holds information that is valuable to all P-Patch gardeners, be you novice or master of the gardening craft. 

Cheers to your garden, full of wonder and flavor,

Julie Bryan, P-Patch Garden Coordinator

Deadline extended for submission to serve on the International Special Review District Board (ISRD)

The deadline for submission of a cover letter and resume for one of two Mayoral appointee seats on the ISRD Board has been extended through Jan. 4th. We are seeking individuals who are architects and who have an interest in historic preservation and/or familiarity with the Chinatown/International District. If you know of interested and qualified candidates, please share this information.   Click here for more information.

Mayor McGinn announces more city investment in our P-Patches and urban agriculture

On December 18, Mayor McGinn announced the creation of additional space for community gardening and urban agriculture in the city. Approximately 185 P-Patch community garden plots will be developed or made available, along with 14,500 square feet of land dedicated to large tract gardening.

Joining the Mayor at the announcement was Councilmember Sally Bagshaw; Joyce Moty, president of the P-Patch Trust; Erika Harris, a gardener from the Spring Street P-Patch; and Bernie Matsuno, director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

Based on the recommendations by the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Oversight Committee, the city is providing these opportunities by investing $427,000 of the inflationary funds that were not spent as part of the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy.  The funds will be used to add approximately 115 new community garden plots by building gardens in Licton Springs, First Hill and Capitol Hill and by adding additional plots to the Judkins P-Patch. It will also create two urban agriculture sites on city-owned land in Squire Park, and double the size of the Marra Farm Large Tract Project to provide additional gardening space for three low-income farmers. In addition, existing P-Patch plots will be resized in 13 P-Patch community gardens to provide gardening opportunities for 70 families.

In 2008, voters approved the Parks and Green Spaces Levy which earmarked $2 million to build four additional P-Patch community gardens. Through significant community involvement, leveraging of funds, and support from other city departments, the P-Patch Program will have completed 17 new gardens and expanded five existing gardens by 2014. The inflationary-funded projects will be completed in 2013 or 2014.

For details on the new projects, view a Fact Sheet and the map showing the existing and new levy projects. And for more information overall on the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy projects in community gardening, visit

Save the Date! 2013 Neighbor Appreciation Day is February 9

Celebrate Seattle’s 19th annual Neighbor Appreciation Day on February 9, 2013. Neighbor Appreciation Day is the traditional day to reach out to neighbors, create new friends, and express thanks to those who help make your neighborhood a great place to live.

Visit our website at to find resources and ways to help you celebrate the day such as:

  • Planning an activity for your neighborhood such as a block party, potluck, or work party.
  • Sending a Neighbor Appreciation Day greeting e-card to your neighbors.
  • Sharing a story or two about your favorite neighbors.

Join Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and the hundreds of community members across our city in celebration of what makes Seattle great – our neighbors!


Seattle Department of Neighborhoods awards $2 million for neighborhood projects

2012 Small and Simple Awardees – photo by Hugo Ludena

Mayor Mike McGinn and the Seattle City Council announced nearly $2 million in matching fund awards to support neighborhood projects across the city in early December. Fifty-one community groups will receive awards from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ Neighborhood Matching Fund Program for projects as diverse as reactivating historic alleyways in Chinatown/ID to creating a free math and science drop-in center for Rainier Valley youth.  

The Neighborhood Matching Fund awardees applied to either the Large Projects Fund (for projects up to $100,000) or the Small and Simple Projects Fund (for projects up to $20,000). The cash awards go to neighborhood groups committed to fostering and building a better community. In total, the awards range from $5,593 to $100,000, and communities have pledged to match the city’s $1.9 million contribution with resources valued at nearly $3.4 million. 

“The Neighborhood Matching Fund awards reflect our commitment to providing concrete ways to help community members make Seattle a better place to live,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “Neighborhoods initiate and support these projects. The matching fund provides the opportunity, so our community members can turn their creative ideas and energy into reality. Since this program started nearly 25 years ago, thousands of projects have happened across the city.”

Recipients of the Neighborhood Matching Fund match their awards through a combination of locally raised money, donated materials and expertise, and volunteer labor. On average, community volunteers invest $1.69 of donations and sweat equity for every $1 of taxpayer support.

“I am always impressed by the dedication of the volunteers who work so hard to make these projects happen,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, chair of the Parks and Neighborhoods Committee. “With assistance from the Neighborhood Matching Fund and Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, our community members are empowered to make positive contributions; and we are all richer due to their efforts.”

For the Large Projects Fund, the Citywide Review Team (CRT) recommended the awarded projects to the Mayor and City Council through an open competitive application process. Made up of volunteer representatives from each of the 13 neighborhood districts, plus four at-large community members, the CRT reviews applications, interviews applicants, and makes funding recommendations. The applications are also reviewed by members from District Councils.

 Created to promote and support neighborhood-based, self-help projects, the Neighborhood Matching Fund is managed by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Since the program began 24 years ago, the Neighborhood Matching Fund has awarded approximately $50 million with a community match of more than $71 million.  Projects have involved 85,000 volunteers who have donated more than 573,000 work hours. To learn more about the Fund, visit   To view a list of Small and Simple awarded projects, click here.  To view a list of Large Project awards, click here.


Large Project Awardees

2012 Large Project awardees – photo by Hugo Ludena