What Comes to Mind When You Think of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods?

Kathy NylandMy first message was delivered on my ninth day in this new role. Now that I have two months under my belt, my accessory of choice seems to be the bags under my eyes. I have attended neighborhood meetings, community councils, dedications, town halls, retreats, coffee dates, and that was just this week!

These last two months have consisted of some longs days, some tense nights, and some wonderful conversations, all while flying by. Truth be told, I am still working on finding the balance between emergency briefings and staff meetings. The latter is always my preference because those meetings provide such a glimpse into the uniqueness of the department. They are a fabulous opportunity to learn about staff and programs. And learning I am!

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is unique. We house a variety of programs ranging from P-Patches to PACE, Historic Preservation to Major Institutions, Neighborhood Matching Fund to Neighborhood District Coordinators, and that’s a partial list. What this means is I am learning about plot sizes and interest lists, curriculum development, board responsibilities, Citizen Advisory Committees (Citizen?…need to find out why we use “citizen.” See, always learning!), funding cycles, scoring protocols, and geographic allocation.

When this department was founded nearly 30 years ago, much of the programming was centered on “community building.” If you look at our current lines of business, community building would still be an appropriate descriptor, but that would also describe so many programs throughout all of the departments in the city. Community building, while a focus within DON, is not exclusive to DON. So what does that mean for us? This is a question that has occupied my thoughts for the last two months.

I’ve asked many people the following: What comes to mind when you think of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods? Some of the responses have made me laugh, some have made me think, and some have felt like a sucker punch. Responses include:

  • Gardens
  • Jim Diers
  • Meetings
  • Nothing
  • The future
  • Connectors
  • Staff
  • The 1990s
  • Heart of the city

So, I ask you this. What comes to mind when YOU think of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods?

Kathy Nyland
Department of Neighborhoods Director

(please share your thoughts in the Comments section)

Neighborhood Matching Fund Hosts Free Workshops for Community Groups

Othello Music FestivalThe Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF), a program of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, is hosting workshops for community groups interested in learning about the city’s popular Small and Simple Projects Fund. The Small and Simple Projects Fund provides matching awards of up to $25,000 to neighborhood groups for community-building projects.

Each workshop provides an overview of the Neighborhood Matching Fund, the qualities of a good project, and the application process and requirements. To RSVP, call 206-233-0093 or go online at surveymonkey.com/r/ZHM36BJ.

The workshop dates are:

  • Thursday, August 20; 6 – 8 p.m. at Miller Community Center (Multipurpose Room), 330 19th Ave E
  • Wednesday, September 2; 6 – 8 p.m. at University Heights Community Center (Room 209), 5031 University Way NE

To learn about the Fund, visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/neighborhood-matching-fund/small-and-simple-projects-fund-. The deadline for applications is Monday, October 5 at 5:00 p.m., but be sure to register now to apply. This is the last opportunity to apply to the Small and Simple Projects Fund this year.

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.

 

 

Join the Conversation!

Seattle 2035 logoThe Seattle 2035 Draft Plan is out, and the City wants you to weigh in! The Draft Plan includes Key Proposals that will guide how Seattle grows and your feedback is needed to help make important decisions.

Join the Online Community Conversation at seattle2035.consider.it. Once you’re there, you can review 10 Key Proposals from the Draft Plan, and discuss the potential pros and cons of each with your fellow Seattleites. Feedback received through the Seattle 2035 Online Community Conversation will help inform the Mayor’s Recommended Plan, coming in December 2015.

Here’s how you can join the conversation in four easy steps:

Step 1: Visit seattle2035.consider.it where you’ll find 10 Key Proposals included in the Draft Plan.

Step 2: Check out the list of Key Proposals.

Step 3: Read the pros and cons for each Key Proposal and add your own! Use the sliders to show if you agree or disagree.

Step 4: Check back often to see what your fellow Seattleites are saying!

City of Seattle Awards $467,000 for Neighborhood Projects

Youth BasketballThe City of Seattle is awarding $467,562 in matching funds to support neighborhood-initiated projects across Seattle. Twenty-eight community groups received awards from the Neighborhood Matching Fund for a variety of events, cultural festivals and projects.

“These projects are the result of neighbors working together to better their community,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “The entire city benefits from their volunteerism and talent as they create, plan and implement these projects. The Neighborhood Matching Fund is there to support their efforts, whether it is an exhibit, a documentary or a playground.”

These awards are part of the Small and Simple Projects Fund, one of three funds offered by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. It provides cash awards of up to $25,000 in matching funds to community organizations committed to fostering and building a better community. The 2015 June awards range from $4,000 to $25,000, and the organizations pledge to match the City of Seattle’s $467,562 investment with $600,132 of locally raised money, donated materials and volunteer labor.

“There is a reason the Neighborhood Matching Fund has existed for 27 years. It’s been a valuable resource for communities to turn their visions into reality,” said Kathy Nyland, director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. “Plus for every dollar awarded, the community leverages the funds by matching the award. And this round of projects shows the diversity of ideas and creativity, proving once again how resourceful communities are throughout this city.”

In addition to the Small and Simple Projects Fund, the Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) has two other programs: the Large Projects Fund which provides matching funds of up to $100,000, and the Small Sparks Fund which provides funds of up to $1,000. Since 1988 more than 5,000 projects have been completed by neighborhoods and communities with the help of NMF, and its investment in neighborhoods can be seen across the city. For more information about all of the funds visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/.

The Small and Simple Projects Fund opens again for applications in September with a deadline of October 5. To learn more, visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/smallandsimple.htm.

2015 June Small and Simple Projects Fund Awardees

Citywide Projects

  • $8,927 to Seattle-Sihanoukville Sister City Association to produce an event to provide education and share stories of Cambodian refugees during the Khmer Rouge Genocide and their resettlement in the United States. (Community match: $13,365)
  • $25,000 to Center for Linguistic and Cultural Democracy to produce a Seattle Caribbean Festival sharing cultural performances and cultural exchange to unite members of the diverse Caribbean community. (Community match: $20,480)
  • $10,000 to Gay City Health Project to solicit public input to create a database of health care providers to ensure the LGBTQ community has access to high quality, competent healthcare. (Community match: $7,220)

South Seattle Projects

  • $11,830 to Cheasty Greenspace at MountainView to finish elements to the Valley View Trail’s trailhead connection, install wayfinding, and host a celebration. (Community match: $12,000)
  • $23,500 to Colman Park Restoration Project to develop a vegetation plan with community input for the west slope of Colman Park. (Community match: $12,260)
  • $5,110 to Othello Park Alliance to plant a hillside at Othello Park with 100% low native plants and involve the community in the selection and process. (Community match: $5,150)

West Seattle Projects

  • $24,400 to Chief Sealth Indoor Tennis to conduct a feasibility study and develop a conceptual plan for an indoor tennis center at the former Denny Middle School site. (Community match: $14,720)
  • $25,000 to South Park Area Redevelopment Committee to create a design with public input, construction documents, and cost estimates to improve Duwamish Waterway Park. (Community match: $45,575)
  • $21,395 to the West Seattle Time Bank to host 20 community events and workshops to promote timebanking and increase participation in West Seattle. (Community match: $22,840)
  • $15,000 to Circulo de Mamas Seattle to convene 20 Latina mothers and community members to further develop their community leadership through culturally relevant training. (Community match: $25,550)

North Seattle Projects (north of Ship Canal)

  • $12,000 to Low Income Housing Institute to produce a free event series that features the people and topics relating to the Ballard neighborhood. (Community match: $6,320)
  • $24,400 to Ballard Historical Society to conduct a historic inventory of the Ballard community and utilize a visual and interactive GIS mapping component to engage volunteers and the public. (Community match: $32,400)
  • $15,000 to Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth to perform outreach within Ballard to garner interest in a proposed Business Improvement Area (BIA) to serve the needs of the neighborhood. (Community match: $17,820)
  • $11,500 to Troll’s Knoll P-Patch community garden to build and outfit a tool shed, create pathways, purchase equipment, and build accessible raised beds. (Community match: $12,550)
  • $4,000 to Friends of the Lake City Fred Meyer Garden Project to lead a community design process to beautify and activate a parcel of land owned by Fred Meyer. (Community match: $2,240)
  • $25,000 to Freedom Project to organize a series of free workshops to address racial inequity by engaging in collective learning, dialogue, and action. (Community match: $21,730)
  • $12,000 to Lake City Future First to improve a website and use it as a place to post volunteer opportunities and projects needing support, connect Lake City to resources, and encourage posts by community members for broad community engagement. (Community match: $13,260)

Central Seattle Projects

  • $25,000 to Leschi Community Council to install Fitness Zone equipment in Powell Barnett Park to increase the neighborhood’s access to health and fitness. (Community match: $39,500)
  • $25,000 to Friends of Cayton Corner Park to prepare construction documents for a neighborhood pocket park on Capitol Hill. (Community match: $12,630)
  • $11,500 to 23rd Avenue ACT (Action Core Team) to produce the Central Area Block Party in September to highlight the history and culture of the community. (Community match: $10,712)
  • $12,000 to the MLK Family Arts Mentoring Enrichment Community Center to conduct a planning study and prepare a master plan to renovate the facility’s kitchen. (Community match: $23,400)
  • $15,000 to Friends of Cathay Post Oral History Project to produce a documentary and publication of the stories of Chinese American WWII and Korean War veterans. (Community match: $33,700)
  • $12,000 to The Art of Alzheimer’s to organize a free art exhibition featuring paintings by people living with dementia to deepen community understanding of the disease. (Community match: $25,280)
  • $25,000 to Friends of Alley Gallery to develop recommendations to transform the Bell Street Park alleys into assets for ongoing creativity. (Community match: $14,100)
  • $15,000 to Growing Vine Street to increase capacity and engage the community in a dialogue about green space needs, neighborhood history, and other topics through two events. (Community match: $23,100)
  • $12,000 to Capitol Hill Housing Foundation to engage renters living in the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict in voter registration and a 2016 Renters Summit. (Community match: $30,980)
  • $16,000 to Sustainable Capitol Hill to create a community tool library and fixers’ collective to provide items to check out or use in the workshop. (Community match: $42,100)
  • $25,000 to Lawton Elementary School PTA to complete construction-ready documents to modernize the playground and redesign the surrounding space for the neighborhood. (Community match: $59,150)

Apply now for Funds to Support Neighborhood Night Out 2015 Activities

Night out flierIf your neighborhood needs funding to participate in the 31st Annual Night Out on August 4, the Neighborhood Matching Fund may be able to help. However, you’ll need to apply now to its Small Sparks Fund because the deadline is Monday, June 22 at 5:00 p.m. The Small Sparks Fund provides matching dollars for neighborhood-initiated projects that promote community engagement. Community groups can request up to $1000 to help fund Night Out planning efforts and activities such as outreach efforts, educational fairs, bike parades, and neighborhood cleanups, to name a few. Even though the deadline for applications is June 22, you’ll need to register first in our web-based application system by June 19. For information on the application process, visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/smallsparks.htm or call 206-733-9916. The Small Sparks Fund is open to applications year-round. Night Out is a national crime prevention event designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, increase neighborhood support in anti-crime efforts, and unite communities. To learn more about Night Out, visit www.seattle.gov/police/Nightout/.  

A message from Kathy Nyland, our new Department Director

Kathy NylandNine Days. I’ve been here nine days. June 2nd was my first official day here at Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. I say “official” because I have worked with this department in some capacity for years. This is familiar ground to me. In my previous life, pre-nine days ago, I have:

Relied on my Neighborhood District Coordinator over the years and credit a few for being mentors to me.

Submitted applications to the Neighborhood Matching Fund; sometimes receiving funding. Sometimes not.

Chaired my District Council and served on the City Neighborhood Council.

Attended Citizen Advisory Committees and provided comments to the Landmarks Preservation Board.

I have not signed up for a P-Patch….not yet. I have not mastered weeding in my own yard so that guilt has prevented me from signing up for a plot elsewhere.

So, yes, I am familiar with this department.

This department is rich in history. Created nearly 30 years ago, this is a department that has introduced the city to many programs that are considered crowning jewels. My role is to make sure that our future is just as rich as our past, and I am honored and thrilled to help lead the way.

I come here having ideas but knowing I do not have all of the answers. And that’s why I am going to rely on you. Here are a few things I do believe:

Our residents are quite resourceful and are some of our best resources.

We need more chairs at the table.

Not everyone can provide testimony during the day or attend a meeting in the evening.

Let’s identify the obstacles and create more opportunities.

Everyone has a voice, and it’s our job to make sure those voices are heard.

Though this department is not new to me, this role is. It truly is an honor – a bit daunting, but an honor. I look forward to listening and learning something new every day. Here is to “day 10” and many more beyond that!

Kathy

 

High Point and NewHolly Farm Stands Open this Month

Market GardenFor fresh organic produce this summer look no further than the High Point and NewHolly Farm Stands which open for the season at the end of June. The farm stands offer produce picked right from the P-Patch market gardens and grown by low-income residents of the High Point and NewHolly Seattle Housing Authority neighborhoods.

The High Point Farm Stand is located at 32nd Ave. SW and SW Juneau Street. It is open on Wednesdays beginning June 24 to September 30. The NewHolly Farm Stand is located at S. Holly Park Dr. between 40th Ave. S. and Rockery Dr. S. It is open Fridays beginning June 26 through October 2. Both farm stands’ hours of operation are 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The farm stands accept EBT cards and participate in Fresh Bucks which doubles consumers’ first $10 spent on the card. Come see the gardens, meet the farmers, and enjoy their organic produce.

The High Point and NewHolly Market Gardens are part of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods P-Patch Community Gardening Program and its collaboration with Seattle Housing Authority and GROW to support low-income gardeners and their neighborhoods. Its mission is to establish safe, healthy communities and economic opportunity through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and farm stand enterprises.

To learn more, visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/p-patch-community-gardening/market-gardens.