Mayor Announces $464,000 in Matching Funds for Neighborhood Projects

Rainier Beach Community ClubMayor Murray has announced the 24 community groups receiving matching funds to support neighborhood-initiated projects across the city. Totaling $464,823, the Neighborhood Matching Fund awards will fund a variety of physical improvements, cultural festivals, and events.

“These awards recognize the dedication and hard work of community members working together to improve their neighborhood,” said Mayor Murray. “Whether the projects are for physical improvements or a cultural celebration, the benefit of this program is the connection and engagement of neighbors and the broader community.”

These awards are part of the Small and Simple Projects Fund, one of three funds we offer through the Neighborhood Matching Fund. 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 November awards range from $5,000 to $25,000, and the organizations pledge to match the City of Seattle’s $464,823 investment with $523,744 of locally raised money, donated materials, and volunteer labor.

“The Neighborhood Matching Fund has been such an incredible resource for communities over the past 27 years,” said Kathy Nyland, director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. “The dollars raised by community groups are leveraged with the help of the Fund which means a “win” for the groups and their projects, but also a “win” for the community at large. This round of projects is diverse and creative and proves once again how resourceful communities are throughout Seattle.”

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

The Small and Simple Projects Fund opens again for applications next January. To learn more, visit

Congratulations to these November awardees:

District 1

$17,172 to Delridge Advisory Core Team to survey and do outreach to create a shared vision for business prosperity, foster community-oriented economic development, and connect neighborhood businesses and residents. (Community match: $9,800)

$25,000 to West Seattle Junction Association to procure and install a large piece of public art, along with lighting, in the Junction Plaza Park. (Community match: $28,660)

$8,900 to Friends of the Chilberg Link to extensively landscape a sloped median on Chilberg Avenue SW leading to Emma Schmitz Park to grow edible plants and create an attractive display. (Community match: $10,888)

District 2

$11,750 to Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience to create an exhibit about the Danny Woo Community Garden featuring oral histories of pioneers and elderly immigrant gardeners and hands-on learning activities. (Community match: $47,171)

District 3

$25,000 to Gay City Arts to organize events exploring the experiences of three marginalized groups within LGBT communities: people of color, transgender and genderqueer people, and people over 40. The free events will include classes in visual, literary and performing arts, along with community dialogues and performances. (Community match: $33,404)

$25,000 to Tasveer to organize the 11th Aaina: South Asian Women’s Focus festival to celebrate the artistic and activist work of and about South Asian women and their community through film, visual art, performances, and conversations. (Community match: $48,750)

$15,000 to Madrona PTSA to install a reader board at the school’s front entrance to engage the Madrona community with school news and neighborhood events. (Community match: $15,085)

$12,800 to Friends of Mt. Baker Ridge Viewpoint to remove invasive plants, restore native habitat, preserve the view corridor and do some replacement planting. (Community match: $12,820)

$10,000 to Capitol Hill Champion to organize community engagement regarding neighborhood priorities for Capitol Hill Station Transit Oriented Development though focused conversations and design charrettes with underrepresented populations to promote inclusion of neighborhood preferences. (Community match: $7,720)

$25,000 to First Hill Improvement Association to engage the community in a visioning and concept design for First Hill Park to make it a safe, active open space. (Community match: $13,500)

$25,000 to Friends of the Conservatory to conduct a feasibility study addressing improvements of water usage in Volunteer Park. Study will include preliminary design and cost estimates. (Community match: $12,500)

$24,640 to Montlake Community Club to work with community stakeholders to develop a planning document to improve the vitality of the Montlake business district along the 24th Avenue corridor to Highway 520. (Community match: $15,900)

District 4

$25,000 to Sand Point Arts and Cultural Exchange for KMGP 101.1, a new low-power FM radio station that will broadcast arts and culturally relevant news, music, and programming. Station will provide opportunities for after school youth job training, school programming, and community involvement. (Community match $46,279)

$10,000 to Friends of North Lake Union to do the initial assessment and planning requirements for the creation of a small scale environmental restoration project for Waterway 22 located on N Northlake Way at Stone Way N. (Community match: $5,000)

$8,968 for Sand Point Elementary PTA to create a more usable, safer sport court in the covered indoor/outdoor play area by installing a textured surface marked for various sports. (Community match: $8,968)

District 6

$12,390 to Friends of the Ballard Civic Orchestra to create a multigenerational, multiethnic community orchestra that is open to the public, and offer rehearsals, instructional workshops and performances without charge. (Community match: $15,430)

$25,000 to Friends of Ballard Avenue to create a plan for permanent overhead street lighting for historic Ballard Ave NW that will foster an improved sense of security and enhance this historic, iconic neighborhood. (Community match: $12,550)

District 7

$25,000 to Lawton Elementary School PTA to implement Phase 1 of playground improvements to reduce maintenance costs, improve watershed function, and increase connectivity to surrounding parklands. (Community match: $83,750)

$10,000 to Friends of Bell Street Park Reading Room to put out carts of books, tables, and chairs to create a mobile public reading room at Bell Street Park events and in the Belltown Community Center. (Community match: $12,120)

$25,000 to South Lake Union Community Council for the second phase of design work for a series of micro-parks along Westlake Avenue N from Denny Way to Lake Union Park intended to enhance the vibrancy of the public space along the arterial. (Community match: $12,500)

$25,000 to Magnolia Trail Community to carry out Phase II of a community-informed study to develop a walk/bike trail through roughly 300 yards of SDOT and Seattle Parks land that is currently a gap in the network of citywide trails. (Community match: $13,500)


$25,000 to Deaf Spotlight to offer a three-week summer theater camp for 15-20 middle and high school youth who are hard of hearing or are signing hearing children of deaf adults. Project culminates in performance of a play that the students write and produce. (Community match: $25,000)

$25,000 to Garinagu Houngua to organize workshops for the community to learn about the language, culture, and art of the Garifuna people from Garifuna natives. Project will culminate in a cultural event with presentations, dance, art, and food. (Community match: $15,900)

$23,203 to Festival Centro Americano to organize a free event in August, 2016 of Central American cultural performances, cultural expression, and cultural exchange. (Community match: $16,550)




Orca K-8 School Celebrates its Renovation on November 20

Orca PlaygroundJoin the families and friends of Orca K-8 as they celebrate the grand opening of their renovated playground. Located between S. Dawson and S. Bennet Street at 45th Street, the event will occur on November 20 at 4 p.m. There will be a short ceremony, snacks and activities around the newly rejuvenated playground and field that has new paths, play structures, tress, rain garden and a nature council ring. The project was funded in part with a $100,000 award from the Neighborhood Matching Fund.


Free Bikes Given to 30 South Park Kids by Bike Works and Microsoft

Bike Works and Microsoft Bike GiveawayThirty very happy children from Concord Elementary School, Sea Mar Community Health Center, and the South Park Community Center received free bikes from Bike Works last Friday, October 23. Along with their new BMX bikes, the kids also received new helmets, locks, bells, and lights.

Bike Works partnered with 50 volunteers from Microsoft to construct the bikes. On top of volunteering, Microsoft employees donated more than $1000 and more than $1200 in matching funds to allow the Bike Works Bike Mobile provide fee-free services for bike repairs to all South Park constituents for the next three months. So be on the lookout, South Park, for the Bike Mobile at the South Park Library every other Saturday starting on November 7 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods has provided funding to Bike Works for various projects through its Neighborhood Matching Fund and the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund. To learn more about Bike Works visit



City Contributes $5,000 to Tool Library after Robbery

toolsFollowing the recent burglary of the NE Seattle Tool Library in Wedgwood, the City of Seattle has pledged $5,000 to help the organization rebuild its inventory. It is estimated that $10,000 in power tools was stolen sometime this past weekend.

“The Tool Library is a true asset to Seattle – a community resource, a place to learn new skills and a venue to connect with neighbors,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “I encourage residents and businesses to match the City’s commitment to get this organization back on its feet.”

The NE Seattle Tool Library is a volunteer-staffed, nonprofit organization providing community access to a wide variety of tools, training, and sustainable resources. The organization helps its neighbors regardless of income, while reducing consumption of tools through sharing, repair, and reuse. Community members can join the library to borrow tools and take classes to pursue such activities as backyard gardens, home energy improvements, food preservation and water harvesting. The Tool Library also hosts community events.

“The Tool Library encompasses so many people: our founders in Sustainable NE Seattle, our many volunteers and thousands of members in the community,” said Sarah Kautz, Tool Library coordinator. “This organization is truly a labor of love and cooperation, and we are so overwhelmed with gratitude in the wake of this incident. With the help of this gift from the City, we will be able to restock many of the shelves that took us almost three years to fill and continue lending these tools to the community.”

To donate, visit and click on yellow Donate icon. Those interested in donating tools can visit the website for a list of tools needed. For more information, call 206-524-6062 or email

The NE Seattle Tool Library started as a project of Sustainable NE Seattle in 2012 and opened its doors in January of 2013. It received a $25,000 Small and Simple Projects Fund award from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods later that year to help it grow its inventory, train volunteers, and establish regular hours. Most of its Steering Committee members were founding members of the Library and are still actively involved.

“There is a strong sense of community created by the NE Seattle Tool Library,” said Kathy Nyland, director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. “We believed in this project several years ago when we funded it through our Neighborhood Matching Fund program. We still believe in it, which is why this gesture is so supported. We want our projects to continue to succeed, and this donation will help on that front.”



Seattle’s Neighborhood Matching Fund Available to Support “Shop Small” Activities

shop smallIs your neighborhood business group, chamber of commerce, or business district planning an activity for Small Business Saturday? If so, your group may qualify for support from Seattle’s Neighborhood Matching Fund program. Its Small Sparks Fund provides matching dollars of up to $1000 for neighborhood-initiated projects that promote community engagement.

Small Business Saturday and Shop Small are efforts to promote shopping and dining at small independent businesses in neighborhood business districts during the holiday season. This year’s Small Business Saturday is November 28, and the Shop Small campaign lasts through the holiday season.

The Small Sparks Fund has resources to support efforts to promote your business district. Activities could include events, entertainment, or marketing to neighborhoods during the winter season, but the ideas are endless. The application is online at

The deadline to apply for Small Business Saturday is October 16; and for other events, the deadline is at least six weeks before your activity. To learn more call 206-733-9916 or visit our website at


You’re invited to Jimi Hendrix Park Rain Garden Planting Party

Jimi Hendrix Park Rain GardenThe Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park invite you to help build the rain gardens at Jimi Hendrix Park in this one-time only event. Be among the first to see the completion of Phase 1, “Little Wing.” Make sure to RSVP below to let them know that you will attend.

This project was funded in part by a $100,000 award from our Neighborhood Matching Fund.

Jimi Hendrix Park
2400 South Massachusetts Street
Seattle, WA 98144

Saturday, November 14
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Mayor Murray, Seattle City Council Approve $1.5 Million in Matching Funds to Support Neighborhood-initiated Projects

Beacon Food ForestMayor Ed Murray and Seattle City Council today approved more than $1.5 million in matching funds to support neighborhood projects across the City. Nineteen community organizations will receive awards from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ Neighborhood Matching Fund program for a variety of projects involving physical improvements, events, and cultural activities.

“The Neighborhood Matching Fund creates opportunities for neighbors to turn their creative ideas and energy into innovative projects,” said Mayor Murray. “The City’s meaningful investments help build community and provide incredible returns for our neighborhoods that everyone can enjoy.”

Funded through the Large Projects Fund, the awards range from $43,785 to $100,000, and the awardees have pledged to match the city’s $1,505,515 contribution with in-kind resources and donations valued at $2,961,190. Projects range from the construction of a neighborhood center at Pike Place Market to a cultural event series in Delridge.

“Neighborhood volunteers truly make a difference,” said Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, chair of the Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee. “Countless volunteer hours go into each of these projects, and I’m impressed by the desire, dedication, and tenacity of community members to see these projects to completion.”

Every application to the Large Projects Fund goes through an extensive evaluation process by two teams: the Citywide Review Team (CRT), a group representing each of the 13 neighborhood districts, plus four at-large community members; and the District Council Review Teams, comprised of members from the District Councils. These volunteers review the applications, interview applicants, and make the recommendations for funding.

“In every neighborhood, the Neighborhood Matching Fund has made an impact – from Georgetown’s Hat n’ Boots to Wallingford’s Meridian Park Playground,” said Kathy Nyland, director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. “Over the past 27 years, more than 5000 community projects have been completed with help from the Neighborhood Matching Fund.”

There are two other funds in the Neighborhood Matching Fund program, the Small Sparks Fund (awards up to $1000) and Small and Simple Projects Fund (awards up to $25,000). To learn more about the Fund, visit

2015 Large Projects Fund Awardees

North Region (north of Ship Canal)

$100,000 to the Broadview Community Playground Improvement Project to renovate the school playground and play areas to benefit the school, Bitter Lake Community Center, and the surrounding neighborhoods. (Community match: $112,760)

$100,000 to Viewlands Elementary PTSA to construct a new play structure, track, and site, and renovate the field and painted sport courts to revitalize this gathering place with purposeful and accessible areas. (Community match: $183,904)

$88,887 to Friends of Yesler Swamp to complete the restoration of Yesler Swamp and construct 300 additional feet of the remaining section of an environmentally-designed, ADA-accessible boardwalk. (Community match: $90,160)

$25,000 to the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association to convert a cut-through street into a safe pedestrian- and bike-friendly zone that bridges the gap between the I-5 Park and Ride and the Sound Transit station. (Community match: $106,655)

$99,414 to University Heights Center to renovate the community performance hall to include egress improvements, ADA accessibility, creation of a foyer, installation of stage lighting and audio-visual equipment, and other aesthetic improvements. (Community match: $99,414)

$99,000 to John Stanford Playground Improvement Committee to improve the school grounds into a more accessible, safe, and welcoming public space. Project includes replacing concrete fixtures and play equipment and the addition of accessible ramps and pathways. (Community match: $108,150)

South Region

$100,000 to the Mount Baker Community Club to improve the clubhouse’s energy efficiency and safety by replacing the roof, removing or repairing the damaged brick chimneys, and installing an energy-efficient gas-fired boiler. (Community match: $152,689)

$100,000 to Seattle Tilth to activate the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands by adding a children’s learning garden, rain gardens, and educational signage; equipping the community farm stand, kitchen, and greenhouses; and hosting a community-led celebration. (Community match: $111,464)

$100,000 to Rainier Valley Corps to implement a leadership and capacity-building program where emerging leaders of color will be recruited, trained, and placed in full-time work at communities-of-color-led nonprofits in Rainier Valley.        (Community match: $568,800)

$100,000 to Friends of Seward Park to build a new torii in Seward Park to replace the one that stood for 50 years and served as a community icon and gathering place. (Community match: $199,977)

West Seattle

$69,975 to the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association to produce 12 events in 2016 that will connect diverse community partners and build stronger relationships between organizations, groups, and individuals in the greater Delridge neighborhood. (Community match: $47,760)

Central Region

$50,000 to the Melrose Promenade to implement a series of community-supported road safety and placemaking measures to include pedestrian lighting, distinctive paving, crosswalks, signage, and art. (Community match: $145,793)

$43,785 to Friends of Jackson Street Mural Project to commission the painting and installation of a mural depicting significant historical labor events in the multicultural context of the Chinatown/International District and the Central Area. (Community match: $90,288)

$100,000 to the Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park Committee to construct Phase 2 of Jimi Hendrix Park designated “Are You Experienced?” to include additional pathways, lawn mow curbs, and vine plantings. Project entails demolition, earthwork, hardscape, and planting and irrigation. (Community match: $189,169)

$49,454 to the Central Area Senior Center to conduct a feasibility study to identify and prioritize options for future redevelopment of the center. Consultant will do surveying, architecture, parking and traffic analysis, engineering, and community engagement. (Community match: $103,200)

$100,000 to the Hirabayashi Place Legacy of Justice Committee to complete and install community-led project located on and around Hirabayashi Place to provide historical and cultural identity of Nihonmachi, Seattle’s historic Japantown, by honoring civil rights leader Gordon Hirabayashi. (Community match: $289,625)

$80,000 to the Pike Place Market Foundation to support the planning, design, and construction of a new Pike Place Market Neighborhood Center, a 1,950 square foot welcoming, accessible venue to serve as a downtown community gathering and activity place. (Community match: $171,300)

$50,000 to Lake Union Neighbors to proceed from 30% design completion to final construction documents for the East Howe Steps Plaza project which will provide a plaza and pedestrian connection from Capitol Hill to Lake Union. (Community match: $62,582)

$50,000 to the Plymouth Housing Group to construct a rain garden on the hill climb of the 710 Cherry Street property with benches and spaces for pedestrians, along with education panels on stormwater runoff, native plants, and green infrastructure. (Community match: $127,500)

You’re Invited to a Meeting for the Magnolia Community Trail

Magnolia Trail ProjectPlease join the Magnolia community for the second public meeting regarding the feasibility of the Magnolia Community Trail connecting Magnolia Village with the marina and the soon-to-be-expanded Smith Cove Park. It will take place on Tuesday, September 22, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Our Lady of Fatima Parish and School (3218 W. Barrett St.). SvR Design, the consultant doing the feasibility study, will present its findings about trail possibilities for reaching the waterfront and Smith Cove Park from Magnolia Village. The public will be invited to provide comment on the study findings.

This project is a community effort and is supported by a $25,000 Small and Simple award of the Neighborhood Matching Fund.



Friends of Art on Pier 86 wants to hear from You!

Art on Pier 86 flierA group of local volunteers are exploring the possibility of bringing art to the iconic grain silos and elevator located at Pier 86 on the Seattle waterfront north of Myrtle Edwards Park. A steering committee has been formed called the Friends of Art on Pier 86 (FAP86). Their charter is to determine the feasibility of adding art to the existing structures without compromising the functionality of the facility.  With support from a $25,000 award from the Neighborhood Matching Fund, they have hired a consultant to conduct a feasibility study of potential public art on Pier 86 structures. The study will examine design parameters, surface media, thematic ideas, and cost and maintenance considerations.  They want to hear from you!  Attend the forum on September 29 at 7:00 p.m. at the SAM Sculpture Park Pavilion to learn more about the project and provide your own ideas!

DON and SDOT Announce Community Crosswalks Program

Community CrosswalksToday Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON) and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) jointly announced the Community Crosswalks program, a new way for residents to secure neighborhood oriented crosswalks.

“This is about celebrating and enhancing community identities,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “The iconic rainbow crosswalks on Capitol Hill started a broader conversation on how we can incorporate neighborhood character in the built environment across Seattle. I’m excited to see more history, culture, and community on display for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

Spurred by the popularity of Capitol Hill’s rainbow crosswalks, which were installed in June, residents can now use the existing Neighborhood Matching Fund to request such crosswalks. This will allow unique crosswalks to be approved and installed through an established process, ensuring that they are safe, reflective of community values and can be maintained.

“Community oriented crosswalks are great ways to represent a neighborhood,” said Kathy Nyland, director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. “This new crosswalk program will allow interested community members to showcase their neighborhood’s unique culture and history or just liven up an intersection with a colorful design.”

To be eligible for an installation by SDOT, applicants will need to adhere to City guidelines for crosswalk locations and designs. Crosswalks must be sited where vehicles already stop for a traffic signal or stop sign, the design should consist only of horizontal or vertical bars, and the pavement underneath must be in good condition.  

“We are pleased that other Seattle neighborhoods are being inspired by Capitol Hill’s rainbow crosswalks,” said SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “Through this joint SDOT/DON effort, we can transform other crossing points into tangible signs of community pride.”

Crosswalks typically cost about $25 per square foot, depending on the complexity of the design and installation, and can be expected to last approximately 3-5 years based on the amount of vehicular traffic at the location. More information about the program can be found here: Crosswalks installed or modified outside of this process will be reviewed by SDOT and removed/repainted if determined to be unsafe.

The Neighborhood Matching Fund provides matching dollars for neighborhood improvement, organizing, or projects that are developed and implemented by community members. More information about the longstanding program can be found here: