City of Seattle Awards $650,700 for Community-based Projects

BF Day Elementary School PlaygroundMayor Ed Murray and the Seattle City Council awarded seven Seattle organizations a total of $650,741 to support neighborhood-initiated projects across the city. The awards are part of the City’s Neighborhood Matching Fund, which provides more than $3 million each year to local organizations.

“Through the Neighborhood Matching Fund, thousands of community organizations have completed a variety of projects that have made a difference in their neighborhood and community,” said Mayor Murray.  “From a performance series in the Central Area, to an open space plaza in Eastlake, to digital storytelling in Chinatown International District – these funds help to acknowledge the dedication of community volunteers to make their ideas become realities.”

“These projects are inspirational examples of neighbors working together to improve the lives of others and the health of their communities. I heard from many of the recipients at my Council committee in August, and look forward to seeing Neighborhood Matching Fund dollars put to great use across the city.”
– Councilmember Tim Burgess (Position 8, Citywide)

The Large Projects Fund, a program of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, provides awards of up to $100,000 to community organizations committed to fostering and building a better community. For this fund, two teams of community members from neighborhood districts selected the recipients through an extensive evaluation process. With the city’s investment of $650,741, these seven awardees will contribute $1,048,216 in locally raised money, donated materials and professional services and volunteer labor.

The Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) has two other funds: the Small and Simple Projects Fund which provides up to $25,000, and the Small Sparks Fund which provides up to $1,000 per project. For 28 years, more than 5,000 projects have been funded in partnership with the NMF Program, and its investment in neighborhoods can be seen across the city. For more information about all of the funds visit


2016 Large Projects Fund Awards

District 2

  • $100,000 to Mini Mart City Park to renovate a former gas station into a pocket park, arts center, and community gathering place in Georgetown. Community match: $265,010.
  • $100,000 to SouthEast Effective Development to build a professional broadcast studio for Rainier Valley Radio, a community production space, and other spaces to serve as a digital communications hub. Community match: $294,018.
  • $99,960 to the Beacon Food Forest for Phase II construction to include an outdoor educational space, additional P-Patch plots, a tool shed, and other improvements. Community match: $211,793.
  • $90,781 to OneAmerica to engage residents of Chinatown International District in digital storytelling through classes that teach English language and digital literacy skills. Community match: $47,345.


District 3

  • $60,000 to 206 Zulu to produce up to eight free public events while enabling Central District arts organizations free access to historic Washington Hall. Community match: $19,300.
  • $100,000 to The Friends of First Place Scholars to make facility improvements and plan for future repairs at the First Place School. Community match: $110,450.


District 4

  • $100,000 to Lake Union Neighbors to accomplish Phase I construction of an open space plaza in street right-of-way and complete a pedestrian corridor. Community match: $100,300.

Join Us for FREE Ice Cream at CityScoop

CityScoopJoin 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 S. between Hudson 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

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
  • 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

People's Academy for Community EngagementSeattle 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 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

Want a P-Patch Community Garden Plot? We Have Openings!

Market GardenerInterested in growing your own organic vegetables while connecting with your neighbors? Our P-Patch community gardens are for you.

While very popular, there are times when we have openings or short waiting lists for plots in the gardens. There are presently openings at Picardo P-Patch in Wedgwood and Colman P-Patch in Madrona. If interested, contact Vanesa Gutierrez at 206.615.1787.  P-Patches with short waitlists include Hawkins in Central Area, Oxbow in Georgetown, NewHolly Youth and Family in NewHolly, Leo Street in Rainier View and Courtland Place in Mt. Baker. You can sign up for the interest list here.

There are 90 P-Patch community gardens located across the City. You can learn more about the program on our webpage.

Deadline Approaches for Matching Funds to Support your Neighborhood Project

Othello+Intl+music+nwlrSeptember 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 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 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 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.

Free emergency preparedness training offered at Southeast Seattle P-Patch community gardens

Free training on emergency preparedness will be offered at six Southeast Seattle P-Patch community gardens beginning in September. The training will cover basic preparedness, how to stay safe in an earthquake, using the P-Patch as a Community Emergency Hub, and a review of supplies that will be stored at the P-Patch. Thirteen Southeast Seattle P-Patch gardens will serve as Community Emergency Hubs where residents can gather, share information and resources, and problem-solve after an emergency.

Anyone is welcome to attend. Translated materials and interpretation services will be available in 12 languages including Amharic, Somali, Tigrinya, Chinese, Hmong, Mien, Lao, Thai, Vietnamese, Khmer, and Spanish. The schedule is as follows:

September 14th

10 a.m. -1 p.m.               Angel Morgan P-Patch, 3956 S Morgan St
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.                Hillman City P-Patch, 4613 S Lucile St

September 28th

10 a.m. -1 p.m.               John C. Little P-Patch, 37th Ave S & S Willow
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.                New Holly Rockery P-Patch, New Holly Drive S & S 40th St.

October 12th

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.              Thistle P-Patch, Martin Luther King Jr Way & Cloverdale St
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.                Judkins P-Patch, 24th Ave S & S Norman St

Funding for this program came from a $35,000 grant awarded to the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DoN) through the FEMA 2012 Community Resilience Innovation Challenge. This award was one of 30 selected from more than 1900 applications. 

Interpretation services will vary according to the location. For more information and to ensure interpreters will be available in specific languages, contact Tracy Connelly (OEM) at (206-233-5076) or Julie Bryan (DoN) at (206-684-0540).

Neighbors transform the Charlestown Hillclimb with help from two DON Funding Sources

Charlestown Hill ClimbThe Charlestown Hillclimb connects Rainier Valley and the Mt. Baker neighborhood.  As a result of residents’ vision and persistence, a muddy path through head-high blackberry bushes is well on its way to becoming a pedestrian-friendly, landscaped green space. The Seattle Department of Transportation installed the stairway, and a $25,000 award from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ Neighborhood Matching Fund and a $60,000 award from the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund are funding the landscape design, clearing the blackberries, and purchasing drought-tolerant and native plants. Neighborhood volunteers will plant and maintain the hillside.

See for more information.

1st Annual All City Barbershop Chat

Neighboring barbers will provide free basic haricuts to fathers and their son(s).  This project will also provide food, entertainment, guest speakers and a facilitator to provoke and engage in an open discussion to address the issues of strengthening the relationship between a father and son.  We encourage male mentors and father figures to bring your youth.  Space is limited so come early and let the conversations begin!

Saturday, March 30, 2013
4-6 p.m.
Rainier Community Center – Multi-purpose Room
4600 38th Ave S, Seattle, WA  98118




Featured cuts by – Seattle’s finest barbers:
Abe’s Barbershop/Brooks Barbership/Fade Master Barbershop; Hi-Def Cuts/Hodges Hair Quarters/and more

Facilitator: Z-twins Radio Personality:  Mr. Frank Barrow

Disclaimer:  “Basic” haircuts are free.  Any designs or specialty cuts will be done only at barber’s discretion and at your own cost. 

Presented by:  Fathers and Sons Together (FAST) in partnerhsip with the Seattle Parks and Recreation “Power of Place” Youth Violence Prevention Program and the Neighborhood Matching Fund.