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Duwamish River Opportunity Fund awards $250,000 to 13 Neighborhood Projects

Native Foods classToday Mayor Murray announced $250,000 from the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund will be awarded to 13 community projects supporting neighborhoods along the Duwamish River. This program provides funds for new and existing small-scale programs focused on challenges faced by Duwamish River neighborhoods during the Superfund clean-up.

“The Duwamish River Opportunity Fund is part of our commitment to support vibrant communities along the river during the ongoing cleanup,” said Mayor Murray. “These neighborhoods continue to struggle with some significant environmental challenges. The City wants to be a strong partner to promote healthy families, clean air, clear water and a thriving community.”

The projects will be implemented beginning in 2015 and continue into 2016.

The 2015 Duwamish River Opportunity Fund Awards

  • $5,000 to Bike Works to provide bikes, promote and support bike safety, and provide youth job skills training in South Park.
  • $12,000 to South Park Retail Merchants Association to support businesses in South Park through community improvements, networking, and connecting businesses to resources.
  • $10,000 to Duwamish Rowing Club to add a rowing shell to its fleet and to increase participation, especially among young people.
  • $30,000 to ECOSS (Environmental Coalition of South Seattle) to engage multicultural communities in their own languages to share information on safety concerns around gathering seafood from the Duwamish River and on opportunities for safer fish consumption.
  • $20,000 to Georgetown Community Farm to expand and improve the new garden, purchase supplies, offer healthy food preparation classes, and provide low-cost organic produce.
  • $10,000 to Georgetown Community Council to work with property owners and the community to apply anti-graffiti paint to targeted structures and identify places where local artists can create murals.
  • $30,000 to Urban Systems Design to create a young adult job training program to develop skills for construction, landscaping, or operations and maintenance careers to steward green drainage infrastructure in the Duwamish Valley.
  • $30,000 to Just Health Action to add Spanish-speaking fishers to the existing Vietnamese Fisher community-based participatory study that addresses alternatives to fishing in the Duwamish River.
  • $20,000 to Smarter Cleanup Partnership to build an interactive map and community engagement platform to assist community members in finding ways to improve environmental health in the Duwamish Valley.
  • $33,000 to Seattle Good Business Network to develop a job training program in apparel production to build financial self-sufficiency for low-income immigrants and refugees in the Duwamish Valley.
  • $25,000 to Seattle Parks Foundation to fund a program manager to expand the Duwamish Valley Green Spaces program and identify funding for specific projects.
  • $10,000 to Solid Ground to continue the education, restoration, and maintenance of the portion of Hamm Creek that runs by Marra Farm in South Park.
  • $15,000 to South Park Information & Resource Center (SPIARC) to support and encourage healthy activities and habits through community athletic tournaments that are fun and build community cohesion.

A review team representing neighborhoods along the Duwamish River, in addition to public health and environmental advocates, evaluated 18 proposals seeking more than $782,000 from the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund.

About the Opportunity Fund

The City of Seattle is working to make the Superfund cleanup of the Duwamish River result in the optimum outcome for the river and its adjacent neighborhoods. In addition to its commitment to the clean-up efforts, the City recognizes that the communities along the Duwamish have many needs. To address some of these, the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund was created to enhance existing programs and support new ones. The Mayor and City Council allocated $250,000 in the 2014 budget, which funded nine projects, and an additional $250,000 in the 2015 budget, which is funding these 13 projects. Other entities have committed additional funds to these projects including King County and the Seattle Parks Foundation. Seattle Department of Neighborhoods manages the fund.