Recognizing that communities adjacent to the airport experience more impacts from operations, the Port of Seattle Commission directed the program offer additional environmental benefits to neighborhoods in Burien, Des Moines, and SeaTac.
“From trail maintenance and invasive species removal to environmental stewardship programs with high school students, these community-led projects demonstrate the power of partnership,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Ryan Calkins. “The ACE Fund helps our neighbors build healthy habitats and communities and we are incredibly honored to back their progress.”
Six organizations will receive $56,000 in ACE Fund grants, including:
- East African Community Services will engage high school students of African descent in new environmental curriculum through an established program to provide afterschool homework assistance. The youth will conduct community cleanups in SeaTac as part of the project.
- Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance will enhance the North SeaTac Park user experience through trail maintenance and trail improvement. In addition to maintaining trails, volunteers will be trained in invasive species removal, adding to urban forest stewardship in the park.
- Friends of Des Moines Creek will enhance and restore critical habitat by controlling nonnative invasive weeds, such as English ivy, dominating the forest floor and canopy in Des Moines Creek Park. A restoration demonstration patch will be created to educate the public on invasive weed removal and improving critical habitat.
- Highline Botanical Garden will install signage to identify plants and organizations supporting the garden to educate visitors and connect them with garden experts. Translated materials will be available to multi-lingual audiences.
- In the second phase of an ongoing project, New Start Community Garden will further develop community garden common areas and increase assets and overall functionality. This project encompasses adding new informational and educational signage throughout the garden and continuing the essential food program for the students at New Start High School Summer Garden Work Program.
- YMCA of Greater Seattle will engage Tyee Scholars, a group of academically-motivated students at Tyee High School, with a service project to educate students about environmental stewardship through service-leadership.
“We are extremely excited to join with the Port of Seattle to encourage greater environmental consciousness within our youth,” said Munira Mohamed, executive director of East African Community Services. “This opportunity provides a curriculum that educates, activates, and empowers our youth to see their symbiotic relationship with the environment and their responsibilities as stewards of the earth. We are committed to this project as well as future endeavors that work towards sustainability and the development of environmentally responsible East African communities.”
This is the fourth round of funding provided by the ACE Fund. To date, the Port has funded 28 unique projects for a total of just under $240,000 since the Commission authorized the program three years ago.
Applications are now open and available for download for the fifth grant cycle of the ACE Fund. The deadline is September 9, 2019.
Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, youth or athletic associations, chambers of commerce, and community groups seeking to improve the natural environment through projects and programs to increase livability in near-airport communities.