KCD and the City of Seattle started the 2020 grant process later in the year than usual to make time to hear from previous grantees about the impacts the COVID-19 pandemic is having on their projects. Based on feedback from current grantees and philanthropic community guidance on grant making during this time, we shortened the application process to a one-step application and prioritized distributing funds by January 2021. We offered more opportunities for one-on-one support along the way. Applicants had the optional opportunity to provide an oral presentation in addition to the online written application. We also connected organizations to each other and gave them an opportunity to share lessons learned.
The focus of the funding opportunity continues to be investing in natural resource improvements that are led by or in deep partnership with communities disproportionately impacted by environmental injustice and systematic racism. We know COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted many of the same communities. The pandemic does not change the need for improved natural resources and access to healthy food and open space, it amplifies that need. This year’s process also considered unique needs to continue doing this work amidst a pandemic.
We received 27 applications from amazing community organizations requesting over one million dollars in funding, though the program had only $426,000 available to award this year. The application review team, comprised of six representatives from various City of Seattle departments, thoroughly reviewed each application and conducted a rigorous scoring process. The City recommended the following six proposals and the KCD Board of Supervisors awarded the funding in early 2021.
|$71,645||African Community Housing & Development||Farmers Market for the Delridge African Diaspora Immigrant & Refugee Community|
|$71,747||Black Star Farmers||Walker Street Aquaponics Gardening Lab Project|
|$71,747||Hip Hop is Green||Cherry Street Farm, Lab & Culinary Anthropology Project|
|$67,367||iUrban Teen||Resilience, Innovation and Sustainability in a Changing World Project|
|$71,747||Na’ah Illahee Fund||Daybreak Star Restoration for Sovereign Futures Project|
|$71,747||Villa Comunitaria||Salsa De La Vida Project|
Total funds awarded for 2020
$71,645 to African Community Housing & Development for the Farmers Market for the Delridge African Diaspora Immigrant & Refugee Community
ACHD seeks funding for a new farmers market in the Delridge neighborhood, designated by the City of Seattle as a “Low Economic Opportunity/High Displacement Area.” The market will prioritize BIPOC vendors, and feature culturally-significant foods for the African community. They will leverage grant funding from other sources to purchase food at full price from farmers to provide free healthy food to food-insecure families.
$71,747 to Black Star Farmers for the Walker Street Aquaponics Gardening Lab
Black Star Farmers in partnership with Black Farmers Collective will revitalize the Walker St. Aquaponics Gardening Lab by incorporating stormwater management and infrastructure, sustainable environmental design elements and renewable energy technologies in an effort to develop a renewable food system for the local First Hill, Rainier Valley and south Beacon Hill community. This project will include funding for a community member to serve as onsite management of the aquaponics and greenhouse system.
$71,747 to Hip Hop is Green for the Cherry Street Farm, Lab & Culinary Anthropology Project
Cherry Street Farm, Lab & Culinary Project is a food security, food justice, health equity oriented, urban farm/teaching lab with greenhouse, onsite kitchen and community gathering space. Through a STEM lens, paid BIPOC youth interns learn to be environmental stewards while building community through a hands-on, immersive experience in building a garden, taking Culinary Anthropology cooking classes, communing with nature, growing and sharing food with people in need via food box distribution.
$67,367 to iUrban Teen for the Resilience, Innovation and Sustainability in a Changing World
Students will learn about soil sampling and soil remediation at YES Farm (continuation of last year’s KCD grant) at Yesler Terrace (three cohorts – 24 students). Students will learn about Climate Change and GIS Mapping and use AI as tools to research solutions (two cohorts – 24 students). They will partner with GirlTrek and Outdoor Afro to create four educational nature hikes for teens focusing on watersheds and creek restoration (four hikes with 12 students each hike).
$71,747 to Na’ah Illahee Fund for the Daybreak Star Restoration for Sovereign Futures
Na’ah Illahee Fund (NIF) will partner with United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and community members to restore surrounding land, waters, and gathering areas of Daybreak Star in Discovery Park. Through revitalizing land, plant life, preserving sacred foods and medicines, and addressing park maintenance for increased accessibility, we will create a space for cultural preservation, learning, and activities for our communities.
$71,747 to Villa Comunitaria for the Salsa De La Vida
This food access and food security project in the South Park neighborhood is organized and implemented by resident farmers called Promotoras. Funding will support farm infrastructure, soil remediation, farming, CSA distribution, traditional medicine kit distribution and cooperative development costs of the Salsa De La Vida Project located at Marra Farm.
Jessica has managed the Member Jurisdiction and WRIA Grant Programs at KCD since March 2007. Jessica has a Bachelors degree in Environmental Studies and Spanish and graduate level education in the fields of Public Administration, Urban Planning, and Facilitation and Negotiation. She is an experienced program manager responsible for tracking millions of dollars in grant funding with a successful track record of liaising with local governments, nonprofits, and watershed groups on natural resource conservation issues.