South Park Roots - Jan 2021 - English

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SOUTH PARK ROOTS news and stories about South Park, Seattle




Youth Interns making impacts in the Duwamish Valley ! We are very grateful to our local youth who worked this past summer through the Youth Opportunity Motion Internship which was a pilot program funded by the Port of Seattle in collaboration with Seattle Parks Foundation and the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition. 15 local youth and 8 community organizations were provided the opportunity to create capacity and provide a space for youth to learn, make changes, and help them design a community they envision. (continued on the next pg)

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Our Youth interns, between the ages of 16-21, had the opportunity to work with local organizations and get a minimum wage of $15/hour to support any financial needs during this pandemic. All the projects provided youth with opportunities to participate in economic activities like occupational job training and placement as well as community development work where they demonstrated knowledge and skills from beginning to end. Thank you to our local organizations who partnered: Duwamish Valley Affordable Housing Coalition, Duwamish Valley Safe Streets, Seattle Neighborhood Group, Somali Parent Education Board, Villa Comunitaria, Duwamish Valley Youth Corps, and Duwamish Valley Sustainability Association.

DRCC partnered with the Duwamish Valley Sustainability Association to organize trainings and use Problem Solving Methodology where the youth attended weekly sessions and learned how to approach, advocate, and conceptualize possible solutions for both personal or community issues. These sessions provided a space for interns to create a community with each other. Our Youth Manager met individually with the interns once a week to check in about their work, school, internship projects and mental health during stressful times.

The model used helped facilitate a relationship with the youth, local organizations, and community. We can’t say enough how important it is that our youth from affected communities must be at the forefront of visioning, designing, and directing their futures, in conjunction with committed, passionate environmental organizations. We look forward to the ongoing growth of those young leaders who will continue to persevere through the fight for environmental justice, heeding the lessons learned by those who preceded them, while charting new paths in the face of new challenges.We are very grateful for this opportunity and hope we can work together in the future with a similar model. We truly appreciate the Port of Seattle for investing in youth leadership in their communities and for the organizations who hosted our interns!




Coronavirus is the freaking worst. Thankfully, you live in a neighborhood where people look out for one another.

King County Public Health City of Seattle Resources Need FREE food? Text southparkfood to (206) 278-2553 Or check the Urban Fresh Food Collective Affordable Housing info for Seattle

What can you do to stay safe? Continue physical distancing of at least 6 feet Minimize contact with others outside the home Frequent hand washing or sanitizer Use cloth face coverings in public Avoid gatherings and poorly ventilated spaces.

Many locations in King County provide free COVID-19 testing regardless of immigration or insurance status. Language interpretation services are available at no cost. Find a map with testing locations near you at:

GAMES AND PUZZLES! Sudoku Fill the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. Check your own work, you either got it or not

Word Find

MATH QUIZ The first person to complete all the math problems and email the correct answers to gets a prize

Find the words backwards, forwards, and diagonally. The first person to circle all the words and email photo proof to gets a prize.

UPDATES: Duwamish Valley Affordable Housing Coalition (DVAHC) is approaching the end of its third year and is acting to prevent displacement of people and local non profits by creating an action plan for affordable housing and cultural and community space for underrepresented and low-income renters and homeowners by seeking partnerships both large and small. The Coalition envisions a neighborhood that continues to sustain the economic, ethnic, and cultural diversity of those who have historically made this their home. To this end we seek development that benefits the most vulnerable groups, first and foremost.

Here are some of the highlights that the Coalition has accomplished along the year: Conducted a survey to demonstrate a ‘groundswell of support’ to allow for development of housing as part of the South Park Plaza. 97.5% of the 405 respondents are supporting affordable housing as a priority over a park. Acted on our first Preservation project achieving site control and conducted a feasibility study. The Coalition advocacy resulted in 13 new and affordable homeownership opportunities to Habitat’s South Park Cottages, which will be sold for $210,000 for a family with an income averaging $45,000 per year. Some of the two bedroom, two bath homes are still available. For more information visit: The Coalition joined the Duwamish Valley community to advocate for the preservation of 6 units of affordable single family homes slated for demolition. Hosted discussions for community, elected officials and government managers, to explore opportunities for a master plan approach to five parcels in South Park. Invited developers to explore opportunities for new affordable housing, the preservation of housing and a new multi-purpose building. As a result of our capacity building efforts our fiscal sponsor, Villa Comunitaria, will assume a new role as the leaseholder of the South Park Neighborhood Center. The Coalition worked collaboratively with Villa Comunitaria and Concord PTA to attract funds to support families to pay for their housing and avoid the risk of eviction. The Coalition was awarded capacity building funds from the City of Seattle’s Equitable Development Fund. With these funds we have been focused on learning about the housing and community development process. In 2019 the Coalition was awarded $250,000 from the Social Justice Fund Displaced Tenants to increase high quality, affordable, accessible, environmentally sustainable, and community-controlled housing for low-income tenants in the city of Seattle.

In 2021 DVAHC will continue to work and advocate for affordable housing in the Duwamish Valley, and most importantly the work is guided and led upon the needs, interests and benefits of the Duwamish Valley community. The coalition will continue to host workshops to organize, learn and mobilize our community about our need for housing. For upcoming events follow our facebook page: or visit us on our website.



Concord Elementary PTA has worked hard this year to be flexible and adaptable to the needs of our community! We are not hosting any community-building events or on-line meetings. We are trying to stay informed about information coming from Seattle Public Schools so we can advocate for our community. For example, SPS is requiring all students grades 3-8 to take the SBA Interim, a standardized test. We want all families to know it is their right to opt out of standardized tests at any time, and in particular during this stressful time of online learning. You can just let your child's teacher know that you opt out of the SBA Interim test. In addition to attending School Board meetings and Seattle Council PTSA meetings, as well as representing on Concord's Building Leadership Team, we continue to seek partnerships with government and non-profit organizations, as well as crowdfunding, to raise money to provide direct support to our families.

Please donate to or share our GoFundMe link: If you need support please reach out to your teacher at school. We also recently received a grant from the City of Seattle's Duwamish River Opportunity Fund, which will help us partner with Villa Comunitaria to provide tech classes for parents, as well as to hire four community organizers to serve as resource for families and to support the joint efforts of Concord PTA and the Concord Family Support Team. If you are interested in being a community organizer, please email!


Deep inside I am like a hug holding on to give love. -Nolan

Deep inside I am like a salmon swimming in fresh and salt water. Helping future wildlife get food and stay alive. Keep swimming and swimming. -Marcos

Deep inside I am like an artist painting good stuff to make the world feel calmer. -Marlyn

Deep inside I am like a sun shining like a diamond, making our skin glow. -Suad

Deep inside I am like a storm washing away madness and sadness and bringing kindness and happiness. -Nate

I’ve been teaching poetry as a means of social emotional learning with children for 30 years this fall, and I’m so grateful that I've gotten to work with Jack Straw and Concord for all these years! The poems the children write can be so deep and amazing and sincere, and they can remind us all of what true kindness sounds like.

Deep inside I am like a bird that flies in the flower garden that is my family, friends, love and the sun. -Daniela

I went through the poems we got and typed a few of my personal favorites for you. They reflect the kind of work I most want to do with children - to give them a poetic glance into themselves so they might search around and find their most beautiful qualities, which they can then bring to a world that so truly needs them. -Vicky Edmonds

2020 UPDATES! This year was a difficult time for many of us. Through it all we found that we are stronger together. Duwamish Valley Safe Streets was even more committed to community safety, engagement, equity, and inclusion. We were able to host two successful community events; Community Meal Pick Up at El Buen Sabor and The Spooky Storybook Trail at the 8th Ave S Trail. We supervised an internship of a local youth Danny Viles to educate and empower the next generation of Transportation Advocates. We applied for four street use permits through the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) for Stay Healthy Blocks in South Park and Georgetown. Stay Healthy Blocks temporarily close a residential street to cut through traffic for recreation and exercise. We completed a Video Storytelling Project about the Georgetown to South Park Trail to highlight the inaccessibility in the Duwamish Valley and the need for this trail. This was done in partnership with local community members, youth, and pedestrian/cyclist advocates from across the city.

Our biggest win of this year was preserving funding for the Georgetown to South Park Trail. For over 20 years, Georgetown and South Park have been asking for a safer way to get across E. Marginal Way for people walking, biking, and rolling.The Georgetown to South Park Trail will provide a safe, accessible, and climate friendly walking/biking path along E. Marginal Way. Connecting people to schools, medical facilities, employers, businesses, a public library, and most importantly each other. City Council voted to fund $5.2 Million dollars to the Georgetown to South Park Trail. This is a huge win for accessibility in the Duwamish Valley! We would like to thank Councilmembers Herbold and Morales for all their help and support of this important community-based project. None of this could have been accomplished without the advocacy efforts of the Duwamish Valley communities. Duwamish Valley Safe Streets appreciates your help and continued support for safer streets for people waking, biking, and rolling in South Park and Georgetown. Together we can build a stronger, united, and healthier Duwamish Valley! If you would like to get involved with Duwamish Valley Safe Streets contact us by email at You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @dvsafestreets. See you around the neighborhood! -Peaches Thomas, Duwamish Valley Safe Streets

SEATTLE NEIGHBORHOOD GROUP We had a busy year in South Park. Here are a few things we worked on: 8th Avenue Trail River City SkatePark Underpass Lighting on Cloverdale 7th/8th Ave and Cloverdale Safety This Newsletter Youth Writing Group 3 Murals Public Safety Problem-solving Community Safety Trainings

For more information or to get involved with any of these projects, reach out to Dennis Diaz ( or Jake Hellenkamp (

RIVER CITY SKATE PARK UPDATES River City SkatePark was awarded funds from the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund to create a flat plaza next to Cloverdale St. for beginning skaters and other types of community gatherings. Starting in 2021, we’ll be setting up skate lessons for Concord Elementary students with Skate Like a Girl and paying Duwamish Valley Youth Corps to help keep the park looking great. We’ll need lots of help next year, so please contact if you want to get involved and receive information about the project or check us out at: or

DE-ESCALATION TRAINING Seattle Neighborhood Group partnered with staff from Whitebird Clinic/CAHOOTS ( from Eugene, OR to set up a de-escalation training in November for people living and working in South Park who wanted to learn more about how to support people experiencing a crisis. The group had representatives from several non-profits, the South Park Community Center and Library, the business community, and a few residents. Here’s a review of the workshop and a few updates from South Park’s legendary librarian, Lupine Miller: ( continued on next page)

"I was excited to attend the de-escalation training offered for the neighborhood. When the Library is open, we often encounter folks who are experiencing trauma and physical and mental health situations. We strive to work with our patrons with respect and empathy while also maintaining a safe environment for everyone. This training provided excellent strategies for working with people in distress to keep the situation from escalating. There were two things that I feel were the most important. The first was that it’s important to acknowledge and understand that there is a difference between what appears to be a crisis for yourself versus what is actually a crisis for the person. The other is the importance of grounding yourself when a situation occurs and making sure you are not reacting but being intentional and calm. I very much appreciated the empathetic-centered approach of this training and feel that it will help our staff in the future. In other library news: The Seattle Public Library is offering holds pick-ups at the Southwest and High Point branches (find information and hours at and just launched an online tutoring program for K-12 graders (go to We, at the South Park Branch, miss you all and look forward to being able to serve you back at the branch in the future. Be on the lookout for a winter themed StoryWalk™ in the South Park Branch windows and look for online offerings on our website- And don’t forget to cheer on the Concord International Elementary fourth and fifth graders when they compete in the Global Reading Challenge in February!" February!"

SOUTH PARK COMMUNITY CENTER We have recently opened learning hubs for middle or high school students to help support local students. They will be open the remainder of the school year. Free, with wifi, these spaces are equipped with community center and youth program staff who can help your student get engaged in learning. The facilities offer a stable, productive environment with access to Seattle Public School's virtual learning portals, along with recreational, enrichment and mentoring programs and in-person assistance with connectivity and academics. Meals are provided daily.

More info here: here: The January 2021 virtual recreation brochure is now available and can be viewed at the link below! Through virtual recreation you and your family can explore new opportunities to learn and engage from the safety of your own home. There are many options for all ages, some of them FREE. Registration is now open.

More info here: here:

DRCC UPDATES! Affordable Housing DRCC continues to support Duwamish Valley Affordable Housing Coalition. In February, Habitat for Humanity acquired a lot in South Park and recently, Seattle’s Office of Housing awarded funds to support the Habitat Cottages project. The Coalition was awarded funds from the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund to conduct outreach to find qualified buyers. This was an opportunity to open up a community preference for families that want to stay or return to South Park. The Coalition is searching for land and developers for partnership to accomplish a multi-purpose building, new affordable housing, and preservation of existing affordable housing. DRCC also advocated at the City leadership level to respond to the huge urgency to deliver the promised affordable housing in the Duwamish Valley.

Moss Study DRCC’s Clean Air Program worked in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station and other partners to gather tree moss to study air pollution. The data will be used to decide where regulators should place high-tech sensors to follow up on hot spots. Project organizers say one of the most important aspects of the project is how it trained and empowered local youth to be community scientists.

Duwamish Valley Youth Corps Since the Governor’s shelter-in-place decree in March, our Duwamish Valley Youth Corps leadership has worked hard to creatively engage and safeguard our youth while incorporating in-person, socially distanced stewardship events and community cleanups and youth internships. We worked with community and a local artist to create a mural that mitigates speeding on residential streets and facilitated a summer cohort of 20 youth who played an integral role in food distribution (more than 900 healthy food boxes to families to an average of 140 families!) and helped distribute 250 air filters in the community to improve indoor air due to wildfire smoke air quality.

Superfund Update DRCC worked closely with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Responsible Parties, and impacted communities during the pandemic to distribute information, educate, and engage with our community. Specifically, we: Helped organize 3 online webinars addressing legal regulatory frameworks, updating on the cleanup process and related information. Held bimonthly meetings with Ecology to discuss options for a future community event, source control work, and updates on formal site cleanups. Collaborated with Just Health Action (JHA) to educate the community about source control and how they can help prevent pollution from entering the river.

Community Organizers The community organizers is a partnership between many organizations led by DRCC that work in the Duwamish Valley to work directly in the streets of the Duwamish Valley to engage and bring resources/updates to our neighbors in the languages needed. This work is very important because our community involvement includes topics like the superfund site, pollution, housing, public safety, traffic, etc. The group has been so strong that they were also key in supporting youth summer internships to create capacity in the community.

Climate Justice DRCC has taken a very active role by seeking tools and resources to advance climate justice and aid policy development to better serve the community. We have been hosting community listening sessions, to gather thoughts on the impacts of poor air quality, health and the environment, as well as hopes for the future. l

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