The Port of Seattle announced this week that it will award $149,448 to five organizations – including the Friends of Normandy Park – with projects that improve the environment in communities around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

This funding is part of the third cycle of the South King County Community Impact Fund Environmental Grants Program. Eleven organizations are also continuing work on environmental projects that previously received multi-year funding through the program.

For this third cycle, the Port will award funding to:

    • Friends of Normandy Park Foundation
    • Congolese Integration Network
    • Key Tech Labs
    • New Start Community Garden
    • Valley Kangaroo Rugby Club

“The South King County Community Impact Fund puts communities at the forefront of our work to address environmental inequities,” said Commission Vice President Toshiko Hasegawa. “The people closest to the issues are closest to the solutions – these programs are exactly how the Port is going to make tangible improvements to neighborhood quality of life.”

“Congolese Integration Network is excited to receive our first grant with the Environmental Grants program. We look forward to working with the Port of Seattle and the City of Tukwila Parks Department to create a community garden at Riverton Park. We will plant culturally relevant plants and food that reflect the diverse communities we serve in South King County,” said Angela Ngiangi Diansasila, fund developer for the Congolese Integration Network.

Equity-based partnerships are at the center of the Port’s ongoing work to reduce environmental impact and improve the quality of life for neighboring communities. The Port established the South King County Community Impact Fund in 2019 to increase opportunities in historically underserved, ethnically and culturally diverse communities. The Environmental Grants program directs Port resources to community-led environmental projects in Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Normandy Park, SeaTac, and Tukwila.

The selected projects reflect the rich diversity in South King County and aim to improve the environment and access to green space in communities surrounding the airport. Through funding and partnerships with community-based organizations, the Environmental Grants program drives the Port’s investment in projects in cities around the airport to enhance livability, improve green spaces, and restore forests.

Learn more about the South King County Fund Environmental Grants Program or keep reading to learn more about these groups and their projects.

Congolese Integration Network will conduct clean up at two parks in Tukwila and build out a community garden to support belonging and stewardship for immigrant and refugee families. The garden will also consist of culturally relevant food. This project will take place in Tukwila and is funded at $60,000.

Friends of Normandy Park Foundation will work to restore portions of the forested land within Nist Park located in Normandy Park.  This project plans to host community work parties to remove invasive species and plant trees and provide educational opportunities for community members to learn more about forest restoration techniques. This project will take place in Normandy Park and is funded at $29,448.

Key Tech Labs will implement phase two of the off grid solar system project at New Start Community Garden. This will showcase renewable energy to community members, power garden events, and increase food production at the garden. The organization will work with youth and solar experts to increase the garden’s ability to hold community events and educational classes. This project will take place in Burien and is funded at $20,000. Learn how Key Tech is using stem education to build a green tomorrow.

New Start Community Garden will install a new patio garden and interpretive sign, along with free public classes to teach visitors ways of using their urban spaces to improve their food security and provide habitat for local pollinators and birds. A new tool shed near the stage will help store tools and future solar system components, expanding the ability to host community events. This project will take place in Burien and is funded at $20,000.

Valley Kangaroo Rugby Club will work with their youth and young adult players to make park improvements at Pat Ryan Field. This will include park clean-up days, interpretive signage about rugby and the field, tree planting, and evening out the field. This project will take place in SeaTac and is funded at $20,000.

Multi-year funding

In this third year of funding, the Port continues to offer multi-year awards to applicants for projects spanning one, two or three years for up to $20,000 per year and up to $60,000 for multiyear funding. Multi-year funding increases the impact of the Port’s community investments and helps to support sustainable project planning and implementation.

In 2022, $1.6 million was invested in 30 local South King County nonprofits and CBOs, continuing outreach to impacted communities in South King County furthest from opportunities.

With the multi-year funding for both Economic Recovery and Environmental Grants, the Port has committed nearly all of the funds from the original $10 million Commission authorization.

“Working in Angle Lake in SeaTac has been exciting for our youth and volunteers. In the first year of this fund, we cleaned up the park, trained forest stewards, planted trees, and leveraged our dollars to get more funding for our environmental programming. We are excited to continue for a second year to keep the improvements sustainable and engage our community,” said Tariku Messele, Community Service Manager from Serve Ethiopians Washington.

Eleven organizations are continuing work on environmental projects through the multi-year funding option. Learn more at the South King County Community Impact Fund Environmental Grants Program page.

About South King County Community Impact Fund

The Environmental Grants Program is a cycle of the South King County Community Impact Fund, a $10 million fund established in 2019. The Port of Seattle established the South King County Community Impact Fund (SKCCIF) to develop equity-based partnerships and provide resources and support to historically underserved near-airport communities, addressing noise mitigation, environmental health, and sustainability.

The South King County Community Impact Fund Environmental Grants Program continues the work of the highly successful Airport Community Ecology (ACE) Fund which invested over $1,204,000 in 37 community-led environmental projects since 2017.

In 2019 the Port also created an Economic Recovery arm to the fund to assist in pandemic recovery. Economic recovery investments to date total $3 million dollars, invested in local South King County nonprofits and CBOs.