Community Capacity

2022 DVP Update

Community Controlled Spaces

South Park Neighborhood Center

OPCD helped secure $1.15 million to support the ongoing operation of the current South Park Neighborhood Center building. Additionally, OPCD supported the tenants in securing and signing a new lease on the building.

NEW: Community-Supportive Spaces for Georgetown

The City’s 2022 budget allocated $500,000 for Georgetown to be spent at the intersections of community gathering spaces and climate change mitigation improvements to physical infrastructure.  The investment was announced at the end of 2021 but the work will begin to be implemented in 2023.

Next milestone: OPCD employees are working closely with the Georgetown Community Council to create a community engagement plan to understand the best ways to invest this $500,000 in Georgetown. The goal is to understand community priorities and establish a plan to spend this money by the end of 2023.

Community and Climate Resilience

Duwamish Valley Resilience District

OSE, OPCD, and SPU have continued the work to create a Resilience District in the Duwamish Valley, which is a coordinated strategy to promote climate change adaptation and sea-level rise planning with initiatives like affordable housing to help communities thrive in place.  Throughout 2022, community members selected and the City contracted with a suite of consultants to help with racial equity analysis, inclusive community involvement, value capture and municipal financing analyses, organizational development, landscape architecture design for sea level rise, and project facilitation and management.

Next milestone: Throughout 2023, City staff—with the help of these contractors—will establish an advisory group to guide and shape the Resilience District work. The advisory group will meet throughout the year and be an important piece of ensuring community perspective and shared decision-making is included in the Resilience District planning work. The City and the advisory group will also lead communitywide engagement to ensure broad input, and knowledge about the work.

NEW: Resilience Hubs

In 2022, OPCD received $1.3 million for the implementation for a pilot program of Resilience Hubs in Seattle. The Resilience Hubs are different than the Resilience District. We know, it is a bit confusing. In contrast to the Resilience District, the Resilience Hubs are meant to serve as a trusted space (most likely a partnership with an existing spaces and ongoing community-serving programs) where, during an extreme event like flooding or intense wildfire smoke or heatwave, community members can gather to access resources and relief.

Next milestone: OPCD and OSE will work with community leaders to assess needs and identify an existing building that can serve as a potential model for a Resilience Hub in the Duwamish Valley.

NEW: Seattle Assessment of Public Health Emergency Response (SASPER) – Duwamish Valley Pilot

In collaboration with the University of Washington (UW) EDGE Center, the Duwamish River Community Coalition, the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps, Public Health – Seattle & King County, Washington Department of Health, and other partners, OSE is participating in the Seattle Assessment of Public Health Emergency Response (SASPER) – Duwamish Valley Pilot Project. Last year, this work included surveying 167 households in South Park and Georgetown to identify and document household- and community-level climate change and health impacts and access to and needs for information and resources to promote resilience, as well as to provide pathways for community input into ongoing climate change adaptation planning. The SASPER is funded by an UW EarthLab Innovation Grant and builds on methods used by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The findings and results will help inform our Duwamish Valley Resilience District work. 

Next milestone: Project partners will conduct focus groups to discuss the preliminary results of the survey and gather more specific information that will inform ongoing climate and community resilience work. Community report-backs and a community report is expected by the end of the year.

Youth Programming, Capacity Building, & Leadership Development

In 2022, OSE secured $500,000 for youth programming. This funding supported community-led efforts that foster youth leadership, capacity building, workforce development, and recreational programming. Through this funding, local youth supported community priorities such as tree planting and maintenance, air and water quality improvements, mutual aid, climate and community resilience, emergency preparedness, improvements to parks and open spaces, and more.

Next milestone: OSE anticipates to secure funding to continue supporting youth programming community-led efforts. Staff anticipates to execute agreement and contracts with community-based organizations in Q1 2023.

Inclusive Community Engagement & Accountability

OPCD and OSE were successful in increasing City staff that supports the Duwamish Valley Program by hiring a Duwamish Valley Program Coordinator. The Coordinator will help to increase transparency and work on meaningful, equitable community engagement. With this added capacity, the Duwamish Valley Program will be able to increase accountability to community voice and perspective to center racial justice in the Program’s planning and operations. 

NEW: Cross-Sector Collaboration & Shared Decision-Making

Over the next two years, the City will both conduct broad engagement of Georgetown and South Park communities, and convene an advisory group (i.e., diverse set of interested parties) to guide the Duwamish Valley Resilience District work. The Resilience District advisory group will ensure those most affected by climate change, and those who currently tend to benefit the least from environmental and capital investments, guide the planning, design, and implementation of these programs and investments. Among other things, the advisory group will help shape a sea level rise adaptation strategy, advise on the best ways to finance and fund infrastructure projects, and establish a framework for shared decision-making and collaboration. The advisory group will also help enhance partnerships with City departments, non-City agencies, philanthropy, and better connect community-based solutions into government. Lastly, the advisory group will help guide broad community engagement, and ensure this work responds to what we hear from community.

Duwamish River Opportunity Fund

This year, the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund awarded nearly $300,000 to a variety of Duwamish Valley community-based organizations who are advancing environmental justice and community priorities. The organizations include:

  • Amigos de Seattle to fund a radio show production training program
  • Duwamish Tribal Services to plan and design a new café that will enhance visitor experience
  • Duwamish Valley Sustainability Association to support the development of five animated videos and a 3-D model to explain the Duwamish River Superfund site cleanup process
  • Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) to create and deploy a storm drain stencil and wastewater container decal that will help prevent wastewater dumping to storm drains
  • South Park Arts & Culture Collective to provide free open mic nights, public painting sessions, and ongoing art classes for young people in South Park
  • Utility^2 to support a curriculum project related to municipal utility services to help build the next generation of the City’s infrastructure workforce
  • Villa Comunitaria to support the organization and development of a South Park Childcare Cooperative to primarily service Latinx women, children, and families in South Park

Next milestone: The Duwamish River Opportunity Fund has historically been managed by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Starting this year (2023), the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund will now be managed through the Office of Sustainability & Environment.

Environmental Justice Fund

In addition to the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund, the City of Seattle also established an Environmental Justice fund to invest in community-led efforts that benefit and are led by, or in partnership with, those most affected by environmental and climate inequities: Black, Indigenous, People of Color, immigrants, refugees, people with low incomes, youth, and elders. This last year, the EJ Fund the EJ Fund awarded two grants of $75,000 to organizations whose work will benefit the Duwamish Valley. The two organizations were the Duwamish Valley Sustainability Association (DVSA) and Young Women Empowered (Y-WE). With the funds, DVSA will develop a roadmap towards zero-waste energy systems in South Park and Y-WE will engage young women in food systems learning and food production at Marra Farm to develop facilitation and leadership skills in health and food justice activities.

Sustainability and Environment

Jessyn Farrell, Director
Address: 700 5th Avenue, #1868, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94729, Seattle, WA, 98124-4729
Phone: (206) 256-5158

Newsletter Updates


Sign up for the latest updates from Sustainability and Environment

We collaborate with City agencies, business groups, nonprofit organizations, and other partners to protect and enhance Seattle's distinctive environmental quality and livability.