Community advocacy in South Park leads to new funding for park renovation project
The Seattle Parks Foundation says South Park has 40 square feet of green space per resident, compared with an average of 387 square feet across Seattle.
SEATTLE — Seattle’s South Park neighborhood is one step closer to having a new community recreation area.
This comes after the Seattle Parks Foundation recently received a $250,000 grant from the Washington State Office of Conservation and Recreation, which will translate into final construction documents. for a community-led project. They are renovating the Puma Playground at Concord Elementary for use by both students in the school and the public when school is not in operation.
“If you look at it, it’s more of a prison than a park,” said Rebecca Bear, CEO and President of the Seattle Parks Foundation.
She said the park at Concord Elementary in South Park has little greenery, is inaccessible to many in the community, and has drainage problems that make it unusable for most of the year.
“In winter, it’s a mud pit,” said Bear.
But Bear says that will soon change.
“We signed up for the community and luckily we won,” says Bear.
The $250,000 grant will transform the field into one that allows children access to recreational opportunities, provides outdoor space for families in the area, and provides schools with more opportunities. for outdoor activities.
Robin Schwartz, a PTA member of Concord Elementary School, said: “Having a sad, brown, muddy field with a few sad little trees around, I think our children deserve more. position.
Community members say this is down to fairness and opportunity, something South Park doesn’t always see. The Seattle Parks Foundation says South Park has 40 square feet of green space per resident, compared with an average of 387 square feet across Seattle.
“We’re in the middle of highways and on a freight route and historically there haven’t been a lot of public resources, but people here have a really long history of being on the road,” says Schwartz. solidarity and support,” said Schwartz.
Schwartz says public green space is especially important in a community like South Park, where many people live in multi-family homes.
“A lot of our kids don’t have a yard and if their only park is closed or unusable, where can they play?” Schwartz said.
The renovated school park will become a community recreation area, open to everyone. Carmen Martinez, with Duwamish Valley Youth Core says many of the children she works with have advocated for this change and now they will see how their efforts will improve the community for years to come. .
“Young people are part of this initial outreach and those who support it will be adults,” says Martinez.
This shows that when a community comes together, funding can be achieved and change can be created, she said.
“Knowing that we are one step closer and that it is great and positive for South Park, we are really excited for South Park,” Martinez said.
The change will soon be seen in the form of a new park.
“Seeing this come to fruition will be really huge for the community,” said Bear.
The Seattle Parks Foundation says it expects to begin construction in the summer of 2024.
https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/south-park-new-funding-for-park-renovation-project/281-317a8a0c-3184-4a13-9b7f-a59646e6fe00 Community advocacy in South Park leads to new funding for park renovation project