Courtesy of NDNC
A proposed plan for the Delridge neighborhood Dakota Street Right of Way Community Enhancement project that received grant help from Seattle on Dec. 3 as part of the Dept. of Neighborhood's Matching Fund (please click the link below for a larger version).

West Seattle scores with Neighborhood Matching Fund grants

Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods released their list of award recipients for 2012 Neighborhood Matching Fund grants on Dec. 3, and four West Seattle projects will get help from taxpayers as a result.

“The Neighborhood Matching Fund awards reflect our commitment to providing concrete ways to help community members make Seattle a better place to live,” Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said in a statement. “Neighborhoods initiate and support these projects. The matching fund provides the opportunity, so our community members can turn their creative ideas and energy into reality. Since this program started nearly 25 years ago, thousands of projects have happened across the city.”

Awardees applied for either the Large Project Fund (projects up to $100,000) or the Small and Simple Projects Fund (up to $20,000). In return for the city grant, community members commit to at least matching the grant through locally raised funds, donated materials and local expertise, and good ol’ sweat equity (volunteer labor).

“I am always impressed by the dedication of the volunteers who work so hard to make these projects happen,” Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, chair of the Parks and Neighborhoods Committee, said in a statement. “With assistance from the Neighborhood Matching Fund and Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, our community members are empowered to make positive contributions; and we are all richer due to their efforts.”

Citywide, $1.9 million is being contributed by the city, with resources from the community valued near $3.4 million.

Here are the West Seattle projects that made the cut:

**Please note contributions on the community end are not straight cash, but a combination of locally raised funds, donated materials and local expertise and volunteer labor.**

Delridge: Dakota Street Right of Way Community Enhancement (awarded to the North Delridge Neighborhood Council)

The project is a community-driven effort to replace an existing, vacant right-of-way with a beautifully landscaped place for the Delridge community to use and enjoy. This lot currently obscures the entrance to the Longfellow Creek Trail syste, and the proposed project would enhance the visibility and access to the creek and trails.

$52,200 grant from the city with the Delridge community matching (and then some) $65,250 (through volunteer hours, etc).

More information on this project can be found on Facebook or at the NDNC website.

Alki Beach: Seal Sculpture and Community Education Project (awarded to Seal Sitters)

Seal Sitters plans to build a more connected West Seattle community and remind all “to share the shore” and protect marine mammals by launching the “Year of the Seal” in 2013. The culmination will be “Harbor Seal Day” with the official unveiling of a seal mom and pup sculpture on Alki Beach.

$15,000 grant from the city with Seal Sitters and the community pitching in $42,500 (through volunteer hours, etc).

West Seattle: Arts in Nature Festival (awarded to the Nature Consortium)

The Arts in Nature Festival, a free, all ages, community celebration, will encompass live music, dance, performances, hands-on arts and naturalist activities. It will occur on Aug. 10 and 11, 2013 at Camp Long. The event aims to accomplish Nature Consortium’s mission to connect people, arts and nature.

$20,000 grant from the city, with $60,650 from the Nature Consortium (through volunteer hours, etc).

West Seattle: Restoration of Schmitz Preserve (awarded to Friends of Schmitz Preserve)

Friends of Schmitz Preserve will hire a professional crew to assist with habitat restoration in areas where volunteers can’t work due to terrain and equipment.

$5,593 grant from the city, with $5,600 match from Friends of Schmitz Preserve (through volunteer hours, etc).

Additional details from the City of Seattle:

For the Large Projects Fund, the Citywide Review Team (CRT) recommended the awarded projects to the Mayor and City Council through an open competitive application process. Made up of volunteer representatives from each of the 13 neighborhood districts, plus four at-large community members, the CRT reviews applications, interviews applicants, and makes funding recommendations. The applications are also reviewed by members from District Councils.

Created to promote and support neighborhood-based, self-help projects, the Neighborhood Matching Fund is managed by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Since the program began 24 years ago, the Neighborhood Matching Fund has awarded approximately $50 million with a community match of more than $71 million. Projects have involved 85,000 volunteers who have donated more than 573,000 work hours. To learn more about the Fund, visit

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