Tag Archives: Seattle Parks and Recreation

Red Barn Ranch Gets One Step Closer to Potential Black Ownership

by Jack Russillo


Southeast of Seattle, in unincorporated King County near Auburn, sits a nearly 39-acre parcel of wild land and outbuildings. Currently called the Red Barn Ranch and owned by Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR), the property has been everything from a summer camp to a conference center to a farming education program. For the last three years, though, it’s sat empty. To some Black leaders in Seattle, this property could be exactly what the community needs to move toward an equitable model for Black-led land ownership that helps the Black community thrive. 

Several community voices have been lobbying since the summer of 2020 for the City of Seattle to transfer the Red Barn Ranch property to Black ownership. Who the land is sold to is ultimately up to SPR, but a leading candidate to take on the task of stewarding the land is Nurturing Roots, an urban farm located in Beacon Hill. 

“People have asked me if I wanted to own it, but no, I want it to be all of ours,” said Nyema Clark, the founder and director of Nurturing Roots, during an interview with the Emerald in October. “All of us should have a share, and that share should never be able to be sold. You could pass it down to other generations, but you couldn’t make money off of it. We want to make a legitimate model that lasts.”

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Seattle Offers Free Child Care to Qualifying Families Through End of 2020

by Ben Adlin


As 2020 draws to a close, Seattle officials are deploying leftover City funds to make child care free for qualifying families through the end of the year, a move meant to save struggling households hundreds of dollars and encourage new families to enroll.

The assistance, announced last month by the mayor’s office, has already eliminated November and December payments for hundreds of families with children currently enrolled in child care. But money and space are still available, and participating agencies want parents to know there’s still an opportunity to sign up.

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Feedback Wanted on Proposed Renovations to Beacon Hill’s Dearborn Park Play Area

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Renovations are in the works for Beacon Hill’s Dearborn Park Play Area, including replacing the current equipment with more accessible play structures and more nature-engaged features. The community is invited to learn more and give feedback at an interactive virtual presentation on Wednesday, August 26 at 6:30 p.m. You can register in advance for the online presentation here

The play area currently consists of a play structure with a slide and climbing features, a swingset, and picnic tables tucked into a mostly wooded section of Dearborn Park on 2919 S. Brandon St. near the Chief Sealth Trail and behind the Dearborn Park International School. The play area is due for renovations, something routine for all Seattle parks every 20 years, said Danyal Lotfi, Community Engagement Advisor for Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR). In addition to renovations that will make pathways and equipment ADA compliant, improvements also reflect the findings of a July community survey

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OPINION: The Youth Green Corps is the “Future of Work” for Seattle Parks and Recreation

by Denaya Shorter

A quick online search of opportunities for Seattle youth yields pages upon pages of available services and programs — summer day camps for children, mentoring groups for tweens, internships for high school teens, fellowships for college students. But what about our young adults? What happens to our young people who make it through the struggle of societal pressures, and the many challenges of the journey to adulthood, and are looking to enter the workforce? How are we supporting these youth?

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