Tag Archives: South Park

Cultivate South Park: Serendipity, Coffee, and Radical Community Programs

by Amanda Ong


Three years ago, a group of South Park residents and café regulars routinely met at Resistencia Coffee. Now, what started as those open mics and conversations about community building over coffee has become Cultivate South Park, an established nonprofit that is working to build spaces for connection and collaboration throughout the South Park community. The nonprofit’s robust programming provides South Park with innovative solutions in food, environmental, housing, and economic justice, and fortifies existing neighborhood strengths. 

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Villa Comunitaria Looks Back on 2021 and Forward to Their Family Early Learning Cooperative

by Amanda Ong


Villa Comunitaria (VC) started in 2005 as the South Park Information and Resource Center. Now sixteen years old, the organization — in 2021 alone — delivered $500,000 in rental assistance funds, 500 vaccines to clients, 6,480 pounds of produce from the Salsa de la Vida program, and helped clients complete thirty-five citizenship pre-applications. They have also hosted workshops for community members to participate and engage in life-skills and other topics.

Executive Director Analia Bertoni remembers coming to VC over a decade and a half ago first as a client. “I came to Seattle as an immigrant in 2001 because of one of the many economic crises in Argentina,” Bertoni told the South Seattle Emerald in an interview. “My family of four came to work and provide a better life for our children who were 14 and 11 … I showed up as a client, eager to connect with other people who spoke Spanish.” 

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South Park’s Multicultural Latino Market Celebrates Mexican Independence Day Saturday

by Mark Van Streefkerk


The South Park Multicultural Latino Market, a recurring weekend pop-up hosted by the South Park Merchants Association (SPMA), will host a special celebration of Mexican Independence Day and Hispanic American Heritage Month on Saturday, Sept. 18, at the South Park Plaza. Fiestas Patrias will feature DJs spinning salsa, cumbia, merengue, banda, and quebradita sonidero music, and vendors will sell authentic Mexican and Latino foods like tacos, empanadas, elotes, specialty non-alcoholic drinks, as well as clothing, jewelry, and collectibles. The celebration starts at 1 p.m. and goes until 5 p.m. or later. RSVP and find out more at the Fiesta Patrias Facebook event page

Mexican Independence Day took place on Sept. 16, but other Central and South American countries celebrate their independence days around the same time, kicking off Hispanic American Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Fiestas Patrias is an inclusive Independence Day celebration for South Park’s diverse Latino community and everyone is welcome. 

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OPINION: National Products Inc. Pumps Environmental Hazards Into South Park Daily

by Cedar Bushue

(This article originally appeared on Real Change and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


I am a long-term resident of South Park. My family and I have had a home here for three generations. South Park is a small neighborhood in South Seattle, hemmed in by the Duwamish and a couple of highway spurs. It is a residential neighborhood but also home to many industries for Seattle and King County. Our life expectancy here is 8+ years less than Seattle as a whole, according to a 2013 study funded by the Environmental Protection Agency. Because it is a small, minority-majority neighborhood without resources, we are home to a transfer station, many homeless encampments, and many industrial areas.

National Products Incorporated (NPI) is a local company that started in someone’s garage but has grown to overtake a great deal of land in the heart of the neighborhood, displacing many neighbors as well as several stately trees that provided wildlife habitat and shade for the human inhabitants. Incidentally, this facility is directly across from one of the main neighborhood parks.

Because South Park is small and its residents don’t make a fuss, companies like NPI can pretty much do whatever they want while the County willingly ignores or happily rubber stamps every expansion plan. 

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‘Princess & Bear’ Brings Affordable, Organic, French Wine Offerings to South Park

by M. Anthony Davis 


Princess & Bear Wines is a new wine shop and tasting room that features an expansive collection of handmade wines, all imported from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. Walking into their space, the soothing ambiance of natural lighting and a rustic, homey feel, accompanied by vibrant staff and a few cuddly dogs, is immediately calming.

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More Affordable Housing Coming to South Park

by Andrew Engelson


The Seattle City Council unanimously approved legislation on Monday, July 12, pushed by Mayor Jenny Durkan to purchase two parcels of land for affordable housing to address the growing pressure of housing displacement in the South Park neighborhood . 

The lots at the intersection of 14th Avenue South and South Henderson Street will be purchased for $3.65 million and eventually developed into between 70 and 120 units of housing, according to Stephanie Velasco, a spokesperson for the Seattle Office of Housing. Responding to input from the neighborhood (including a sizable Latino community), the project will include many three-bedroom units appropriate for multigenerational families.

“Now we can start building the dream of housing that will go there,” said Maria Ramirez, chair of the Duwamish Valley Affordable Housing Coalition (DVAHC). “It’s a big move forward to bring in a bunch of units of new housing — quality housing that’s affordable at different levels of [area median income]. And family housing. It’s going to be community-led. We’re going to design something that the community wants and has been asking for.”

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‘Eco Blocks’ Are Concrete Signs of Seattle’s Failure to Address RV Homelessness

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article was originally published by PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement).


Drive through Seattle’s industrial areas — Georgetown, South Park, parts of Ballard, and SoDo — and it’s hard to miss them: Bulky, horizontal concrete blocks lined up like giant Legos along the sides of the street, preventing large vehicles from parking by the roadside.

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Tell Your Story: Apply to the Duwamish Valley Youth Storytelling Project

by Mark Van Streefkerk 


In an effort to increase access to journalism for BIPOC youth in the Duwamish Valley, journalists and community storytellers Bunthay Cheam and Jenna Hanchard are launching the first-ever Duwamish Valley Youth Storytelling Project. The project is in collaboration with the Port Community Action Team and sponsored by the Port of Seattle. 

A series of four workshops, the project will help youth shape a story of community interest that will ultimately be featured in South Park Roots, on the Port of Seattle communications website, and on Hanchard and Cheam’s own storytelling platforms, Lola’s Ink and TnouT, respectively. 

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South Park Residents Fear Industrial Expansion as Houses Are Demolished

by Guy Oron


On a small sliver of land in South Park along the Duwamish River, there once sat eight affordable houses. Now only five remain. Over the past few months, the new owners of these properties, National Products Inc. (commonly known as Ram Mounts or NPI), have begun demolishing these cottage-style houses.

Ram Mounts purchased the lots — known as the South Park triangle — through a shell company in 2019 for $2.5 million. The company is a plastics manufacturer that owns multiple warehouses and facilities on the block across the street to the south of the triangle. It hopes to replace the houses with a “park-like setting, with a noise abatement wall” to serve as a buffer between its facilities and the rest of the neighborhood. The company also plans on using the adjacent right-of-way for more parking.

However, some residents fear that Ram Mounts is simply using this new purchase to continue to expand their footprint in the area. Jennifer Scarlett, a neighbor who lives one block away from the triangle, sees the recent purchase and demolitions as part of a larger pattern of industrial expansion. “Yeah, they’ve already expanded twice … they’re an industrial company, they’re not on industrial zoning, and they keep expanding,” said Scarlett. 

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OPINION: Clean Air Everywhere, for Everyone in Washington

by Paulina López and Troy D. Abel  


Recently, legislative debates turned from carbon pricing to the Healthy Environment for All Act (HEAL) uplifting environmental justice (EJ). This is important legislation, but what we really need are bold solutions and different laws addressing a persistent form of unjust and ongoing pollution. Air toxic exposure disparities and their impacts on communities like the Duwamish Valley are still being ignored by politicians and industry. This inattention continues even as new research suggests that higher air pollution may increase COVID-19 vulnerability and deaths.

Many environmentalists in our region not only overlook decades of toxic air pollution injustice, some even gloss over the problem. In January, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Seattle office announced that industrial toxic releases declined in the Northwest. Pollution dropped 12% in 2019 for 752 facilities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. They further asserted “that U.S. companies that use and manage chemicals and metals continue to make progress in preventing pollution.” 

But we knew that regional averages likely obscured trends in our heavily polluted Duwamish River Valley neighborhoods of Georgetown and South Park — often first documented by our community. EPA analysts lumped air, water, and land pollution together. When viewed separately, air and water pollution went up in the Northwest. Surface-water discharges increased by 1.17 million pounds and air pollution by 610 thousand pounds between 2018 and 2019. 

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