Grants Database

Tilth Alliance
Amount Awarded:
Project Title:
Soil & Water Stewards / Youth Employment
Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund, 2020
Environmental Health & Justice ; Environmental Education ; Habitat/Wilderness/Preservation
Central Sound; rbufw-map-2019.pdf ; These projects are based in southeast Seattle, connecting the wetlands of Rainier Beach to Lake Washington and Puget Sound.
Project Description:

With support from the Rose Foundation, Tilth Alliance piloted our Soil and Water Stewards (SWS) program in 2017 with a goal of training a diverse cohort of volunteers to lead water quality improvement projects and serve as watershed ambassadors throughout Seattle and King County. Additional support helped grow the program with a focus on traditionally underserved communities and fueled targeted outreach and projects in East and South King County, within immigrant and refugee communities, low-income neighborhoods, senior centers, and schools. This program has been phenomenally successful, having now trained 124 volunteers who worked over 1,365 hours of volunteer time including community-based water quality improvement demonstration projects, raingarden and green infrastructure installations, and educational workshops encouraging residents to adopt chemical-free, natural yard care and better manage stormwater runoff, all of which benefits the quality of water in Puget Sound. What began as a one-month, six-session, 21-hour training has grown into a nine-month program with 45 hours of comprehensive training on soil, water, and food system stewardship with monthly projects throughout King County.
At our 10-acre Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands (RBUFW) public property in southeast Seattle, we employ 10 youth of color from low-income households to work on restoring the onsite wetlands that connect directly to Lake Washington. We ask the Rose Foundation to help keep this critical activity thriving for the benefit of the waterways and the youth. In addition to stipends for five additional youth, we ask the Foundation to support the development of outdoor signage that will educate the public on the importance of wetland preservation and connecting the wetland to Lake Washington and Puget Sound, as well as the impact of regenerative, sustainable, and organic growing methods on water quality. Youth participants will help design and install the new signage.