Open Canvas Eco Mural Project

NewHolly Summer Youth Program Participants

DNDA’s Summer Youth Program (SYP) 2017 at Seattle Housing Authority’s NewHolly and High Point communities has been exciting and successful on many levels!

DNDA’S Nature Consortium provided both NewHolly and High Point resident youth a variety of different classes and activities throughout the summer.

Open Canvas Eco-Mural Project was one of  several very successfully programs.

NewHolly Community Builder Phillippia Goldsmith’s idea of connecting NewHolly youth with art, community, and employment this summer came to the attention of DNDA’S Nature Consortium in light of our SYP 2017 program.  DNDA hired NewHolly coordinator Keats Landis, and creative and talented DNDA teaching artists Hosanna Tecle and Ellyn Rivers, to lead the project forward.

A group of 7 NewHolly youth were selected by SHA’s community builder Phillippia Goldsmith, and youth counselor Ty Griffiths. Two mural sites were donated, by the owners of Café Red, and SHA’s NewHolly management office.

Teaching Artists Hosanna Tecle and Ellyn Rivers

The goal of the project was to support youth participation in the arts, build leadership skills through art, explore cultural figures, community, environment, history, and the Seattle landscape, and develop a unique visual vocabulary of images and colors. Youth researched murals in and around Seattle as well as creating designs with the support of our teaching artists.

Over the course of 7 weeks, the youth had to create a schedule to complete the project, as well as assist in coordinating meetings with Lisa Dressler, Yeggy Michael, Zenia Pakker (videographer) and their artist leaders.

The group met 2 or sometimes 3 times per week for 3 hours over the course of 6 weeks.

We at DNDA, our participating youth, and the NewHolly and Othello/MLK communities, are proud and excited about the paintings created by these talented youth. The participants learned the importance of maintaining their responsibilities toward a job every week, and committed themselves to the project as well as showing respect for their artistic guides and community leaders.

The short insightful video documentary by Zenia Pakker underscores the success of the project. Watch below!

Learn about Zenia Pakker

Open Canvas Eco Mural Project

Wetland Park Design Reveal!

The Wetland Park Concept Plan is Here!

Attached you will find the conceptual plan for the Wetland Park.  The plan was produced by Pomegranate Center after gathering input from the greater community, project partners, educators and of course, DNDA.  

We are excited by the design, as it incorporates so many elements that were proposed by our young students at K-8 STEM school and by educators, who wanted to ensure that elements included in the design would aide them in developing curriculum for their 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade classrooms.  Now that we have a conceptual plan, we can begin to have detailed discussions with the City Departments who will issue permits that will pave the way for eventual construction.

Please share everywhere as this is what many in the community have been waiting to see!!!

-Willard Brown, DNDA Director of Housing and Environmental Programs 





Recap: High Point vs. New Holly Community Soccer Tournament

Community Soccer Tournament – High Point vs. New Holly

DNDA’s Nature Consortium hosted this summer’s first soccer tournament during the Family Fun Fest between High Point vs. New Holly and it was a major success! The summer youth program, led by DNDA’S Nature Consortium and funded by Seattle Housing Authority, provides soccer opportunities for families and players to share a sport that is enjoyed around the world– and bringing our communities together on the Van Asselt field is always a pleasure and great fun for everyone!

New Holly and High Point teams were led by amazing coaches from each community, who created a positive and encouraging atmosphere for all kids involved, which was reflected in each game. We’re proud of all the boys and girls who participated in this year’s event, showing active listening skills, leadership, constructive communication, and most of all teamwork. Youth players perform better when they have people there to support them, so a BIG thank you to all the parents and family members that came to cheer on the players! Special thanks to Horn of Africa for the delicious and healthy food for everyone!

Great games, great weather, great food! See you all again soon!


Join the All At Once community with DNDA and Jack Johnson!

Our organization is teaming up with Jack Johnson on his 2017 Summer Tour and All At Once, a social action network connecting nonprofits with people who want to become active in their local and world community.  All At Once promotes sustainable local food systems and plastic free initiatives and encourages action through the Capture Your Commitment campaign. Collectively, individual actions create global change. Your actions, your voice, and your choices, all have a huge impact.

How can you take action?

Help us raise funds!  Jack Johnson’s charity is matching donations contributed to DNDA through September 1st, up to a total of $2,500.  Make a contribution right now and your money will be doubled by the Johnson Ohana Foundation!

Learn more and DOUBLE your impact here!


Delridge Wetlands Design Process: Final Plan Coming Soon!

As the design process is coming to a close, the future of the Delridge Wetlands Project is bright! Here is a recap of the Delridge Wetlands and an update on all of the design work that has gone into this community gem!

Located on 23rd Ave SW and SW Findlay St, the Delridge Wetlands is a grassroots project spearheaded by DNDA to protect, restore and expand the existing wetland to improve water quality in Longfellow Creek. Meanwhile developing the space as a public park, other plans for the project include an urban garden, a community orchard, and an outdoor classroom for local students to learn hands-on environmental science and wetland stewardship.

As we strive to make our collective dream of the Delridge Wetlands a reality, the first step was to gather community feedback and create a design master plan that combines our many visions. Earlier this spring, DNDA contracted with Pomegranate Center, a local community engagement consulting team, to lay out the design, technical, and building work of the Delridge Wetlands.

Kicking off the design process, our partners at Pomegranate Center began developing the first draft of their master plan in May. This process relied heavily on input from the project’s partners and included two day-long design forums as well as a third forum with local educators. Partners of the Delridge Wetlands and Stewardship Project include Seattle Green Spaces Coalition,, Seattle City Light, Seattle Public Utilities, Louisa Boren STEM K-8, Duwamish Alive Coalition, National Park Service, Tilth Alliance, City Fruit, and Solid Ground.

Strengthening DNDA’s relationship with local educators, Pomegranate Center created a curriculum that would enable students at Louisa Boren STEM K-8 to contribute to the Wetlands design plan through science experiments, art projects and presenting their projects at school. A class of both fifth and third graders studied wetland water function by testing water quality and different substrates, while two other third grade classes focused on studying plants, animal habitats and human activity. These topics included science experiments such as using a homemade clinometer to measure tree heights, testing soil quality, studying plant biofiltration capacity by observing water uptake in celery stalks, and researching specific needs for local wildlife habitats.


After conducting their experiments, students continued to create their personal vision of the Delridge Wetlands through clay models. Students were given a map of what the Delridge Wetlands currently looks like and used clay to redesign the space using their new knowledge of water features, plants and habitats.


Wrapping up the experiments and activities, students were able to share their findings at Louisa Boren K-8’s school-wide Project Based Learning Night. Meanwhile, DNDA was also tabling at the event to showcase the students’ findings, provide information about the Delridge Wetlands and invite families to the community-wide design open house that took place at DNDA’s Youngstown Cultural Arts Center on June 15. This open house provided Delridge Wetlands partners with valuable community feedback in response to Pomegranate Center’s initial designs that consisted of 3 alternative plans. This essential community feedback, combined with input from local students and educators, will allow our design team to create a master plan for the Delridge Wetlands that encompasses all of our collective visions.

With that, the design process is coming to a close– keep your eyes peeled! The final design of the Delridge Wetlands is expected to be announced in late July. Until then, feel free to visit the wetlands site at 23rd Ave SW and SW Findlay to see our progress with your own eyes!

We are pleased to have so many community members already planning to contribute their time and energy volunteering to help clean up the site, to participate in sheet mulching the site and to participate in removal of invasive species on the perimeter of the proposed park site.  To connect to the project and to volunteer for work parties planned for summer and fall please contact Willard Brown, DNDA’s Director of Housing and Environmental Programs.



Delridge Wetlands Design Community Open House!!!

Please join DNDA for a Community Open House as we welcome our design team from Pomegranate Center to share their proposed design for the Delridge Wetlands Park! At the Open House you will have opportunity to see how the input of educators and project partners has been woven into an overall design.  We will be gathering your input and feedback to help inspire the final design and formation of this community gem in Delridge!

The Delridge Wetland located on 23rd Ave SW and SW Findlay St, is a project spearheaded by DNDA to protect, restore, preserve and expand the existing wetland to improve water quality in Longfellow Creek, meanwhile developing the space as a public park for all to enjoy. Beside wetland restoration, other plans for the park include the creation of an urban garden, community orchard, as well as developing the space as an outdoor classroom for local students and the community to learn hands-on environmental science and wetland stewardship. If you get the chance, stop by and view the site!

Thanks to our partners, sponsors and donors, we have hired the wonderful Pomegranate Center to create a master plan design for the Delridge Wetlands, which they will be presenting to the community during our Open House on June 15th.

We hope you can join us and add your recommendations for this project!

Salmon Eco-Sculpture at Folklife!

Join Nature Consortium to make a giant salmon sculpture with recycled and various materials at this year’s Northwest Folklife Festival! By creating this Salmon Eco-Sculpture together we will breathe life into old materials, connect nature and art, and think critically about sustainability and Eco-Arts. Through this project we are hoping to raise community engagement and public awareness about natural connection and environmental sustainability. The sculpture will be installed at Youngstown and be displayed in the Arts in Nature Festival at Camp Long in August 2017. Learn more about Nature Consortium here!


Nature Consortium Salmon Eco-Sculpture
May 26 – 29 starting at 11:00am
Seattle Center: Discovery Zone
305 Harrison St – Seattle 98109

GiveBIG a HUGE Success – Thank You!

Now more than ever we want to give a big THANK YOU to everyone who participated in this year’s GiveBIG donation drive for local nonprofits hosted by The Seattle Foundation. With your support, a whopping total of $5,208 was donated to DNDA— exceeding our goal of $5,000!

Your thoughtful gifts support our vision of a vibrant and thriving Delridge community. Thanks to your generous donations – and the support of an anonymous donor who put up a $2,500 matching gift challenge! – DNDA can continue to build valuable community projects in the areas of education, the arts, green space, healthy food, and restorative justice.

For example, GiveBIG proceeds will benefit community projects like:

Again, THANK YOU for showing dedication to our community and your support for DNDA! Like spoken word artist Carlynn Newhouse said at the most recent Destination Delridge event:

Give to fight the powers that hold us down, and give to show the love that holds us up.”

Through your donations you have allowed us to strengthen our collective resistance against all that holds us down and amplify the love that never fails to hold us up. We’re in this together and, thanks to your GiveBIG contributions, we are more prepared than ever.

Did you miss GiveBIG but still want to contribute? You can always make an online donation to show your love for DNDA.

Showing the Love – GiveBIG Early Giving Starts Today

Every spring, The Seattle Foundation hosts an online day of giving – GiveBIG – galvanizing nonprofit supporters across the Puget Sound. Collectively, the Greater Seattle community has raised $75 million for local nonprofits.

This year’s GiveBIG is Wednesday, May 10, and here at DNDA we want to take the opportunity to give you – our community – a big THANK YOU.

Many of you attended our Destination Delridge event in February, so undoubtedly you were as inspired as we were by spoken word artist Carlynn Newhouse, when she said:

We can’t thank Carlynn enough for her beautiful words, and we know many members of our community are showing love in incredible ways, working towards things personally powerful and collectively meaningful. Here at DNDA, we continue to work towards our vision for a vibrant and thriving Delridge.

Here’s just a couple of things we’re doing:

If the vision of a vibrant and thriving Delridge community is meaningful to you, please share your story and ideas with us. If you’d like to make a donation – any amount makes a BIG difference – you can do so starting today, April 27, at:

And this year, your donation of any amount will make twice the impact, thanks to the generous support of an anonymous donor who has pledged to match every gift to DNDA up to $2,500!

Thank you for showing your love for this community and for working to hold us all up.


To make a donation that will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $2,500, go to and click “Donate Now.”

Earth Day Celebration: Spring Has Sprung!


I can’t believe it, spring is officially beginning! Daffodils are blooming, the temperature is slowly but surely climbing and the sun isn’t hiding behind so many rain clouds. What better way to appreciate this beautiful Seattle weather than by celebrating Earth Day outside with your community in Seattle’s largest forest?

This year Earth Day falls on Saturday, April 22, and from 10:00am until 2:00pm Nature Consortium and Earth Corps are co-hosting a fun volunteer opportunity within the vast West Duwamish Greenbelt as part of a Duwamish Alive! day of service. This celebration will be complete with live musicians, as well as creative art projects through Nature Consortium’s EcoARTs Progam. Located at Pigeon Point at the Pathfinder School (1901 SW Genesee St), you can still sign up for this volunteer work party here!

Since 2006, Nature Consortium and Earth Corps’ Earth Day events have brought hundreds of volunteers together in annual collaboration surrounding the restoration of local natural sites. The West Duwamish Greenbelt, highlighted in Nature Consortium’s Urban Forest Restoration Program, has suffered long-term impacts of logging and is now facing severe degradation. Volunteers at this upcoming Earth Day event will have the opportunity to participate in the restoration of this forest by working on invasive plant removal, mulching, and site maintenance.
The West Duwamish Greenbelt, extending over 500 acres, is the largest contiguous forest remaining within Seattle. This forest provides important ecosystem services to the Duwamish Rivershed and is home to local wildlife such as bald eagles, salamanders and hawks. Plants within this forest benefit our community as well, as they help filter pollutants out of the air and reduce the effects of global warming. Better yet, the West Duwamish Greenbelt is in town. You don’t even have to leave Seattle to experience this spectacular forest!

If you plan on making it to Nature Consortium and Earth Corps Earth Day celebration, be sure to sign up here and come prepared with long pants, closed-toed shoes and a water bottle. Rain or shine, the tools, gloves and training will be provided! You won’t want to miss it, this celebration is the perfect chance to participate in Earth Day by giving back to the Seattle community while being immersed in our city’s natural beauty.

If you can’t make it to this year’s Earth Day event but you’d like to help with these organizations in the future, you can use these links to find scheduled volunteer opportunities with Nature Consortium, Earth Corps and Duwamish Alive!

Happy Earth Day to all, and to all a great spring!


Sara Parolin
DNDA Marketing Intern