Funding from the Seattle Foundation will implement a two-year
environmental service-learning project in Cheasty Greenspace that
provide 500 youth of Southeast Seattle a hands-on experience restoring
neighborhood forest. Through their work, young people will learn
they can make a tangible and positive difference in their community.
They will come to know this park intimately by learning about its
ecology and history, and will develop a strong sense of connection
they transform it into a beautiful place.
Cheasty Greenspace was chosen for this
project because it is one of the
only tracts of open space in the heart of the Rainier Valley. Cheasty
a largely neglected and under-utilized 43-acre urban forest between
Beacon Avenue South and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard S. Cheasty
Greenspace was originally designed as part of the Olmsted Boulevard
for Seattle's Parks, however trails and other amenities have never
developed. On January 15, 2003 Cheasty Boulevard was designated
an Historic Landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Board. EarthCorps'
youth-driven project will focus on invasive plant species removal,
native plantings, and construction of a trail
system to encourage positive public use and stewardship of the park.
The four primary goals of the project
1. Allow the children and youth who live in Southeast Seattle to
see that they are connected to the natural environment through
recurring, well-crafted environmental experiences, and cultivate
interest and skills for continued environmental pursuits.
2. Create a sense of ownership and
pride for their own neighborhood
park, building self-esteem and increasing their understanding and
appreciation for greater civic responsibility.
3. Restore a living legacy, Cheasty
Greenspace, in their own
neighborhood, thereby demonstrating their own self-efficacy as
individuals, and increasing the sense of community cohesiveness.
4. Make youth environmental service-learning
a permanent fixture in
Southeast Seattle through the solidifying of EarthCorps partnerships.
(e.g. Central Area Motivation Program, Seattle Public Schools, Southeast
Seattle Community Centers, etc.)