We believe that community is strongest together.
Seattle Parks Foundation is uniquely positioned to support neighborhood-based efforts by bridging community to government agencies and providing fiscal services to grassroots groups. We lead the region in parks and public space partnerships and projects and have a proven track record of success.
Our commitment to equity in public spaces includes reckoning with Seattle’s history. We acknowledge the city of Seattle and surrounding public spaces are on unceded Coast Salish land, specifically the ancestral land of the Duwamish, Suquamish, Stillaguamish, and Muckleshoot People. We also recognize Seattle’s racist practice of redlining, and its detrimental impact which is still felt to this day. While 97% of Seattle residents live within a 10-minute commute from a park or public space, those spaces are not equally managed or funded.
We believe parks can serve all people equitably, and we recognize our position as an organization of privilege, with a social responsibility to focus our efforts and energy on tipping the scale in support of communities that continue to face discrimination.
Our strategic plan is built on four key priorities: equity, health, climate, and community. We recognize that communities who experience discrimination in Seattle also face increased exposure to negative health impacts, intensified climate change effects, decreased economic opportunity and reduced civic engagement as a result. We believe that by investing in equity for all, we can begin to address other issues and help communities thrive.
The community partners that we work with serve and represent the broad diversity of people within this region. We are committed to offering our services at a subsidized rate to groups that increase access to green spaces for people of all backgrounds, create safe and welcoming spaces for people of all identities and improve accessibility for people of all abilities. Beyond reduced fiscal fees, some additional examples of our commitment to equity include:
- Stipends to community members in exchange for time in service of an SPF request.
- Implementation of the Recite Me online toolbar, providing translation services and accessibility features.
- Additional staff time and services to community projects addressing equity in public space.
To do our work in the community, we must do our own internal work. Some key areas of focus include:
- Representation: We aim to have a broad representation of people that reflects Seattle and our community partners within our staff, board, and advisory council. This is ongoing, and must be incorporated into recruiting, hiring, internal culture, and external communications.
- Policies and Systems: We recognize that systems of privilege underlay all of our work and perpetuate power dynamics that do harm. Our intention is to identify those policies and systems of bias and transform them through hard conversations.
- Education: We aim to educate ourselves and share our learnings with our partners, our community of donors, and our civic partners on ways to be more inclusive and lead from a place of belonging. We commit to investing in tools that advance environmental and social justice.
- Accountability: Through our strategic plan, our workplans, and our annual reporting, we are focused on holding ourselves accountable to these commitments. We will align ourselves with best practices in our field and ensure we are reporting on our progress.