© 2018 Seattle Parks Foundation

Seattle Parks Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Tax ID: 91-1998597

The Community Land Conservancy

A land conservancy led by people of color that acquires land for parks in historically underserved communities and empowers those communities to have a voice in land use decision-making

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Project Description

Access to affordable housing is a top priority for our region, particularly for historically underserved communities and communities of color, where many residents live in fear of displacement. But lost in this discussion is access to nature, which is vital for health, well-being, and social cohesion.

Discriminatory policies such as redlining have caused low-income neighborhoods to have much less green space than well-off neighborhoods. At the same time, these communities often fear that adding parks and open space will increase property values and thereby contribute to further displacement. This leaves them with a false choice between housing stability and access to nature.

We propose to create a land conservancy led by people of color that acts as an accredited representative of marginalized communities and allows them to:

  • Acquire, own and design public open space to serve the needs of their community
  • Advocate for the simultaneous development of affordable housing and quality, public-accessible open space
  • Benefit from partnerships with established conservancies, while maintaining authority over land use projects

We are currently raising funds to develop a business plan and establish a revolving fund for land acquisition and community capacity building.

Project Resources

Communities of color working together to close the Nature Gap

  • Seattle vegetation distribution (2010). Darker blue neighborhoods have more POC and lower income. Warmer dots indicate low vegetation cover.

  • Home Owners' Loan Corporation Redlining Map of Seattle (1936). Warmer colors indicate neighborhoods that were deemed "higher risk" for home loans.