COMMUNITY PARTNER PROJECTS
WORLD RELIEF SEATTLE
PARADISE PARKING PLOTS | KENT
Sustainability Ambassadors is collaborating with World Relief Seattle and Stewardship Partners to develop a community-based, collective impact model that can demonstrate the multiple benefits of the Hillside Paradise Parking Plots, a large de-paved, community garden, and green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) demonstration site.
The project will include problem-based curriculum design, food justice advocacy, green stormwater infrastructure, and leadership training for immigrant and refugee youth. Curriculum connections at both the local middle school and high school level are being developed through our expanded Green-Duwamish Watershed, Teacher Fellows Program. The youth leadership program will include training in garden management, green infrastructure design and long term maintenance, rain harvesting engineering, food justice work, near-peer mentoring for an immigrant and refugee youth summer school program, developing a Green Jobs Youth Pathways portal, and regular reporting to stakeholders.
World Relief Seattle, will contribute use of its large depave, community garden and green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) SI demonstration site to (1) collect measurements of the rain gardens’ efficacy in improving water quality, (2) annualize a plan for collecting data and maintaining the rain gardens, (3) adapt the Stormwater Action Monitoring (SAM) program for use with students and non-native English speakers, and (4) create interactive, educational curriculum for the community and local schools around GSI.
Stewardship Partners will contribute (1) technical assistance to community members and landowners located in King County, particularly outside of Seattle’s RainWise basins, (2) develop a Gray-to-Green Action Guide aligned with the Stormwater Action Monitoring (SAM) program, (3) track successful projects via the Sound Impacts mapping website, and (4) provide job training and mentoring for youth of color rising into the green jobs marketplace. Sustainability Ambassadors will collaborate with Stewardship Partners in developing problem-based, place-based curriculum connections through “adopt-a-site” green infrastructure projects in which classrooms conduct site assessments of local commercial crossroads, engineer virtual solutions, and offer recommendations to policy makers.
In addition, Mid-Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group will support school/community “adopt-a-site” salmon habitat restoration projects that serve curriculum goals while addressing restoration objectives over multiple years.
RAINIER BEACH ACTION COALITION
FOOD WASTE / FOOD JUSTICE | SEATTLE
In partnership with Rainier Beach Action Coalition, we engage young adults (high school age transitioning into adulthood) in the Rainier Beach neighborhood & service area of Rainier Beach High School, in designing, implementing & mapping waste reduction actions with a focus on Food Waste / Food Justice.
This project also leverages the professional food justice advocates who work at RBAC utilizing the expertise they have acquired to align the Food Waste initiative with existing food justice efforts occurring in the neighborhood. These initiatives include, Food Innovation Center, Food Innovation District, and School Food Organizing.
Actions will occur in collaboration with multiple community partners, aligned with current city, school district, & county Food Waste / Food Justice policy frameworks & performance measures including the City of Seattle’s online “Reduce Food Waste” resources.
DUWAMISH VALLEY YOUTH CORPS
DUWAMISH VALLEY ACTION PLAN | SEATTLE
Sustainability Ambassadors is partnering with the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps to support leadership development for the mentors of their youth program and to align community-based projects with the City of Seattle’s Duwamish Valley Action Plan.
The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group (DRCC/TAG) developed the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps (DVYC) as a youth engagement program focusing on environmental justice and job skills. The circumstances in the Duwamish Valley have produced a vacuum of engagement opportunities for the youth, and DVYC is intent on filling that vacuum. The Valley is geographically isolated, bounded by highways and the River and poorly served by public transportation. Most of our youth are children of color, most are members of low-income households and attend low-income schools, and many are immigrants and/or non-native English speakers. In addition, the Duwamish Valley itself is lacking in engagement opportunities—there are few job opportunities, few entertainment venues, and a dearth of funding/programming at our Community Center. Attending college seems unattainable to many. The Duwamish Valley Youth Corps was formed to provide a positive pathway for youth engagement and job skills.
CASCADE WATER ALLIANCE
PBL FOR WATER SYSTEMS
Sustainability Ambassadors is partnering with Cascade Water Alliance on a professional development program that empowers middle and high school educators to design “problem-based learning” experiences for students where academic standards are applied in context of ensuring a sustainable water future for the Puget Sound region. Classroom rigor meets community relevance. The goals of this partnership include: (1) help schools meet academic standards while advancing water resource management goals; (2) inspire educators to incorporate water systems studies into their curriculum; (3) empower a new generation of student Ambassadors to improve water systems stewardship at home, at school and in the community; (4) track, map and measure collective impact and report to stakeholders; (5) and develop local and regional partnerships for program efficiency, scaling and replication.
PORT OF SEATTLE
PORT YOUTH AMBASSADORS PROGRAM
Sustainability Ambassadors is partnering with the Port of Seattle on a 10-week paid internship for up to 20 emerging leaders to promote awareness of maritime career opportunities and to attract a more diverse workforce. In addition to providing skills-training in leadership, facilitation, project management and communications, a team of five Sustainability Ambassadors is developing a Green Jobs Youth Pathways Portal. We are curating a set of online resources that other young people can access to learn more about the emerging green jobs economy. We are developing a database on green jobs, a career center for resumes, cover letters, and interview tips, and pre-professional opportunities including information about internships, youth development programs, and entry-level jobs that can offer skill-building experiences that are important for all kinds of green job career pathways.
UW COLLEGE OF BUILT ENVIRONMENTS
Every August, the UW College of Built Environments hosts our 2050 Workout, a gathering of 100 student leaders for a 12-hour, systems thinking experiment, forecasting what it would take to achieve 100% sustainability in our own communities by the year 2050 and backcasting to our role today in driving the needed changes to get there.
SPHERE SOLAR ENERGY
SOLAR NEIGHBORHOOD CHALLENGE
Together with Sphere Solar Energy we have initiated a youth-led, Solar Neighborhood Challenge, to rapidly expand the adoption rate of residential solar.
Sphere Solar Energy will provide 5% off every home that goes solar as coordinated by Sustainability Ambassadors, with an additional 5% off the purchase of solar panels made in Washington State. For every 10 homes that go solar due to Sustainability Ambassador’s efforts, Sphere Solar Energy will contribute $500 to support the work of student Project Managers. For every 30 homes that go solar, Sphere Solar Energy will donate a solar project to a community in the developing world. For example, the first community project will be the installation of a well for the Maasai community, valued at $30,000.
Results locally and globally will be tracked and reported across King County cities in alignment with the King County Strategic Climate Action Plan, the King County Cities Climate Collaborative (K4C), and the strategic plans and capital project plans of each individual city and school district.
Student Sustainability Ambassadors and Sphere Solar Energy will participate along with teachers in regular Problem-based Curriculum Design Labs to enhance the relationship between academic rigor and community relevance through solar engineering, science, civics, economics, and global issues.
1. Solarize everything
Empower youth to catalyze, track, and report the rapid expansion of solar powered homes beginning with our own families, classmates and neighbors.
2. Teach it
Connect student-led community impact project design, management and communication skills to problem-based learning in the classroom.
3. Push the right policies
Practice participatory democracy by promoting clean energy and green jobs policy advances at every level of government.
GREEN BUILDING TEACHER FELLOWS PROGRAM
We are partnering with Miller Hull Architects, Dykeman Architecture and Design, and others to develop a Green Building Systems Teacher Fellows Program with an emphasis on problem-based curriculum that engages students in designing for net zero water, net zero energy, affordability, density, and transit-oriented development. The goal is to create a much more fluid learning exchange between what happens in the classroom and what happens in the build environment. Students need to meet academic standards in energy, water, human impact, engineering, technology, math, civics and economics…. why not in context of designing high performance homes, schools and commercial buildings.