Action Area Topic: Environmental Issues in Rainier Beach

Demographics of those in attendance:

  • Total Attendance: 15
  • Residents: 5
  • Over 60 years young:1
  • Under 30 years of age:2
  • Kinship Caregivers: 1, Support group did not join us due to seasonal business meeting
  • 80% of attendees have used Link Light Rail
  • Organizations: 12- Transportation Choices, Seattle Neighborhood Group, Sustainable Seattle, SE Network – Youth Violence Prevention Initiative operated by Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club, RBHS Alumni Association, Rainier Beach Grandparent and Kinship In Action, Seattle Tilth, Dunlap Community Council, South Seattle Crime Prevention Council, Senior Services, Urban Wilderness Project.

Meeting focus:

  • Meeting was dedicated to Secret Charles for her tireless work as an environmental justice advocate in communities of color across the country.
  • Overview of Rainier Beach Town Hall Meeting scheduled for January 28, 2010
  • Presentations by Sustainable Seattle, Seattle Tilth and Urban Wilderness Project.
  • To galvanize and inform residents and organizations to support a healthy environment in our neighborhood.
  • Compiling a list of all the environment impacting projects in the neighborhood.
  • The format of the meeting was presentations and open discussion.

Presentations Highlights

Environmental projects in the neighborhood. (PowerPoint available upon request)

Projects include but are not limited to:  Rainier Beach Link Light Rail Station; Rainier Beach Parks, Green Spaces and Cultural Plan; Mapes Creek/52nd Avenue Walkway, Chinook Beach Park; Southeast Athletic Complex; Beer Shiva Park/Atlantic City Beach; Atlantic City Nursery Urban Agriculture Project; New school buildings (South Shore and South Lake;  Peat Settlement Map; Miscellaneous Public Art (15 pieces), Seattle Police Department.

Issues for the Rainier Beach neighborhoods’ consideration by Diana Vinh

  • Indoor air quality – smoking, mold in older apartment buildings
  • Safe cooking so people know not to use charcoal indoors
  • Car exhaust – is Secret still doing the no-idling work? – Yes
  • Investigate if there are any toxic land or old landfill areas in Rainier Beach- Unknown
  • Safe disposal of things like diabetic syringes
  • Safe disposal of old medicine 
  • Unsure if there are still any buildings with lead paint or asbestos? – Unknown
  • General worker safety – people doing construction or landscaping need proper protective gear to protect them against injury and fumes – nail and hair salon products and exposure to these chemicals 
  • Education on proper disposal of things like old motor oil, batteries and so on for businesses and residents 

Sustainable Seattle

Measures of sustainability were presented via the Neighbors Acting to Build Resiliency and Sustainability (NABRS) project.  Scorecard categories included social, personal, natural and built environment.  For details of the report go to  It is the hope that the scorecard is used by Rainier Beach to address local conditions and improve neighborhood-scale sustainability.  A project that is an example of this is the Efficient Energy Outreach Program (EEOP) $1500 for young adults to conduct energy efficiency audits, primarily among the Rainier Beach businesses.

Seattle Tilth

The Rainier Beach Learning Garden has received funding from DON to further develop the garden into an open and inclusive garden used by Rainier Beach residents in addition to students at the schools.  Applications are being accepted for Advisory Committee participation.  Please contact Sharon Lerman at 206.619.5196 or as soon as possible.

The Atlantic City Nursery Urban Agriculture Project situated south of Pritchard Island Beach and north of Beer Sheva Park was started in 1935 and used to grow trees and shrubs for park landscaping.  An opportunity to repurpose the site exists. It can provide access to affordable fresh and healthy food via year round gardening opportunities and be a place to offer training and education for youth.  Forming a broad based local coalition to develop a preliminary site plan and budget, explore possible barriers and alternate request for site use is underway.  A public meeting is scheduled for December 3rd, 7-8:30 pm at Pritchard Beach Bathhouse. Please contact Harry Hoffman at 206.276.1472 or

Urban Wilderness Project (UWP)

With a mission to restore and encourage positive communities by providing culturally and environmentally based service learning projects rooted in social change UWP offers hands on learning projects by doing ecological restoration and leading grassroots education workshops such as the Restoration Works Projects (RWP).  Currently RWP meets the second Saturday at Genesee Park, 4316 Genesee St (Lake Washington Blvd side) for information call 206.464.8364 or

General Discussion

Ideas and interests shared by those in attendance include:

  • General surprise that:
    • Rainier Beach households uses more electricity than other neighborhoods households
    • That the cost of homes in Rainier Beach is unaffordable
    • The 62 major crimes per 1000 residents is lower than the city average of 67 major crimes for every 1000 residents
  • Projects are needed that support homeowners with their conservation efforts, particularly those that result in money savings e.g., making energy efficient light bulbs available.  The projects can also be used to inform residents about other neighborhood opportunities e.g., joining community councils, events where community comes together
  • We should all join Seattle Tilth with projects like the Rainier Beach Learning Garden.  The redevelopment of the community in this way along with the Atlantic City Nursery Urban Agriculture Project can provide youth with options other than loitering.  Be sure to connect this to the SE Cluster of SYVPI


  • Mayor Elect Mike McGinn is holding a town hall meeting at the Paul Roberson Theatre, December 2 at 6:30 p.m.
  • South Seattle Crime Prevention Council will be joined by Bruce Harrell at their monthly meeting, December 2, 7 pm to 8:30 pm at SE Senior Center
  • A public meeting is scheduled for December 3rd, 7-8:30 pm at Pritchard Beach Bathhouse for The Atlantic City Nursery Urban Agriculture Project. Please contact Harry Hoffman at 206.276.1472 or
  • The Southeast Cluster of the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Project is looking for mentors.  Please email Heidi Henderson at to state your interest now
  • Seattle Young People’s Project has youth (ages 13-18) job opportunities for community researchers/story tellers. Apply by December 14th. Call 206.860.9606 or email
  • Puyallup Fair is hosting a Train Exhibit
  • Orienteering classes are being conducted by Rick Davis, Naturalist.  Call 206.617.8571 or email for information

Next meeting: December 17, 2009, 6:30

Topic: The Arts in Rainier Beach

Location: Rainier Beach Family Center operated by Atlantic Street Center