Wrap-up fo the Garden for Wildlife project in 2020
Organization: Weed Warriors
Project Name: Garden for Wildlife
Date: June 2020 – June 2021, extended to Sept 31, 2021.
- Please summarize, in a few sentences, the goals of your project and what you were able to accomplish with funding from the Port of Seattle ACE Grant.
We were able to accomplish our Garden for Wildlife project. Since our Garden for Wildlife classes were held either by Zoom, or safely in person at the New Start Community Garden with attendees wearing masks and social distancing, we had no delivery problems. We also hosted many garden events with small groups that weeded the community garden areas, mulched weeded areas with wood chips for weed suppression, and revitalized areas with garden friendly and native plants. All events complied with local Covid guidelines for small outdoor groups. The Zoom compost workshop was followed by an on-site, hands-on event at the New Start Community Garden. Attendees created weed-free compost that was later used as soil in a new section of a garden “favorite plants area” created by the New Start Summer School attendees.
We hosted 3 Zoom workshop classes on topics supporting environmental stewardship and were essential in creating wildlife friendly gardens. These workshops included: Composting, Identifying and Controlling Invasive Noxious Weeds, and Sustainable Garden Practices, which was the most popular. The 4th deliverable was creating a unique all-ages coloring book called a Zine, which is discussed in #2. The Port of Seattle and our project partners logos were printed on the Zine for recognition and advertising the project.
- Please describe any challenges you faced in implementing your project and how you worked to overcome them.
The only challenge was offering a unique Zoom class on Native Edible Plants. By the time we were to host the last public Zoom class, we realized that other local environmental non-profits, including the University of WA, were advertising similar classes on Native Edible Plants, so we changed our focus to producing a “Zine,” a small “magazine,” as the 4th deliverable. This was approved and the extension granted. The Zine, created by a local artist and Garden for Wildlife enthusiast, was popular and was distributed freely, with color crayons or colored pencils, to volunteers and to community members at the Burien Farmer’s Market and garden events.
When we originally planned the project, we had hoped for participation with students from the schools. However, the Highline School District did not allow the students into the garden area during the regular school year, due to the District’s Covid restrictions. Also, in the beginning of the pandemic, the Burien City Parks were closed to activities, but we were able to continue in the garden, since it was tied to agriculture production (we raise and donate food for the local food bank) and were allowed to host activities, with social distancing restrictions, according to WA state guidelines. We had a good turn-out of adult volunteers that stepped-up to volunteer at the garden and participate in the project. Only during the New Start summer school, a few students were able to participate in the garden where they helped create and plant a new garden common area using the weed free compost.
- How has the COVID-19 crisis has impacted your ability to implement project deliverables? Have you requested a scope and budget modification from the Port?
We requested a modification to the project for the 4th Zoom class and changed it to the Zine coloring book. By the time the coloring book was printed, we were able to pass out materials at the Burien Farmer’s Market and the garden. In the beginning of the Covid season, we could not hand people paper items, but luckily this changed during the summer months.
- Please describe any lessons learned from working with diverse partners or audiences on your project. Be specific and give an example of how a new or different perspective impacted your project or your approach.
The major adjustment was changing focus to comply with the Covid restrictions. We learned the best plans can change due to outside factors, like Covid-19. We transitioned to Zoom for meetings and classes, which we probably would have not so readily embraced, had it not been for Covid-19, since we previously hosted classes at the Burien Community Center.
- Were you able to meet the 3:1 match? Please describe your experience in meeting and documenting this requirement.
Yes, we were able to meet the required match. We had no problem meeting this requirement since we have a lot of volunteers that could work outdoors and social distance safely at our project events.
The match excel worksheet gives details, but here are the totals for each category:
|Total Match of all Categories for the Garden for Wildlife Project|
|Independent Sector Monetary Value for Volunteer Hours|
|Attendees at Events||$12,107.20|
|Planning and Contact Hours||$5,203.57|
|In-Kind - Non-Affiliated||$320.00|
Thank you to the Port staff for allowing us to be flexible and for understanding the Covid impacts on delivering a project in the midst of a deadly pandemic. We are grateful.