Community

Park district gives out $10,000 in grants

A spiral-shaped garden of edible native plants is one of five community-minded projects the Vashon Park District will help pay for this year, thanks to its community grant program.

The park district has pledged a total of $10,000 to five Island nonprofits and their Vashon projects.

The district committed $2,000 for members of Vashon Social Ecology Education and Demonstration School (SEEDS) to plant an edible mandala, or spiral-shaped, garden in a Vashon park, though which park hasn’t yet been decided.

The district will pay $3,500 to help the Vashon Youth Council launch a youth mural project, with murals to be displayed on the north side of Pandora’s Box, just next to the council’s youth center.

Vashon Beach Naturalists will be given $2,000 to train naturalists to educate the public about the importance of Vashon’s nearshore environment.

The Vashon Island Music Festival, slated to take place this summer at Paradise Ridge Park, will be supported by the park district’s contribution of $1,500.

And Vashon Events, created to support local happenings, will receive $1,000 from the park district to help it put on a fundraiser to support the Burton Adventure Recreation Cen-ter or BARC.

“All of them are great projects,” said Susan McCabe, the Vashon Park District’s program coordinator, who was part of the committee that reviewed Islanders’ applications for grant funds. “I’m very enthusiastic. I think the projects that we awarded are very substantive. It’s a delight to be able to do this.”

Of the seven applications for park district grant funds, two were disqualified because they did not meet the grant’s parameters — they weren’t projects that support the park district’s mission or were not proposed by nonprofit groups, McCabe said.

Emet Degirmenci, a permaculturist and member of Vashon SEEDS, said she was excited that the park district will help pay for the planting of an edible garden at one of Vashon’s public parks.

She plans, she said, to seek Islanders’ involvement in the garden’s creation after a park is chosen as the garden’s location.

“We are very excited because this is a tangible project — people can learn what are edible native plants,” Degirmenci said. “This will be an educational workshop for Islanders.”

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