Comcast Service Project at Woodland Park

On Friday, March 10th, City Year corps members collaborated with Seattle’s Parks and Recreation Department, members of the Washington Conservation Corps as well as students from Billings Middle School* to support recreational access to the Woodland Park for Seattle residents.

Comcast supports City Year service projects throughout the year.

Together these three groups worked to lay almost 70 feet of gravel and planted over a hundred plants and young trees.

“It was great to see how much trail building we were able to complete in such a limited amount of time. Working together made the most challenging aspects of the day enjoyable,” said a City Year Seattle corps member.

City Year Seattle is so grateful that Comcast has made projects like this possible for the Seattle corps!

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*Pictures and information of this service project are limited due to the priority of student privacy.

Last Service Day at the West Duwamish Greenbelt

Tamping at the West Duwamish Greenbelt

The 2010-2011 City Year Seattle year is coming to an end! Our last Comcast sponsored service project was on May 13th, at the West Duwamish Greenbelt. Throughout the day, we partnered with Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Washington Conservation Corps to finish the start of a trail to make it more inviting to others, continue a different trail and mulch an area to encourage the growth of native species. It’s amazing to think of all the work City Year has done the six times we’ve been there.

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The work was exhausting and at times, very muddy. But we were able to accomplish a lot and as Jacobo Jimenez, our partner over at Seattle Parks and Recreation, said to us,

“The work that you’ve done is amazing. Creating these trails, working in the park six times, for more than eight hours each time and to do it with flair and a good sense of humor – thank you. When I was a child, the parks were always the place for me to go […] and you are recreating that experience for others.”

Over the course of the year, Comcast has sponsored City Year Seattle service projects like prepping with the Muscular Dystrophy Association for their annual Hop-a-Thon, gardening at the Bailey-Boushay House and Garfield High School, and cleaning kitchens for homeless women at the Elizabeth Gregory Home. We have cleared fields of Scotch broom, created beautifully paved trails for the people in Seattle’s communities and literally carried tons of rocks. We accomplished so much for our community during Fridays this year, and thank you, Comcast, for helping us make all of that possible.

Text by Sherry Tiao, City Year Seattle/King County External Relations Project Leader

Comcast Signature Service at Magnuson Park!

Recently, City Year Seattle went to Magnuson Park off Lake Washington. Magnuson Park is the second-largest park in Seattle with  grasslands, wooded hillsides, wetlands and shoreline. Although it was once a naval airfield, ten acres of concrete paving were removed last year and community volunteers have been actively working to restore the park.

City Year Seattle, with Comcast’s Signature Service Sponsorship and in collaboration with the Washington Conservation Corps and Seattle Parks and Recreation, was able to continue that process. We rebuilt trails and removed brush, as well as cleared the ever-present invasive Himalayan blackberry and a species that was new to City Year Seattle: Scotch broom. Native to western and central Europe, the plant crowds out native species and destroys wildlife habitats in North America. Every year, it costs the timber industry millions of dollars and inhibits reforestation. We were able to clear an entire field of Scotch broom with some impressively large specimens and prevent new seeds from being spread around the Pacific Northwest.

As one community member said as she walked by, “Thank you so much for your work here. It really makes a difference.” A special thank you to Comcast for helping us make that difference!

Text by Sherry Tiao, City Year Seattle/King County External Relations Project Leader

Photos by Melissa Jensen, City Year Seattle/King County corps member at the JPMorgan Chase/NELA Diplomas Now Team at Denny International Middle School

Finishing Our Work: Comcast Signature Service at the West Duwamish Greenbelt

City Year and Comcast

The last time we were at the West Duwamish Greenbelt, City Year Seattle shifted 28 tons of rocks and created 81 feet of base layer rock for a new raised trail – but we didn’t quite finish. A few Fridays ago, with Comcast’s Signature Service Sponsorship, we returned to finish the trail and begin several other projects because there’s always more service to be done!

We began a smaller gravel trail deeper in the forest, trimmed trees and bushes that were growing too close to the edge of trails and cleared invasive blackberry. By the end of the day, we had completely finished the raised trail, beautified the forest and helped to protect the forest from encroaching blackberry.  As Jacobo Jimenez of Seattle Parks and Recreation said last time, “The trail that you saw here earlier today? We used to have to rebuild it on an annual basis.” Now he doesn’t and the Seattle community can enjoy our parks year-round.

Take a look at the slideshow below to see what our day was like. Thank you Comcast, for your support of our work and its results!

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Text and photos by Sherry Tiao, City Year Seattle/King County External Relations Project Leader

Comcast Signature Service Day: Teamwork at the West Duwamish Greenbelt

Welcome to the Comcast Sponsored Service day!

Last Friday, City Year Seattle shoveled, wheelbarrowed, and shifted 28 tons of rocks at the West Duwamish Greenbelt. Sponsored by Comcast, our National Leadership Sponsor/Signature Service Sponsor, and organized by Seattle Parks and Recreation, the crew took off for West Seattle to continue building a trail that City Year Seattle has been working on since last year.

By the end of the day, corps members created 81 feet of base layer rock for the trail and completely finished 47 feet. Because this new trail is raised off the ground and has a built-in tunnel to facilitate water drainage, it is a significant improvement over the former trail, which had to be rebuilt each year because of storm damage.

Take a look at our day below to see City Year Seattle in action:

Heavy duty heavy lifting

Heavy duty heavy lifting

Distributing rocks to make the trail

Corps members were fired up with enthusiasm. Jacobo Jimenez of Seattle Parks and Recreation told us, "You guys moved more rock today than I've ever moved in a single project."

City Year and Wheelbarrows

City Year, wheeling through twisting paths.

Wobbly Wheelbarrow

Because of the bumpy rocks, the wheelbarrow began tipping over precariously . . .

Team work

until team members helped save it.

Corps Members Create Drainage

We set a tunnel under the trail to facilitate water drainage.

Large, Heavy Rocks

Corps members shifted incredibly heavy rocks in place.

Corps members starting the Trail

We were still hard at work mid-day, as it began to look like a real trail.

The finishing step.

Corps members put the finishing touches on the trail by smoothing gravel with precision.

The Finished Product

Great work, team!

At the end of the day, Jacobo Jimenez of Seattle Parks and Recreation told us,

What you guys did today has a greater-reaching impact than ‘we built a really cool looking trail.’ The trail that you saw here earlier today? We used to have to rebuild it on an annual basis. But the real problem wasn’t just the time and energy that we had to put into fixing this trail every single year. It was the sediment that would run off into the storm drains and Puget Sound. That sediment contained nutrients that could have helped enrich the forests but instead was causing algae bloom in our waters and killing off our fish. That in turn had a negative economic impact upon our region.

Now it sounds like I’m really stretching it here, but I’m not – what you did here today has a real impact on our community, and I want to thank you for it. You guys moved more rock today than I’ve ever moved in a single project. You keep raising the bar in your service and it’s really incredible.

Thank you, Seattle Parks and Recreation, for helping us facilitate this day. and working with us to accomplish so much. And thank you Comcast, for your support of the work we do and this region’s community. We couldn’t do it without you!

Text and photos by Sherry Tiao, City Year Seattle/King County External Relations Project Leader