What do you get when a nonprofit, a bank and a government agency join forces?  A lot done in a very short time!

On Friday, September 16, ECOSS teamed up with JP Morgan Chase Bank Corporation and Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to help spruce up the South Park business district as part of King County’s United Way Day of Caring (UW DOC) – and what a sprucing it got!  For five hours, 24 desk jockey volunteers from Chase, alongside SDOT and ECOSS employees, sweated, toiled and grinned their way to replanting the tree wells along 14th Avenue South.

South Park resident and landscape architect, Meredith Hall, had dreamed of installing drought resistant plants along the street for more than a year.  Collaboration with ECOSS and UW DOC program, her vision finally came to fruition.

Because the trees are part of the SDOT right of way, ECOSS needed permission to do the planting. Working closely with SDOT personnel, a plan of action developed that created a safe working environment for the volunteers, as well as access for watering, and plant and mulch delivery. SDOT will continue to water the plants through the fall until the rains come, to ensure that the plants get well-established.

Logistically, we also needed a location for the volunteers to meet, space to house plants and compost, and water for the plants once installed. South Park Discount Foods donated their parking lot for the day for our meeting location. Ms. Nguyen at Bias & Sewing Co. allowed us to house plants overnight.  Compost was staged at SP Plus Transportation and Loretta’s. SDOT provided a 200 gallon tanker truck of water, but that only covered about 20 tree pits. So several businesses stepped up to provide water, including SP Plus Transportation, Napoli’s, and South Park Groceries.

In addition to getting the plants installed, it was our hope that the project would connect some Seattleites who didn’t know of South Park’s existence to the neighborhood and its businesses. To this end, Chase bank provided Napoli’s pizza for lunch, and ECOSS provided some wonderful cookies from Pasteleria y Panaderia La Ideal.  Chase volunteers also lifted a few brews after the event at Loretta’s, and have vowed to return for a weekly lunch, as well as happy hour.

ECOSS and the South Park community would like to extend a huge “THANK YOU” to SDOT, the local businesses, and most especially the Chase employees who volunteered their work day to spruce up South Park!


Chase volunteers outside of South Park Discount Foods

ECOSS Executive Director Kevin Burrell and Associate Director Elizabeth Loudon thank the Chase volunteers and lend a hand!