Celebrate our Birthday of North SeaTac Park
from Defenders of North SeaTac Park organizer, Noemie,
Winner of SSCAN 2022, Citizen Climate Champion Award
 Thank you so much to all of you for making it possible! All of the time planning, event setup, being at the event, greeting people there and making the entire event welcoming for people, the amazing music, your donations, – and more!
There were 13 of us organizers / helpers present – Andrea, Anne, Barbara, Beth, Carla, Carolyn, Isla, Jeanine, Mike, Mona, me, Rob, and Sandy.  Mike created some wonderful music – and I’ve hearing back from people how much they enjoyed it. Isla joined in on the Happy Birthday song – and that was a really sweet moment. 
 
Here are some photos – taken by me or by Isla and her mom:https://www.flickr.com/photos/98956852@N00/albums/72177720301526534
 
If you have others, please do share! I’m hoping that someone videoed Mike performing!
 
Participants
  • We have the names of 69 adults who took part.
  • Forty-eight of those participants were in addition to our 13 organizers (named above), 5 elected officials, and three people from out of state. So we were really right on the mark of what we aimed for (the maximum 50 participants allowed by park rules) of 50 participants.
  • There were also a number of children who took part and several community members who stopped by but didn’t leave their names.
  • Elected officials included SeaTac Councilmembers Mohamed Egal, Iris Guzman, and Senayet Negusse, Burien Councilmember Sarah Moore, and Port Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed.
  • Councilmember Negusse came toward the end and so didn’t speak, but the others did. Rose Clark, former Burien Councilmember and Deputy Mayor – and long-time Highline area leader, also spoke. As did Sandy of our group.
  • Because people didn’t come all at once, and because a number of people needed to stay separated from the main crowd because of Covid, the photos don’t really reflect the liveliness of the event.
Outcomes
  • Port Commissioner Mohamed and elected officials from SeaTac and Burien got to speak with each other which I think is helpful as there has been potentially some tension over the Port’s lack of direct response to SeaTac’s exploration of whether it can own North SeaTac Park
  • Commissioner Mohamed told me that she supports the zoning for North SeaTac Park to be changed from Commercial Aviation to Park. She also shared some other thoughts with me – and I’m sure with others in our group – and I hope to be able to discuss them in a meeting with all of you.
  • We got a really nice group photo with about 30 people.
  • 32 people signed the Community Forest Consensus (25 of these are new signers – the others either already signed or their info wasn’t legible)
  • 23 postcards to Port Commissioners were written
  • 15 haiku were created for the park
  • Eight people either signed up to volunteer doing forest rescue in the park or indicated that they’d like to do this on the sign-in sheet
  • Seven people signed up to join the Defenders of North SeaTac Park
  • Several gallons of water were brought – and used to water newly-planted trees in the park
  • Anne and Isla created beautiful paintings on the faces and arms of numerous participants
  • A couple dozen wishes were hung on the wish tree. In addition to ones I typed up in advance that people hung they also included:
    • My wish is for the park to continue to provide a place for diverse families to gather and recreate among the great trees! (and providing oxygen and stormwater filtration.)
    • Clearer air for us all!
    • I wish for baby birds to always have trees to nest in!
    • Happy more birthdays
    • Children to be more in tune with the natural world and “learn” to be in nature in school
    • I wish this park will live forever
    • I wish for the park to remain a park for the birds, butterflies, bees & all creatures
    • I wish for clean air – we need trees!
    • (Re)-plant with more natives!
    • A long beautiful forever life
    • More trees!
    • The invasive species that inhabit this park (such as ivy, blackberry bushes) are cleared so the trees and other greenery can grown and thrive in a stable environment
    • Please leave our park as it is. The only clean outdoor natural setting in the area. A true gem for the neighborhood.
    • I wish the Port of Seattle would keep its D*** hands off North SeaTac Park
    • Trees are adopted by caretakers who give them 1:1 care and advocacy

I look forward to debriefing on this – what went well, what could have gone better – and next steps – next time we meet. Thanks again, everyone!

 
Noemie