Three Programs Getting Kids Outdoors and in the Water This Summer

Last year, the Parks Levy grant programs awarded more than $30 million to support projects large and small that create and improve access to parks and recreation throughout King County. The following programs are just a few of many providing valuable recreation and learning opportunities for youth during the summer and throughout the year:

Swim Safety

No More Under (NMU) is a nonprofit dedicated to spreading water safety awareness and saving lives. The organization was awarded a Parks Levy Grant for $15,000 to support summer swim classes that invited children from Holgate Street Church, Treehouse Foster Care, and Bellwether Housing.

Through a 5-day program of swim lessons focused on water safety, 40 students learned swimming and survival skills and took home a swim cap and goggles of their own. For more than half of the participants, this was their very first experience with swim lessons. Additionally, more than 75% qualify for free lunch programs at school. By offering the program at no cost and including $25 gas vouchers for participating families, NMU removed significant barriers that stood between the students and their safe enjoyment of the water.

A group of children sitting on the the side of the pool listening to their swim teacher

“My favorite part was watching my little one have so much fun in the water while learning safely.”

Summer Exploration

Para Los Niños de Highline (PLN), based in Burien, was awarded a Parks Levy Grant for $125,000 to advance their goal of connecting the Latinx immigrant community in South King County with culturally relevant, multilingual parks, recreation, and outdoor opportunities.

In addition to academic summer programs, PLN welcomed young campers throughout July to explore parks and museums, create art, play games and sports, and more!

A very large group of children and their families smiling for the camera

 “The memories we create together are truly priceless and the happiness and joy in this picture says it all! We’re already excited to do it again next year!”

Salmon Camp

Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery (FISH) is a nonprofit that works to protect salmon and ensure their survival for future generations through education, advocacy, and outreach. This summer, with support from a $15,000 Parks Levy Grant, FISH hosted three weeks of youth camps for kids aged 3 to 11. Campers learned about the lifecycle of salmon, their habitat, and many of the challenges that salmon face.

In all, 32 campers took field trips, performed water analysis, and participated in a local clean-up and restoration project, in what was surely a watershed moment in their young lives.

Families observe growing salmon in outdoor pools

“Through our many hands-on activities and trips to Confluence Park and Lake Sammamish State Park campers were able to not only learn about these environments but go explore and play in them! The campers were all excited to learn about our fishy friends!”

We’re honored to support programs like these through our Parks Levy Grants! Join the Parks Grants email list to receive updates about 2023 awards and future funding opportunities.

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