Wildwood Makeover (Recap)

Thanks to all of you who pitched in with this effort!

Constructed shortly after the turn of the last century, the Wildwood Bus Stop was originally a trolley stop on Rainier Avenue South and South Holden Street.  Over the years, people experiencing homelessness, substance abuse or involved in gang activities took over this historical place. In February 2014, Emerald City Commons Residential Service Coordinator Danielle Jackson met with community members who shared their concern about the bus stop’s condition. Danielle was  asked to schedule the cleanup day to coincide with Seattle’s annual Bridge to Beach weekend. She asked Gregory Davis, Executive Director of Rainier Beach Community Empowerment Coalition to sponsor her efforts and he said, “Of course.”

Although the day was drizzly, volunteers dove into the beatification process. The city provided the crew with some supplies while a Small Sparks Grant paid for food, a DJ, printing, tools and flowers. Urban Impact and CHAMPS Resource Service Center donated raffle awards (gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks and Safeway).  Neighbors and small business provided the rest of the needed commodities. Lee Nails sourced electricity, Rainier Health & Fitness offered use of their restrooms, the Cedarstrand Apartment contributed a weed eater and a neighbor let them use his water supply to hose urine and dirt off the premises.

Over a dozen volunteers—most of whom work or live nearby —cleaned, painted, pulled weeds and picked up trash. Even transient people pitched in to help rake! By the end of the day, weeds had been pulled, needles, condoms and syringes thrown away, graffiti painted over, a trash can installed and flowers planted outside a nearby business. The community’s efforts restored what had become an eyesore into an inviting bus stop!