FOLLOWUP: The Heron’s Nest gets a big boost toward goal of buying and repatriating West Seattle site

(WSB photo from September – Amanda Lee at The Heron’s Nest)

Two months ago, we reported on The Heron’s Nest, a site in the West Duwamish Greenbelt where volunteers have been working on a plan to purchase a site for environmental education and repatriate it to the Duwamish Tribe, whose Longhouse is nearby. At last night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting, Amanda Lee from The Heron’s Nest gave an update and announced the project had received a city grant of nearly a million dollars. We followed up with Lee this morning and received the announcement they’re making:

The Shared Spaces Foundation is excited to announce a major milestone in its efforts to fundraise for the Heron’s Nest, a project aimed at preserving 3.56 acres of land in the West Duwamish Greenbelt for community use, stewardship, sustainable education, and repatriating it to the Duwamish people. On October 5th, the City of Seattle issued a $900,000 grant from its Strategic Investment Fund to the Shared Spaces Foundation. These funds will allow Shared Spaces to purchase the land currently used for the Heron’s Nest, serving as the first step in the repatriation process.

The Duwamish people have resided in present-day Seattle and King County since time immemorial. Where they once inhabited 50 villages in the Puget Sound area, they now own less than an acre of land and have been unfairly stripped of their federal recognition. Preserving this land will increase the footprint of land access by 5x for Duwamish Tribal Services.

The Shared Spaces Foundation currently leases the 3.56-acre parcel just a short walk from the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center in West Seattle. This undeveloped parcel was, until recently, destined to become the site for a new housing complex. Now, with the help of the SIF grant, the Shared Spaces Foundation will be able to preserve the land from destructive development and allow the Heron’s Nest project to continue the steps they have already taken to restore its indigenous vegetation and ecology, improve its productive uses, and provide for public access and education. Over 5,000 hours of community volunteering has been put into the restoration and construction efforts since the Heron’s Nest founding at the beginning of 2020.

In time, the Heron’s Nest will include the development of sustainable, community-accessible facilities including campgrounds, an outdoor kitchen, outdoor classrooms, tool libraries, an urban farm and agroforest, a recycling center, and a natural aquaculture pool. Once restored and with the above amenities in place, the land will be given back to the Duwamish people and be used for community benefit.

However, the Shared Spaces Foundation must continue its fundraising efforts in order to bring the full project to fruition. The entirety of the SIF grant will be applied toward the purchase of the land. To fund the remaining services and facilities, Shared Spaces is driving a community-giving effort. Shared Spaces looks to raise another $500,000 for materials, staffing, and operational costs, and have set a target deadline for the end of 2021. A successful fundraising campaign this Winter will allow for many of the facilities to be operational by Spring 2022.

In addition to further grant funding, the fundraising efforts include an upcoming holiday market at the Heron’s Nest, a recent dinner and auction held on October 16th, and utilizing the space for community events, nature viewing parties, and workshops. To learn more about the vision for the land and the scope of the project, visit:

Lee says the holiday market is scheduled for December 11th – more on that when it gets closer.

11 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: The Heron's Nest gets a big boost toward goal of buying and repatriating West Seattle site"

  • Ice November 10, 2021 (12:19 pm)

    This project is very interesting. Hats off to the Duwamish Tribe and the people involved in this project. They are taking some of the most isolated, polluted and least desirable land in the city, rehabilitating it ecologically, and transforming it into something unique and useful for the community. 

    • CJ November 11, 2021 (12:28 am)

      Well said and I couldn’t agree more!  Nice work to all involved, this is fabulous news! 

  • Greg November 10, 2021 (12:47 pm)

    It’d be wiser to gift this land to a group that includes representation of all the Duwamish descendants, including the federally recognized descendants of the Duwamish, which are the Muckleshoot, Tulalip, and Puyallup tribes.More info on why the Duwamish are not recognized from the perspective of the groups that are:

    • Joe Z November 10, 2021 (3:08 pm)

      Are you a white person who is attempting to tell the Duwamish what to do? 

    • S.A. November 10, 2021 (3:17 pm)

      Are you Duwamish? If not, perhaps you shouldn’t tell Native people how to conduct their business.

    • really November 11, 2021 (1:46 pm)

      So you can only offer advice/opinions if you are of the exact same circumstance?  It seems very limiting.   

    • Kendra November 12, 2021 (9:02 am)

      As a West Seattle resident and an enrolled Tulalip tribal member, THANK YOU GREG!!!

  • Guy Olson November 10, 2021 (7:06 pm)

    I’m so proud of Amanda and her friends for making this happening!! What an achievement for all.

  • Maari Falsetto November 11, 2021 (4:23 am)

    From the moment I visited Heron’s Nest, I knew I wanted to support this incredible endeavor.The Duwamish people are not yet recognized by the government on this land of their home.  This project will bring our wonderful West Seattle community into close contact to the land and to the first people, so that we can together, I will participate in as many events as possible including the upcoming holiday market.

  • Phil Frtick November 11, 2021 (7:47 am)

    Great effort by all the volunteers involved with this project. Represents what can be done if one takes the initiative. Best of luck in your future endeavors.

  • Timber! November 11, 2021 (1:01 pm)

    Love reading about this! What amazing work they have accomplished!

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