The local cable program “Neighborhoods” dropped in on Hillman City earlier this year and spent some time with a few of the Rainier Ave businesses that are anchoring economic development in our community, including Tim Umbrella Coffee, the Collaboratory, Spinnaker Bay, Jacob Willard Home, and Big Chickie.
Taking a walk? Why not sit down and read a book afterwards? Tiny, front-yard libraries are popping up in neighborhoods around Seattle and across the country. Many builders of these birdhouse-sized units are inspired by the Little Free Library movement launched by a carpenter and a community educator in Madison, Wisconsin. The boxes–some basic, some quite elaborate–invite passers by to stop, browse, chat, and to borrow (or leave) a good read or two.
Hillman City and Columbia City are becoming a little epicenter for these libraries in the Seattle area, as shown by Howard Gutknecht’s video tour above. Interested in creating your own little free library? Check out these photos for further inspiration!
Rainier Avenue Church is a Free Methodist Church with a diverse membership, including recent immigrants. With a 100-plus year history of ministry in Rainier Valley, the church is committed to authentic community, social justice, and finding wholeness in Jesus Christ.
Mark Abbott is interim lead pastor, serving month to month from October 2013 until the board and delegates select the next long-term lead pastor.
Some of the ministries, co-housed organizations, and extra activities include the Community Development Team, Undoing Institutional Racism Committee, Urban Impact, and a community knitting and crafting group.
5900 Rainier Ave S
A progressive congregation (Valley and Mountain Fellowship) and a grassroots arts organization (Community Arts Create) have collaborated to launch a dynamic new community space: the Hillman City Collaboratory.
The prominent storefront is in a beautiful historical building anchoring the neighborhood’s central intersection of Orcas and Rainier. The Collaboratory, or “co-lab,” includes a multipurpose meeting room, a kitchen, offices, and work-share space for artists and activists.
5623 Rainier Ave S
With its giant willow tree, and rows of raised planting beds, Hillman City P-Patch is one of the Seattle P-Patch Community Gardens administered by the Department of Neighborhoods. Garden plots are tended by gardeners who rent the space from the P-Patch Program for an annual fee.
Visitors are welcome to stroll through the garden, but veggies and flowers belong to the gardeners that tend each individual plot. P-Patch gardeners regularly contribute surplus produce to the Food Bank.