WILD Spring 2023 quarter is now open for registration!

Know a teen who wants to connect with their API culture and people in the CID, build their leadership skills, learn about environmental and food justice and earn a stipend or school service hours while doing so? Contact Malika Aiyer, InterIm WILD program manager to learn about the upcoming spring quarter and how to register to participate! Contact: maiyer@interimcda.org. Learn more about WILD on our website. [https://interimcda.org/wild/]. Get more details on spring quarter activities (arts projects, environmental justice/climate change, seed-to-plate activities in the Danny Woo Garden, adulting) in the flyers below:

WILD Program

WILD has an after-school program focused on environmental, social justice, community, and leadership building.


During winter we will be offering 3 programs to youth: Climate Coding, Seed to Plate, and Culture and Climate. Youth ages 14-18 are eligible to attend and can either get a 100 stipend or twenty service hours for the ten-week program.
We will meet once a week for two hours (Climate Coding/ Seed to Plate) or once a month for 8 hours (Culture and Climate)
Please view the photos for sign-up!

The continuing legacy of volunteers in the Danny Woo Community Garden


City Fruit volunteers in the Danny Woo Community Garden • Photo courtesy of InterIm CDA

There is no community garden without community.

The Danny Woo Community Garden is a sanctuary to its users in the Chinatown-International District, and it is an ever-changing space that demands constant maintenance and tender loving care. Its evolution and perseverance over the past four and a half decades are due to those dedicated groups and individuals who believe in the inherent value of green public space in the Chinatown-International District and – most importantly – aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. From the stairs, to the benches, to the artwork, almost every structure in the historic garden not built by a gardener was built by volunteer students or volunteer contractors. Even the seed-to-plate curriculum we teach in the Danny Woo Children’s Garden was created by the thoughtful work of a volunteer educator. It’s in this spirit that has kept the garden around over the years, and it’s in this spirit that the garden was created in 1975.

They probably didn’t call themselves volunteers back then but galvanized by the Asian American activist movement in the ‘60s and ‘70s, the first iteration of the garden was built by young people who had a vision for justice and the willingness to work. Facilitated by an innovative partnership between landowner Danny Woo and neighborhood activist “Uncle Bob” Santos, the humble hillside of weeds was transformed into a terraced oasis for neighborhood elders to grow vegetables, share food, and make friends.

Today we continue to value our partnerships with the many volunteer groups that visit and help in the garden, and we certainly couldn’t maintain the vast 1.5-acre footprint without them. Since January of 2019 we have hosted over 500 volunteers, which range from interested individuals, college classes, large foundations, and neighborhood groups. We would like to publicly thank them all for their friendship, support, and hard work. Here we’d like to take the opportunity to highlight just four of our volunteer heroes:


On June 22nd we hosted the Gates Foundation for their Foundation Day of Caring. The Seattle-based foundation is the largest private philanthropy in the world, and we had the amazing opportunity to host CEO Susan Desmond-Hellman herself, along with 20 employees. While Susan was enthusiastically weeding, deep amongst a pile of blackberry bramble and bindweed, she listened to us tell her about the current struggles facing our low-income immigrant community and the importance of keeping healthy green space, affordable housing, and culturally appropriate social services in the neighborhood. Working with an organization like the Gates Foundation is incredibly important for the survival of programs like the Danny Woo Community Garden, and we are grateful for their continued support of the garden and of many of the programs at InterIm Community Development Association.


The Mission Continues is a non-profit organization that serves veterans and connects them to meaningful community service projects. We are incredibly lucky to work with veteran volunteers who bring boundless enthusiasm and fun into the garden for each service project. Linh Thai, the City Impact Manager for Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland, has worked in the International District for many years. He brings individuals and families associated with veteran groups like Vets in Tech and Code Fellows to do a lot of literal heavy lifting in the garden and does a lot of the physical work himself! Since 2017 Linh and others have been our most consistent volunteer partners who bring not only people power, but donations and resources as well.


The Danny Woo Community Garden is home to one of the most diverse mature fruit orchards in Seattle. With over 60 Asian pear, plum, apple, and cherry trees, we need a whole lot of help maintaining the orchard. City Fruit is a non-profit organization that helps care for urban fruit trees, provides classes, and brings volunteers to prune, harvest, and nurture trees so that no food is wasted. They volunteered twice in September, harvesting over 500 pounds of apples and pears from our trees. They were all given to gardeners or donated to local food banks, including ACRS Food Bank.


This Boy Scouts Troop is based in the Chinese Baptist Church in Beacon Hill, under the leadership of Scout Master Tim Louie. We are currently the site of two Eagle Scout projects from this troop. Jiawei Hu decided to do his Eagle Scout project in the garden and re-build stairs in a neglected and steep section near the entrance on Washington St. He said he wanted to do a project somewhere where it was needed, and that it would be an honor to give back to a beautiful community garden that serves a large group of elderly folks. “I hope the stairs we built will encourage more people to look after the well-being of the garden and make it a more welcoming place,” he said. “The new stairs will be much safer for the elderly gardeners to walk on, and so I hope walking on our stairs will make their day.” Nathaniel Wai, another Eagle Scout with Troop 254, is currently re-building a lookout structure in the garden to rebuild one that was first created in the early 90s by University of Washington students.

This beloved public space would not be possible without the support and efforts of volunteers, who have been responsible for the building and upkeep of the garden since young Asian American activists carried heavy timbers up the slopes to create the garden terraces. It has truly been made from the blood, sweat, and tears of hardworking people for almost 45 years!

The Danny Woo Community Garden hosts community volunteer days every first Saturday of the month. Join us for our next workday on October 5th 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Bring a water bottle and wear close-toed shoes. For more information visit www.dannywoogarden.org or email us at volunteer@interimcda.org.



InterIm’s Corner: Celebrating community with InterIm CDA

(L-R) Drag and Drop Creative owner Ryan Catabay; Vanishing Seattle founder Cynthia Brothers, Asian Counseling and Referral Service civic engagement program manager Joseph Lachman; and InterIm CDA, equitable development policy analyst (and facilitator) Derek Lum during the panel discussion, titled “Continuing the Legacy of Activism. Photo by Pinky Gupta.

InterIm CDA hosted the second annual fall dinner ‘Connecting with Community’ on October 12th at Joyale Seafood restaurant.

The evening brought together 150 of InterIm CDA’s friends and supporters and we were honored to have the generation of activists who have dedicated their lives for decades fighting for justice and equity for the community, together with our young and upcoming activists who are engaged in fighting for the community.

The program began with a panel discussion titled ‘Continuing the Legacy of Activism’. A panel of three young activists in Seattle, Drag and Drop, owner Ryan Catabaya, Vanishing Seattle, founder Cynthia Brothers, Asian Counseling and Referral Service, civic engagement program manager, Joseph Lachman, and facilitator InterIm CDA, equitable development policy analyst, Derek Lum.

In another session, titled ‘Thriving through the activism’, the staff of InterIm CDA talked about their experiences while working for the community. The event was concluded with activ-ism stories shared by our long-time activists Francisco Irigon, Sharon Maeda, Matt Chan, Leslie Morishita, and State Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos.

State Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos at the dinner, appreciates the youthful energy of the InterIm CDA staff. Photo by Pinky Gupta.

The stories of heroic activism undertaken by the leaders present in the room together with stories shared by the younger generation of activists provided an opportunity to all present to be ener-gized, engaged and understand that activism lives on and that InterIm CDA will continue to carry on the legacy of our beloved Uncle Bob.

It was a great night of connecting with old and meeting new friends. InterIm CDA will be hosting the Connecting with Community Dinner on October 15th, 2020.We are excited to once again have the honor of bringing together the activists in the community to continue and advance our fight for justice and equality.

InterIm CDA, real estate development director, Leslie Morishita shared her journey of being an activist. Photo by Pinky Gupta.
Francisco Irigon, shared his stories of activism. Photo by Pinky Gupta.

This content was sponosored by InterIm CDA.


InterIm’s Corner: A glimpse of work done by InterIm CDA in Chinatown/International District

This is a photo essay of some of the recent work done by InterIm CDA, including through their housing services programming, WILD programming and civic engagement programming. This content was sponsored by InterIm CDA.

King County, Director of Elections, Julie Wise talks about the importance of voter’s registration at the 6th Annual API Candidate Forum at Community Center in the Chinatown International District forum on Wednesday, October 9, 2019. Photo by: InterIm CDA, Community Engagement and Education Coordinator, Ricky Pham.
InterIm CDA, ICHS, Seattle Parks and Recreation, LAM’S and Hau Hau Market together organizes a community kitchen for the residents of Chinatown/International District.  Information on Community Kitchen:  Monthly Community Kitchen is hosted every last Thursday of the month. November will be the last community kitchen for this year until 2020. Photo by: InterIm CDA, Community Engagement and Education Manager, Henry Liu.
InterIm CDA, organized health class for the senior residents in the Chinatown/International District. HuiLing is an instructor for the health class. Information on classes: Health classes will take place 10/14, 11/04, and 11/25 (all Mondays) from 4:45pm – 5:30pm at International House. • Photo by InterIm CDA, Community Engagement, and Education Coordinator, Ricky Pham
Wilderness Inner-city Leadership Development (WILD) youth at the Mt Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, summer 2019 with the US Forest Service. It was an educational trip for the WILD youth to learn about healthy salmon habitat. Photo by: Tribal Liaison for the Mt Baker Snoqualmie National Forest Drew Slaney.
Wilderness Inner-city Leadership Development (WILD) youth with the seniors of the Chinatown International District (CID) distributing the replacement air filters. InterIm CDA partnered with Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to mitigate the poor air quality in the CID. Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and the International District Community Center were key partners in planning for and creating the fans, as well as our community partners InterIm, ICHS, CISC, and SCIDpda. Photo by: InterIm CDA, Community Engagement and Education Manager, Henry Liu.



InterIm's Corner: WILD creates documentary film about the fear of displacement in CID among residents

By  Andrea Say

On June 27th, Interim CDA’s Wilderness Inner City Leadership Development (WILD) youth program hosted a mini-documentary screening called People vs. Profit: The Truth about Displacement. Around 45 people attended the screening, hosted at Gordon Hirabayshi Place in the Donnie Chin Community Room.

Attendees included various environmental and racial justice activists, residents of Gordon Hirabayashi Place and the Chinatown/International District (C/ID) concerned about development, youth and their families, and City Council District 2 candidate Tammy Morales.

The mini-documentary, an eight-minute film directed by youth, explores how displacement and gentrification are affecting C/ID residents, disproportionately impacting low-income Asian elders.

Attendees mingled together around the large food spread, which included dim sum donated by Joyale Seafood Restaurant. Sabrina Buparat, a recent graduate of Summit Sierra High School located in the C/ID, contextualized the mini-documentary. “We [youth at WILD] contribute to the development and safety of the Chinatown/International District. We have deep and informational discussions about problems in the community, including climate change, police brutality, and housing discrimination and how they are connected to racial and environmental justice.”

Kevin Choi, WILD member, introduced the film as the primary cinematographer and editor. He added, “We were inspired to make this documentary after learning about the history of displacement and how these new luxury developments will significantly change the culture and feel of the C/ID.”

Choi and other WILD youth referenced these developments in their speeches and in their film, which referenced Koda Condominiums. The specter of the Koda Condominium development loomed over the event, as Koda recently broke ground next door to Hirabayashi Place.

In the film, Henry Liu, community organizer at Interim CDA commented on luxury developers’ attitudes: “[The CID] is a landmark not based on the history and culture of the place, but its value in relation to the water and downtown.”

This attitude is reflected in Koda’s promotional material online, as they describe Koda’s location in the Chinatown/International District: “Just outside the windows of KODA rests the city’s waterfront: the point of entry for the area’s first settlers that residents now look back upon in aspiration. An astonishing view of this extraordinary expanse demonstrates that you’re truly in the center of it all.”

Throughout the event, a shared feeling hung in the air of trepidation and fear that the luxury developers will not change the C/ID in ways that help traditional C/ID residents: Asian elders, low-income people, and recent immigrants.

Zhu Huang, C/ID resident and elder, spoke about her fears about displacement in the film: “others are younger, work, and have money. They’re not scared if prices rise… but us elders don’t have any jobs. The government gives us hundreds monthly, but hundreds isn’t enough.”

Elders in this community lack the money and resources to have access to new market-rate developments in the C/ID like Koda condominiums, where $400,000-$600,000 is the range for a one-bedroom, which prices them out of new, affordable developments like Thai Binh, which cost $1,168 a month for a one-bedroom.

Reflecting on the event and the program, WILD participant Edgiemeh Dela Cruz stated, “Our research and mini-documentary focused on the C/ID, but displacement is more than just a neighborhood problem. Displacement of communities of color will continue as the city grows and gentrifies, but that doesn’t mean that we [young leaders] will back down. In fact, the future of anti-displacement activism in the C/ID will continue through the WILD program at Interim CDA.”

This content is sponsored by InterIm CDA.


Meet Our 2018-2019 WILD Fellows!

The WILD Fellowship was created in order to provide a culturally-responsive, experiential leadership development program for youth ages 16-18. The purpose of the program is for youth to learn more about Asian Pacific American (APA) history, process current events, and ultimately make a positive impact on the Chinatown-International District. In addition to learning how to facilitate and lead groups of peers (and elders), Fellows develop advocacy skills, learn about local APA activism and movements, plan outdoor trips, and work together on a community-based environmental justice project. Upon completion of the program, Fellows are then qualified to move on as WILD interns.

This year, the Fellows chose to help construct a retaining wall in InterIm CDA's Danny Woo Community Garden to benefit our elders who garden there. They will also be painting an art mural with an environmental justice focus for the Children’s Garden toolshed. Meet our 2019 Fellows:

An Vu is a recent graduate of Summit Sierra High School.

" I like to eat, play League of Legends and sleep. I will be studying at the University of Washington this fall with the focus of getting a degree in Bioengineering." 






Anqi Li is a sophomore at Franklin high school. She’s full Chinese and knows four Chinese dialects.

“I joined wild because I wanted to learn more about my community and what’s happening in the CID because I’ve always been in the CID (mostly because of food and drinks..., and I want to make some positive impact to our community.” 






Calvin is a recent graduate of Garfield High School.

"I like sad music, but WILD helped me be happier. I am a recent graduate of Garfield High School and will be going to University of Washinton- go Huskies!"  







Darius Wade is a Sophomore at Cleveland STEM High School. He is half Black, half Lao and Thai.  

"I joined the WILD fellowship to get a good experience with helping the community in Chinatown. I also wanted to get more information on the displacement not ONLY happening in Chinatown but in the Soufend as well. I loved the opportunities we had to further help Chinatown out." 






Edgiemeh Dela Cruz is a recent graduate of Summit Sierra. She is Filipino.

"I joined WILD because I wanted to feel more connected to a community that I was going to be in the majority of my time. In this years fellowship, the highlight is actually the times when we just have random out spurts of laughter which made us bond so much more."  







Haben Fasil is a junior at Franklin High School.  

"I am an Eritrean. I’ve been in the WILD program for two years now."








Justin Chau is at Cleveland High School. He is also known as JC.

"I am 16 years old and my birthday is Oct 7th. I hate coconuts." 







Kevin Choi is a recent graduate of Garfield High School and is Chinese.

“The WILD Fellowship has surprisingly been something I always look forward to every week. We explore real and relevant social issues, but we actually do something about it for our community. I’ll miss each and every person I’ve met here, like a lot.” 







Natalie is a recent graduate. She is at the University of Washington. 

"I was initially in the Cooking Club then I joined WILD’s Fellowship Program!"







Sabrina S. Buparat is a recent graduate of Summit Sierra High School and is Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Hmong. She takes part in teaching in a traditional Lao music and dance foundation. 

 “I joined the WILD Fellowship because I wanted to learn and contribute to my community in the Chinatown/ International District. While doing so, I learned so much more about the CID than I knew existed, and not only was I able to connect and understand more about the community, I also gained skills in leadership. 





 Zhuo Rong (Andy) Ruan Zhao, and was born in Colombia, Bogota. 

"I am a friendly person, positive energy, quiet, humble, hard-working person. "







WILD Holiday Party


Event Details 

What: WILD Holiday Party
When: December 14, 2018; 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Where: Joyale Seafood Restaurant (900 S Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98104)
Ticket: $15 per person
For ticketing questions, email Pinky Gupta, pgupta@interimcda.org or call 206 624 1802 x 31

We hope to see you at the event!