Seattle Green Festival

The Seattle Green Festival®, is a joint project of Global Exchange and Green America. Named one of the top 10 green cities in the U.S. in 2005 by National Geographic’s The Green Guide, what better place to celebrate an urban community’s vision of green than Seattle? Led by the Office of Sustainability and the Environment, the City of Seattle is proud to co-host the Green Festival in the Pacific Northwest.image of Seattle with Space Needle and Green Festival wording

Discover some of the best green products and services the Northwest has to offer. And through Seattle Climate Action Now, Clean & Green Seattle, and the city’s many other climate projects, you’ll learn how neighbors, community nonprofits and city departments are working together to make their city a healthier place to live.

The event covers two days, Saturday and Sunday, June 5 and 6, and is at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center downtown.

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City Fruit Is Hosting Tree-Planting Class

City Fruit is hosting a tree planting class on March 20 at the Orca School Environmental Learning Center, 5215 46th Ave S, in the Rainier Valley.

Find out what fruit trees to plant, where to plant them, how to keep young trees healthy and when to expect fruit. John Reardon, vice president of the Seattle Tree Fruit Society, teaches tree care classes for Plant Amnesty, Seattle Tree Fruit Society and City Fruit. Register at Brown Paper Tickets or by sending a check to “City Fruit,” PO Box 28577 Seattle 98118. For more information, or if you can’t afford the class but would like to attend, email info@cityfruit.org.  Classes are co-sponsored by the Phinney Neighborhood Association and are $10 for City Fruit members and $15 otherwise.[mappress]

Harvest Collective Hosts Finger-food Potluck

Please join Harvest Collective on Sunday, March 28th for a finger-food potluck. Urban Bites is an opportunity for urban farmers and community food organizers to mingle and network in an informal setting. We’ll be patronizing a great local business, Big Al’s Brewing, and sharing great food beginning at 4:30 pm and ending at 7:00 pm.

Big Al’s Brewery is located in White Center at 9832 14th Ave SW.

Urban Bites is a hors d’oeuvres (tapas, sushi, finger-food, antipasti) celebration. Please bring snacks, appetizers, and munchies to share.  Since this is our first event we are targeting the West Seattle food community, but anyone is invited to attend. Please feel free to share this widely.

Harvest Collective is an eight-member worker-owned cooperative growing food in Seattle. Our mission is to bring food and farming opportunities to our urban community.

Sightline Publishes Simple Rainwater Garden DIY Instructions

Sightline has published a simple set of instructions for Do-It-Yourself rain gardens. Rain barrels, French drains and swales are all terms depicting a way to capture runoff. Green solutions to stormwater runoff sound fancy and complicated, but they’re not.

The basic principal for controlling stormwater in an Earth-friendly way is to keep the water where it falls and help it soak into the ground. Homeowners can do this by following any or all of the low-impact development strategies highlighted in this Sightline guide http://daily.sightline.org/daily_score/archive/2010/03/08/stormwater-diy published online.

Sustainable West Seattle March General Meeting

Join us at the Senior Center for West Seattle on Monday, March 15, at 7:00 pm, for an evening of permaculture with Laura Sweany, a member of SWS, the owner of Terra Flora Farm, and a certified permaculture instructor.  You will learn how to prepare an area, what to consider planting, how to manage sun, water and other environmental elements, and how to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your efforts.

We will be meeting at the Senior Center of West Seattle, at 4217 SW Oregon St., around the corner from California Ave. SW.  This is a temporary location necessitated by the renovations being made to the Lodge at Camp Long, our long-standing meeting location and a West Seattle landmark.

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Combined Sewer Overflow Projects Briefings Scheduled

This is an update from King County on the Combined Sewer Overflow projects. Since May 2009, the CSO Beach Projects team has selected a range of alternative means for CSO control in four Puget Sound Beach communities:

  • Barton (Fauntleroy community in West Seattle)
  • Murray (Morgan community in West Seattle)
  • Magnolia
  • North Beach

These Combined Sewer Overflow control projects will help manage peak flows from areas connected to King County’s CSO facilities and limit discharges of untreated stormwater and sewage to Puget Sound. King County Wastewater Treatment has developed three alternatives for each project area. To learn more about this range of alternative means, and our progress so far, please visit our website at www.kingcounty.gov/CSOBeachProjects.

King County will hold four public meetings in March to propose these alternatives and hear public input and questions.  They invite you to attend.

Schedule of meetings for West Seattle locations:

  • Barton/Fauntleroy, Thursday, March 18, 6:00 – 8:30 pm, Southwest Community Center, 2801 SW Thistle Street
  • Murray/Morgan, Monday, March 29, 6:00 – 8:30 pm, Southwest Community Center, 2801 SW Thistle Street

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Seattle Tilth Classes in West Seattle – A Suite of Options

What: Grow Great Garden Soil

When: March 27; 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Where: South Seattle Community College, Olympic Hall Room 105, 6000 16th Ave. SW.

Tasty and nutritious plants require healthy soil that is full of life and nutrients. This class will introduce techniques that enhance the life of your soil so that you get the most out of your garden. We will cover four seasons of soil building methods including cover crops and nitrogen fixing plants; fertility rotations, no dig methods, soil testing, animal manures, sheet mulching and using organic amendments.

COST: $30 for Tilth members, $40 non-members. Advance registration and payment is required. For more information and to register, visit: www.seattletilth.org.


What: Lawn to Lettuce

When: March 27; 10:00 – 11:00 am

Where: St. James Annex, 9421 18th S.W.

Learn different techniques for taking out that old, boring sod and putting in your new garden beds. This class will cover the tools and materials needed to either dig out the sod or sheet mulch over existing lawn. You will also learn what veggies you can plant now to fill your salad bowl later this spring.

COST: $15 for Seattle Tilth and Community Harvest of SW Seattle members, $18 non-members. Advance registration and payment are required. For more information and to register, visit: www.seattletilth.org.


What: Season Extension – Cold frames, Cloches, Mulch and More

When: March 27; noon-2:00 pm

WHERE: St. James Annex, 9421 18th S.W.

Use of season extension techniques is one of the best tools gardeners can use to extend their growing season and harvest year round. With the use of cloches, cold frames, row cover and other techniques gardeners can warm the soil and air allowing plants to grow and thrive earlier than they would unprotected. This class is perfect for beginning gardeners who want to learn techniques for planting earlier in the spring, later in the fall, and growing better heat crops in the summer. Learn what you can plant now to get a jump on the season!

COST: $25 for Seattle Tilth and Community Harvest of SW Seattle members, $35 non-members. Advance registration and payment are required. For more information and to register, visit: www.seattletilth.org.

The Energy Blog – by Andy Silber

Welcome to Andy Silber‘s Energy and the Environment Blog at Sustainable West Seattle. Let me start with letting you know a little bit about myself and what I hope to accomplish with this blog.

  • First education. My studies have been as a physicist, with a bachelor’s from U.C. Berkeley and a Ph.D. from MIT. Physicists look at energy they way that accountants look at money. We track it, we count it, and when the numbers don’t add up, we know that something interesting is happening (though it usually isn’t embezzlement in our case). Even in high school I was interested in energy policy, devouring articles in Omni Magazine on how micro-fusion plants were only 20 years away. Thirty years later they’re now 40 years away, a sign of the progress we’ve made in estimating how difficult a problem fusion is.
  • Next experience. In 2001 the Cheny Energy task force was meeting and purposing very stupid ideas. During the ENRON driven energy crisis Cheny was actually discouraging conservation, while the people of California cut power consumption 10% overnight. I felt that action at the state level was our only hope for the near term and that led me to found the Energy Committee of the Cascade Chapter of the Sierra Club. We worked on supporting windfarm development in the face of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) opposition, commenting on utility Integrated Resource Plans, and building connections with other groups. A major effort for us was Initiative 937 that requires most Washington electric utilities to get 20% of their energy from renewables by 2020. We were involved from the decision to try for an initiative, to writing the initiative, to collecting signatures (my infant son and I got 1,400 signatures), to working for its passage.

Until recently energy policy has been a hobby, not a profession. In September I accepted a position at Seattle City Light in the Conservation Resource Division. At some point I’ll write a blog posting about my project. I’m learning a lot about what it takes to actually make things happen and what the barriers are. Sometimes there are good reasons why good ideas are harder to accomplish than they should be. That’s also something I’ll be writing about. One thing I want to make abundantly clear is that I’m not writing as a representative of Seattle City Light. The thoughts in this blog are my own.

I’ll be writing about energy conservation, renewable energy, policy, and maybe even politics. If there are particular issues you’d like me to write about, drop me a line at andyds11@me.com.

(Editor’s note:  Andy Silber is also a founding member of Sustainable West Seattle and has a long-standing interest in both energy systems and transportation systems.  This is the first of what will be a continuing Blog on Energy.)

1st Conference on Sustainability for Pacific NW Region

The Institute for Sustainability presents the First Conference on Sustainability for the Pacific Northwest Region at Seattle University on Thursday and Friday, March 25 and 26.  More information is available at both the Seattle City Green Building website and at the Institute for Sustainability Conference website. The technical program is available at this link http://pugetsound.aiche.org/TechProg, and abstracts for the conference papers are available at this website http://pugetsound.aiche.org/sites/pugetsound.aiche.org/files/webfm/Proceedings.pdf.

The Institute for Sustainability is an American Institute of Chemical Engineers Technological Community.  The Puget Sound local chapter is sponsoring this.

You must RSVP to attend which you can do at this websitehttp://pugetsound.aiche.org/webform/regional-conference-rsvp

Vashon Permaculture Design Certification Course

The course uses a variety of educational venues and formats- including lectures, discussions, demonstrations, team design work, hands-on activities, presentations by permaculture experts, and tours of local gardens/farms.  The course is a 12-day program spread over two weekend days (Saturday and Sunday) for 6 weekends beginning April 3 and ending June 13.  Course cost is $800.

The curriculum demonstrates how human beings integrate ethically, holistically, and dynamically into natural ecosystems which are continuously evolving. Some of these topics include:

  • permaculture philosophy, ethics, principles
  • reading the landscape & recognizing patterns
  • catching, storing, and using rainwater & graywater
  • bioremediation & soil building
  • healthy home, natural building & retrofitting
  • disaster preparedness
  • how to integrate small and big animals
  • renewable energy & appropriate technologies
  • climate justice, transportation and sustainability
  • local food production & food sovereignty
  • sustainable local economics
  • inclusiveness, social sustainability, community building & dealing with conflicts
  • rural & urban applications of permaculture

Instructors for the course include Emet Degirmenci, Kelda Miller. Guest speakers include Michael Pilarski, Larry Korn, Jenny Pell, Deston Denniston, Mark Musick, Dan Bentler & some Vashon experts.

More information and registration are available at this website http://www.koruora.com.  For the Fauntleroy-Vashon Ferry schedule, click here.