King County Natural Resources & Parks 2011 Report Available

Environmental Stewardship in King County, the 2011 Annual Report for King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, describes the department, what it was tasked to do and what it accomplished in 2011. The report provides maps, facts and figures to convey the breadth of department responsibilities and includes overviews of executive initiatives, performance measures and results, and awards won by the department in 2011.

The 2011 Annual Report describes accomplishments by the department’s four divisions including:

  • Wastewater Treatment;
  • Water and Land Resources;
  • Solid Waste, and
  • Parks and Recreation.

The report also outlines the 2011 achievements of the King County GIS Center, and includes an overview of finances for the department and its divisions.

West Seattle Solar Project Offers Photo-voltaic Bulk Purchasing and Educational Workshops

Just in time for the spring sunshine! The West Seattle Solar Project (westseattlesolarproject.com) is officially open for registration. The West Seattle Solar Project (WSSP) helps residents and businesses save time and money in the process of going solar through bulk purchasing and educational workshops.

If you live in West Seattle and have been thinking about solar for your home or business, this is the project you have been waiting for!  If you live in one of these zip codes, you are eligible:

  • 98106, 98116, 98126, 98136, 98146

Register on the project website to learn about upcoming workshops, sign up for a solar site evaluation, and get involved. Most importantly, spread the word about this opportunity to your friends and neighbors!

The next workshop is Saturday, May 26th.

  • Saturday, May 26th, 2:30 pm -4:00 pm, Seattle Public Library, High Point Branch, 3411 SW Raymond St.
  • Sunday, June 24th, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm, Seattle Public Library, West Seattle Branch, 2306 42nd Ave. SW

WSSP is the first solar campaign of The Cascadia Solar Project, whose mission is to jumpstart and dramatically increase the number of photovoltaic installations around the Puget Sound, especially in underrepresented neighborhoods. The project uses Made-In-Washington modules and inverters, and all participants will receive the same low $/watt price. The only major variables will be system size and whether or not the customer wants financing.

Vashon-based Artisan Electric Inc. will be the project manager for the campaign, and is currently collaborating with community groups in West Seattle to get the word out. Additional partners include Silicon Energy, a Marysville-based solar module and inverter manufacturer, and Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union (PSCCU), a local credit union that provides solar financing in the Puget Sound region.

For more information on The West Seattle Solar Project, contact Evan Leonard, Project Manager, by email at info@TheCascadiaSolarProject.com, or by phone at 206-412-4840.

Now Accepting Donations for our Reusable Dish Collection

Sustainable West Seattle is excited to announce that we are creating a reusable dish collection.  Our goal is to create a large collection that can be used for events, like parties, so that disposables will not need to be used.  We are currently accepting donations of mugs, drinking glasses and wine glasses.  Donations must be in good condition and not have any chips or sharp edges.  Our current goal is to collect 100 mugs, drinking glasses and wine glasses.

Donations can be left at the following locations:

  • West Seattle Tool Library – 4408 Delridge Way Southwest  – Thursdays from 6-9pm, Saturdays from 9am-2pm and Sundays from 1-5pm
  • Sustainable West Seattle Table at the West Seattle Farmers Market on April 15th and May 6th
  • Sustainable West Seattle April Community Forum on April 16th from 7-9pm at the West Seattle Senior Center – 4217 Southwest Oregon Street
  • Think Outside the Car Event on Saturday, April 28th from 10am-2pm at Westside School Playground – 34th and Holden Street

After the collection has been established, we hope to lend it out to other groups in West Seattle to reduce the amount of disposables used in West Seattle.

Walking on Logs Needs Able-bodied Help with Hole Digging and Tree Planting

The Walking on Logs Landscape Restoration Group (WOLLRG) is excited to announce that the new landscaping for the Walking on Logs site will be installed later this Saturday, April 21st, and Saturday, April 28th. We obtained final sign-off from SDOT for our landscaping plan in November 2011. On April 21 we will be at the site laying out the planting diagram and using augurs to dig the holes for the trees and shrubs that will be going in on the following Saturday, April 28.

We are looking for volunteers. For Saturday, April 21, we need a dozen or so very able bodied volunteers to work in two hour shifts to handle the two-person augurs; we will also need volunteers for blackberry removal, trash pick-up and bagging up green waste for disposal.

For Saturday April 28, we’ll need volunteers, again in two hour shifts, for additional blackberry removal, putting trees and shrubs into the ground, applying soil amendments, staking trees, and collecting and bagging green waste for removal. Safety goggles and ear plugs (as needed) will be supplied as well as safety vests for all volunteers.

Anyone willing to help with blackberry removal will need to bring their own sturdy leather gloves. We have a small supply of cotton gloves for use in other tasks. All volunteers should be aware that the site is not easy to negotiate. In addition to the steep slope, the ground is uneven and will be quite muddy. Volunteers should email us at ruth.hoover@comcast.net to let us know which date(s) and time(s) you are available and which tasks you are able to help out with. Ruth will get back with you to confirm dates/times and provide additional details.

This project is funded in part by a Neighborhood Matching Fund award from the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Funding was also provided by the West Seattle Garden Tour and numerous West Seattle residents.

Parks Offering 5-Day 4-H Low Ropes Challenge Course Training

Seattle Parks is offering a five-day 4-H Low Ropes Challenge Course Facilitator Training at Camp Long.  This activity is growing in popularity so come and explore the ropes course!

Last year Seattle Parks and Washington State University 4-H opened Seattle’s first public low ropes challenge course at Camp Long in West Seattle.

Now, as the activity grows in popularity, Parks offers courses to train educators, counselors, and others interested in teaching through direct experience outdoors, in how to host group activities at the Camp Long course. The training takes place Tuesday through Saturday, May 15-19, from 9 am to 5:30 pm at Camp Long, 5200 35th Ave. SW. The cost is $250.

After successful completion of the training, participants will be able to facilitate events at the Camp Long low ropes course.

A low ropes course is a set of real and imaginary challenges that inspire a group to collaborate to get a task done. Low ropes courses can include cables, ropes and obstacles attached to trees to test strength, agility and balance, and can also challenge participants to confront such fears as those of falling or losing control. Group members take on the role of spotters to ensure safety.

At the Camp Long course, several elements of the ropes course are integrated into the forested areas. WSU 4–H, through 30 years of adventure education experience, has developed curricula that strengthen critical life skills including decision making, self confidence, positive risk taking, self esteem, teamwork, and leadership.

Camp Long is one of Seattle’s best kept secrets. Located in West Seattle, this 68 acre oasis in the city offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy nature, hike in the forest, camp overnight in rustic cabins, rock climb, learn about natural history, and visit or rent the rustic Lodge, built during the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration. For more information see Parks website http://www.seattle.gov/parks/environment/camplong.htm.

For more information and to sign up for on the low ropes challenge course training, please call Challenge Course Manager Ken Turner at 206-399-2205 or email him at keno.turner@seattle.gov.

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SWS May Community Forum Focus Is Energy

Sustainable West Seattle’s May Community Forum addresses a whole range of issues associated with Energy.  Join us at the Senior Center, 4217 SW Oregon St., right around the corner from California Ave. SW at SW Oregon St., starting at 6:30 pm for socializing – bring food to share. The Forum begins at 7:00 pm.

Got Energy questions? Then drop by the May 21st Sustainable West Seattle Energy Fair to learn how to save money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. Our May Community Forum is Monday May 21 at the Senior Center of West Seattle, 4217 SW Oregon St., on Oregon right around the corner from California Ave.

Hear from local companies about increasing your energy efficiency, or adding solar or biodiesel to your energy mix. This event is especially for you if you’re:

  • Worried about high energy bills or just interested in improving the energy efficiency of your home;
  • Thinking about taking advantage of Community Power Works incentives in Seattle, and would like more details;
  • Wondering about Solar Energy for yor home but not really sure if it’s right for you;
  • Interested in a group purchase of community-owned solar panels that don’t need to be located on your house;
  • Using an oil-fired furnace or vehicle that runs on diesel, and want to know if you can use biodiesel.

The evening kicks off informally at 6:30 pm if you’re inclined to show up early to help set up and socialize with the SWS crowd.  The agenda follows:

  • 7:00 pm Welcome & SWS Announcements
  • 7:15 pm Introduction – SWS Energy Work Group
  • 7:20 pm Efficiency: Marco Mazzoni (NW Home Comfort) & TBD (Community Power Works – Tentative)
  • 7:35 pm WS Solar Project: (a group purchase community-based project for West Seattle residents and businesses resulting in significant savings on solar photovoltaic (PV) installations.) Evan Leonard & Jason Williams (Artisan Electric)
  • 7:45 pm WS EcoLeap: Solar Options For Everyone. Solar Epiphany will discuss micro solar, community solar and the importance of going solar. Eric Thomas
  • 8:00 pm Biodiesel: Yale Wong (General Biodiesel)
  • 8:15 pm Community Announcements
  • 8:25 pm Energy Fair – Quality Time with the presenters at their tables
  • 8:55 pm Adjourn to West 5 for Post-Meeting Socializing and Discussion, 4539 California Ave SW.

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Seahurst Park’s Environmental Science Center Announces Spring/Summer Classes – Bigfoot Adventure Series

Environmental Science Center announces their Bigfoot Adventure Series

He’s big. He’s furry.  He loves nature. He’s Bigfoot! And he’s got his own adventure series at the Environmental Science Center at Seahurst Park, Burien.  Please join ESC for these free family-friendly programs to learn about Bigfoot’s favorite things: birds, bugs, and the beach!

Map and Compass Skills

  • Saturday, May 19th from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Bigfoot Basics: Map and Compass Skills

Bigfoot doesn’t get lost in Seahurst Park and neither should you! Learn the basics of using a map and compass from Rick Davis, trained naturalist and expert guide.  Class may not be suitable for children under 8. Please bring your own compass.

Registration is required, email Outreach@EnvScienceCenter.org

Crab Quest

  • Sunday, June 3rd from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm noon
  • Bigfoot Beach: Crab Quest

Do you dare enter the Intertidal Kingdom to seek the wonders of crab and kin?  Join Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists to find exciting creatures and learn their secrets of survival. No registration required.  Meet naturalists on the beach. Then, drop in for additional activities at the Environmental Science Center.

No Angry Birds in My Backyard

  • Saturday, June 23rd from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • Bigfoot Birds: No Angry Birds in my Backyard

Not all birds are bent on destroying pigs.  Learn about the birds you can attract to your own home from wildlife photographer, Dan Streiffert.  Also, check-out displays and activities.  Space is limited, so pre-register by emailing Outreach@EnvScienceCenter.org

Tidal Treasures

  • Sunday, July 1st from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm noon
  • Bigfoot Beach: Tidal Treasures

Ahoy! Make no mistake. Ye find no gold or gems here.  But the treasures of the tide pools far outweigh their worth in gold.  Join Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists to discover the wonders of the beach.  No registration required.  Meet naturalists on the beach.  Then, drop in for additional activities at the Environmental Science Center.

Power of Plants

  • Saturday, July 14th from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • Bigfoot Backwoods: The Power of Plants

Food, medicine, clothing, shelter, and beauty.  Plants do it all! Learn about plant uses from herbal scientist, Vicki Winston.  Then, join a naturalist for a native plant hike at Seahurst Park.  No registration required.

It’s an Insectival

  • Saturday, July 28th from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Bigfoot Bugs: It’s an Insectival!

A celebration of insects, spiders, and their relatives.  Come see insect collections, talk with insect societies and experts, make insect art, play bug games, and learn about insects on expert-guided hikes. No registration required.

All classes start at the Environmental Science Center at Seahurst Park which is located at the north end of the beach.  Parking in lower and upper parking lots.

Please note that some programs require registration.  Send names and number attending to: Outreach@EnvScienceCenter.org.

For more information contact  Jennifer DumlaoEnvironmental Science Center, at 206-248-4266 or by email at outreach@envsciencecenter.org or visit their website at www.envsciencecenter.org

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2012 West Seattle Community Garage Sale

The West Seattle Tool Library has spent the last two years helping hundreds of families clean out their garages. When we originally started, we imagined having a few hundred tools and a few hundred members.  Instead, we’ve amassed an impressive collection of over 1500 tools, from cider presses to portable table saws.    And we’ve discovered that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

If you look through our inventory, under certain tool categories, you’ll notice that we have a lot of almost identical tools.  Some of those tool collections, like our 29 extension cords and 13 weed whackers, are necessary because we have weeks when all of them go out.  Others, like our collection of 100 hammers or 17 power drills, are full of redundancies.

We are pleased to announce that we will be selling our redundancies during the upcoming West Seattle Community Garage Sale.  Our sale will feature a few hundred tools, some of which can be viewed at our website.

We’ll have a $2 table, a $1 table, and a free box filled with broken tools and scrap wood.  If you’re looking to build a power tool dragster for the upcoming drag races, look no further than our collection of broken circular saws.

We will also be selling seeds and starts for the Community Orchard of West Seattle.  If you’re looking for strawberry plants, chive plants or veggie  seeds, check out our selection!

During the garage sale, we are also hoping to add to our collection.  Our wish list is available here.  Some of the highlights on that list include:  A heavy duty electric chipper, a heavy duty electric pressure washer, wheelbarrows, clamps of any kind, and metal working tools.  If you see something from our list while you’re out shopping, we’d love you to pick it up for us and bring it on down.  We’re also up for doing a swap.  Something you have and don’t need will be happily bartered for something you do need from our tools for sale.

Finally, we’ll be up in the Chase Bank parking lot on Edmunds and California following the sale to collect any tools or glassware that didn’t sell during your sale.  Please stop by and drop off any electric, pneumatic, or hand tools for the Tool Library and any wine glasses, beer glasses, mugs and tea cups for the reusable dish library.

Happy shopping!

DubSEA Bikes Offers Bike Maintenance/Repair Classes in White Center

Hey Grown Ups! Want to learn some bike repair, but don’t know your handlebars from your pedals? Interested in helping out DubSea Bikes or Bike Works as a volunteer mechanic, but concerned that your lack of mechanical experience holds you back? Just want some basic knowledge to keep yourself rolling on your own ride? Come join us in the classroom for a great opportunity to learn and participate in the Bike Works / DubSea Bikes community!

Learn bike repair in a safe, friendly environment, with Bike Works’ ABC!

  • WHAT: Bike Maintenance ABC: Adult Basics Class
  • WHO: Adults, Ages 18 and Up
  • WHEN: Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30pm, April 17th – May 22nd
  • WHERE: White Center Food Bank, 10829 8th Ave SW
  • COST: $150 full fee or $100 with volunteer commitment to DubSea Bikes or Bike Works.

Call Bike Works at 206-725-9408, ext.1 to learn about the limited number of scholarships available.

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Seattle Race Conference @ Seattle University

The 2012 Seattle Race Conference will be held at Seattle University, in the Pigott Building, May 12  from 8:00 am through 6:00 pm.  Registration fee for the conference ranges from $15 to $25 depending on student and non-profit status.

The Seattle Race Conference began to create a shared understanding and language about the nature of racism, refine definitions of its modern day forms and identify the tools that can be used to end it. Using this as a foundation, the objective was to cultivate a “movement” for racial justice in Seattle that includes components of sustainable action. This year’s theme is “Building Community to End Environmental Racism: Learn, Connect, Flourish”

There will be workshops, institutes, and presentations for the following tracks:

  • Track 1: Where We’re At: The Environment We Live In
  • Track 2: Strategies for Change: The Environment that Supports Us
  • Track 3: Where We’re Going: The Environment Where all Flourish

The morning keynote address will be by  Yalonda Sinde, Former Executive Director of the Community Coalition of Environmental Justice and current Executive Director of the Association of Environmental Health Academic Programs.

The afternoon playnote will be The New Wilderness Project, an entertaining presentation of the issues and opportunities around stewardship, leadership, the human connection to nature and each other, and embracing diversity in our communities.

The conference closing and call-t0-action will be by Jourdan Keith, Founder and Director of Urban Wilderness Project. She believes that connecting to the natural world is critical to restoring communities, reducing domestic violence, building relationships, and acknowledging and healing historical injustices.

The conference features several interactive workshops including:

  • A Diet for Social Justice: Eating Local & Organic is a Race Issue presented by Consider This
  • Bridging Community Needs with Tools and Resources for Action presented by The US EPA
  • Building a Culture of Inclusion: Removing Racism from Organizational Culture presented by Nesby + Associates, Inc. and Weyerhaeuser Inc.
  • Communicating Environmental Justice presented by The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition
  • White Folks in the Environmental Justice Movement presented by The Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites

There will also be a Meet and Greet from 4:30 to 5:00 pm with entertainment provided by the Roosevelt High School Jazz Combo.

Pre-registration is open until May 1, with costs ranging from Regular – $25; Youth (under 21) – $15 (Lunch is included), to late and on-site registration – $35 (Does not guarantee lunch. Additional pre-ordered lunches are available for $15.  There are also a limited number of partial scholarships available: For an application and information contact: Eleta Wright at eleta.wright@gmail.com.

For opportunities to volunteer and help with this conference contact: Yeojin Chung at yeojina@gmail.com. For information about the conference site contact: Pamela Taylor at taylorpamela@aol.com.

The conference is attempting to be as fragrance neutral as possible and conference planners ask your help and consideration for those who are fragrance sensitive.

Conference particulars:

  • Minimum Age: 12
  • Kid Friendly: No
  • Dog Friendly: No
  • Non-Smoking: Yes!
  • Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

For more information contact Pamela Taylor at 206-296-2678 or by email at csjs@seattleu.edu, for more information check out their website at http://seattleraceconference.org.