EWG Publishes Guide to Good Food on a Tight Budget, Including School Lunches

The Environmental Working Group, in collaboration with Share Our Strength, has published a new shopping guide that looks at 100 foods that are healthy, inexpensive, clean and green. The guide features simple tips for eating well, tasty recipes for meals and kids’ snacks, as well as proven money-saving tools for tracking food prices and planning meals.

Check out EWG’s Good Food on a Tight Budget – including 15 recipes that average less than $1 per serving and tips like:

  • A pear a day keeps the pesticides away – more fiber, potassium and folate than an apple and fewer pesticide residues;
  • Eat your garnish – parsley packs a punch as potent as kale for a quarter the price;
  • Not a carrot lover? Sweet potatoes pack twice the fiber, potassium, and vitamin A as carrots;
  • Super okra? Okra beat out more than 100 other veggies to rise to the top of our lists.

Did you know: one serving of filling oatmeal is about half the cost of a bowl of sugared cereal? For animal sources of protein – roasted turkey tops the list. But to eat on the cheap, you can’t beat pinto beans or lentils for one-fifth the cost.

These tips are perfect for back-to-school, too – and to help you plan out those important meals, the guide’s lead author, EWG nutritionist Dawn Undurraga, pulled together visual suggestions for a week of easy lunches, click here to see the guide.

Parks & ARC Open Computer Labs While Libraries Are Closed for Furlough

Seattle Parks and Recreation is providing access to computer labs during the week that the Seattle Public Library system is closed for furloughs.

During this week when Seattle Public Library branches are closed, these Seattle Parks and Recreation “Rec Tech” computer labs will be open for public use:

  • International District/Chinatown Community Center, 719 8th Ave. S, Thursday 11:00 am to 6:00 pm and Thursday, 8/30, and Friday, 8/31, from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm.
  • Garfield Community Center, 2323 E Cherry St., hours vary because of daily programming; please call 206-684-4788 for public hours.
  • Miller Community Center, 330 19th Ave. E, hours vary because of daily programming; please call 206-684-4753 for public hours.
  • Yesler Community Center, 917 E Yesler Way, Friday from 2:00 to 4:00 pm Additional hours may be available for public use based on daily programming; for information, please call 206-386-1245.
  • Southwest Teen Life Center, 2801 SW Thistle St., will open Thursday, 8/30, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. and Friday, 8/31, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm, but there is no technical support available.

Regular library operations resume on Tuesday, September 4. During the closure, a list of available online services is available online at http://www.spl.org/CLOSED_PAGES/closure_services.htm.

Parks’ computer labs are a service of the Rec Tech Coalition, a project of Parks’ partner the Associated Recreation Council.

Parks works in partnership with the Associated Recreation Council (ARC) to bring high-quality, accessible and affordable recreation opportunities to the people of Seattle.

October Forum: Transportation and West Seattle: Metro, Viaduct, Streets, Future?

Bus Transit, Tunnel Construction, and More!  Join Sustainable West Seattle for our October Community Forum, Monday, October 15, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at West Seattle Senior Center, 4217 SW Oregon St., around the corner from California-Oregon intersection, upstairs.

Join us for an evening’s discussion of the changes afoot for transportation in and connecting West Seattle. The evening will include  presentations and open dialog on:

  • The new RapidRide service (RapidRide C)and other route changes Metro will have in place affecting West Seattle;
  • Effects of the continuing Alaska Way Viaduct work on the West Seattle, our southern neighbors, and the rest of the city;
  • A Study of High Capacity Transit from downtown to Ballard and the implications for rail access to West Seattle;
  • The condition of West Seattle thoroughfares and the multiple visions for Fauntleroy Way, Delridge Way and California Avenue.

Our panel includes:

  • Seattle Council Transportation Chair Tom Rasmussen;
  • King County Exec. Transportation Advisor Chris Arkills;
  • Metro Director of Service Development Victor Obeso;
  • Seattle Transit Blog Editor-in-Chief Martin Duke; and
  • Director of Seattle Department of Transportation Peter Hahn.


Seattle Parks Recognized for Exceptional Forest Management Practices

Seattle Parks and Recreation has received recognition from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for its forest management practices, in response to Seattle Parks’ dedication to environmentally-friendly forest management.

Forest Stewardship Council certification covers 2,500 acres of Seattle’s forested parkland, which helps this urban forest system meet its environmental stewardship goals.

“FSC certification demonstrates an exceptional commitment to growing an ecologically-diverse forest while still allowing sustainable management of trees,” said Parks Sr. Urban Forester Mark Mead. “We are delighted to join another City agency, Seattle Public Utilities, in carrying the FSC certification, which will help us value these lands that provide clean water, clean air, carbon sequestration, and habitat protection.”

Seattle’s forested parkland covers nearly six percent of the Seattle’s land area and comprises 20% of the Seattle’s overall urban forest canopy. Some of these forests are located in Seward Park, the East and West Duwamish Greenbelts, Carkeek Park and Discovery Park.

FSC certification is the gold standard for forest management; it promotes retention of older trees and leafy canopies, reduced size of forest openings, and expanded protection for sensitive areas. Endorsed by the nation’s leading environmental organizations, the FSC (www.fsc.org) is an international nonprofit that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests.

Seattle Parks’ certification was granted by Northwest Certified Forestry (NCF) (www.nnrg.org/nwcertified-forestry), which will monitor Parks’ compliance with the certification standards. NCF oversees about 65,000 acres within its membership in the Pacific Northwest.

Without action, Seattle is at risk of losing 70% of our forested parks in just 20 years, so the city is working to reverse that trend. The Green Seattle Partnership (GSP) (www.greenseattle.org), one of the largest public-private urban forest restoration programs in the U.S, includes the City of Seattle, Forterra, and many nonprofits, individuals, community groups, schools and businesses working to restore 2,500 acres of Seattle’s parks by the year 2025. In 2010 alone, volunteers put in almost 90,000 hours of their time at community forest restoration events. To date, GSP has entered more than 800 acres into community-driven and supported restoration.*

reLeaf Tree for Neighborhood Program, Get Up To 4 Trees per Household

Exciting news Seattle neighbors! Seattle reLeaf’s 2012 Trees for Neighborhoods program is underway! Want to beautify your home and neighborhood? Build a healthy community? Here’s your chance!

Trees for Neighborhoods provides up to 4 trees per household to plant in residential yards. In addition to free trees, participants in the program receive free watering bags, training on proper planting and care of trees, and ongoing tree care support.

Street tree applications will be due September 1 and yard tree applications will be due October 21. However, many species do sell out quickly, so submit your application as soon as possible. To check out the beautiful tree species available and application information go to seattle.gov/trees/treesforneighborhoods.htm.

We want to highlight a few of the beautiful trees that need a good home and want to be a part of the West Seattle community.

  • The Fernleaf Beech – The Romans believed carrying around a piece of beech wood could bring good luck. Let the fernleaf beech bring good fortune to your yard with its whimsically shaped leaves that turn an enchanting gold, lighting up the neighborhood.
  • The Western Red Cedar – Lewis and Clark thought that western red cedars were amazing enough to be called the “trees of life” – arbor vitae. Plant one in your backyard and you’ll be on your way to helping our cities be full of life.
  • The Frontier Elm – While most elms turn yellow in autumn, ‘Frontier’ is a trail blazer with striking burgundy-red foliage. This unique cultivar of Chinese and European elms can be an exciting addition to your backyard!
  • The Japanese Cedar – Despite its name the Japanese cedar is not a true cedar. Instead this bluish needled tree is a member of the cypress family. An evergreen with true year-round interest! Grey-green needles take on a bronze color in winter with stunning red toned bark.

For more information contact Norah Kates, Green Cities Project Coordinator, phone 206-905-6943 or email nkates@forterra.org; or contact Forterra (formerly Cascade Land Conservancy), 615 Second Avenue, Suite 600, Seattle, or their website at www.forterra.org.

High Ropes Hub & Spoke Being Added to Camp Long Challenge Course

Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Department of Neighborhoods, King County Youth Sports, Washington State Extension 4-H Youth Development Program, and the Camp Long Advisory Council are excited to announce the installation of the Hub and Spoke component of the Camp Long Challenge Course.

This park element, phase 2 of the Ropes Challenge Course at Camp Long, offers an opportunity for participants to learn skills such as problem solving, communication, cooperation and teamwork.

The Camp Long Advisory Council has been working and fundraising for the Challenge Course for some for some six years. The Hub and Spoke element is both physically and mentally challenging, consisting of high platforms, interconnected activities, routes on slim beams, wobbly steps, and swings and ropes to clutch or walk on.

Trained facilitators lead participants, always harnessed in safety equipment, through the course. The course requires physical and mental coordination. A hub and spoke course is built like a wheel; activities radiate from a center hub with a large platform to the outside poles, which are then connected together by other activities. The course will feature student focused curricula that use activities to strengthen critical life skills including decision making, self confidence, positive risk taking, self esteem and leadership.

Washington State University Extension, a leader with 30 years’ experience in adventure education experience, 4-H and Vision Leadership, Inc. are installing the course, with assistance from Parks crews. The construction of the challenge course includes the removal of some trees. To select trees for removal, Parks’ Arboriculturist used these criteria: impact on the course objectives, the health of trees, protection of the canopy, erosion control, tree root protection, and tree value in terms of forest health and diversity. Parks’ Arboriculturist worked to preserve the tree canopy and will replace the trees by a 2:1 ratio as part of our Camp Long Vegetation Management Plan to create a healthier forest across the park. Construction starts in mid-August and is expected to be completed by the end of September.

For more information on the project, please click here. To learn more about the Challenge Course, please email Ken Turner, Challenge Course Manager, Seattle Parks and Recreation, at keno.turner@seattle.gov, or call him at 206-399-2205.

Camp Long is one of Seattle’s best kept secrets. Located in West Seattle, this 68 acre park offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy nature, hike in the forest, camp overnight in rustic cabins, rock climb, and learn about natural history. For more information: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/environment/camplong.htm

Small & Simple Match Fund Applications Now Being Accepted Through October 8

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is now accepting applications for the fall round of the Neighborhood Matching Fund’s Small and Simple Projects Fund. The deadline for receipt of applications is 5:00 pm on Monday, October 8, 2012.

The Small and Simple Projects Fund provides matching funds of up to $20,000 to support community members as they work together to build a stronger and healthier neighborhood through civic participation. Activities may be physical projects, as well as less tangible but equally significant educational, cultural, and relationship-strengthening activities. To learn about the guidelines and application process, visit http://seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/smallandsimple.htm. To apply, groups need to register at webgrants.seattle.gov, a web-based application and fund management system.

This is the final opportunity to apply to the Neighborhood Matching Fund in 2012. Programs and deadline dates for 2013 will be announced at the end of this year.

Since the program was created 24 years ago, the Neighborhood Matching Fund has awarded more than $49 million to neighborhood groups with a community match of more than $71 million. Projects have involved more than 85,600 volunteers who have donated over 573,000 work hours. To learn more about the Fund, visit www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/.

September’s Community Forum: Gardening During Milder El Niño Winter

September’s Sustainable West Seattle Community Forum will discuss Winter gardening in the Northwest. Note the change in location.

Join us Monday, September 17th, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the South Seattle Community College Horticulture Center, Community Orchard of West Seattle. South Seattle Community College’s Horticulture Center is located at 6400 16th Avenue SW, and the community orchard is located slightly east of the Horticulture Center near the West Duwamish Greenbelt at the eastern edge of the campus.

This year is predicted to be an El Niño winter in the Northwest which means milder temperatures and great conditions for winter gardening.

Join Sustainable West Seattle with local gardeners Helen Shampain and Stu Hennessey as we discuss what to grow this winter as well as methods of keeping crops protected from frost and rain. We also will share recipes for healthy winter food. Bring your left over seeds from this season to trade with or donate to others