Seattle Public Library Featuring Edible Garden Classes @ Variety of Library Sites

SPL Edible Garden logoJoin the Seattle Public Library in April and May for classes in gardening, composting, beekeeping and urban gardens. The Edible Garden Series includes events and presentations for all ages on edible gardening, food advocacy, and sustainability at locations around the city.

The first several classes are listed below, click here for the complete schedule of classes.

Edible Garden Series Kickoff

  • Saturday, April 5, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center
    • 440 Fifth Ave. N.
  • Get your gardening and food questions answered! Help kick off the Library’s Edible Garden Series at the Gates Foundation’s “Food for Good” event.

Choosing the Right Home Composting System for You

  • Saturday, April 5, 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm
  • Beacon Hill Branch
  • Want to compost food and yard waste at home but don’t know where to start? Let the experts at Seattle Tilth help you get started

Composting for Apartment Dwellers

  • Thursday, April 10, 2014, 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm
  • Central Library
  • Have limited space, but want to recycle your food scraps into rich compost? Come see how easy it is to get started composting in your apartment or condo.

Update on Friends of Seattle Public Library Used Book Sale:

Since 1997 Friends of The Seattle Public Library Book Sale operations has been located at Warren G. Magnuson Park. In late 2012, their book sale operations needed to move out of Building 30 at Magnuson Park so that structural renovations could be made to the building. They’ve since relocated to 2015 9th Ave., Seattle – the floor above the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library on the corner of 9th Ave. & Lenora St.

As you can imagine, moving materials and setting up for a sale is a bit more challenging now that they’re not located in the same building as the hangar. In 2013, Friends of Seattle Public Library held two small sales at the North Seattle Community College in the spring and went back to Magnuson Park in September to put on their Big Fall Book Sale.

This year, they will continue to have their Big Fall Book Sale at Magnuson Park, and a one-day holiday sale at North Seattle Community College, with a goal of going back to a Spring and Fall Sale at Magnuson Park in 2015. There will be no spring sale this year. If you have any suggestions, questions, or comments, feel free to contact Alice Springer, Book Sale and Administrative Director, at  alice@friendsofspl.org.

Seattle Audubon Creates Interactive City Tree Map; Help By Adding Trees

explore_tree_mapSeattle Tree Map Now Online and Interactive 

After years of hard work and dedication from volunteers and staff, the Seattle Tree Map officially launched on March 1, 2014. The Seattle Tree Map is an interactive website that allows users to contribute to urban forest monitoring and conservation through a shared inventory of Seattle’s trees.

Curious about how many Douglas Firs are in your neighborhood? Or the number of trees in the city with a trunk diameter greater than twenty-four inches? Search functions allow you to find the exact trees you’re looking for, or filter results based on tree height, date of planting, plot type, tree health, and more. Users can edit data to account for missing or outdated information, upload photos to tree profiles, “favorite” the trees they like, set alerts (this tree needs to be watered!), and add comments.

The Seattle Tree Map is part of Canopy Connections, a project by Seattle Audubon to document, map, and enhance Seattle’s urban forest habitat for birds and nature. Visit the Seattle Tree Map at www.SeattleTreeMap.org to get started today.

Some features of the new website let you:

  • Find a Tree
    • Want to know how many Douglas Firs are in your neighborhood? Or how about the number of trees with a diameter greater than 36″? Use the search function to find exactly the trees you’re looking for.
  • Add a Tree
    • The Seattle Tree Map relies on citizen scientists like you to report new additions to the urban forest community.
  • Update a Tree
    • Notice outdated, incomplete or inaccurate tree details? Update it! With your help, we can maintain an accuarate and complete online tree inventory.

About the Seattle Tree Map: The Seattle Tree Map is part of Canopy Connections, a project by the Seattle Audubon Society. Our urban forest is critically important to the health and well being of our entire region.

Our urban forest is critically important to the health and wellbeing of our entire region, especially to the birds that rely on our urban habitat for food and shelter. By creating and contributing to a dynamic and reliable city tree map to monitor the health, size, and diversity of the urban forest, we will gain a better understanding of Seattle’s urban habitat.

When you contribute to this online tree map of Seattle, you are

  • Creating and fostering a culture of urban tree stewardship;
  • Helping inform others about the importance of our urban forest habitat;
  • Contributing to the environmental health of the City of Seattle;
  • Supporting local efforts to better manage and care for Seattle’s trees and wildlife.

The City of Seattle has a goal of 30% canopy cover by the year 2036. By accurately tracking the urban forest through this interactive map, we can help ensure the City stays on track for its 30% goal and beyond. Interested in attending a training to learn best practices and techniques for surveying your neighborhood trees? Check out Seattle Audubon’s website for more information.

Capture Runoff: RainWise Program Open To Sunrise Heights & Westwood Neighborhoods Through End of 2015

rainwise2013areasKing County Wastewater Division is making the voluntary incentive program, RainWise, available in  Sunrise Heights and Westwood neighborhoods of West Seattle through 2015. Many residents have already installed a rain garden and/or cistern through the program, beautifying yards and improving water quality in Puget Sound. There are currently 36 RainWise projects underway in the Barton basin. If you are interested in becoming RainWise, check your eligibility and learn about the process by visiting www.rainwise.seattle.gov.  Click to see the South End Contractor roster list which includes trained contractors ready and willing to work in your neighborhood.

The Northwest Green Home Tour (http://www.nwgreenhometour.org/south-west-sites) on April 26 will include RainWise installations in the Highland Park and South Park neighborhoods.  Check them out during the home tour and talk with RainWise contractors and homeowners who have been through the program.

If you live on one of the streets that will have roadside rain gardens installed this year as part of the Barton CSO Control Project, you will need to avoid installing a rain garden or cistern for about two months during active construction on your street. At different times during street construction, crews will be closing roads to through traffic, impacting parking, and it will be too difficult to have other construction projects going on. To check on the status of street construction, visit the project website (http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/wtd/Construction/Seattle/BartonCSO-GSI.aspx) or call the project hotline: 206-205-9184 or contact Kristine Cramer, Community Services and Environmental Planning,Wastewater Treatment Division, by phone at 206-255.7089 or email at Kristine.Cramer@kingcounty.gov

Lowman Beach Combined Sewer Overflow Project Update, Soil Wall Being Built

MurraySoilWallFlyerDuring the week of March 17, King County’s contractor will begin work to stabilize the Lincoln Park Way SW hillside behind the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control Facility project site. Stabilizing the hillside will control erosion and protect nearby private property and streets during excavation for the facility’s one-million gallon storage tank. The facility will help keep sewage and polluted stormwater out of Puget Sound.

To build a soil nail wall, crews drill steel rods into the hillside and attach them to a screen. The screen will then be covered in concrete to complete the wall and reinforce the hillside.

Crews will first improve access to the site from Beach Drive SW for heavy machinery needed to build the soil nail wall. The machinery will be tested during the week of March 17, and work to begin building the soil nail wall will start during the week of March 24.  The work is expected to take about one month to complete.

What to expect:

  • Work will occur on weekdays from 7:00 am through 6:00 pm
  • Continued access to Beach Drive SW, Lowman Beach Park’s facilities and beach
  • No parking on the eastern side of Beach Drive SW; imited parking on the western side of Beach Drive SW
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists are encouraged to use Beach Drive SW’s western sidewalk
  • Increased noise and activity
  • Heavy equipment and truck traffic on and around the project site

For more information or to comment call the 24-hour project information line: 206-205-9186, or search “Murray tank” at kingcounty.gov. Send questions to the online feedback form.  For further information contact Doug Marsano, Community Relations Lead, King County Wastewater Treatment Division by phone at 206-477-5549, or cell at 206-423-0480, or email at Doug.Marsano@kingcounty.gov

Seattle Office of Sustainability Announces 2 Grant Opportunities, Seeks Panelists

Have a great idea to help catalyze climate action in your community? Seattle’s Office of Sustainability & Environment wants to hear from you! The Office of Sustainability & Environment is interested in supporting innovative projects that engage residents in reducing climate change.

There area 2 opportunities for support in 2014

  • Community Climate Project 
    • Provides up to $10,000 for projects that address climate action choices in the following categories:
      • Home Energy Use
      • Getting Around
      • Food Choices
      • Buying Stuff
      • Waste
    • Application deadline is Tuesday, April 22, 2014
  • Small Climate Project 
    • Provides up to $500 to support one-time climate focused special events or education & outreach initiatives
    • Applications accepted year-round

For more information,  including project application forms, see the Community Climate Projects webpage.

The department also wants to hear from anyone who wants to participate in project review panel. They are seeking volunteers who wish to participate in the evaluation of  project proposals. The approximate time commitment will be 10 to 20 hours between April 23 and May 7.  Those interested in serving on the review panel can download an application here.

City Asks for Citizen Input via Survey for Selecting New SDOT Chief

Mayor'sLogoSeattle Mayor Ed Murray yesterday said he will conduct a national search to find an experienced, visionary, accountable executive to lead the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). As part of that process he’s asking Seattle citizens and residents to weigh in on the process by taking a survey which asks what Seattle wants in a Transportation Chief.  Take the survey here.

“We’re looking for a leader who can develop a comprehensive strategy to harmonize the many transportation options available in our city,” Murray said. “As Seattle continues to grow, our multi-modal offerings must be coordinated with one another and with regional systems. We need to stay true to the goals of our City’s pedestrian, bicycle, transit and freight plans, but the larger goal is to integrate these modes to move people and goods seamlessly and efficiently.”

Similar to the process for identifying Seattle’s next Police Chief, the Mayor’s office is moving quickly to name a new Director of Transportation while allowing time to encourage and consider community input with the help of a Community Advisory Committee. The committee is co-chaired by Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl and former SDOT Director John Okamoto and is comprised of transportation experts with representatives from Transportation Choices Coalition, Feet First, Cascade Bicycle Club and WA Bus, among other organizations.

An eight-member Search Committee will then integrate those community perspectives into the search and will work with a firm to review applicants and present finalists to the Mayor for his consideration. The Search Committee is also co-chaired by Earl and Okamoto.

There are several ways the public can engage in this process beginning today:

  • The Mayor’s Office is inviting the community to comment on desired qualities for the Transportation Director. Those community perspectives will be shared with the Advisory Committee for their review and consideration in creating selection criteria for the Search Committee. To participate, please visit http://murray.seattle.gov/sdotdirector to participate in a short survey which will be available until mid-April.
  • The Mayor’s Neighborhood Summit, to be held April 5 at Seattle Center’s Exhibition Hall, will offer another opportunity to provide feedback. Learn more about the Summit at http://seattle.gov/sns2014.

By mid-April, the Community Advisory Committee will finalize their assessment criteria for use by the Search Committee. A national search will then commence. It’s expected that interviews will be conducted in late May with a decision by June.

Learn more about the process and participate in the feedback process by visiting http://murray.seattle.gov/sdotdirector.

The Director of Transportation reports to the Mayor and has management oversight of more than 750 employees and an annual operating budget of more than $400 million.

The Community Advisory Committee members are listed below:

  • Joni Earl (Co-Chair), CEO, Sound Transit
  • John Okamoto (Co-Chair), Former SDOT Director
  • Kate Joncas, President, Downtown Seattle Association
  • Elizabeth Kiker, Executive Director, Cascade Bicycle Club
  • Jessyn Farrell, 46th District State Representative, WA State Legislature
  • David Kalberer, Transportation Consultant
  • Rob Johnson, Executive Director, Transportation Choices Coalition
  • Tom Rasmussen, Transportation Committee Chair, Seattle City Council
  • Lisa Quinn, Executive Director, Feet First
  • Josh Kavanagh, Director of Transportation, University of WA
  • Kurt Beckett, Chief of Staff, Port of Seattle
  • Toby Chrittenden, Executive Director, WA Bus
  • Kevin Desmond, General Manager, King County Metro Transit
  • Martin Duke, Editor and Founder, Seattle Transit Blog
  • Barb Chamberlain, WA Bikes
  • Hilary Franz, Executive Director, Futurewise
  • John Franklin, HDR Inc.
  • Warren Aakervik, Chair, Seattle Freight Advisory Board
  • Paulo Nunes-Ueno, Director of Transportation, Children’s Hospital
  • Ann Martin, Co-Chair, Seattle Transportation Levy Oversight Committee
  • Aaron Ostrom, Executive Director, Fuse WA
  • Cathy Tuttle, Executive Director, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
  • Lara Normand, Member, Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board
  • Keith Weir, Assistant Executive Secretary, Seattle Building Trades
  • Genesee Adkins, Government Relations Director, King County Executive’s Office
  • Joe Vinson, SDOT employee
  • Jennifer Wieland, SDOT employee
  • Shiv Batra, Transportation Engineer

Community Orchard Now Open for Work Parties, Team Also Answers Food, Gardening, Permaculture Questions

COWSThe 2014 Season of Beauty and Community Begins at the Orchard! Join your neighbors and colleagues and fellow urban farmers every Thursday starting this week, March 13, at the Community Orchard of West Seattle, starting at 5:00 pm and lasting through 7:00 pm.

Please consider COWS when deciding your volunteer plans for this year. Join us for the start of the growing season at our huge urban garden and orchard!  It’s time to prune trees and berry bushes, and develop ideal individual soil preparations for each crop to be planted.

Questions on urban gardening, permaculture techniques, or your own problem plants are our specialty and are more than welcome! We hope to see you there!  The Community Orchard of West Seattle is located at the east end of the parking lot adjacent to the Horticulture Center, north end of the campus at South Seattle Community College.

What is Community Orchard of West Seattle?

Community Orchard of West Seattle (COWS) provides a home-scale model that demonstrates how much food can be grown on a city-sized lot. Our produce goes to our volunteers, neighbors and local food security programs while we provide a venue for public agricultural education and community gathering. Using permaculture and organic growing principles, COWS demonstrates several different kinds of non-standard orchard techniques and garden configurations – most of which are based on no-till, polyculture, low-maintenance sustainable food production strategies.

They meet every Thursday from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm – possible now that Daylight Savings Time has finally arrived!!

Camp Long Announces Summer “NatureQuest” Day Camp Program

Camp Long LodgeSeattle’s only overnight camping park, Camp Long has announced their Summer NatureQuest Day Camp program with activities and locations designed for all participants to explore more environments all over West Seattle and beyond!

Making plans for the summer? Be sure to include Summer Nature Day Camp! Camp Long is sponsoring Nature Day Camps that will meet at a different park each week, so there is a real opportunity to explore. Camps will be held at Schmitz, Longfellow Creek, Me-Kwa-Mooks, Lincoln and Camp Long parks. Each week will also focus on a theme like Watershed Wonders, Urban Wildlife Jungle, Winged Wonders and Survivor Week.

  • Program Hours: 9:00 am to 4:00 p
  • Age: 6-12
  • Registration Opens: 3/7/14
  • Cost: $215/wk, Sibling Discount: $10
  • To Register: Call 206-684-7434

Schedule of Classes and Locations

  • Week 1 (6/30 to 7/3): Watershed Wonders (Camp Long) ($175; sibling discount $8 pro-rated 4 day week)

Wonder what’s a watershed? Come discover the Longfellow Creek Watershed and follow the creek through magical places like the Salmon Bone Bridge and the Dragonfly Pavilion. Learn how land and water shape each other, observe creek wildlife and build a watershed model. We’ll also hold a Science Council to make decisions about an imaginary watershed, while exploring the many ways humans affect our watersheds.

  • Week 2 (7/7 to 7/11): Journey through the Intertidal Zone (Mee Kwa Mooks)

Search for life between the tides and discover how plants and animals have adapted to such changing conditions. Set up a beach science station where you can examine animals in their unique habitat. Learn how sea stars move, how clams and barnacles eat, and much more about the critters you find above and below the rocks, sand and water.

  • Week 3 (7/14 to 7/18): Urban Wildlife Jungle (Camp Long)

It is a jungle out there and worth investigating! Seattle is one of the Top 10 Cities for Urban Forests. Become a scientist and explore this urban wilderness in the Camp Long woods. Unearth the forest’s secrets and learn how hawks, owls, coyotes, fox and a multitude of songbirds live here. In every layer you’ll find clues. Identify native plant species that have grown here for centuries and investigate the role forests have in human survival. Learn how you can be involved in forest protection!

  • Week 4 (7/21 to 7/25): Schmitz Park Wildlife Jungle (Schmitz Park)

What makes Schmitz forest special are some very old trees still standing. Wander through this native ecosystem and gather clues as to how everything is connected. Explore huge old tree stumps and see evidence of logging from years ago. Answer the same questions as above for the Camp Long forest but in the unique environment of Schmitz Park.

  • Week 5 (7/28 to 8/1): History Happenings (Schmitz Park)

The natural and human history of Seattle is rich and diverse. From glaciers to Native Americans to European settlers, this area has a lot to tell. How did Puget Sound form? Where and how did Northwest Coast Indians live? And what major changes have occurred through the centuries? Take a treasure hunt around West Seattle to find your answers to these questions and more.

  • Week 6 (8/4 to 8/8): Winged Wonders (Lincoln Park)

Birds live in every habitat – forest, desert, fresh and salt water, icy, tropical – you name it, they are everywhere. Get to know the avian life all around us and gain skill at observing and identifying the numerous birds of Seattle. Learn using sight and sound, as well as watching behavior, how these adaptive creatures have survived and ways that we can support them. Binoculars are provided.

  • Week 7 (8/11 to 8/15): Watershed Wonders (Longfellow Creek South)

Learn the ways of a watershed as described above, but explore a different section of Longfellow Creek. Journey through restored.

Camp Long is located at 5200 35th Ave. SW, Seattle, Phone 206-684-7434, FAX 206-684-7435, or email at camplong@seattle.gov.  For a current list of rental fees, please see  http://www.seattle.gov/parks/ reservations/feesandcharges/contents.htm.

 

West Seattle Green Space Coalition Working To Preserve City Light Properties

fauntleroyInterested in preserving open space?

The West Seattle Green Space Coalition will be hosting a meeting this Sunday and then next week making the case to City Council and the Urban Forest Commission on why we should want to preserve open space currently under consideration for being sold by City Light.

The items in question are surplus substations  located on public land which has been a long-standing part of the City’s infrastructure.  For decades, the land has benefitted neighborhoods, first as substations and later, as green spaces with mature vegetation or wetlands.  The land provides value and benefits to our neighborhoods. Public land is finite, and once it is sold, it is practically impossible to recover.

The meeting Sunday will discuss ways in which Seattle residents can benefit from these properties and how they can assist in requesting City Council halt any sale of the land until the neighborhoods have the opportunity to find the best public use for the land and to secure necessary funding.    The presentation to City Council and the Urban Forest Commission will request they consider ways to preserve these properties until a review and funding sources can be secured.

Details on the meetings:

  • West Seattle Green Space Coalition meeting (includes sample letters)
    • Sunday, March 8, 3:00 pm
    • Delridge Library, 5423 Delridge Way SW, Metro Route 120
  • West Seattle Green Space Coalition presentation to City Council
    • Wednesday, March 12, 9:30 am
    • Seattle City Hall, City Council Chambers, 600 4th Ave., 2nd Floor
  • West Seattle Green Space Coalition presentation to Urban Forest Commission
    • Wednesday, March 12, 3:00 pm
    • Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Ave, Room 2750

NPS Rivers, Trails & Conservation Program Seeks AmeriCorps Intern for All of 2014

NPS logoThe National Park Service‘s Seattle Office has an opening for an AmeriCorps intern position in their downtown office near Pioneer Square.  Here is a link to a position description for a Southwest Conservation Legacy-AmeriCorps position with the NPS in Seattle office that will begin immediately and extend through December 2014.
NPS has worked with three interns over the last three years, and are excited to have another opportunity to work with a young professional.
They are hoping to find a great local candidate – someone who knows the metro Seattle area and/or western Washington.  The position involves helping the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance staff build public participation and plan conservation and/or recreation projects in Washington and Idaho.
An important part of the National Park Service Fellow’s responsibilities will be helping engage young people in these local community assistance projects. The successful candidate will have a bachelor’s degree with a major in planning, landscape architecture, natural resource management, outdoor recreation, environmental studies, or a similar field. For more info on desirable qualifications, compensation, and the application process please see this link.
Individuals interested can check the job description or, for further information,contact Susan Rosebrough, National Park Service, Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA) at 206-220-4121 (office), or 206851-1657 (cell) or by email at  susan_rosebrough@nps.gov.  For more information on the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program check www.nps.gov/rtca.