Love Trees? ….Be a West Seattle Tree Ambassador


The City of Seattle’s reLeaf Program and Forterra are looking to engage West Seattle residents in caring for urban trees and green spaces in Seattle. The reLeaf Program offers free Tree Walk Events, Tree Ambassador training, and Tree Walk Mapping (fun!). Read more below to get involved.

  • Tree Walks: Tree Walks are fun, positive community events that engage neighbors with the trees surrounding them. Tree Ambassadors develop tours to highlight interesting or significant trees in their neighborhoods and lead their walk as a public event. Check out the schedule of upcoming walks or download one of the self-guided walks here. Don’t see a walk in your neighborhood? Become a Tree Ambassador and design Seattle’s next Tree Walk!Tree Ambassadors in this track are given an introduction to tree identification and taught skills in making maps and organizing community events. After the training, staff will assist Tree Ambassadors in identifying good routes, mapping trees on that route, writing accompanying text, and putting together a public event. (Training will take place on Saturday, April 4th 9am-2pm in Ballard).


  • Landscape Renewal: Tree Ambassadors plan and organize small-scale landscape projects in residential areas. Tree Ambassadors “adopt” sites and organize work parties to weed, mulch, and activate these neighborhood green spaces.Tree Ambassadors in this track are taught basic landscaping and site design skills, how to identify and remove invasive species, proper mulching, how to run safe events, and community event organizing. After the training, staff help volunteers identify an appropriate landscape to work in, develop site plans, organize community work parties, and secure tools, mulch, and other equipment. Find a site to love in your neighborhood!  (Training will take place Saturday, April 25th 9am-2pm in Beacon Hill).


There are 3 West Seattle sites and 2 South Park sites as a potential landscape projects for 2015: the SW Andover Street End, the Fauntleroy Way and 36th Ave Triangle, and the SW 98th Street End in West Seattle and the S Kenyon Street End as well as the 10th St and Dallas Triangle in South Park. We are looking for a volunteer steward to adopt these sites and help renovate them ( Are there any Sustainable West readers or volunteers that may be interested in taking on a leading role in the renewal of these site, please forward on this information?

If so, program and application information is all available on our website here: If you have questions, please email

Thank you for your help getting the word out and helping us find a steward for these great West Seattle and South Park street ends!

If you have more questions, contact:

Lizzy Stone

Forterra | Stewardship Associate

T 206-905-6952 | W

Keep it greenie!

Seattle Land Use Committee

Are you terrified, concerned, or at least interested in the development happening around West Seattle and Seattle in general? If so, check out Ethan Phelps-Goodmans new “Seattle In Progress” website and app. Its a cool way to see a birds eye view of development in the area. If you are interested beyond passively observing the buildings go up around you, the West Seattle Land Use Committee is having their monthly meeting on February 25th.

Agenda Items Include:

Here’s the announcement:

WSLUC February Meeting:
West Seattle Public Library (Admiral) Lower Meeting Room
Wednesday February 25th, 2015
6PM –  8PM
contact:Tod Rodman 
 Here’s some links to interesting drive-by video footage of the latest knockdowns in West Seattle:

Vision Zero a refreshing thought

Mayor Ed Murray inspired us all this week when he unveiled his Vision Zero traffic initiative. The plan is to eliminate all traffic fatalities which is a lofty goal indeed but there could be other refreshing results. The main component of the plan is to lower speed limits throughout the city which would lessen the impact in the case of an accident as well as provide a greater reaction time to avoid accidents. These lower speed limits drastically increase the chance of survival, especially for vulnerable users such as pedestrians and cyclists but will only increase the daily travel time by mere seconds and minutes. This slower pace may also be what our community needs at this time. The way our society has been moving ever faster through life is an ill that many of us bear. A slower pace may do us some good as described by Cecil Andrews in her book “Slow is Beautiful” . The slower pace also has the potential for reducing individual transportation carbon emissions. Let’s embrace this idea.

WS TimeBank Event This Thursday!

The first WSTB members meeting of 2015 is upon us! On February 19th, come
reconnect with fellow timebankers and learn about the changes taking place
to make us a more vibrant community in West Seattle and Burien.Date:    Thursday, February 19, 2015
Where:   Senior Center of West Seattle
4217 SW Oregon St. – parking in the lot off 42nd Ave SW
Time:    6:30 – 7:00 Potluck (bring a dish to share)
7:00 – 8:00 Members Meeting

Our meeting will feature:
–    The future of WSTB and how it affects you as a member
–    Inspiration with upcoming participation opportunities: future
speakers, timebank needs, and member interaction
–    An opportunity to provide feedback on WSTB member meetings and activities

All attendees who sign in at the meeting will receive an hour of timebank
credit.This month’s speaker will be from Weed Warriors

Look forward to spring with some of our current member’s offerings and
requests: Garden Planning * Bicycle Repair and Maintenance * Pet Care and
Walking * Organization and Downsizing Assistance * Software and Design
Projects * Yoga, Baking, and Canning Lessons

Solarize SW Seattle Results In…and Staggering!

There are some forward thinking people in our city aren’t there? A testament to this is the recent Solarize SW Seattle Project that, by May of this year, will have left South West Seattle with nearly 2700 solar panels powering the homes of local residents with clean, green, solar power. All of this in a matter of 5 months!

Were any of the Solarize SW Seattle systems installed in your neighborhood? Click below to see the map.


Aside from the cost savings, increased home value, and environmental benefits, the intangibles of the Solarize Project coming to town include:

  • More Education: 500 people attended the Solarize educational seminars and learned about how solar works in WA
  • More Visibility: You can’t go down 35th or California without seeing a solar array up!
  • More Philanthropy: Highland Park Improvement Club was the recipient of a 4.4kW solar system and the Burien City Hall received an electric car charging station!

This is what going solar looks like:

The 5.4 kW array was installed by Artisan Electric on Dec 15, 2014.
Sean and Cole from Puget Sound Solar installing PV on a Solarize SW Seattle roof
Sean and Cole from Puget Sound Solar installing PV on a Solarize SW Seattle roof
4.9 kW solar array in White Center that was installed by Artisan Electric on January 8, 2015.
Solarize SW Seattle system installed by Puget Sound Solar
Solarize SW Seattle system installed by Puget Sound Solar


Number Nerd? Here are some solar numbers to ponder:

  • Solarize SW Seattle came in 2nd place at 684 kilo-watt’s (KW’s) next only to Solarize Central/SE Seattle in terms of solar capacity.
  • 1 KW of solar = ~4 solar panels (@250 watts each)
  • Average Amount of electricity 1 KW produces in Seattle: ~1000 kWh’s per year (check your electric bill to get a feel for how much power this is)
  • Average system size of Solarize SW: 6.16 KW’s (~24 panels).
  • Number of Installations: 111

This Solarize Project happened because a core group of experienced non-profits and (50) neighborhood volunteers worked hard to get the word out, coordinate the educational sessions, and vet the installation contractors. A big thank you to the groups, volunteers, contractors, and homeowners who made this effort a big success. You’re pushing us forward and that’s a good direction to head!

The contractors who served the campaign were Puget Sound Solar and Artisan Electric.. Although this Solarize campaign is over, the Solarize contractors are still offering free home site assessments. Contact them directly to see if solar can work for you.

Board Meets to Elect New Officers For 2015

The 2015 Sustainable West Seattle Board of Directors has formed and Officers were determined at the February meeting of the board.
This year’s board consists of:

swskellie     swsbryan

EricSWS     swsanya

rsz_1tswsbrian_selfie_2     swsStu

From left to right
Kellie Phelan, Bryan Fiedorczyk, Eric Thomas, Anya Gedrath-Smith, Brian Fabella and Stu Hennessey.

The officers for 2015 are:
President: Bryan Fiedorczyk, Vice President: Stu Hennessey, Secretary: Kellie Phelan, Treasure: Brian Fabella.

Goals for this year include a revised website, more public engagement through our projects and partnerships and new membership benefits and involvement. If you wish to be more involved with this community organization there is still room on the board of directors and we are recruiting for new board members in 2016. Otherwise join one of our many projects and volunteer for our events. If you wish to find a volunteer position contact Stu Hennessey,

Love and Sustainability: Go Green this Valentine’s Day

Valentines day

With the hallmark of Hallmark holidays upon us, the pressure is building. This annual celebration of consumerism is the bane of sustainable and environmentally conscientious individuals everywhere. Americans spend about $3.4 billion on wasteful gifts like cards, candy, and stuffed bears, as reported by Investopedia.

Seattle residents are among the most eco-conscious folks in the nation, thus have a ton of options for avoiding this greedy grind. A haven of fair trade, organic retailers and charitable organizations, Seattle offers couples and singles ways to enjoy the tradition of Valentine’s Day without contributing to the wasteful customs associated with the holiday. Read on.

Eat local:

If you’re planning a romantic dinner for two, order organically. Instead of reserving a table at one of those big-business chain restaurants, support local business and head to a place like Tilth Restaurant on North 45th Street or Marjorie on East Union Street. Both are local favorites: Tilth offers seasonal American fare, all organic, while Marjorie is prime for fresh gourmet surf and turf.

Organic flowers:

Flowers are the staple of Valentine’s Day traditions. Naturally, these go-to gifts are biodegradable. However, you can go one step further this holiday and purchase your partner beautiful flowers from a company that is committed to supporting human rights and labor standards. Build a custom bouquet to reflect your loved one’s taste and represent the uniqueness of the relationship. Pre-designed Valentine’s Day flower bouquets are also a great idea for the lover of tulips, roses or Stargazer lilies. Then, when the bouquet starts to wilt, pressed flowers make beautiful memorabilia to immortalize a very special day.

Recycled Valentines:

Instead of buying a new gift, use recycled materials to craft one. Homemade vintage and old-fashioned valentines hold more meaning and allure for the eco-friendly Valentine. Construct a one-of-a-kind gift like homemade paper flowers, dried flower petals or scraps of fabric into heartfelt tokens of affection.

Fair Trade Chocolate:

Another Valentine’s Day tradition is chocolate. But no self-respecting conversationalist wants a box of carelessly crafted commercial candy. However, cocoa farming is tied to some very questionable environmental and ethical issues, so choose wisely. Theo Chocolate in Seattle roasts their own organic, fair trade certified cocoa beans, and create 70 percent cacao dark chocolate indulgences.

Date with a purpose:

The Friends of the Conservatory is hosting a romantic wine and cocktail tasting event on Valentine’s Day for couples to congregate under the starlit houses of the Volunteer Park Conservatory. The experience includes delightful cocktails concocted with spirits from The Hardware Distillery, a local craft distiller specializing in whiskies, bee’s knees, aquavit and fine gins in Hoodsport, Washington. Plus, the stellar wine selections will be presented by Grand Vin Win Merchants. Enjoy yourself knowing that the money you spend is going right back into the community.

Give kindness:

Instead of spending a lot of money on the one you love, try creating kindness together. Purchase a handful of King County Metro one-day bus passes and hand them out to passengers waiting to board to wish them a happy Valentine’s Day. It is a small gesture, but hey, who doesn’t love a free ride?

Seattle is a special kind of city, so don’t settle for normal this holiday. Break the cycle of ritual waste from thoughtless spending and make Valentine’s Day a distinct and delightful experience. Leave your carbon footprint at home and replace it with a gentle footprint on your love’s heart.

All Walk Encouragement Rally

All Walk Encouragement Rally follow up.

rsz_allwalk3 Sunday was a nice warm day in February reminding us all why we walk to encourage individual climate change action. Up to a dozen participants held signs of encouragement as we occupied the Alaska Junction intersection during the all walk crossing. We had a very favorable response from the public.

All Walk Encouragement rally to encourage personal action on climate pollution and climate change.

Join West Seattle Neighbors for Peace and Justicersz_allwalk2 along with West Seattle Meaningful Movies and Sustainable West Seattle to encourage our neighbors to take personal action to reduce the effects of Climate Change. We will march during the the All Walk right of way in the Alaska Junction intersection from noon to 1pm this Sunday February 8th.
Bring your own signs with messages or use the ones provided. Please help us create meaningful change.

City Technology Matching Fund Grants Open Now, Two Workshops Feb. 10, 12

TechMatchFundAwardeeThe City of Seattle is inviting community organizations and nonprofits to apply for nearly $500,000 in funding to increase digital equity. The Technology Matching Fund awards are matched by the community’s contribution of volunteer labor, materials, professional services or funding.

“As a city, Seattle is known for technology and innovation, yet too many residents do not have sufficient internet access or the skills necessary to participate fully in today’s economy,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “This funding leverages the resources of the community by matching time and funding.”

The Technology Matching Fund has been in existence since 1997 and this year Seattle has $470,000 available for matching awards of up to $30,000 each to community groups and nonprofits. The deadline to apply is March 19, 2015.

The funding will be awarded in July to organizations who will improve digital equity by connecting traditionally-underserved populations, empower residents with digital literacy skills, and encourage diverse communities to use technology for civic participation.

Application materials and more information are available at

Two workshops will be held for those interested in applying for the matching funds. The free workshops will provide an overview of the grant program, explain how to apply and detail characteristics of a successful application. First time applicants are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, Feb. 10: 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
2100 Building, 2100 24th Ave South, 98144

Thursday, Feb. 12: 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Solid Ground, 1501 N. 45th St, 98103

Interpretation and accommodations are available upon request by calling 206-233-7877 or emailing by February 6.