Local Youth Activist, Aji Piper, Appears on DemocracyNow!

Aji Piper on DN!


I watch DemocracyNow! every morning (and so should you :) ) and was pleasantly surprised today when I heard a familiar name mentioned, Aji Piper (at the 32:22 mark). Aji is a West Seattle teenaged environmental activist involved with Our Childrens Trust, a non-profit org who had a recent win in court regarding their landmark Federal Climate Change Lawsuit. This unprecedented lawsuit brought by 21 youth basically states that by allowing fossil fuels to be exploited, the US government and the fossil fuel industry are threatening the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of future generations. This landmark suit drags the shadow cast by fossil fuels into the light as a constitutional issue (genius). Support this group if you can.

I met Aji last year when he performed his song “Danger” on the GreenLife stage. You have to take a few moments and listen to this young mans tune. It’s a very striking song.

SWS thanks you Aji for being a brave, outspoken, artistic activist.

“This Changes Everything” Movie Screening 11/7

On Saturday, November 7
West Seattle Meaningful Movies presents
A new film directed by Avi Lewis and inspired by Naomi Klein’s bestseller
This Changes Everything—Capitalism vs. the Climate
90 minutes
What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?
By featuring seven communities on the front lines, this movie connects the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. It shows how we can seize the climate crisis to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.
6:30  doors open for snacks and social time
7:00 movie (come early to be sure to get a good seat)
6400 Sylvan Way SW, Seattle 98126
Bus numbers 21 and 128
NO CHARGE, but donations gratefully received.
Help us minimize waste—bring your own mug.

West Seattle Habitat Improvement Grants

Sustainable West Seattle has been the recipient of two grants to improve wildlife habitat and water quality, solicited by the Puget Creek Watershed Alliance for ecological restoration in the Puget Ridge neighborhood near South Seattle College.
The first $20,000 grant from King County Wastewater Treatment Division focuses on “Lawn Transformations” to reduce stormwater runoff by improving the soil’s sponge and filtering capabilities. Titled “Clear the Air and Shrink Your Lawn,” this grant intends to reduce lawn mowing that comprises 5% of this nation’s air pollution. By eradicating grass, amending soils, and planting native species, it is hoped these mostly evergreen plants will better intercept winter rains and shade out weeds. Eight properties have had grass removed and plants installed, including a portion of lawn at Sanislo Elementary School. Also, the grant assisted the installation of one backyard rain garden that manages roof and street runoff.
The second $5,500 grant from King County Flood Control District is intended to restore native plant communities on properties with backyard natural areas in the Puget Creek watershed. This grant pays for invasive tree and knotweed removal, and to plant native evergreen trees that will reduce stormwater runoff and create shade conditions for replanting native diversity in the future. Invasive trees include European hawthorn, English laurel, and holly, a plant that is doubling its numbers every six years and is projected to be the dominant species in urban forests within three decades if we do nothing to stop its spread (for information: http://seedrain.org/).
Chosen grant participants will be supported by the restoration contractor, Garden Cycles, to remove invasive plant infestations and assist with planting and plant care.  Garden Cycles’ primary transportation is by bicycle with trailer (http://gardencycles.com/).
Look at the transformation!




New EcoARTs Classes At Youngstown Cultural Arts Center!

NatureC LogoMoasic

Have you ever wanted to take a painting, mosaic, or paper making class? Now you can! Unleash your creative side in classes that explore the intersection of art and nature.  Nature Consortium’s affordable new EcoARTs classes for beginning-level students begin on September 14th. Classes are taught by professional artists and no prior arts experience is necessary. Register today! Take one class, a whole series, or mix and match. Art supplies included. Open to students of all ages.

Learn more and Register at: www.naturec.org/ecoarts-program/

Dates: September 14 – November 30

Class Sessions:  Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at 4pm – 5:30pm  or  6pm – 7:30pm

Mondays: Painting, Instructor: Aramis Hamer
Tuesdays: Mosaic, Instructor: Yeggy Michael
Wednesdays: Paper Making, Instructor: Carrie Ziegler

Cost: $25 per class. Supplies included.

M. Powell Swims the Duwamish to Raise Environmental Awareness

Did you know that over 600,000 pink salmon will make the journey up the Green/Duwamish River to spawn this year? This year, Mark Powell is swimming with them. From the crystal clear headwaters of the Green River to the polluted output of the Duwamish River at Puget Sound, Mark Powell of Washington Environmental Council is swimming the river to tell the story of the threats and opportunities facing the watershed and the Sound. Come face-to-face with salmon and frogs…Mark carries a GoPro and makes underwater videos of his swim! View more at SwimDuwamish.org and see cool underwater pictures at Instagram.com/SwimDuwamish. Here is a preview to get you started:

What an excellent way to take action and bring awareness to the issues that face our area. Thank you Mark and the folks at W.E.C. for doing such great work.

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SWS Hosts Sustainable Documentary Filmmakers from UK

The secret of change….

This past week various board members of Sustainable West Seattle had the opportunity to meet with a couple from England who were in the process of filming a documentary, The Secret of Change.

Zoe Moyden and Chris Bettles are the young couple who are spending their own savings to tour the west coast from Canada to Mexico and visit groups like Sustainable West Seattle to document what they are doing. You see Chris and Zoe are from Bristol UK which is a transition town. The transition movement is a burgeoning act of community change that assumes we will not always be energized by fossil fuels. Chris and Zoe have come here to the West Coast to see what is going on from the bottom up, grassroots efforts to transition to a healthier and happier community of the future, post cheap oil.

The word transition has been kicked around within the sustainable communities as we look to other parts of the world for leadership and ideas. There is a great deal of thought already put into this effort and the methods on which we could transition. We have also been aware that by definition sustainable means a static, less dynamic condition of stabilization (even though we interpret it to mean much more). So it was very enlightening for all of us to have this interaction with two lovely and brilliant (their favorite word) young people from Bristol England.

I think anyone who spent time with them could see their enthusiasm and appreciation for the things we are doing at Sustainable West Seattle but I in particular was struck by the base departure from the way we describe ourselves. Recognizing a well branded word like sustainable has fueled our use of the word until it has also become the word of choice for large industrial businesses that have no intention at all to transition. The transition movement also appears to be more upwardly mobile as the transition town concept is a declaration that this town (city) is making a change to a cleaner form of energy as well as a happier community at municipal levels. There have also been declarations at county levels in transition strongholds. Why can’t we go big and declare a transition country or entire planet.

The secret of Change… I think perhaps the secret of change is the ability to change at all. The secret of change is you and me and all who are brave enough or energetic enough to propose a change and make it stick. Sustainable West Seattle is now in its 8th year of existence. They have been a good 8 years with much to celebrate and realize as the fruit of the seed that was planted. I think it might be time for a change as I was inspired so much by our visitors from the UK. Perhaps it is time for us to become America’s largest transition city or transition West Seattle.  Your thoughts:

The Secret of Change will be crowd sourcing their p[production this fall. Keep them in your thoughts. Good Luck Chris and Zoe!


Come Down and Explore the Longfellow Creek Trail

Come on down and join Bryan!

Come on down and join Bryan!

Looking for a cool walk this weekend? Consider meeting SWS President Bryan and our friends at islandwood.org as they explore one of our local greenspaces…The Longfellow Creek Trail. This event takes place on Saturday June 13th from 11am-2pm at Greg Davis Park.

This will be a great event to bring your children to. Fun times are to be had, like a water bug investigations, a scavenger hunt, and just playing in the woods!. Hope to see you there!

SWS Team

Here is the flyer if you’d like to download it:

Flyer1- Longfellow


West Seattle Bee Festival May 16th

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Please join us in High Point for the
Third Annual West Seattle Bee Festival
Saturday, May 16

This event celebrates the founding of the West Seattle Bee Enclosure and provides information about bee friendly living, green urban horticulture, art & culture related to a sustainable life style.  There are lots of activities for the whole family.
  • The Honey Run starts at 9am at High Point Pond, SW Juneau & 30th Ave. S (no registration necessary, just show up)
  • Come to Neighborhood House (6400 Sylvan Way SW) at 10am and make your own bee or flower costume (materials and help provided) so you can march in the
  • Kids and Pet Parade in High Point Commons Park at 11 am
  • Learn about Bee Friendly gardening, food, books and activities at the Information Fair from 11:30 am-2pm
  • Taste healthy, delicious, easy to prepare food at the Lunchbox Cook Off from 11:30-1:30
  • Take a tour of the West Seattle Bee Enclosure (SW Graham and Lanham Pl. SW) and Garden from 11:30-2PMwhere you can buy honey from the Puget Sound Bee Keepers Association
  • Kids can participate in the Bee-Ball Tournament or Field Games in Commons Park
  • Music by DA Productions will fill the park.  Text your request to 57682 on the day
  • Crafts, henna, face painting and more…..
  • To learn more, visit the awesome WestSeattleBeeGarden website (I had so much fun browsing this site!, I’m totally going to visit the garden this weekend to check it out!)
Love to see you there!