Have you heard the BIG news about tiny homes? These low-impact dwellings are all over the media and minds of people looking to live smaller. There is only so much room on this planet and the more space we give to nature, the cleaner our air, water, and soil will remain. With so much development going on around Seattle, it is a breath of fresh air to see companies like Seattle Tiny Homes bringing the reality of low-impact living to our community.
Seattle Tiny Homesis a featured sponsor of this year’s GreenLife area at Summer Fest.They will have a Tiny Home on display all three days of the event (July 8th, 9th, and 10th) and be giving a talk about what it’s like to Live Small:
The way you live in a tiny space is different from everyone else. So why settle for a home that’s not designed with you in mind? Since 2010, Seattle Tiny Homes has offered a full range of options to create the perfect tiny house for you. We completely customize your home to meet your specific goals and dreams, and build it to the the highest standards of quality to last a lifetime.
Seattle Tiny Homes specializes in tiny structures on wheels. We believe smaller abodes create serenity and simplicity, and are better for the environment. Depending on location, you can use a tiny structure as a dwelling, a mother-in-law apartment, a retirement cottage, an extra bedroom for a college student, a home office, or a studio. All our completed structures are licensed as RV travel trailers. Learn more about us at www.seattletinyhomes.com.
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/).
In response to recent and prolonged debates about parking in our area, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition (WSTC) is conducting a basic survey about parking. They are taking this survey to aggregate and then publish the results in a report to the public. At this time they have no position on the parking questions and are doing this to benefit all interested parties with some new data.
The survey will run until Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 12:00pm PST. They hope to publish the results of this survey with additional information in a few weeks’ time past that. Please go ahead and share this with anyone you think may be interested.
What a cool project, Urban Flex Farms is a collective of “micro-farms” in West Seattle that provide as-fresh-as-you-can-get produce delivered right to your home. Urban Flex Farms partners with homeowners in WS to turn yards into micro-farm sites that grow fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs. They have extended their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Early Bird Special until March 15th. Here’s whats in the box when you join the CSA:
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 (http://www.seattle.gov/trees/landscapes.htm). Are there any Sustainable West Seattle.org readers or volunteers that may be interested in taking on a leading role in the renewal of these site, please forward on this information?
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.