August Community Forum: Our Annual Lincoln Park Picnic @ Shelter #3

2012 SWS picnicJoin Sustainable West Seattle this coming Monday, August 19th for our annual community harvest celebration and picnic.  We will be gathering at Shelter #3, the large shelter with a barbecue grill on the southern end of the park near the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal dock.

The picnic begins around 4:30 pm with the preparation of the grill. We should have everything ready for celebrating by 5:00 pm.  Members, guests, and new folks who want to check out this group are asked to bring a potluck item to share — side dish OR dessert would be great.  SWS will provide the protein for the BBQ + condiments.  Bring your own dishes/utensils, if possible.  The picnic continues through sunset on the beach and usually concludes around 9:00 pm with shelter area clean-up.

We’ll honor a few of the amazing people in our local community, too – Sustainability Champion and Volunteer of the Year.  Also, consider bringing your acoustic instrument to share a song or two with our creative & playful group…maybe a community jam will happen?!  We’d love to hear about the “green” things you’ve been up to in the last year!  Come on out and connect with an inspring community of people, ideas, and practice!

West Seattle Tool Library Announces Extended Hours, New Day

Meetup @ Tool LibraryThe West Seattle Tool Library announces extended hours for the summer. As of July 1st, WSTL is adding hours on Tuesday from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. We are also adjusting our hours on Thursday and weekends to accommodate members.
“We’re expanding our hours to keep up with demand for our tools,” said WSTL Manager Micah Summers. “Our new hours should help accommodate more people  and increase the convenience of checking tools in & out.”
The new West Seattle Tool Library summer schedule begins July 1st:
  • Tuesday 5:00 to 8:00 pm (new day)
  • Thursday 5:00 to 8:00 pm  (new hours)
  • Saturday 11:00 am to 4:00 pm (new hours)
  • Sunday 11:00 am to 4:00 pm (new hours)
The West Seattle Tool Library is a non-profit, community service, offering access to a collection of over 1,500 tools. Over 1000 members strong, the tool library has helped build orchards, playgrounds, greenhouses and supported thousands of home, yard and neighborhood projects.

The tool library is located at:

Youngstown Cultural Arts Center 
4408 Delridge Way SW 
Seattle, WA 98106 

The West Seattle Tool Library is a project of Sustainable West Seattle and was made possible by a neighborhood grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Go to for more information.

CSA Subscriptions Available From Seattle P-Patch Market Gardens

 high_pt_p_patchThe Seattle P-Patch Market Gardens CSA (community-supported agriculture) program is accepting subscribers for its farm-fresh organic produce. Each week subscribers receive up to 15 items of seasonal produce grown at the NewHolly and High Point Seattle Market Gardens, a city of Seattle program that helps to establish safe healthy communities and economic opportunity in low-income neighborhoods.

The cost ranges from $15 to $25 a week based on size of the share. Prorated shares are available. Two of the pick-up locations are at the gardens where subscribers can meet the immigrant farmers and visit the site.

The pick-up locations, dates, and times are:

  • Thursdays from 5:00 pm to  7:00 pm, June 6 through October 17

High Point Market Garden (32nd Ave. SW and SW Juneau St.)

NewHolly Market Garden (42nd Ave. South and South Rockery Dr.)

  • Saturdays from 10:00 am to dusk, June 8 through October 19

St. Andrews Episcopal Church (111 NE 80th St.)

Community members can subscribe now by completing and mailing an application with payment or by contacting Julie Bryan, P-Patch Coordinator, at or by phone at 206-257-8257.

Seattle P-Patch Market Gardens is a program of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods P-Patch Community Gardening Program in collaboration with the Seattle Housing Authority and P-Patch Trust to support low-income gardeners. Its mission is to establish safe, healthy communities and economic opportunity through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and farm stand enterprises. To learn about the Seattle P-Patch Market Gardens, visit

Join SWS Sunday To Help Fix, or Learn To Fix, Bikes Which Will Be Donated To Togo

broken bikeSustainable West Seattle is throwing a Pedals for People Party to accept donations of used bikes and repairing them at the West Seattle Tool Library on Sunday July 21st at noon. Bikes are donated for kids to ride to school in the West African country of Togo.

Join SWS to recycle and repair the bikes, which will be shipped to Togo through Bikes for these children are crucial for them to get to school. Many children in rural areas walk 5-15 miles to school, making it impossible for them to have time to study. This is especially true for girls, who traditionally have more household chores than boys.

Meet at the West Seattle Tool Library at 12 noon on Sunday July 21st. Tools, work stations and expertise will be available. For more details contact

Join us and learn bicycle repair skills as we repair dozens of bikes for donation to rural Africa.  Bring a bike for repair or donation or just come to help fix bikes or to learn how to fix bikes. Bikes will go through to rural Togo.

Donated bicycles can also be brought to Alki Bike and Board in the Admiral District on California Avenue, two doors south of the Admiral intersection on the east side.

The West Seattle Tool Library is a project of Sustainable West Seattle and is located in the rear of the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center on Delridge Way across from Delridge Park.  The Tool Library is accessible via the 125 and 120 and 50 King County Metro buses.

Alki Summer Streets Is Back! Apply for slot by April 18, Have Fun on Beach

Alki Summer Streets SkaterAlki Summer Streets is back! This free event opens the city’s largest public space –  its streets – so people can walk, bike, roll, run, skip and shop – without having to watch out for cars! Expect TONS of fun activities for people of all ages. As in the past, Summer Streets is partnering with the West Seattle High School PTSA 5K Run/Walk.

Flying Skater photo courtesy West Seattle Herald – Patrick Robinson photographer.

Alki Avenue SW will be closed to traffic for the festival from 63rd Avenue SW to 56th Avenue SW from 11:00 am through 5:00 pm.  Alki Avenue SW will be closed from Armeni Boat Launch through 63rd Avenue SW between 9:00 am through 11:00 am.

Get Involved. Sign up to participate on the Summer Streets web site by April 18 to ensure a spot and get on our activity map. The neighborhood is looking forward to the event. Host an activity, promote a special sale and expose your organization to thousands of neighbors!

Summer Streets fosters civic pride and represent investments in Seattle’s vitality, livability and diversity. Show you care about your neighborhood and engage thousands of fellow Seattleites during this fantastic Sunday party. If you have participated before, you know how fun and rewarding Summer Streets is, and you’re invited back to come and play.

Follow Summer Streets on Facebook to get the latest scoop and see videos and pictures of past events. Email questions to

Thanks from all of us at Summer Streets. We look forward to seeing you in Alki! 

King County Natural Resources & Parks Develops Online Sustainability Database, Solicits Support & Testing

Localize ScreenshotThe King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, with generous support and guidance from Public Health and the King County Department of Transportation (and funding from US Dept of Energy), built the Localize Sustainability website to promote community engagement on sustainability.

The beta version can now be accessed at this address:


The mission of Localize is to inspire personal sustainability improvements that are informed by one’s unique local circumstances.  Sustainability improvements are lifestyle and habit changes that promote health/wellness, save money, improve the local economy, and pollute less.

The Localize beta site has a location and lifestyle-sensitive sustainability calculator, data charts for neighborhood characteristics, countywide sustainability maps, and a (rudimentary) resources/solutions page.

King County asks “Please share and help us improve this site”

The County says with your help, this site can be more engaging, informative, and effective.  The Localize project team is seeking your suggestions for improvements to this site – additional features to consider for the calculator, links to sustainability-oriented programs and organizations, or additional maps of King County conditions.

For further information or to forward ideas and suggestions, contact Richard Gelb, Performance Management Lead, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, 206-296-8374,

Community Responds with Six Proposals for SWS Green Incubator $1000 Grant

Sustainable West Seattle received six applications for our Green Incubator grant program.  On Tuesday evening, February 19, at SWS’s monthly forum at the West Seattle Senior Center, the six proponents presented their ideas and how their project would benefit the community and be an engaging and sustainable component of life here in West Seattle.

Listed below are the six proposals in alphabetical order:

From Left to Right - Steve Richmond, (TBA), Tamsen Spengler, Oleana Perry, Raynette Iding, Tonya Gurb, and Stu Hennessey.

Left to Right are the folks who presented Green Incubator proposals – Steve Richmond, Karen Sison, Tamsen Spengler, Oleana Perry, Raynette Iding, Tonya Gurb, and Stu Hennessey.

Delridge Produce Cooperative Membership Outreach

This project would help the Coop build membership in advance of their plans to open a storefront operation on Delridge Way in  2014.  The project would use the funds to purchase accounting software which would help with membership dues and expenses, and to assist in the development of a professional brochure and membership agreement for Coop members, and finally, the funds would be used to provide items such at t-shirts and reusable tote bags to help with the Coop’s branding and community outreach. The Coop has until June 2014 to build membership and get ready for the opening, which will be on the ground floor of a structure being built one block south of the Delridge Library.  The proposal was submitted by Ranete Iding, of Delridge Produce Cooperative.

DIY Bikes

The project would use the funds to purchase two bicycle work stations, including advanced bike tool sets and workbenches, which would be based out of the West Seattle Tool Library.  The DIY Bikes program would work with partners such as SW Youth and Family Services and other local organizations to create a youth-oriented bike maintenance and repair program modeled after Columbia City’s BikeWorks.  Used and abused bikes will be restored, fixed and turned into functioning bicycles by participating youth working under professional adult tutelage. Bicycles which have been restored will be offered for sale at very low rates to provide low-cost transportation options for area residents, and the sales could help defray ongoing expenses.  The proposal was submitted by Stu Hennessey, Alki Bike and Board, who has assisted in a similar program in White Center.

Seed Rain: Only You Can Prevent Plant Invasions

This project would use the funds to establish a website ( that teaches the public that invasive seed sources that rain down in our forests come from private property.  The website would help teach people how to control seed rain and would also list local gardeners and horticulturalists for hire who can also identify and provide information and methods to control the seed source.  The funds would provide for website expenses including graphic design.  The website would serve as an aggregating source for professional firms and individuals seeking to help remove invasives or provide homeowner advice on how to control invasive species.  If holly and other invasives can be better controlled, a principal primary beneficiary would be the West Seattle Greenbelt where invasive clearing is underway.  Steve Richmond, Garden Cycles, submitted the proposal.

Timebank of West Seattle

The project would establish a timebank in West Seattle using expertise and assistance from Timebanks of Puget Sound (TOPS) and Eastside Timebank, two existing examples of the concept.  The funds would allow the group to develop outreach programs and solicit members by allowing development of a website to be created to recruit members and by purchasing a laptop computer which would be used in community briefings to explain the Timebank methodology.  The website would allow users to post times they’ve donated and to find folks who would be able to provide a service or offer their time in exchange.  Timebanks operate as a clearing house for individuals donating time and service and those needing time or service.  The proposal was submitted by Tamsen Spengler, a member of the West Seattle Timebank steering group.

West Duwamish Greenbelt Kiosks

This project would use the funds to create three informational kiosks at three locations in the West Duwamish Greenbelt.  Each kiosk will have a permanent display and an adjacent community-posting corkboard area.  The permanent display would include full color trail maps, plant and wildlife information about the area around the kiosk and the Greenbelt in general, historical facts about the area, and information on how restoration occurs and how to volunteer.  The funds would be used for research, design and printing of the informational material for each of the three kiosks and for installation in their respective kiosks.  The proposal was submitted by Nature Consortium, which has been working for years on restoring the West Greenbelt Greenbelt, and noted that folks are using the trails and that wayfinding is now required.

White Center Community Orchard Catalyst

This project would use the funds to develop flyers and other material to promote neighborhood involvement by using the cleanup and removal of invasive species from a parcel of land at the corner of 102nd Ave SW and 1st Ave SW.  The cleanup work would begin in Fall 2013, dependant on working with the property owner.  The project proposes to clean up the site and prepare the site for use as a community garden serving the community around the Green Bridge housing area.  The project would serve as a catalyst for greater community involvement in the unincorporated North Highline area by involving neighbors in the cleanup, the development of the community orchard, and the subsequent planting and harvesting in the garden.  The proposal was submitted by Tonya Gurb for the community.

Judging Process: The process of judging which one of the six proposals will be awarded the $1000 grant funding began on Tuesday night.  Following the presentation of all six Green Incubator ideas, SWS members and participants were invited to use sticky dots (small smiley face stickers) and place the dots next to projects based on their preference.  We handed out 12 dots per person and encouraged users to divide the dots according to which projects they felt were worthy.  Individuals could place all 12 dots on a single proposal or they could split the vote among all six proposals.SWS-Green-Incubator-Sticker-Map

We are working on a Survey Monkey poll to further solicit opinions and thoughts about the six ideas.  The proposal survey will be posted and remain live through March 15 at which time SWS will download the results and begin a compilation.  The Sustainable West Seattle Coordinating Committee (SWS’s board of directors) will review the dot-map from the February 19 presentation, review the Survey Monkey results, and review each of the six proposals to rate them according to a set of criteria established prior to the announcement of the grant opportunity.

The rating criteria, cited on the grant application form, are:

  • Estimated Funding Needs – What will the money of this grant be spent on?   Will the money from this grant be sufficient for the project, or do you foresee pursuing other funds (such as Seattle DON grants);
  • Durability & Feasibility – How long would the project last?  Would it have ongoing material, monetary, or volunteer needs?  What would be the hurdles for success for the project (volunteer interest, city regulations, coordination with other organizations, etc.);
  • Educational Possibilities – How does/will this project communicate sustainability to our community? What are the educational goals/components of this project;
  • Sustainability – How would this project affect sustainability and/or the resilience of our neighborhood?
  • Locality – What part of our local community does this project involve, support and improve?  How?
  • Community –  How would or can this project build community? How would it be supported by the community?

Project Funding

SWS will select the grant recipient prior to our March 18 Community forum, which will be held at the South Seattle Community College Horticulture Center and Community Orchard of West Seattle site.  We will announce the winner at the March forum and post the winner here, on the SWS website.  For the projects which are not selected, SWS will work with the project proposers to see what other grant opportunities exist and will help with grant writing should those project managers desire or need assistance.


West Seattle Tool Library Close to 1000 Members, Has New ‘Shopbot’ Tool

We are about to become a Tool Sharing Community of 1,000 Members!

Just two and half years after The Tool Library started, we are about to welcome our 1,000th member through our doors.  Thank you to each and every one of you who have helped to make The Tool Library such an amazing success!

The West Seattle Tool Library is a project of Sustainable West Seattle and is located in the rear of the Youngstown Cultural Art Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW, across from Delridge Community Center and Park.  The West Seattle Tool Library Mission is to share tools, skills, and space with our community. 

We will be celebrating this momentous occasion soon and have been tossing around ideas on how to reward lucky number 1,000.  For more information, stay tuned to our Facebook page or Twitter feed and, if you have an idea of your own, please don’t hesitate to share it with us!

In fact, as we get closer to 1,000, we’d love to be able to share your Tool Library projects and stories with the rest of the community to demonstrate just how cool having a Tool Library in your neighborhood can be.  Should you be kind enough to share your tale with us, we’d certainly appreciate it.  Please pass them along to

Shopbot CNC Seminars

In the past, The Tool Library has offered excellent workshops on everything from basic plumbing to paddle carving to backyard booze making.  Continuing on in that proud tradition of community skill sharing, we have now been offering workshops on using a Shopbot.

Taught by Derek Gaw, these introductory workshops give users the chance to learn the basics of CNC (computer numerical control) and use the Shopbot safely.  By the end of the class, you’ll even have created your own CNC letter made out of plywood.

This CNC class is a prerequisite to being able to use the Shopbot in the Community Workshop.  Classes fill up quick so stay tuned to our Meetup page for upcoming workshops!

Tool Library Spin-off Takes Seattle By Storm!

Back in the fall of 2009, when we were first forming The West Seattle Tool Library, one of the most important questions that came up was “How will this affect local business?”

Over the years, we’ve had that question answered time and time again, as local businesses have stepped up, eagerly working with the Tool Library to share their knowledge, meet new customers, grow their revenues, and become an even greater part of the community.  As a matter of fact, one of the businesses that was started directly as a result of The Tool Library’s existence is now taking the Seattle startup scene by storm!

The Tool Library’s inventory service, Local Tools, was created in 2009 by local software entrepreneur, Gene Homicki specifically for use at the West Seattle Tool Library.  A couple years later, Local Tools is now used at over 30 Lending Libraries throughout North America.  It also just participated in the celebrated Fledge conscious company incubator program and made it the finals of the prestigious Social Innovation Fast Pitch (SIFP) Competition.  We wish only good things for Local Tools – now called MyTurn – as it continues to grow and helps hundreds more communities start lending libraries of their own.

Fixers Collective Nominated for Leadership Award!

It’s been an amazing year for The West Seattle Fixers Collective!  By inviting the community into the wonderful world of tinkering, making, and repairing, The Fixers received wide acclaim from numerous national outlets – including WiredTreehugger, and iFixit – and was strangely also considered for a some sort of reality show television series. Most recently, The Fixers Collective, headed up by Greg Kono, was also nominated for a Sustainability Leadership Awards from Sustainable Seattle.

It’s an honor for the Tool Library to host the Fixers Collective on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of every month – with the 1st Thursday being focused specifically on bikes – and we look forward to their continued growth and success!

Mobile Unit Assists Roxhill Playground Build

The Mobile Unit was finally put into real action last month during the building of the Roxhill Park Playground.  While The Tool Library supplied a number of the needed tools and a bit of moral support, an entire community turned out to really put the project together.  Over the course of about a week, this crew of volunteers – some of whom had never used powertools before – constructed an absolutely beautiful playground.

Roxhill Park Playground Rebuild Needs Volunteers and Tools

The Roxhill Park playground, known to many as the Roxhill Castle was built by the community back in 1994. It is a unique and iconic park, and very important to the children of the Westwood and Roxhill neighborhoods of West Seattle. It is a bright spot in a historically underserved community. The play structure is now end of life and is being demolished. The Seattle Parks department agreed to rebuild the park in the same fashion and style, using the same contractor. In return, the community pledged to provide the labor.

The build dates for the project are set, November 2 through 6, and it’s time to assign work schedules. To sign up for the project, click here or email and request a shift. It is very important to actually sign up. Without enough volunteers, this project will be cancelled.

The project staff still need additional volunteers. Please consider inviting anyone you think might find this project worthwhile (If your workplace has a Day of Service or other volunteer program,that would be great). There is a particular need for skilled workers (e.g. contractors, carpenters, handy-with-tools-people).

For more information on the project, visit

To sign up for the project, visit the online sign up page:

For questions, suggestions email

West Seattle Barter Fair Geared Toward Holiday Season – Saturday @ Camp Long

Join Sustainable West Seattle and this Saturday, November 10,  at the Camp Long Lodge from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm for a fun and unique barter session geared toward the holiday season.  There will be pot luck selections for the hungry so plan on bringing a dish.  The event takes place in the historic Lodge at Camp Long.

Camp Long is accessible via SW Dawson Street, in the 5200-block of 35th Avenue SW.  The Metro #21 bus goes right by the park.

The object of the Barter Fair is to promote more meaningful gifting of products through exchanging services or items made from raw materials (jams, birdhouses, quilts, etc.).

Categories include:

  • Services
  • Art and Crafts
  • Home Crafts
  • Food Crafts
  • Salvaged and Refurbished Items

This year’s fair will be held in cooperation with  Folks from will guide the trading during the afternoon.

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