West Seattle Bike Connection Gets SWS Sustainable Champion of Year Award; Laura James, Tox-Ick Program, Awarded as SWS 2013 Volunteer of the Year

SWS-Picnic-Shelter-#3Sustainable West Seattle yesterday awarded our annual Sustainable Champion of the Year award to the West Seattle Bike Connection.  The SWS Sustainable Champion award recognizes the efforts of individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to a sustainable community and a sustainable planet during the previous year.  The award is made at the annual Sustainable West Seattle picnic, held for the past three years at Shelter #3 in Lincoln Park.

Sustainable West Seattle also introduced a new award at yesterday’s picnic, the Volunteer of the Year award, which was presented to Laura James, the Puget Sound videographer  whose efforts to document the effects of stormwater overflow were incorporated into the Tox-Ick stormwater and pollution runoff prevention program.

R->L Aili LePard, Al Jackson, Kathy Dunn, Bob Winship, all members of West Seattle Bike Connection.

R->L Aili LePard, Al Jackson, Kathy Dunn, Bob Winship, all members of West Seattle Bike Connection, and Kimberly Leeper, president of Sustainable West Seattle.

West Seattle Bike Connection’s award was based on the group’s efforts during 2013 to raise bicycle safety awareness throughout West Seattle by staging several “bike by” events where they handed out information and took comments.  The group has been instrumental in working with the city’s Bicycle Master Plan group and with SWS’s existing West Seattle Spokespeople to research, identify, and help develop greenways here in West Seattle.  The West Seattle Bike Connection has also partnered with West Seattle Spokespeople and Cascade Bicycle Club to co-host a series of rides here in West Seattle and across the Duwamish.  They also participated and helped with education at this year’s West Seattle SummerFest GreenLife exposition.

Laura James (right) holding Sustainable West Seattle Volunteer of the Year award with SWS Kimberly Leeper looking on.

Laura James (right) holding Sustainable West Seattle Volunteer of the Year award with SWS Kimberly Leeper looking on.

Laura James was honored for volunteerism because of the extraordinary efforts she’s brought to the Tox-Ick program following it’s creation two years ago.  Laura stepped in after Tox-Ick’s original director, Cate White (also last year’s Sustainable Champion of the Year awardee), relocated to the Bay Area to pursue her career in the non-profit world.  Laura has been working with companies and to provide lunchtime education with videos she’s shot underwater and has more recently expanded this outreach program to include small businesses and their patrons.

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 http://wstoollibrary.org/ for more information.

Saturday Join SWS & CoolMom in a “Kidical Mass” at the West Seattle Grand Parade

HiYuYou and an escorted youngster can participate in West Seattle’s most famous parade this Saturday, July 20.

Escort your youngster on their decorated bicycle and ride with the awesome “Trike-ceratops” down California Avenue during West Seattle’s famous Grand Parade.

Join Sustainable West Seattle and CoolMom and the award-winning float as we celebrate youth and bikes.

Assemble at 10:00 am to 10:30 am along 44th Avenue SW, south of SW Lander St., in the Admiral neighborhood.

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 Alafia.com. 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 alkistu@hotmail.com.

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 alaffia.com 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.

Visit GreenLife @ West Seattle Summerfest Friday, Saturday & Sunday, July 12 thru 14

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 11.49.54 amGreenLife will once again be an integral element of the West Seattle Summerfest – West Seattle’s annual three-day super street festival along California Avenue in the West Seattle Junction.

Sustainable West Seattle and the West Seattle Nursery are sponsoring GreenLife, located in the Chase Bank drive-through area next to Sleepers in Seattle and adjacent to Edmunds Street SW.

The GreenLife area has vendor booths for local businesses which specialize in green and sustainable services, technologies and products, and there are local organization and non-profit booths featuring groups which play a major role in education, advocacy and leadership in the sustainable and environmental awareness fields.

We will also have a series of presentations and demonstrations throughout the three-day weekend. Each day on the GreenLife stage there will be speakers offering tips on home canning, electrical generation using solar cells on your roof, making beer in your backyard (or basement), a tutorial on how to safely and efficiently use bikes with your kids to get around town and many more. To see a larger version of the schedule, click on the image to open a new window with a larger version. The presentations are being underwritten by Alki Bike and Board, 2606 California Ave. SW, in the Admiral District.

The Mobile Tool Library will also be stationed at the GreenLife entrance and visitors can tour and learn more about the Mobile library and the more extensive West Seattle Tool Library located at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.  The Tool Library just expanded its weekly schedule and is now open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 to 8:00 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

A special feature of the GreenLife presentations will be a choreographed dance presentation called “Slavery of the System.” More information on this special presentation is at the end of this article.

Organizations and Businesses Who Will Be At GreenLife Include:

Special Dance Presentation:

Slavery of the System is the first installment of the Illuminatio trilogy, a collaboration based on the work, Illuminatio: Yo Soy, written by Spanish playwright Antonio Delgado at the beginning of Spain’s economic crisis in 2008. From the Latin word meaning ‘illumination,’ Illuminatio was written to lift up man’s spirit to a higher state of consciousness and light a way forward to transformation through a highly symbolic collaborative work of art. Amanda Goodwin, a close friend of Delgado’s from the years she lived in Spain, collaborated with the dancers, actors, and acting director, Josh Williamson, to bring Antonio’s vision to life.

  • Characters: (dancers names underlined)
    • Protagonist/ HammerStella Scott – works unconsciously alongside the other masks until she accidentally drops her hammer
    • Tape MeasureKatherine Murphy – must quantify everything
    • SanderMichele McCauley – smoothes everything over
    • WrenchErin Hanada – stuck in a pendulum
    • SmithMichelle Froehlich – pounds on her anvil the axiom that nothing will move unless acted on with force
    • BroomVorece Batchman-Miller – sweeps away all conflict before it can be reconciled
    • OverseerSierra Bernhoft – out-of-control control freak boss
    • El LocoJoshua Williamson – shamanic character
    • ReasonBelle Wolf – cold, calculating queen of the masks

The Illuminatio Project was made possible through support and funding from:

  • Sustainable West Seattle
  • Nature Consortium/ Arts in Nature Festival
  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

For more information visit www.TheIlluminatioProject.com or contact Amanda Goodwin at TheIlluminatioProject@yahoo.com.


GreenLIfe Applications Now Available for West Seattle Summer Fest July 12-14

GreenLife-Logo-SquareSustainable West Seattle and the West Seattle Junction Association are pleased to announce that the application for the 2013 GreenLife section of West Seattle Summer Fest is now available online.

Summer Fest is West Seattle’s three-day street festival and GreenLife is a special section of the festival focusing on sustainability and environmentally-friendly approaches with presentations, for-profit and non-profit booths and representatives, and live urban farm animals.  This year’s Summer Fest and GreenLIfe are Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 12, 13 and 14.

The GreenLife application requires a $20 application fee. The fee for a non-profit is $75 for all three days.  The fee for a for-profit is $250 for all three days. The application deadline is May 15th, but we usually fill up prior to this date so get your application in early.

Click on the GreenLIfe logo to see a listing of last year’s presentations on the GreenLife stage.

If you are not able to table for all three days, but are interested in tabling for a day or a half-day, please let SWS know.  We have two tables available for groups that can only table for part of the festival.  The fee is $25 per day.

For more information contact Christina Hahs at christina@sustainablewestseattle.org. To download the application form go to https://oliverlittle.wufoo.com/forms/greenlife-registration-form/.

SWS June Forum: Walk Longfellow Creek Watershed & Learn About Wetlands, Wildlife, Restoration & Development

Dragonfly PavilionJoin Sustainable West Seattle for an urban hike through one of Seattle’s most beautiful watershed environments. The Longfellow Creek Watershed drains almost 3000 acres of West Seattle, and is one of only four waterways left in Seattle which flows freely year-round.

Sustainable West Seattle’s June Community Hike meets at 6:30 pm on Monday, June 17, at the corner of 26th Avenue SW and SW Yancy St.  This is one block west of Delridge Way SW and one block south of SW Andover.

While walking the Longfellow Creek Legacy Trail, you will see wetlands, native meadows, conifer forests, a beaver dam, and large-scale public art installations. As we follow the trail we will see areas highly modified by development, effects of polluted runoff from rain, restoration efforts along the creek, and sites featuring low impact development/green infrastructure techniques (such as raingardens). This walk will help demonstrate how Seattle residents’ everyday activities can impact the natural environment in their own backyards, and what you can do to help preserve the health of our urban watersheds.

The Watershed Walk is co-sponsored by Sustainable West Seattle and the King Conservation District.

Volunteers who wish to help shepherd the group along the walk should  show 6:00 pm.

Access to the area by Metro bus is via routes 50, 120 and 125.  Each of these has a stop within one or two blocks of the meeting point. There is also plenty of street parking, and signs or trees for locking bikes.


Help Create New, Sustainable Organic Community Garden @ Westcrest Park

Westcrest P-Patch Image1Join Sustainable West Seattle on Saturday, May 18, between 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm at the new Westcrest P-Patch.  SWS members and members of the Westcrest P-Patch will be taking knowledge learned from the past two Successful Gardening with Nature forums and applying that knowledge to creating a new permaculture-oriented community garden, the produce of which will go directly to the White Center Food Bank.

The project is called Presto Garden and is possible through donations from community members and volunteer time from SWS members, from Westcrest P-Patch members, and from White Center Food Bank volunteers.

The community is pulling together to create a permanent vegetable garden to grow healthy, organic food for the White Center Food Bank.  Fresh local produce is of great benefit for the White Center Food Bank and is one of the food staples which is the most difficult to get and keep stocked.  An essential component of social justice is healthy food for everyone and that’s one of the goals for this project. Another goal is to create a new community of local, Westcrest P-Patch-based organic farmers who use the techniques which have been part of the Spring forum series held at the South Seattle Community College’s Horticulture Center.

The Presto Garden fulfills many of Sustainable West Seattle’s mission objectives, including:

  • Social Justice – providing healthy food for everyone in the community goes a long way toward equity;
  • Building Community – bringing together volunteers, non-profits and businesses to create a garden that produces organic vegetables, fruits and herbs for the White Center Food Bank;
  • Sustainability – growing food locally for our community is a sustainable activity.

Come join the fun and learn how to do organic gardens for yourself.  There will be refreshments at the Saturday preparation and planting party.

The following donations are being made to help complete the garden in a single day:

April Forum: Successful Gardening with Nature II – Designing Perfect Garden

Sustainable West Seattle’s April Forum, a continuation of our Spring series “Successful Gardening with Nature,” will be on Monday, April 15, at the West Seattle Community Orchard.  This time we’re looking at  “Designing the Perfect Garden.”

Before you start planting, start planning, it’s as simple as that. Successful food gardens are well planned to take advantage of natural features such as sun and shade as well as structural features like walls, concrete and fences. From pathways to the kitchen a good plan benefits plant to plant interaction, pest control, aesthetics, and ease of gardening.

  • Where:
    • West Seattle Community Orchard, South Seattle Community College;
  • When:
    • 6:00 pm Meet and Greet, SWS announcements;
    • 6:15 to 6:55 pm, Tour the Orchard with Q & A regarding the orchard plan;
    • 7:00 to 8:00 pm,  Food from local gardens and drink will be served, followed by a power point presentation with local gardens being shown as well as permaculture design principles being described. The 3 dimensional garden will be described.

Come and enjoy the company of fellow gardeners and learn perhaps some new tricks.