3rd Annual Earth Gay Cleanup Event @ South Lake Union

OUT for Sustainability’s 3rd annual Earth Gay volunteer day is now open for for registration! EarthGay.org

Last year OUT for Sustainability had 100 volunteers at four service sites around the city. Click here to check out the summary and pictures.

This year OUT for Sustainability is combining efforts in South Lake Union restoring a walking and biking trail along the Southeast corner of Lake Union. Anchored by Fairview Ave and stretching along Cheshiahud Loop Trail to Terry Pettus Park (Newton St), this is the start of a future trail around Lake Union!

In partnership with the Urban Forestry division of Seattle Department of Transportation at the City of Seattle, we will be planting trees, mulching, removing invasive species, clearing trash and having a great time together.

All this happens Saturday, April 23, from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm.  Following the work party is the after-work party which runs from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  If you want to help clean up South Lake Union, please register at: EarthGay.org/registration

Earth Day ‘Coal Free Washington’ Festival @ Gas Works Park

Join Sierra Club, CoolMom, Earth Ministry,Washington Environmental Council and Climate Solutions as they host a free community Earth Day Celebration to support a Coal-Free Future for Washington this Saturday, April 23, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at Gas Works Park.

This event will be a great opportunity for the community and local organizations to come together and celebrate the tremendous environmental work that has been accomplished in Washington State and look ahead to future projects. It will also be a lot of fun with free food and great music.

The event will celebrate Washington’s anticipated transition from coal-power while highlighting the need to support the EPA in its efforts to protect people across America from dangerous emissions associated with coal burning and to make sure we do not export coal to other countries where there is no equivalent of an environmental protection agency.

There will be music, including Moon Girl a local Seattle band which previously played at the Alki Paint Past Coal rally.  A fun, make-your-own-kite area will allow anyone to make an aerial toy – all ages.

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New Myrtle Reservoir Park Gets Dedicated This Saturday

Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Myrtle Reservoir Park neighborhood celebrate the dedication of a recently opened Pro Parks Levy funded park on Saturday, April 30, 2011 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Myrtle Reservoir Park is located on 35th Avenue SW between SW Myrtle Street and SW Willow Street in the 6900 block.

The morning will be filled with music, dance, crafts and light refreshments. The Jacob Lakatue Quartet will entertain the community by playing jazz from Cole Porter, Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk. The band is comprised of Jacob Lakatua on saxophone, Greg Belisle-Chi on guitar, Jake Brady on drums.

At 11:30 a.m., Capoeira Malês performs and spectators will have a chance to learn some of the basic movements and sequences of this exciting Afro-Brazilian art form that incorporates martial arts, dance and music together in a fun and accessible manner

Additionally, Associated Recreation Council (ARC) Summer Day Damp is sponsoring an arts and craft table.

The park, which was built on a recently lidded reservoir, opened to the public in late fall 2010. It includes a plaza, an open grass field for informal play, ADA accessible pathways, a new play area with picnic benches and general landscaping. Seating walls on the plaza highlight the seven hills of Seattle and orient the viewer to the highest points of our city.

The park is built on and around the Myrtle Reservoir operated by Seattle Public Utilities (SPU). The design incorporates recreational elements and ideas suggested by community members, Parks staff, Seattle Public Utilities, and the Seattle Design Commission.

Approved by Seattle voters in 2000, the $198.2 million Pro Parks Levy funded more than 100 projects throughout the city. Projects included improvements to athletic fields, playgrounds, trails and community centers and parks. Funding also increased green spaces, supported Zoo programs and enhanced park maintenance. This is one of the final projects for that Levy.

If you can’t make it to the dedication and are interested in taking a capoeira class with Melissa Canfield, capoeira instructor or Alexsandra Frias, instructor of Capoeira Malês, sign up for a class at High Point Community Center. Classes are open to all fitness levels and ages, youth to adult. Students learn the fundamentals of this art form while experiencing increased flexibility, core muscle strength, coordination, confidence and much more

For more information, please contact Parks Project Manager, Virginia Hassinger at 206-233-7936 or Virginia.Hassinger@seattle.gov or visit the website at http://www.cityofseattle.net/parks/proparks/Projects/myrtle.htm

Seattle Tilth Offering ‘Grow Your Own’ Class @ White Center

Seattle Tilth is offering a series of classes here on the West Side. Expand your mind while growing your own food!

It’s spring, and now’s the time to get your garden started! Whether you’re new to growing veggies, or a seasoned pro, Seattle Tilth offers a wide variety of classes to help you take the next steps in gardening. Check out this classe in the West Seattle area!

  • Get Your Garden Growing – Learn how to prepare garden beds for planting, amend the soil and determine whether or not it is ready to cultivate. We will cover seed sowing methods and how to use season extension tools such as cloches and cold frames. You will leave prepared to get your garden started for a season of productive gardening!

This class is offered in partnership with Community Harvest of SW Seattle, and is this Saturday, April 23, from 10:oo am through 12:00 noon.

The class will be taught at the White Center Cultural Community Center; 9421 18th Ave. SW, in Room 12.  This is on 18th Avenue SW between SW Cambridge and Roxhill Streets, near the White Center business district.

The fee is $36 for anyone and $25 for Seattle Tilth members. Advance registration and payment are required and can be accomplished as this link http://seattletilth.org/learn/classes-and-workshops/get-your-garden-growing-2.

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West Seattle Spokespeople ‘Farm and Fowl Series’

Spokespeople West Seattle May Ride, “Farm and Fowl Tour”

Meets at South Seattle Community College north entrance (Horticulture Center) 10:45am Sunday May 1st.

Early spring edible gardens will be our focus on this ride. We will start at South Seattle Community College the site of the developing Community Orchard of West Seattle and pedal on to some West Seattle gardens.

From West Seattle we will take a 20 mile round trip ride out to one of my favorite gardens, the Interbay Pea Patch. This route will take us along a flat and limited traffic routes of the Seattle waterfront and Myrtle Edwards park to Magnolia and the Interbay P Patch and back.  The ride will be 22 miles round trip at a leisurely pace. The ride group will ride a “stay together” style with frequent regrouping stops. The ride leader will be Stu Hennessey, owner of Alki Bike and Board.

Tool of the Week: Food Dehydrators

By Christina Hahs

When most people think of the West Seattle Tool Library, they probably imagine shovels and saws. While we have all of those available for use, we also have a collection of kitchen tools that can help you preserve the harvest. Tool #485 is an electric food dehydrator.

Dehydrators are great tools because they are so versatile. Drying can reduce large amounts of food into more manageable amounts. Drying also helps you preserve food without investing money into a freezer or time into canning. The dehydrator does most of the work for you, so you can spend more time using our other tools.

Some of our favorite ways to use a dehydrator:

  • Dried Fresh Fruit. Have an Italian plum tree or a bumper crop of grapes? Save some of that produce in the summer and enjoy it all winter long.
  • Dried Tomatoes. Nothing beats the taste of a fresh, vine-ripened tomato but a dehydrator can help you come close. Dehydrate your extra tomatoes and use them in soups, stews, and casseroles for that tomato taste in the winter.
  • Dried Vegetables. Dry your excess veggies for use in soups and casseroles. My favorite veggies to dry are onions, corn and zucchini. Some veggies, like zucchini, can be seasoned before drying to make a savory snack.
  • Save Leftovers Forever! Drying meals is a great way to preserve your extra food for when you need to eat quickly. Just add hot water and you’ve got dinner. Blended soups, pasta dishes, and casseroles are especially great for drying.
  • Create Your Own Backpacking Food. Love to backpack but don’t love paying exorbitant prices for the food? Dehydrate your own meals. You’ll save some cash and eat great. Dehydrated meals can also be used in an emergency preparedness kit, for when the next snowpocalypse hits.
  • Dried Herbs. Those little jars of dried herbs can be quite pricey. Preserving your excess herbs like basil and oregano can save you some cash and keep you in dried herbs all winter long.
  • Homemade Fruit Leather. Making your own fruit leather not only lets you cut out sugar and preservatives, but it also lets you make wild combinations. Think peach and blackberry or wild huckleberry. Don’t plan on any of this making it to winter though.
  • Jerky. Dehydrators can be used to make both meat jerky and tofu jerky.
  • Pet Treats. Don’t forget about Fido when using the dehydrator. Start making homemade treats like dried liver or dried filet mignon. You’ll have the happiest pet on the block.

Want to learn more about dehydrating food? Check out these great resources, available through Seattle Public Library:

  1. Backpack Gourmet by Linda Fredrick Yaffe
  2. The Busy Person’s Guide to Preserving Food by Janet Chadwick

The Electric Food Dehydrator is just one of over 1,000 tools currently available at the West Seattle Tool Library, which is free to use and run primarily on user donations. If you or someone you know you would like to be involved in The Tool Library, feel free to drop in on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm or Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00 pm to explore the Library, meet our community of DIYers, and even sign up for a membership. In any case, we would look forward to meeting you soon!

The Tool Library will reppen in its new location at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW, with a grand re-opening on Saturday, April 9th.

Not only will this new location quadruple the Tool Library’s square footage but it will also offer a community workshop space. All the more reason for you to visit your Tool Library and get involved.

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Workshop: Communicate Sustainability Using Visual Tools

Sustainable Seattle is offering a one-day workshop on Visualization Tools for Sustainability on May 3, from 9:00 am through 5:00 pm.

The one-day workshop covering the theory and practice of designing effective, persuasive visualizations about sustainability topics.

Sustainability is a complex concept with many branches, variations, stakeholders, slogans, books and branding efforts. The drivers of sustainability combine urgent with long-range and individual with collective, defying easy verbal description. With some studies showing that up to 60% of the general population are “visual learners,” there is a great need to develop, standardize and use visual methods for describing the whys and wherefores of sustainability. There are many examples of diagrams and exhibits being used to explain and to manage sustainability programs, and teachers, students and practitioners can all benefit from honing their skills in this increasingly important aspect of sustainability management and communications.

To register and for more information go to http://sustainableseattle.org/training/250-vis-tools-2011.

The location is Southside Commons, 3518 S Edmunds St., near the Columbia City light rail station, or bus routes 7, 8, 9, 39 & 42.

Please wear comfortable clothing and bring a notebook and something to write with. We will provide drinks and light refreshments through the day, but you will be on your own for lunch.

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Learn to Be a Better Tree Hugger

The Tree Ambassador program trains Seattle residents to be local leaders in urban forest stewardship. Applications for the program are being accepted now and are due by April 24th. 2011.

Tree Ambassadors will be trained in the basics of urban forestry, leadership and community organizing. Tree Ambassadors will work in teams of 2-3 people to develop neighborhood projects such as tree walks, invasive species removal workdays, and/or tree plantings.

This is also a great opportunity for those people interested in helping with the Community Orchard of West Seattle.

Multiple ‘Duwamish Alive’ Work Parties On Earth Day

Come join over 1,000 volunteers at 13 sites across Seattle and Tukwila in a joint effort to restore the watershed of the Duwamish River.

Communities, non-profits, businesses, and families will be engaging in restoration efforts that range from on-the-river kayak cleanup to graffiti removal to pulling invasive species. The work parties go from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.   Snacks, tools, and gloves will be included, all you need to bring is yourself!

After the work party you can join Nature Consortium for a festival with free food, live music, and hands-on arts activities. To sign up, please email contact@duwamishalive.org, or call 206-923-0853.  For more information contact Amy Truax, Restoration Project Assistant, Nature Consortium, amyt@naturec.org.

The locations where the work parties will take place are:

  • South Park:
    • Duwamish Waterway Park
    • River trash cleanup by kayak and canoe
  • Georgetown:
    • Gateway Park/8th Avenue South
  • White Center:
    • Roxhill Bog
  • Delridge / Pigeon Point:
    • Brandon Street Natural Area
    • Puget Creek Natural Area
    • West Duwamish Greenbelt/ Pigeon Point
    • Herring House Park/T-107
  • Tukwila:
    • Cecil Moses/NorthWind’s Wier
    • Duwamish Hill Preserve
    • Codiga Farm

Click here ror a Google map of the locations.

2011 Green Home Tour

Sponsored by the West Seattle Tool Library, a “sustainability stop” on the Tour!

Builders, architects, designers, & craftsman with deep green focus showcase their sustainable projects — free! Meet this outstanding community and learn about why green homes aren’t just the future – they’re the now.

The Tour is presented by the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild, and they are still looking for projects to showcase, sponsors and volunteers.   Homes and project in West Seattle will be featured on the tour

West Seattle Tour Sites:
  • A Mighty House – Mighty House Construction (also a tour sponsor)
    • Demos/Experts Schedule
    • Saturday, Apr 16:
    • * Luke Marcum w/Markham Home Performance, thermal imaging camera on his side and a blower door too! | 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
    • * Andrea Lewis w/O’Brien & Company helping to answer all your burning questions about green building | 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
    • * Eric Thomas w/Solar Epiphany highlighting the expandable solar systems | 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
    • * Sandy Peterson w/Urban Land Army mobilized w/ her bucket brigade and all things about edible gardening | 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm
    • * Dave Uhlig w/Windows Doors and More chatting it up about inexpensive and eco-friendlier windows | 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm
    • * Make your own green cleaning supplies courtesy of CoolMom (while materials last!)
    • Sunday, April 17:
    • * Luke Marcum w/Markham Home Performance, thermal imaging camera on his side and a blower door too! 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
    • * Eric Thomas w/Solar Epiphany highlighting the expandable solar systems | 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
    • * Josh Brinkco w/International Studio – “making green look good!”* Sandy Peterson w/Urban Land Army mobilized w/ her bucket brigade and all things about edible gardening | 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm
    • * Make your own green cleaning supplies courtesy of CoolMom (while materials last!)
  • Envision Homes in West Seattle – Envision Homes (also a tour sponsor)
    • Workshop Schedule – Saturday and Sunday
    • 11:00 am – Rainwater Harvesting and Indoor re-use
    • 12:00 noon – Recycled and Reclaimed
    • 1:00 pm  IAQ – Low toxic living
    • 2:00 pm – Solar Thermal Assisted Heating
    • 3:00 pm – High Efficiency Building Envelopes

Kitchen Art HouseVentana Construction/live-work-play

Neighborhood House High Point Center – Environmental Works