Sustainable 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.
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 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.