Help Nature Consortium Restore West Duwamish Greenbelt

The Nature Consortium is continuing their work in the West Duwamish Greenbelt removing invasive species and planting native species every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm throughout the year. They are always in need of volunteers.

To help out, keep this schedule in your calendar:

  • What: Urban Forest Restoration in the West Duwamish Greenbelt
  • When: Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Where: West Duwamish Greenbelt in West Seattle

Located in West Seattle near the Duwamish River, the West Duwamish Greenbelt is the largest contiguous forest in Seattle, stretching from West Seattle to Burien.

Nature Consortium hosts volunteer work parties year round several times per week. Currently they are working Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm in the West Duwamish Greenbelt located in West Seattle. Each work party begins with a short informal forest ecology workshop, and then the remainder of the time is spent performing various restoration activities, including planting native trees and shrubs, removing invasive species, mulching previously-planted areas, and more.

Musicians perform for volunteers at many of the restoration work parties. The Nature Consortium volunteers work rain or shine, so dress appropriately with long pants, warm and dry layers, closed toed shoes and rain gear as needed. Nature Consortium provides gloves, tools, a light granola bar snack (feel free to bring a lunch) and a jug of water. Please bring a refillable water bottle. Head to Nature Consortium’s website,, to sign up online to volunteer.

If you need any other information about our volunteer opportunities, contact Philip Pantaleo, Restoration Project Assistant, Nature Consortium, 4408 Delridge Way SW #107, phone 206-923-0853, or email


Help Plant Bioretention Swales in Georgetown Near Playground

Volunteers of all ages are needed to help plant a series of raingarden “bioretention swales” along South Orcas Street on Saturday, December 10th from 10:00 to 2:00 pm.

We have hundreds of plants to put in the ground, and volunteers will learn about how the swales work and how these types of projects help improve the urban environment.

To help, meet on the corner of S. Orcas Street and South Padilla (one block west of S. Corson St), in Georgetown, near the Georgetown Playground.

Snacks, tools, and instructions provided. Please RSVP to

Project History:

This project began almost a year ago, and is designed to take stormwater off the street into planted swales in the parking strip where the water will be held and filtered during large storm events. This effort will prevent polluted runoff from reaching the Duwamish River through the combined sewage system, increase native plants in the Georgetown neighborhood, beautify the street, and build community through neighborhood stewardship.

The project is a partnership of local Georgetown residents, Georgetown Community Council, SvR Design staff, Seattle Conservation Corps, Merlino Construction, and uses funding from a Puget Soundkeeper Alliance legal settlement.

On-street bioretention swales are needed as part of a larger approach to controlling polluted stormwater, and are part of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition‘s source control strategy to improve the health of the Duwamish River. Learn more about polluted stormwater and the County’s proposed improvements to the Duwamish combined sewage systems here (you can make a comment too!):

The project also is in need of arborists’ woodchips; we need about 12 cubic yards, and ideally donated.

For more information contact Cari Simson, 206-234-5102, or via email

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Trees for Neighborhoods Program Open Again Briefly

The Trees for Neighborhoods program has re-opened applications for Seattle residents to receive free conifer trees to plant in their yards. Apply online using this link! Remaining available species are: deodar cedar, western red cedar, weeping Alaska cedar, and shore pine.

Trees can be picked up on Saturday, November 12th, at Rainier Bean Urban Farm & Wetlands, 5513 S. Cloverdale Street.

Applications will re-open next fall for other tree species and for street tree permits.

For more information contact Norah Kates, Green Cities Project Coordinator, 206-905-6943 or via email at  Or check out Forterra, formerly Cascade Land Conservancy, at 615 Second Avenue, Suite 600, Seattle, or their website at

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Seattle Offers Landslide Awareness Briefings for Homeowners

Landslide Season is Here – Is Your Property Safe?  The City of Seattle offers two free landslide awareness meetings. Heavy rains are likely this year for the Pacific Northwest. As the rain precipitation continues to increase throughout the fall, the threat of landslides will continue to rise in the winter.  During the 2010/2011 landslide season, nearly 100 landslides were reported in Seattle.

Landslide experts agree there is not one single factor that contributes to the amount of slides in the area, but with last year’s La Nina type weather conditions – the wet and cold weather saturated the soil and greatly reduced slope stability.

With 20,000 Seattle properties (mostly residential) in landslide-prone areas, the City of Seattle encourages property owners to take preventive measures to protect themselves from landslides by attending the 2011 City of Seattle Landslide Awareness Meetings.

The City of Seattle will be offering two free landslide awareness meetings on Oct. 29 and Nov. 12 (same format). The public will have the opportunity to consult with public and private landslide experts and learn how to protect themselves from landslides with simple preventive measures, such as the following:

  • Checking downspouts; making sure they are functioning/routed to a safe location
  • Inspecting sloping areas for indications of slope movement and erosion
  • Keeping fill and yard waste off slopes
  • Shutting off the irrigation system and checking it out seasonally
  • Leaving tree stumps in the ground on slopes

The landslide awareness meetings will include a presentation that discusses the causes of landslides, proper drainage for sloping sites, and vegetation maintenance on slopes. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session and time for one-on-one discussions with professionals in the field, including the City of Seattle, The American Society for Civil Engineers, The Association of Engineering Geologists, The International Society of Arboriculture, and Associated Building Contractors.

Meeting Schedule for Landslide Awareness

  • Saturday, October 29
    • 10:00 am to noon @ Northgate Community Center Multipurpose Room
    • 10510 5th Ave. NE (across from Northgate Mall)
  • Saturday, November 12
    • 10:00 am to noon @ South Seattle Community College
    • Judge Warren & Nobie Chan Education Center
    • 6000 16th Ave. SW (across from the north parking lot)

Background on Seattle Landslides

The landslide record that was documented in the Seattle Landslide Study indicates that 86 percent of landslides that have occurred in the city have some human influence such as excavating and filling on steep slopes, broken pipes and uncontrolled storm water.

Since the devastating landslide season of 1996/1997, which involved over 300 reported landslides, the city has taken steps to prepare and respond to slides by constructing mitigation projects to reduce the potential for future slides. It has also been presenting these public landslide awareness meetings for owners of landslide-prone property.

If a landslide damages your property and you have an immediate concern for your safety, leave the premises and call 9-1-1. Seattle property owners with structures that may be affected by or endangered by a landslide should contact a geotechnical professional for structural evaluation.

To view the current conditions of the USGS rainfall threshold for landslides, please visit:

For more information about Seattle landslides and the City of Seattle free landslide awareness meetings, please visit:

Take Winter By Storm is a regional campaign aimed at helping citizens and businesses get prepared before bad weather strikes. Learn more at:

For more information contact Bryan Stevens, Customer Service Manager, Department of Planning and Development, 206-684-5045, or

Help Plant & Reforest @ City Parks On Green Seattle Day

Join your neighbors for Green Seattle Day 2011.  This year Green Seattle Day is November 5, from 10:00 am through 2:00 pm at over a dozen parks and preserves throughout the city.

Without a coordinated effort, Seattle is at risk of losing 70% of its forests in just 20 years. Green Seattle Day is the kick off to planting season and is a celebration of Seattle’s neighborhood parks and committed neighbors.

Green Seattle Day is a fun way for you and your family to get involved by planting native trees and shrubs in a park near you. Click on a park below to register for this event! *NOTE: if you are registering a group of 10+ people please email

Parks with Green Seattle Day Work Parties

If you have questions or suggestions, contact Andrea Mojzak, Green Cities Project Associate, 206-905-6920 direct, or email  This annual event is supported by the Cascade Land Conservancy.


Ecology Department Report on Toxins in Seattle Urban Soils

This September, the Washington State Department of Ecology issued a report on the concentration of two toxins in urban Seattle soils.  The full report is at

Urban soil samples were collected and analyzed for dioxin/furans and cPAHs in the following six Seattle neighborhoods:

  • South Park
  • Georgetown
  • West Seattle
  • Capitol Hill
  • Ballard
  • Ravenna

The neighborhoods selected were intended to represent the range of historical conditions likely to be found in Seattle residential areas. Neighborhoods were selected based on presumed differences in land use history (industrial, non-industrial) and factors affecting deposition or accumulation.

The immediate take-away from this report is that residents of West Seattle have the least-toxic (dioxin and PAH) soils of these neighborhoods.  See abstract graphic from report below:

Camp Long Challenge Course (Ropes) Grand Opening 9/24 @ 2pm

Camp Long Environmental Learning Center and the Camp Long Advisory Council invite you to the Grand Opening of the Camp Long Challenge course.  The Grand Opening is Saturday, September 24, from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Come see and try out the Challenge Course, which will be open to the public from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.  The official ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 4:00 pm with hot dogs, chips, and cake commemorating this event to follow the dedication.

The schedule of events for Saturday, September 24:

  • 2:00 pm – Open to the public – music provided by local band Rusty Gate Wood Shed String Band
  • 4:00 pm – Dedication and ribbon cutting
  • 4:30 pm – Comments and presentations from Challenge Course partners
  • 5:15 pm – Hot dogs done on the outdoor barbecues in Camp Long, chips and Cake from Original Bakery.

Partners include the Washington State University 4-H program, Camp Long Advisory Council, Seattle Parks and Recreation.

For more information contact Camp Long at 206-684-7434 or

Native Plant Society Fall Native Bulb, Seed & Plant Sale

The Central Puget Sound Chapter of Washington Native Plant Society will hold its annual fall Native Bulb, Seed and Plant Sale in Building 30 at Magnuson Park, 6310 NE 74th Street, Seattle, on October 1.

The fall sale features camas and other lily bulbs, a big selection of native seeds, and potted trees, shrubs, perennials and bare root material (if it is available). A list of plant species will be posted at

Native plant experts will be on hand to advise shoppers about the right plants for their particular site. Books about Pacific Northwest native plants and ecology as well greeting cards with a botanical theme will also be sold.

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This Weekend: Arts in Nature Festival @ Camp Long

Please join Nature Consortium at our 13th annual Arts in Nature Festival this weekend, August 20th and 21st. Nestled in the forested arms of Camp Long, this eclectic performance-based festival will bring a weekend of live music, dance troupes, aerial & fire performances, a Museum of Sound, interactive arts activities, and outdoor art installations. The event is a celebration meant to be shared with people from all walks of life.

There will also be performances by these artists:  For the schedule of performances, go to

  • Side Saddle – Lelavision – The Cabiri – Christian Swenson – Hexaphonic 3 – Ama Trio – NorthWest Dance Syndrome – Ranger & The Re-Arrangers – Sixth Day Dance -The Beaver Deceivers – Dixie King Brass Band – The Early Music Guild – The Rabbit Stew String Band – Caspar Babypants – Giant Puppets Save the World – Billy & The Bouncers – Minor Dissonance – The Lonely Coast – And many more!

If you’re interested in volunteering and available on Saturday, August 20, or Sunday, August 21,  please call 206-923-0853 or email

A special feature of this year’s Arts in Nature Festival will be the Historic Clark Schurman painting, now framed and on display at the Lodge at Camp Long.

A generous donation by West Seattle framer Kay Rood has made possible the framing of a large Clark Schurman painting of Mt. Rainier for permanent display at Camp Long.

In 2006, Clark Schurman’s granddaughter, Laura Reason, donated the painting for Camp Long’s 65th Anniversary. Finally it will be on display in the main lodge of this city-owned park just in time for the Arts-in-Nature Festival. Seven other paintings capturing Schurman’s beloved mountains will be on display Saturday and Sunday in the alcove adjoining the main room of the Lodge.

“He was a natural-born artist and he loved mountains,” said Dee Molenaar, a painter and mapmaker who met Schurman in 1939.  Schurman, known as “The Chief,” was the chief guide from 1938 to 1941 at Paradise, a popular high point on Mount Rainier. As a climber, he sketched and painted his journeys into a book published by The Mountaineers in 1939.

Learn Local Watershed & Ecosystem Basics This Saturday

Join the Rain Water Walking Tour to learn local watershed and ecosystem basics.  People for Puget Sound is hosting this walk, which begins at the Home Depot parking lot –  7345 Delridge Way SW, at 10:00 am on Saturday, August 13.  The walk is co-sponsored by Sustainable West Seattle, Stewardship Partners, and the City of Seattle.

At the beginning of the tour you will learn about the ecology of the Longfellow Creek watershed, traditional polluted runoff management methods, and the effect of polluted runoff on local fish habitat.

The tour will then follow the legacy trail along Longfellow Creek, up 150 stairs, to the High Point neighborhood to view sustainable development solutions to polluted runoff. An optional discussion will conclude the event from 1:00 to 2:00 pm  at the High Point Community Center.

  • Learn about polluted runoff as the single biggest unaddressed source of pollution of Puget Sound
  • Learn about solution to help reducing the runoffs
  • Advocate to friends and networks to do the same
  • Become citizen activists campaigning for clean water

The tour is free and family friendly. Please wear comfortable shoes. This is an interactive walking tour. There are only 30 spots available so RSVP to Emily Fales at  For more information call Franziska McKay at 206-382-7007, extension 161.

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