GreenLife Stage Demos Announced

West Seattle Summer Fest GreenLife Demo Sked 2014Greenlife logo

West Seattle Summer Fest and Sustainable West Seattle are pleased to announce this year’s line-up for the 4th Annual GreenLife Stage.  The GreenLife Stage is sponsored by Alki Bike and Board and features 3 days of sustainability demonstrations.  Topics include:  Building with Reclaimed Materials; Backyard Beer Making; and Home Canning and Preservation.  We are also excited to have performances of the highly acclaimed Illuminatio Dance on Friday and Sunday afternoons.

The GreenLife area is sponsored by West Seattle Nursery and is located in the Chase Bank parking lot, off California Ave SW and SW Edmunds St.  GreenLife runs from Friday, July 11th through Sunday, July 13th.  For more information and to view the schedule, please visit:
The schedule is also here as a PDF(click to enlarge):

West Seattle Summer Fest GreenLife Demo Sked 2014

Help Kick Off Volunteer Weekend: May Day in Garden, DIY Bike Repair in High Gear

Get ready for a long and prosperous growing season. Start by building your soil. This week at COWS, (Community Orchard of West Seattle) we will be showing how to build rich and lasting soil beds using the lasagna garden method. The lasagna garden method is a layered approach to soil building using stuff you already have. This May Day edition of our usual Thursday Health and Harvest starts at 5:00 pm with the soil building class between 5 and 6:00 pm. 
The Community Orchard of West Seattle is located at the north end of the South Seattle College campus, 6000 16th Ave. S.W.  For more information, contact Stu at, or visit the website  at

And, to continue through the weekend, DIY Bikes will be starting their non profit repair facility at the West Seattle Tool Library this Sunday May 4th from noon to 4:00 pm. This schedule will continue each Sunday through out the summer months.

DIY Bikes continues to teach anyone how to keep their bicycles running smooth and safe by using hands-on repair sessions. The tools, materials, facility and knowledge are all free. Major parts replacement for a particular bike may have a necessary pricing element,  and, as always donations are accepted.

Learn-Fix-Ride. See more at

DIY Bikes also will be doing bike repair and bike repair teaching at Alki Summer Streets, May 18th.

SWS Volunteer Orientation and Appreciation Party May 3 – Celebrating Past and Current Volunteers – Recruiting New Volunteers!

New Volunteer Event Poster-page-0Please come join Sustainable West Seattle at the Cross Fit Gym in Admiral for our first Volunteer Orientation and Volunteer Appreciation Party. Our new date is May 3 from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

Our exciting and informative agenda will include: orientation for new volunteers including a description of what Sustainable West Seattle volunteers do and where new volunteers can help with the many opportunities we offer.

SWS volunteers work at the Tool Library, the Community Orchard, the Tox-Ick wastewater awareness program, the multiple bicycle activities including Spokespeople, West Seattle Bike Connections, DIY – teaching youth to repair bikes, and many more activities where our volunteers are the essential ingredient.

Later in the day, we will host our Volunteer Appreciation Party that will include a pot-luck. SWS will provide some of the more essential food and drink elements.

For additional information contact Kimberly Leeper at

Contact: Kimberly Leeper

2014 GreenLife Application Now Available

GreenLife RegistrationSustainable West Seattle and the West Seattle Junction Association are pleased to announce that the application for the 2014 GreenLife section of West Seattle Summer Fest is now available online:

The mission of GreenLife is to to raise awareness and equip our community with tools, knowledge and capabilities to create a more sustainable West Seattle. We are looking for local businesses to showcase merchandise, products and services related to these goals.

Organizations, including many local non-profits, contributing to this Expo will provide information, demonstrations and products in these areas:

  • Home gardens – grow your own food, capture your rain water
  • Composting – how to do it in your kitchen or yard
  • Permaculture – what is it and how your garden can be sustainable
  • Bee keeping and honey – how to raise a hive and harvest the honey
  • Backyard chickens – learn how to raise and keep them
  • Community fruit harvesting – learn how you can help the Food Banks
  • Puget Sound and local streams – learn how you can help clean them up

The application requires a $20 application fee. The tabling cost is $250 for commercial vendors and $75 for non-profit vendors. The application deadline is April 15th, but we usually fill up prior to this date so get your application in early.

Please contact Christina Hahs at or 360-269-0332 with questions.

Community Orchard Now Open for Work Parties, Team Also Answers Food, Gardening, Permaculture Questions

COWSThe 2014 Season of Beauty and Community Begins at the Orchard! Join your neighbors and colleagues and fellow urban farmers every Thursday starting this week, March 13, at the Community Orchard of West Seattle, starting at 5:00 pm and lasting through 7:00 pm.

Please consider COWS when deciding your volunteer plans for this year. Join us for the start of the growing season at our huge urban garden and orchard!  It’s time to prune trees and berry bushes, and develop ideal individual soil preparations for each crop to be planted.

Questions on urban gardening, permaculture techniques, or your own problem plants are our specialty and are more than welcome! We hope to see you there!  The Community Orchard of West Seattle is located at the east end of the parking lot adjacent to the Horticulture Center, north end of the campus at South Seattle Community College.

What is Community Orchard of West Seattle?

Community Orchard of West Seattle (COWS) provides a home-scale model that demonstrates how much food can be grown on a city-sized lot. Our produce goes to our volunteers, neighbors and local food security programs while we provide a venue for public agricultural education and community gathering. Using permaculture and organic growing principles, COWS demonstrates several different kinds of non-standard orchard techniques and garden configurations – most of which are based on no-till, polyculture, low-maintenance sustainable food production strategies.

They meet every Thursday from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm – possible now that Daylight Savings Time has finally arrived!!

Sustainable West Seattle Seeks New Board Members for 2014

SWStablingHelp make West Seattle more sustainable and resilient!

Sustainable West Seattle (SWS) is seeking new board members for 2014. We seek individuals who can commit 8 to 12 (or more) hours monthly to help us in growing SWS. Our mission is to “educate, create and advocate for sustainability in our local community.”

Board members meet once a month as a steering committee and often serve either as an officer or play a leadership role in one of our major projects, or board members lead with grantwriting, fundraising, or membership. Our board is both informal, friendly and committed to improving our community.

SWS seeks in 2014 to focus on improving our innovative projects –

We are also aiming to improve our volunteer support, fundraising, and outreach to diverse communities.

If supporting this important non-profit is appealing to you by committing to our board for a 1-year term, please contact Bryan Fiedorczyk at We would love to hear from interested parties before our annual Membership meeting on January 21, 2014.

SWS January Annual Membership Meeting @ C&P Coffee; Includes 2013 Review & 2014 Look Forward

Come have dessert with the Sustainable West Seattle board of directors as part of our annual membership meeting.

West Seattleites, we need your energy and talents to reinvigorate the Sustainable West Seattle (SWS) board!

Please join us on Tuesday, January 21st from 7:00 – 8:30 pm at C&P Coffee (5612 California Ave SW) for our annual membership meeting.  The evening’s activities will include:

  • Dessert hosted by the current 2013 SWS board
  • Recap of SWS 2013 activities, projects and events
    • Tool Library new hours
    • Tox-Ick continues to draw support
    • Instant Edible Garden demonstration
    • GreenLife presentations continue to grow
  • Nomination and voting for new 2014 board members
  • Voting for minor bylaw amendment (see below)
  • Idea sharing by attendees for consideration by incoming 2014 board


Proposed bylaw amendment: [pertains to membership meetings, the change would reduce to a minimum of 6 the number of scheduled meetings annually.  This does not change the ability to host special meetings or to schedule more than 6 annual meetings. Existing paragraph is below and proposed change is below that.]

2.5 Membership Meetings – The CC [Coordinating Committee] shall set a regular time and place for monthly SWS membership meetings, which shall be open to the general public. Any changes to the regular monthly meeting shall be communicated to the membership with no less than fifteen days prior notice. The January regular meeting shall serve as the Annual meeting of the membership, for the purpose of reporting the state of the organization and to elect a new CC.

Change from “…set a regular time and place for monthly SWS membership meetings…” to “…set a regular time and place for regular SWS membership meetings (at least six per year)…”

Fundraiser for West Seattle Tool Library Set for December 6 @ Youngstown Arts Center

Tool Library Fundraiser PosterAfter nearly 3-1/2 years of providing free tools, advice and workshop space to the community on a donation basis, the West Seattle Tool Library is holding its first fundraiser and inclusive “Festivus” party.

Everyone is welcome. No cover charge.

The fundraiser gala, which will also serve as Sustainable West Seattle’s annual winter holiday party, will be held Friday,  Dec. 6, from 6:00 to 9:30 pm. Any funds raised will go to the maintenance of tool library operations, as well as potential enhancements such as extended hours and more classes, depending on the amount raised.

To be held at the dance studio at Youngstown Cultural Arts center, the fundraiser is being billed as a Festivus in a nod to a classic Seinfeld episode with beer, wine, soft drinks, food, music, a silent auction, kids activities and a used tool sale. In addition, discounts will be offered on new and renewing tool library memberships (normally  a suggested $40 a year). And members who have tool library items that they’ve been meaning to return will be offered amnesty for any returned tools. No fines and no questions asked!

Donations and volunteer help for the fundraiser are still needed. If you are an individual or business with a item you’d like to donate for the silent auction please contact Christy True at Food and beverage donations also welcome. Donors will be recognized in a public way at the event. Anyone who would like to volunteer to help at the event should email

Since opening in the summer of 2010, the West Seattle Tool Library has built an inventory of more than 1,500 tools, signed up more than 1,000 members, offered many classes and served as the home of the Fixer’s Collective and Ask an Expert night. It has been a model to many other tool libraries that have popped up in the Puget Sound region and beyond and received positive media attention as an example of the type of sharing economy projects needed to make the world more sustainable. It is a nonprofit project of Sustainable West Seattle. You can learn more and check out our inventory at

October Community Forum: A Vision for the Duwamish River After Cleanup

Aerial View Durwamish RiverJoin Sustainable West Seattle for an evening exploring A Vision for the Duwamish River – Community, Restoration and Conservation at C & P Coffee on October 21st from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.

The Duwamish is Seattle’s only river and the five-mile stretch running through Seattle is listed by the Environmental Protection Agency as a federal Superfund site. The Duwamish is one of the most contaminated rivers in the country from years of industrial pollution as well as wastewater and storm-water run-off. Efforts are underway by many groups and agencies to clean up the river and restore the river ecosystem.

Speakers from several organizations will discuss the challenges and ongoing actions to clean up the river along with ways to get involved with these efforts. Laura James, noted underwater videographer,  will moderate the evening and we’ll have several participants including James Rasmussen and BJ Cummings from the Duwamish River Clean Coalition, Kevin Burrell with the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle, and a member of King County’s Green-Duwamish River (WRIA 9) Salmon Habitat Recovery Team.

Learn about the community’s vision for the restoration of the Duwamish River. Food and beverages are available at C & P Coffee, 5612 California Ave SW,  and SWS will provide some healthy snacks for the evening.

About Sustainable West Seattle:

Sustainable West Seattle educates and advocates for urban sustainability in our local community. SWS envisions a West Seattle community of empowered citizens who actively lead toward greater self-reliance, local democracy, social justice, and existence in harmony with life on earth. SWS meets the 3rd Monday each month at 7:00 pm. See the SWS website for meeting location.

Sustainable West Seattle projects:

  • West Seattle Tool Library is a community-led project to provide pay-what-you-can community access to a wide range of tools, training, and relevant advice. By providing this service, the West Seattle Tool Library aims to inspire its community to participate in community projects, such as park restorations, and pursue sustainability through fun projects like backyard gardens, home energy improvements, and water harvesting.
  • Tox-Ick is an outreach and education effort born out of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Sustainable West Seattle.  The objective of the program is to help educate a critical mass of Puget Sound residents about the problem of polluted runoff and the simple actions individuals can engage in to stop it.  Online resources are available in the fight against the Tox-Ick Monster.
  • Community Orchard of West Seattle (COWS) provides a home-scale model that demonstrates how much food can be grown on a city-sized lot. Our produce goes to our volunteers, neighbors and local food security programs while we provide a venue for public agricultural education and community gathering.
  • West Seattle Spokespeople facilitates a transition from car to bike and is allied with Spokespeople U.S. Our goal is to make West Seattle a more bike-able community through education, group rides and assisting riders in developing their skills.

September Community Forum: Actions We Can Take To Keep Puget Sound Clean

Sept Forum PosterSustainable West Seattle September Community Forum is “Keeping Puget Sound Healthy: Actions We Can Take.”
Join Sustainable West Seattle Monday, September 16 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle, for a presentation and panel discussion on work being done by citizens, organizations and the government to keep Puget Sound healthy and restore the ecosystem.
We will examine the current state of Puget Sound, personal actions that individuals can take to keep the Sound healthy, City of Seattle incentives for the homeowner, and government infrastructure projects underway.
“Diver” Laura James from (and winner of the SWS Volunteer of the Year Award 2013) will discuss the problem of stormwater pollution in Puget Sound and the simple actions people can engage in to help it.   A panel of experts from the community will follow up with a discussion on the steps we can take as individuals and a community to keep the Sound clean. The panel includes:
  • Susan Harper – Seattle Public Utilities
  • Steve Richmond – Garden Cycles
The forum is Monday, September 16th from 7-9 PM at the West Seattle Senior Center located at 4217 SW Oregon Street in Alaska Junction.