Your Help Is Needed for Duwamish River Festival – Aug. 27

The Duwamish River Festival 2011 is coming soon – Saturday, August 27th and volunteers are really needed.

Make this event more meaningful to you and help us make it more successful, efficient and smooth. Sing up and volunteer for the Festival day.

There is a wide array of volunteer opportunities and most of the shifts are short (2 hours) but feel free to sign up for more than one shift (you shall receive a prize if you do!).

Check out the different ways you can help and sign up using this link  to Volunteer Link’s website (you have to sign up for a free account as part of the process) Continue reading

SWS, WS Nursery Host GreenLife Expo, Demos, Presentations

Join Sustainable West Seattle and the West Seattle Nursery this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the GreenLife Sustainability Expo, a major part of this year’s West Seattle Summer Fest.

We’ll have booths for sustainable local firms and local community groups committed to sustainability and for all three days of the festival, we will be hosting demonstrations and presentations on a wide-ranging set of topics including backyard chickens, solar electricity here in Seattle and helping to clean up stormwater runoff.

Continue reading

Tools To Help Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle for Earth Day, Everyday

In honor of Earth Day 2011, here’s some useful tools to help you assess your carbon footprint, determine if there are ways you can cut down on energy use, help you find ways to contain storm-water runoff, and other useful items from a wide variety of organizations including King County and Seattle public utilities.

How big is your footprint and what can you do to make a difference?

You can also help reduce your use of paper and therefore save in the conversion of trees into pulp and the attendant issues associated with that process.  Here’s some ways you can reduce your use of paper.

You have a choice when it comes to how much junk mail, credit card offers, catalogs and phone books arrive at your home and workplace.

Help your recycling reduce bulk by opting-out of phone books and taking your name off catalog and junk mail distribution lists.  Here’s links to ways to do this:

Reduce, Reuse what you can, and then Recycle.  It’s pretty easy. Do you have a question about recycling, composting or reducing waste? Ask Charlie, CleenScapes online inquiry and question form.

Seattle ecycling stations are open from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm seven days a week except major holidays.

  • North Station: 1350 North 34th Street (located in the Fremont/Wallingford area at North 34th Street, near Carr Place North)
  • South Station: 8105 5th Avenue South (located south of the First Avenue South Bridge)

You can even see the waiting lines on-line at this link:

For other recycling options in the Puget Sound area, visit the Take It Back Network.

King County 2010 Environmental Report Available Online

The King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks has published its 2010 annual report on Environmental Stewardship in King County.

Environmental Stewardship in King County, the 2010 Annual Report for King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, describes the department, what it was tasked to do and what it accomplished in 2010. The report provides maps, facts and figures to convey the breadth of department responsibilities and includes overviews of executive initiatives, performance measures and results, and awards won by the department in 2010.

The 2010 Annual Report describes accomplishments by the department’s four divisions:

  • Wastewater Treatment;
  • Water and Land Resources;
  • Solid Waste, and
  • Parks and Recreation.

The report also outlines the 2010 achievements of the King County GIS Center, and includes an overview of finances for the department and its divisions.

Environmental Stewardship in King County, the Department of Natural Resources and Parks’ 2010 Annual Report, is available in PDF format, and is available in sections for faster download. To request a paper copy of this report, please call 206-296-6500.

Click here to download he full document  – Environmental Stewardship in King County, 2010 (6.5 Mb).

Using Bottled Water? Scorecard Gives Clues to 170 Brands

The Environmental Working Group has published its 2011 Bottled Water Scorecard.

EWG’s 2011 Bottled Water Scorecard grades more than 170 bottled waters on the fullness of their disclosures on their labels and websites. Nine out of ten of the best-selling brands didn’t answer EWG’s basic questions:

  • Where does the water come from?
  • Is it purified? How?
  • Have tests found contaminants?

For more information check out the Environmental Working Group’s website –

Park Opportunity Fund Recommendations Published

The Parks and Green Spaces Levy Citizens Oversight Committee finalized their project recommendations for Opportunity Funding at a meeting held last week. In the first cycle of the Opportunity Fund, $7 million will be awarded to community initiated projects.

The Committee’s recommendations will be forwarded to Parks and Recreation Acting Superintendent Christopher Williams, who will forward his recommendations to the Mayor and City Council. Seattle City Council is expected to approve project funding recommendations in March 2011. The project list is below.

The Parks and Green Spaces Citizens Oversight Committee developed the criteria for evaluating projects with guidance from the Levy Ordinance, and has gone through an extensive public process to recommend funding to the final projects located throughout the city.

Seattle voters approved the $146 million Parks and Green Spaces Levy in 2008. It includes a $15 million Opportunity Fund for community initiated development projects and land acquisition opportunities.

Highland Park Spray Park, Norhtacres Spray Park and 14th Avenue NW Park Boulevard are three additional community-initiated projects that will receive funding from other Levy sources. An estimated $1.5 million in 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy acquisition funds will be reallocated to the 14th Avenue NW Park Boulevard project. The goal is to convert two blocks on 14th Avenue NW (currently street right of way) from existing roadway and parking median into a community park with green infrastructure and safety improvements for pedestrians and cyclists. The community has prioritized this development project in lieu of acquiring additional property.

The two spray park conversion projects will receive a total of $905,000 in additional funding. This will allow for full water re-circulating systems which will provide better play experience and greater water conservation.

For more information please contact Susanne Rockwell at or 206-684-0902 visit the web at

First Round Opportunity Fund

2010 Levy Oversight Committee – Recommendations

(Project information is in the form of 1)District, 2)Project Name, 3)Budget Allocation, 4)Notes

CE – 19th & Madison Neighborhood Park – $473,000 -The intent of this project is to create a beautiful, tranquil green oasis in an urban setting, including a sensory garden and a community gathering space on what is currently a vacant lot.

CE – James Court Woonerf – $500,000 – The goal is to convert an existing street and sidewalk into a green, pervious space which invites and accommodates uses by people on foot instead of only cars. It would be adjacent to the newly acquired12th Ave Park which is in the planning stage.

CE – John Street Enhancement Project – $260,000 – This proposal enhances the new park and P-patch by adding a bioswale, planting area and providing better pedestrian connections.

CE – McGilvra Place Green Infrastructure – $364,000 – The project proposes closure of 15th Ave between E Madison St and E Pike St and modifications to the existing park for the creation of bioretention cells and rain gardens to accept runoff from the Cascadia Center’s new building to the east.

CW – Lower Kinnear Park Enhancement Plan – $750,000 – The project goal is to create enhancements that improve trails and signage, restore the native vegetation and make connections to other trails in the Seattle Parks system.

NE – Naturalizing Northgate – $500,000 – This project will refine and complete all remaining channel work in this park, thereby creating a healthier watershed with more controlled flow and plentiful native plants.

NE – University Heights, South Lot Park, Playground Gardens – $747,000 – The project goal is to produce a cost effective operation of a playground, open space, performance area, gardens and a plaza area for the public.

NW – Park Enhancements for Bitter Lake Reservoir – $287,000 – The project goal is to create additional open space and park-like atmosphere enhancements around the reservoir.

NW – The Troll’s Knoll – $685,000 – The goal is to create a model design of a sustainable park space. Proposed sustainable design features include the use of recycled materials, native plants, minimal earth movement, tree retention, storm water management, solar panels and wind turbines.

SE – Jimi Hendrix Park Development – $500,000 – The goal of this project is to complete the development of the park, bringing to life an open green space that is welcoming and provides an unique experience which clearly defines its namesake.

SE – John Muir Elementary PG Improvements – $270,000 – Construction of a new play area to replace existing one, including rain gardens, permeable surfaces and planting beds, native plant restoration.

SE – Lewis Park Reforestation – $260,000 – The project goal is to restore the steep slope area of the urban forest, increase the native plants and tree restoration.

SE – Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands – $500,000 – The goal of the project is to establish a unique green infrastructure development project transforming the Atlantic City Nursery into a working organic urban farm and demonstration wetlands restoration site.

SE – Santos Rodriguez Memorial Park – $350,000 – The project goal is to revitalize and make more effective use of the available space and to increase public awareness and access to the park.

SW – Puget Ridge Edible Park – $520,000 – The vision of Sustainable Puget Ridge is to create an urban community farm which is a neighborhood meeting place, a community food garden and a test site for environmentally conscientious sustainability.

The total funding for this round is $6,966,000.

Help Clean Up Duwamish: Cleanup Proposal Workshops Scheduled, Citizen Input Needed

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition invite your participation and need your help in reviewing the Draft River Cleanup Alternatives (Feasibility Study) prepared for the Duwamish Water Way Superfund site.  The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition is also the Technical Advisory Group to the EPA for this site.

Click here to visit the EPA’s web site for an overview. View or download the EPA Fact Sheet about the 2nd Draft Duwamish River Cleanup Alternatives (Feasibility Study). If you’d like to peruse the entire cleanup plan, please start with the Executive Summary!

DRCC/TAG Technical Advisors have created an quick assessment of the cleanup alternatives, and will develop an environmental justice review and fact sheet for the public.

  • Preliminary Assessment of the cleanup alternatives (Available now!)
  • Fact Sheet (Coming at the end of November)

Learn more, and have your voice heard!

Community Public Meetings on Cleanup Alternatives

  • Help develop alternatives that protect human health.
  • Public meetings include Superfund cleanup alternatives overview presentation as part of the open house and public comment at the presentation stations and on paper; Spanish language translation will be available; Childcare will be available and there will be food provided.

Schedule for Public Meetings

  • Tuesday, December 7 – 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm: Concord International Elementary School in South Park at 723 S Concord St.  Spanish translation, childcare and food provided.
  • Thursday, December 9 –  5:30 pm to 8:30 pm:  South Seattle Community College Georgetown Campus at 6737 Corson Avenue S.  Spanish translation, childcare and food provided.

Big storm, big reminder

Big storm last night, eh?

These type of storms aren’t that unusual in West Seattle, but they’re rare enough that we sometimes forget how powerful they can be.

So while you’re picking up branches and clearing storm drains, it’s also a good time to think about emergency preparation.

  • Could you stay warm with no power in your house?
  • Do you have enough food and water on-hand for a few days?
  • Do you have a family disaster plan?
  • How about an emergency supply kit?

There is some great advice about getting prepared on Seattle’s SNAP site (Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare).

Use this storm as a reminder and be prepared for the next one!

SPU Is Recruiting Community Advisory Members

Seattle Public Utilities is seeking diverse community members for their Community Advisory Committees.  More detail is online here.

SPU is seeking diverse candidates, especially from the HUB/WMBE businesses as well as community members from the Central and SE and SW sectors of the City.  Download the application form here.

SPU has three City-wide committees:

  • Creeks, Drainage and Wastewater Advisory Committee (CDWAC) (stormwater management, water quality, pollution prevention, creeks, wastewater systems, other topics)
  • Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) waste management systems policy: recycling, food/yard waste, collection contracts, transfer stations, garbage systems, waste prevention)
  • Water System Advisory Committee (WSAC) (drinking water system, water conservation, supply/demand, Cedar and Tolt Watersheds management, other topics)

Each of these committees is chartered by Seattle Public Utilities and reports directly to the Director, SPU.  For more information contact the program manager, Sheryl Shapiro, at 206-615-1443 or email at Sheryl.Shapiro@Seattle.Gov

Latest Edition of Natural Science Newsletter SciFYI

The latest edition of the King County Water and Land Resources Division SciFYI newsletter is now online.  This newsletter is published monthly by King County’s environmental stewards and is a digest of current natural science issues in King County.

This issue, September 2010, is a Special Student Edition and the articles were written by students in the 2010 King County YouthSource Summer Environmental Water Resources class sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor, Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, and the King County Work Training Program. The program was conducted in partnership with King County’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks, along with the King County Superior Court and the Highline School District.