Sustainable West Seattle heard from six presenters on greed ideas for the area on Feb. 19. One of them will be chosen for a $1,000 grant to help get the idea going. Presenters included (from left to right) Steve Richmond, Karen Sison, Tamsen Spengler, Oleana Perry, Ranette Iding, Tanya Gurb and Stu Hennessey.
UPDATE: Sustainable West Seattle hears out 'Green Project Incubator' ideas
Have your say: Survey up at SWS website
Update for March 5
Update from Chas Redmond, Sustainable West Seattle
Sustainable West Seattle received six applications for the $1000 Green Incubator Grant Program, made possible by a generous grant from the Coho Team at Windermere Agents.
SWS is now asking you - everyone - to weigh in on these applications. Please rate the six applications using this Green Incubator Grant Application SurveyMonkey link. The rating criteria for the survey is the same as SWS cited in the original announcement for the grant - Feasibility, Sustainability, Social and Economic Justice, Community Building, and Educational Elements. Please rate the six applications on each of these criteria.
SWS will select the grant recipient prior to our March 18 Community forum, which will be held at the South Seattle Community College Horticulture Center and Community Orchard of West Seattle site. We will announce the winner at the March forum and post the winner here, on the SWS website. For the projects which are not selected, SWS will work with the project proposers to see what other grant opportunities exist and will help with grant writing should those project managers desire or need assistance.
The Green Project Incubator builds sustainability and resilience in our West Seattle neighborhood. SWS will support the chosen project by providing funding, expertise and volunteer hours to make the project a success.
For more information, visit Sustainable West Seattle online.
Original story on Feb. 22
Sustainable West Seattle is offering their expertise and a $1000 grant to the community-at-large through their Green Project Incubator, and six ideas were shared with the non-profit at their meeting on Feb. 19.
While SWS has come up with several ideas of their own that have sprouted and grown, including the West Seattle Tool Library, Community Orchard of West Seattle, Tox-Ick educational program about pollution in Puget Sound, and West Seattle Spokespeople (“facilitating a transition from car to bike”), Chas Redmond explained SWS hopes to cast a wider net, bringing in ideas from others in the community.
Only one project will be selected for the $1000 grant (and revealed at next month’s meeting), but SWS let presenters know they will continue to be a resource and champion for all projects that lead to a more sustainable life in West Seattle. The grant was made possible with the help of the CoHo Team of Windermere Agents.
Here are summaries of the projects presented to SWS:
Stu Hennessey (owner of Alki Bike and Board) and the DIY Bike program
Hennessey has been a part of the DubSea Bikes movement in White Center that provides free bike repair services on Sundays, and hopes to expand upon that idea by creating a non-profit bike shop in the Delridge corridor. He said he plans to use the grant funding to purchase two bike repair work stations that will be housed at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center available for tool library users. Eventually, he hopes to bring in area youth to learn the ins-and-outs of bike repair. Using donated bikes that may not be in working order, the kids will be able to bring a bike back to life for their own use and repair others to be sold. The revenue will go back into the program and participants will learn a marketable skill set in the process.
“I do realize this will be competition to my own business,” Hennessey said to a round of laughter, but his passion to help transform Delridge into a stronger biking culture trumps any concerns over profit.
Oleana Perry and the Nature Consortium kiosks
Perry, a volunteer coordinator for the West Seattle-based Nature Consortium (connecting people with arts and nature), said they recently received funding from the City of Seattle to create three Duwamish Greenbelt kiosks that will help cleanup volunteers and nature walkers navigate the trails in the area. While the city is going to build the kiosks, Nature Consortium is hoping to secure a grant to fill them with useful information including maps on where to hike and park and native plant and wildlife identification.
Tamsen Spengler, Karen Sison and the West Seattle Time Bank
Spengler and Sison are part of a “steering committee” that has been ironing out the details to create a West Seattle Time Bank. Spengler said time banks are based on the “old community concept of neighbors helping neighbors.” They are defined by TimeBanks.org as a way to “nurture and expand a movement that promotes equality and builds caring community economies through inclusive exchange of time and talent.” In other words, if you are an excellent carpenter and help a neighbor repair a deck you get to “bank” the time you spent on the project. If a few weeks down the road you realize you need to bake five cakes for a fundraiser, you can tap the accomplished baker who is part of the bank to help you out, spending accrued time for the service.
Spengler and Sison said the grant money will be used to create a password-protected website and time management database to bring a West Seattle Time Bank to reality.
Ranette Iding and Delridge Produce Cooperative membership drive outreach
Iding is a founding member of the Delridge Produce Cooperative, who hope to bring a co-op market to North Delridge where they will sell “nothing but wholesome, affordable local food.”
The Delridge corridor is considered a “food desert,” where no healthy food options are available within walking distance and large grocery stores refuse to come in due to a lack of population.
DPC is currently in the planning and fundraising phase, and Iding said the grant money will be used to mobilize membership drive outreach, including translation services for Delridge residents who may read in different languages. They also hope to purchase accounting software to better track fundraising and membership
Steve Richmond and Seed Rain outreach
Richmond, owner of native planting and invasive weed removal business Garden Cycles, said he would use the grant money to improve his website SeedRain.org, dedicated to expanding awareness of how invasive plant species are taking over our urban forests in Seattle and what needs to be done to stop the trend.
According to Richmond’s website, “Seattle could lose significant amounts of its parkland forests, estimated at up to 70 percent of tree canopy in 20 years, if we do nothing about English Ivy that is strangling Bigleaf Maple and Alder that composes most of Seattle’s natural area. “
Richmond said laurel and holly seedlings are a major concern as well, and the loss of forest diversity could have negative effects on “property values, the rate of landslides, ecological health, human health, and the health of the Puget Sound.”
Invasive species seeds spread throughout the region with the help of wind, birds and humans. They then drop back to earth in a process known as seed rain.
Tanya Gurb and the White Center Orchard
White Center resident Gurb said she hopes to transform a lot at the southwest corner of 102nd S.W. and 1st Ave. S.W. into a community garden and gathering area, using funds from the grant as a “catalyst” to get the process going. She said the lot is currently overrun with invasive species mentioned by Richmond moments earlier, and with restoration she hopes to create a spot where White Center residents of varying backgrounds can come together and forge stronger community.
After the presentation, attendees took stickers and placed them next to their favorite projects on a poster board. In the coming weeks, SWS will also have a summary of the proposals on their website (UPDATE: It's already up and found here!)and a survey anyone can fill out to give a nod to their favorites. The SWS board will take those preferences into consideration and make their pick in the coming month.
As a final note, SWS said they are changing the nature of their meetings this year. Instead of switching topics with each monthly meeting, they will focus on a single topic over three months to give members a more solid foundation in the idea and create greater momentum for implementation. March, April and May, for example, will focus on gardening and permaculture.
You can follow SWS happenings at their website, http://www.sustainablewestseattle.org/, including membership information and upcoming meeting details.