Kate Kaemerle
SWS Sustainability Champions named by Sustainable West Seattle were, Don Brubeck (not shown) and the WS Bike Connections Team including Al Jackson, Aili LePard, Kathy Dunn, and Bob Winship and at right is Kimberly Leeper, SWS Board President. Far right is diver Laura James named as SWS Volunteer of the Year.

Laura James named Volunteer of the Year by Sustainable West Seattle

West Seattle Bike Connections Team named as Sustainability Champions

Sustainable West Seattle's annual potluck picnic at Lincoln Park Aug. 19 had the group name well known diver Laura James as Volunteer of the Year for her efforts to clean up Cove 1 at Seacrest Park and for leading the efforts of www.Tox-ick.org, the environmental awareness and restoration organization.

Also honored for their efforts this year was the West Seattle Bike Connections Team.

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.

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