As part of its RainWise program, Seattle Public Utilities installed two 200-gallon cisterns and a rain garden on the front lawn of the Sunset Hill Community Association.
"We thought it was important to do our part to keep storm water out of our sewer system," association president Robert Drucker said.
He said the association is diverting about half the runoff from its large roof into the cisterns and rain garden. The association is saving the water in the cisterns for landscape irrigation in the summer.
"In a couple of years, the rain garden won't need much maintenance at all," Drucker said.
Through the RainWise program, Seattle Public Utilities is hoping to reduce the amount of storm water that makes its way into the city's sewers, lessening the amount dumped into Puget Sound. Seattle Public Utilities is offering homeowners a rebate for building green infrastructure, such as rain gardens and cisterns, on their own property.
Any Ballardites with an interest in trees – how to plant more of them or how to remove the ones they have without being fined – will want to make time for an upcoming neighborhood meeting.
Groundswell NW is inviting residents to an educational meeting about the Seattle Tree Policy at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 in the Sunset Room of the Ballard Community Center, located at 6020 28th Ave. N.W.
The meeting will feature Brennon Staley, the sustainable community planner for the Seattle Department of Planning and Development, and Sandra Pinto de Bader, urban forest program manager for the Office of Sustainability and Environment.
Staley works on developing policy and regulations focusing on environmentally critical areas, tree regulations, single family zoning and sustainable communities.
De Bader is responsible for coordinating city-wide implementation of the Urban Forest Management Plan and managing the Seattle ReLeaf campaign.
After a tree-planing presentation and demonstration, residents of Fourth Avenue Northwest will plant more than 30 trees on both sides of the street near Northwest 60th Street Oct. 9.
East Ballard's trees are part of 276 being planted in 19 neighborhoods as part of the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods' 2010 Tree Fund.
As part of the Tree Fund program, more than 50 community members will attend a tree planting workshop and participate in planting. Department of Neighborhoods staff and City Arborist Nolan Rundquist will lead the workshop.
From 9:30 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. Oct. 9, there will be a presentation and training at Grace Fellowship Church, located at 410 N.W. 62nd St. From 11 a.m. to noon, there will be a hands-on demonstration at 6027 Fourth Ave. N.W.
After noon, Fourth Avenue neighbors will continue planting the trees.
The Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, EarthCorps, Green Seattle Partnership (GSP), forest stewards and community volunteers are piloting a citizen science effort that engages Seattle residents in analyzing and monitoring the urban forest.
One team was working in Camp Long, near the South Loop Trail on Saturday Sept. 18 to assess the forest ecosystem in a small area that will be used as the basis for understanding the relative health of the urban forest in that area. The areas assessed have been predetermined and targeted to be "cleaned up" meaning invasive species such as Himalayan Blackberry and Ivy will be removed.
Malia Caracoglia, Program Coordinator for the GSP Forest Monitoring Team said, "We're collecting baseline data so that after next year, restoration will have occurred (...) and this 1/10th of an acre will represent this whole area that's going to be restored. It will be like a snapshot."
One of the first citizen science projects in the US to focus on urban forests, the Green Seattle Partnership Forest Monitoring Team engages communities in surveying the condition of their urban parks, forests and forested wetlands.
West Seattle Herald reader Mark Schletty shared this story with us regarding a large cedar tree in the 7300 block of California Avenue s.w. that was cut on Sept. 3, a City of Seattle furlough day.
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By Mark Schletty
Friday September 3rd, a day of furlough for City employees, cost West Seattle one of it biggest cedar trees. A tree that should have been protected by Seattle’s Tree Preservation ordinance. Red Cedars can not be cut without a permit if they are 2’ 6” (or larger) in diameter at the 4.5 to 5.5 foot height level. This tree was 2’6” plus or minus several tenths of an inch, depending on how it was measured. Clearly a tree meant to be protected. Please be very alert on furlough days, or we may well lose more protected trees.
Join local historian Peder Nelson on a walking tour of West Seattle's old-growth gem, Schmitz Preserve Park. Learn how this beautiful city park came to be and how it has remained an urban forest while traversing its many scenic trails. Experience West Seattle in its natural state!
September 18th, at 10:00am.
The tour will meet at the northwest entrance to the park on 58th Ave SW and SW Stevens St near Alki Elementary. Rain or Shine of course.
Free with museum membership (available pre-tour) or $5 donation.
For more information visit www.loghousemuseum.info or call 206-938-5293
Sponsored by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society (501C3) all proceeds benefit the Log House Museum
Bob Jeffers-Schroder spent the first half of 2010 ringing more than 60,000 doorbells to inform residents about the potential dangers of global warming. Now, he'll spend the next two months preparing for his general election battle against Rep. Jim McDermott for Washington's 7th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Though Jeffers-Schroder, who lives near Carkeek Park, entered the race Jan. 1 against 21-year Democratic incumbent McDermott not expecting to win, he did do well enough in the Aug. 17 primary election – beating out five other candidates – to advance to the November top-two general election.
In the primary, McDermott pulled in 79.85 percent of the vote, or 110,914 votes. Jeffers-Schroder, running as an Independent, placed second with 6.38 percent (8,860), more than 2,000 votes ahead of third-place candidate Bill Hoffman.
Jeffers-Schroder said, despite running an old-fashioned door-to-door campaigning on his bicycle without any corporate contributions, he always expected to make it to the general election because Seattleites care about climate change. And, he's glad he did.
At Sustainable Ballard's July meeting, attendees shared their ideas for the little things Ballard residents can do to work toward a carbon-neutral Seattle.
Line Drying Laundry
According to the California Energy Commission, the average American household does 400 loads of laundry per year. And according to Wikipedia, the average clothes dryer produces 4.4 pounds of CO2 per load. This means line drying could cut carbon emissions by as much as 1,760 pounds per year.
Steam wrinkles out of button-down shirts by throwing them in the dryer for just five minutes then hang them up on the clothesline. This not only saves energy but eliminates the need for ironing once clothes are dry.