‘Harbor Island People for the Environment’: Workers with a mission

May 21, 2012 at 10:01 pm | In Environment, Gardening, West Seattle news | 21 Comments

From 13th and Florida on Harbor Island, a dramatic set of before and after photos – first, the “before”:

And the “after” – though the story’s not entirely over yet:

Here’s the news release we received, explaining what’s going on:

A small group of Harbor Island employees joined forces to improve the neighborhood by creating a green space in their industrial environment. Naming themselves “Harbor Island People for the Environment” (HIPE), they arranged for a non-profit youth organization to paint murals for a warehouse and they built planter boxes for foliage to brighten and clean the air.

Festivities to celebrate installation of the murals and garden spot will be held June 1 at 4 PM at the north end of Harbor Island, 1731 13th Avenue SW. Sponsoring companies: Crowley, PCC Logistics, Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine, Vigor Industrial LLC.

Urban ArtWorks is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering at-risk youth through professional opportunities in the arts, to learn a variety of skills, and to use their creative talents in a positive way. Seven young artists and their mentors created eight mural panels for display on the side of a warehouse facing 13th Avenue SW. The maritime theme of the murals begins with a depiction of the land some hundred years ago, when it was inhabited by the Duwamish people, evolving gradually to the industrial era of today.

The garden design was developed by Spirit Garden Design owner, Lucinda O’Halloran. The planter boxes were donated and built by employees of PCC Logistics. Volunteers from the four sponsoring companies held a work party on May 18 to plant flowering trees and shrubs in the planter boxes. Company volunteers also participated for the fifth year in City of Seattle’s annual “Spring Clean” by picking up litter in the area.

Harbor Island is a busy work environment with shipping, shipbuilding and repair, railroads, trucking, engineering firms, and more, all squeezed onto a narrow manmade island co-existing with the Port of Seattle’s cranes, which constantly load and unload container cargo. The HIPE committee has plans for continued focus on developing green spots for a sustainable environment.

The murals mentioned in the announcement will be arriving later this week, and we’ll check back. Thanks to HIPE for the before/after photos included above!


  1. WOW! What a difference a lot of hard work and great vision, and cooperation can do!

    Very inspiring to the rest of us.

    Comment by Eilene Hutchinson — 10:33 pm May 21, 2012 #

  2. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
    So inspiring to see what is possible! Nicely done!

    Comment by JO — 10:58 pm May 21, 2012 #

  3. So very cool. What a great group of people.

    Comment by Been There — 5:49 am May 22, 2012 #

  4. Many hands make light work; well done!

    Comment by Aman — 6:36 am May 22, 2012 #

  5. Fantastic difference! It must really raise spirits to arrive at work and see the “after” results of this project. Hats off to HIPE!

    Comment by Paula Tortorice — 6:38 am May 22, 2012 #

  6. WOW,that looks amazing. Now show pics where they hang the illegal dumpers.

    Comment by Alki Resident — 7:22 am May 22, 2012 #

  7. I’m so proud to be in a community like West Seattle. People care AND do something about it! Nice work, HIPE.

    Comment by LA — 7:35 am May 22, 2012 #

  8. Way to go .. Two thumbs up to all my hard working coworkers. Love it!

    Comment by HM — 8:51 am May 22, 2012 #

  9. Nicely done! Way to go HIPE’s!

    Comment by Westie — 8:58 am May 22, 2012 #

  10. Nice job!!!

    Comment by JoAnne — 9:08 am May 22, 2012 #

  11. Super!!!

    Comment by ad — 9:38 am May 22, 2012 #

  12. Wow, this is great! Nice work!

    Comment by Sherri Chun — 10:15 am May 22, 2012 #

  13. Despite the wind, the wet, and the chill, this inspires me to head out to my yard today. There’s no garbage, but someday that d*** ivy will be gone and I will have it cleaned up and looking good…much like this. Kudos to those who thought this up and implemented it!

    Comment by west seattlite — 10:21 am May 22, 2012 #

  14. Great job!



    Comment by miws — 11:06 am May 22, 2012 #

  15. The Duwamish Tribe is still here in West Seattle. Come and visit the Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center, 4705 W Marginal Way SW, Mon-Sat 11-5. The exhibit area and art gallery are open daily and admission and parking is free.

    Comment by Duwamish Longhose — 6:28 pm May 22, 2012 #

  16. Wow, what a difference! It does not even look like the same place. Great job.

    Comment by Eric — 7:49 pm May 22, 2012 #

  17. Wow!!! So cool! Thanks for not just saying “someone should clean this up” but being the ones to do it!!! Love it!

    Comment by AJP — 8:14 pm May 22, 2012 #

  18. The Duwamish Longhouse is beautiful, warm and welcoming, and has a spiritual feel to it.


    Chairperson Hansen, is a wonderful asset to the entire West Seattle community, and a well-respected and beloved friend and supporter of Nickelsville.



    Comment by miws — 8:19 pm May 22, 2012 #

  19. That’s awesome! I used to work on Harbor Island, and it could definitely use a little sprucing up. I know it’s an industrial district, but a few trees never hurt anyone. :)

    Comment by Megan — 9:29 pm May 22, 2012 #

  20. What a difference some talent and care can make! Well done!!

    Comment by Marleen — 4:19 pm May 29, 2012 #

  21. Very nice!!! I am so happy to see the employees and businesses caring about the surrounding environment in this combination of community outreach, volunteers, art and environmental awareness and activity!

    Comment by Teresa Sante — 3:29 pm June 6, 2012 #

Sorry, comment time is over.

All contents copyright 2005-2015, A Drink of Water and a Story Interactive. Here's how to contact us.
Entries and comments feeds. ^Top^