West Seattle scene: ‘Patchwork quilt’ on Arroyos slope

January 1, 2014 at 4:24 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Thanks to Diane Ferrero in The Arroyos for sharing the photos of what appears to be a new start of sorts on part of the slope in the area (map). Diane wrote, “Looks like a patchwork quilt in the Arroyos. A crew came and worked for a couple of days removing all the noxious weeds and planting native plants. You can see each little plant is surrounded by a coffee-bean bag for protection. We are pretty sure that the city is trying to protect the Madrona trees in the Arroyos.”

More than seven acres of property in the area is city-owned. The madrona trees there and nearby are noted in this story we found in the Seattle Times (WSB partner) archives

West Seattle development: Next review for 18-house proposal

December 28, 2013 at 5:37 pm | In Development, Environment, West Seattle news | 31 Comments

While we report most often on apartment, townhouse, and rowhouse projects, single-family-home development is on the rise in West Seattle too. Checking the permit files for what’s new in the system, we noticed that a proposal to build 18 single-family homes on an acre and a half of eastern West Seattle land is resuming its journey through the city permit system, after being dormant for a year or so.

New city signage is now up on both sides of the site, which carries the official address 2646 SW Holden (map) but stretches between Holden and Webster, just west of the Navos campus. The sign above is on the Holden side, where the site’s only structure – a boarded-up 90-year-old house – would be demolished. Here’s the Webster side:

As the signs and the online information point out, the proposal for a subdivision called Madrona Glen would involve the removal of 10 “exceptional trees.” It went through the Streamlined Design Review process exactly one year ago (here’s the city planner’s report on how that went) and a land-use-permit application has now been filed. The 18 three-story homes (each with a 2-car garage) would be accessed via a central drive opening onto Holden – here’s the general outline shown on the city signage:

Documentation says that 20,000 square feet of the site would be kept as a “non-disturbance area” – basically, a greenbelt – along the east property line and its northern “panhandle” on a dead-end section of Webster.

TO COMMENT: A formal notice for comment on the environmental review should be forthcoming on the Land Use Information Bulletin, including a deadline, but in the meantime, you can comment to PRC@seattle.gov and reference project #3013915.

P.S. You’ll note the city signage accompanies “for sale” signs on both sides. We haven’t found a formal publicly accessible listing, so we don’t yet know the status on that; county records show the site changed hands just last year. Its zoning is mixed, part single-family 5000 (square feet), part Lowrise-1; the latter section of the site was proposed for townhouse development back in 2006.

West Seattle holidays: Dreaming of a green post-Christmas – tree recycling and more

December 26, 2013 at 9:42 am | In Environment, Holidays, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

TREE-CYCLING: We are the last people to suggest you should rush that tree right out the door now that Christmas is over (unless it’s so dry that it’s a fire hazard). But this IS the first official day of the city’s free post-holiday tree recycling, which continues through January 12th. Here’s the city rundown of info on how to put out your tree for curbside recycling OR how to take it to the nearby South Transfer Station, which is OK with trees/sections up to 8 feet long, while the curbside limit is 6 feet per tree/section.

P.S. You can also support a local youth group via tree-cycling; the West Seattle Rainbow Girls‘ sixth annual Christmas Tree Recycling Fundraiser is set for Saturday, January 4th, at the Alki Masonic Center, with tree dropoff 10 am-2 pm and a suggested donation of $5 per tree.

OTHER HOLIDAY RECYCLING INFO … from “packing peanuts” to batteries to old Christmas lights, recycling info is here, again courtesy of Seattle Public Utilities.

West Seattle holidays: Junction Neighborhood Organization debuts ‘Recycling Reindeer’ video

December 22, 2013 at 2:13 pm | In Environment, Holidays, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Rudolf the Recycling Reindeer,” cousin to red-nosed Rudolph, has officially debuted on YouTube (watch above, or on YT here). The Junction Neighborhood Organization enlisted helpers to create the video on behalf of its holiday Recycle/Reuse/Reduce (Waste) campaign, and debuted it today at their West Seattle Farmers’ Market booth, where we found Michael and René from JuNO:

In keeping with the spirit of the campaign, the presents under the tree were wrapped in reused materials, and even the big handmade sign behind them is reused cardboard. Even beyond the holidays, JuNO will be evangelizing waste reduction as part of its participation in a regional challenge, and René tells WSB that the Junction area is in second place so far!

JuNO, by the way, just relaunched this past July, and has already been very busy, with activities like this as well as community cleanups and educational presentations regarding development (here’s our video-included coverage of the September 18th meeting explaining the alley/street vacation process involved in many major developments).

City Light starts cleanup at ‘surplus’ site on Pigeon Point

December 21, 2013 at 12:15 pm | In Environment, Pigeon Point, Utilities, West Seattle news | 16 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

If you drove, walked, or rode past 21st/Andover in Pigeon Point on Friday, you might have noticed the crew working at the old Seattle City Light substation on the northwest corner. It’s one of the six West Seattle “surplus” sites that City Light is looking to unload.

A reader wondered if a decision about this site’s fate had already been made, considering that the tree work being done by the crew yesterday looked extensive. So we checked with City Light – and found out it’s more than tree work. SCL spokesperson Scott Thomsen tells WSB it’s part of a cleanup at the site, after soil sampling at the site turned up contamination beyond what’s considered acceptable for residential property.

Click to read the rest of City Light starts cleanup at ‘surplus’ site on Pigeon Point…

Live/work in The Junction/Triangle? JuNO launches holiday contest, ‘waste less’ campaign

December 17, 2013 at 9:27 am | In Environment, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

The relaunched Junction Neighborhood Organization – JuNO – wants to encourage people to waste less and recycle more – with a fun holiday contest as part of the campaign. From René Commons:

JuNO is participating in the Waste Management Challenge which runs from October through March 2013.

There are two ways to win the challenge. One way is for the community that reduces the most garbage (residential); WM monitors volume. The other way is for community to complete monthly recycling outreach challenges.

Flashmobs, YouTube videos, posters, flyers and meetings … you get the idea. So JuNO members have been active this December, distributing flyers and talking about the challenge to neighbors at the Farmers Market about the Think Green Reuse & Recycling Challenge.

In conjunction with the outreach at the Farmers Market, JuNO is having a contest for neighbors to let their Recycling Creativity Shine!

We are asking for people to create gift wrap, ornaments, and of course best reindeer antlers (pets included)

Juno will have a booth at the WS Solstice Farmers Market on December 22nd. Neighbors can bring their entries and we will select the winners at 1:30.

We hope to win $2,000 by winning the December Challenge, which will help us to kick start the organization and get the word out about JuNO and that there is a neighborhood organization here in the Junction they can join.

Look for a related music video later this week. And if you have a question – e-mail wsjuno@yahoo.com.

West Seattle Weather Watch: Burn ban canceled; forecast update

November 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 7 Comments

Two quick weather-related notes: First, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has canceled the burn ban in King County. Second, the National Weather Service is still predicting much-colder weather to sweep in toward the end of the weekend, and the Special Weather Statement alert remains in effect, but they’re still being cautious about any possible lowland snow. Mountain snow, however, does seem like a sure thing for Sunday, so if you are eastbound for the holiday weekend, an early return might be in order.

West Seattle weather: Countywide burn ban going up to Stage 2

November 25, 2013 at 12:03 pm | In Environment, Health, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

As of 2 pm, King County will be under a Stage 2 burn ban, elevated from yesterday’s announcement. Here’s what the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency says that means:

*No burning is allowed in ANY wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves or fireplace inserts (certified or uncertified) or pellet stoves. Residents should rely instead on their home’s other, cleaner source of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) for a few days until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the ban is cancelled. The only exception is if a wood stove is a home’s only adequate source of heat.

*No outdoor fires are allowed. This includes recreational fires such as bonfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimineas.

*Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.

*It is OK to use natural gas and propane stoves or inserts during a Stage 2 burn ban.

This might not last too long – breezes up to 15 mph are in the forecast for tomorrow, and possible rain on Thursday night.

West Seattle Weather Watch: Stage 1 burn ban for King County

November 24, 2013 at 11:17 am | In Environment, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

You’ve probably noticed, maybe even felt the effects of, the stagnant, murky air. It’s just led the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to announce a Stage 1 burn ban for King County as of 2 pm today. Here’s how the agency explains that type of burn ban:

*No burning is allowed in fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves. Residents should rely instead on their home’s other, cleaner source of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) for a few days until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the ban is cancelled. The only exception is if a wood stove is a home’s only adequate source of heat.

*No outdoor fires are allowed. This includes recreational fires such as bonfires, campfires, and the use of fire pits and chimineas.

*Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.

It is OK to use natural gas, propane, pellet and EPA-certified wood stoves or inserts during a Stage 1 burn ban.

Want to know more? Go here. As for the weather – the long-range forecast doesn’t include rain until POSSIBLY Friday night.

Friends of Morgan Junction Parks wraps up ‘productive 1st year’

November 23, 2013 at 10:06 pm | In Environment, Fairmount Springs, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

The photo and report are from Friends of Morgan Junction ParksBarry White:

Friends of Morgan Junction Parks concluded a productive first year this morning with the first phase of a restoration project at the Juneau/Fauntleroy triangle. [map] Volunteers dug out some weedy and deeply buried street trees and applied fresh mulch. A considerable understory of ivy that ran throughout the land was removed, and a maze of dead, low-hanging branches was pruned out to bring much needed light into the interior.

We wish to thank the many volunteers who turned out this year at Morgan Junction Park, the triangle park next to Thriftway, and the Juneau triangle. We’ll start up again in spring with some planting parties at all three sites. Thanks to Morgan Community Association for their backing and to the folks at Seattle Parks and SDOT for the tools, mulch, and plants. It’s been a great year.

You’ll find more photos – and other info about FoMJP – on the group’s Facebook page.

West Seattle weekend scene: WS Bike Connections cleanup

November 23, 2013 at 7:32 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 1 Comment

Thanks to Don Brubeck from West Seattle Bike Connections for sharing the photo from their work party at the East Duwamish Waterway Fishing Pier, along the bike trail to/from downtown. He says some new volunteers showed up and they “got a lot done. Hoping to keep it going. Shared some donuts with the people fishing.” You can keep up with WSBC’s activities – from volunteerism to advocacy and beyond – via westseattlebikeconnections.org.

West Seattle has a Tool Library; how about a Toy Library?

November 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm | In Environment, How to help, West Seattle news | 20 Comments

When Katie sent a short note asking us to add to the calendar two meetings later this week to see if there’s community interest in forming a West Seattle Toy Library, we thought it sounded like news. So we asked for more details. She explained:

There are no other toy libraries in Seattle. They are very popular in the UK and Australia. The USA has a National Toy Library Association that affiliates with toy libraries in other major cities. They are not as popular in the US as they are in other countries around the world but I think that should change. The recent interest to be green and teach sustainable practices to our kids should extend to the realm where they live: toys.

I was tired of buying toys that my toddler would play with for 10 minutes and then toss aside. I want to teach her what it means to recycle in a meaningful way and I want her to learn to treat things with respect so it can be used in the future. I was looking for something that we could do as a family, and so I google searched toy libraries in Seattle. Much to my amazement and annoyance, there isn’t one. So. I guess we’ll have to start one. The tool library has been a major source of inspiration for me and I am looking for other families who want to jump on the bandwagon and get this thing going!

The meetings are 7-8 pm this Thursday (November 21st) and 3-4 pm this Saturday (November 23rd), both at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor). Come to one to talk about “what a toy library is, overview of function, & opportunities for participation.”

Reminder: Highland Park/South Delridge greenway meeting tomorrow night

November 18, 2013 at 9:39 pm | In Environment, Safety, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

The next greenway projects in West Seattle are set to include a stretch through Highland Park/South Delridge, and tomorrow night is the chance for residents and businesses in the area to find out what’s proposed and share their thoughts. For this greenway, SDOT is working with Seattle Public Utilities to make this a project that improves area drainage – with raingardens in spots – as well as walking/biking safety. See the map here, along with details on tomorrow’s open house (and other background on the project), 5:30 pm-7:30 pm at the Salvation Army building (9050 16th SW).

Community cleanups: Junction today, North Delridge on Sunday

November 16, 2013 at 10:27 pm | In Environment, How to help, Safety, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

JUNCTION CLEANUP: Thanks to René from the recently revived Junction Neighborhood Organization for sharing the photo from their community cleanup in The Junction today; they started from Junction Plaza Park at 42nd/Alaska, picking up trash and clearing storm drains in the area.

NORTH DELRIDGE CLEANUP: Tomorrow (Sunday) morning, Lisa from the North Delridge Neighborhood Council Beautification Committee invites volunteers to help clean up and clear leaves from the path at the north end of Delridge Way SW, across from Skylark Café and Club. Meet at Skylark at 10 am; bags and gloves provided, but if you have one or more rakes and/or safety cones, please bring them along!

West Seattle businesses: Architect, photographer collaborate for regional Green Building Slam presentation tonight

November 16, 2013 at 2:00 am | In Environment, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

A presentation tonight at a regional event celebrating green-built projects will feature the work of two West Seattle businesses, one of which has added a new specialty as a result. Here’s their announcement:

Local businesses LD Arch Design and Holli with an i Photography want to share news of a recent collaboration – and two related opportunities.

LD Arch Design is pleased to announce that a Green Lake net-zero remodel project will be featured in the Northwest Eco Building Guild’s 10x10x10 Green Building Slam (tonight, November 16th). The Slam is an opportunity to see exciting new green building projects – it is a fast-paced evening with ten projects, ten minutes, ten slides each. More information and tickets can be found at the NW Eco Building Guild’s website.

The slides will feature some of the beautiful photos from Holli with an i Photography, which is how the story of collaboration began. Parie Hines (of LD Arch Design) has long been a fan of Holli Margell’s work, and approached Holli to see if she would be interested in architectural photography. The resulting photos have a uniquely warm and approachable feel to them. And Holli discovered in the process that she enjoys photographing people in their homes.

So Holli with an i Photography has a new opportunity for portraits called “Home Sweet Home” which focuses on photographing people in their home or garden. Parie’s own “Citrus Manor” home is the model for the new package, which can be found on Holli’s website here.

LD Arch Design is a WSB sponsor. There’s more information about tonight’s Green Building Slam, happening at the UW, here. In addition to that event, by the way, Holli with an i Photography is participating in the Fauntleroy Fine Art and Gift Show that continues today and tomorrow.

ADDED 11:43 AM SATURDAY: Parie tells us the event was moved to a larger venue so tickets are still available – check out the links above. But if you can’t get there, she says, “The 10 projects are on display at the AIA gallery downtown, and there will be
a reception on Tuesday the 19th at 5 pm. The projects will be on display until January 6th.”

West Seattle salmon: Fauntleroy Creek’s 1st spawner; underwater video of Longfellow coho

November 12, 2013 at 7:19 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 4 Comments

Two updates on West Seattle salmon:

FAUNTLEROY CREEK: Two weeks after this fall’s salmon watch began, volunteers report the first sighting. Creek/watershed steward Judy Pickens shared the word that Dennis Hinton had spotted one from the ferry dock, watching the creek mouth. He then elaborated:

Saw the single spawner from the dock at 2:30 pm. Went back down to the ladder with daughter’s dog, Blazer. We watched at the culvert until 4 pm to see if any fish had ventured up the creek. Saw no fish. But saw two river otters approaching the culvert about 4 pm. I’ll bet they can smell the coho coming. Blazer barked and scared the otters away. But bet they’ll be back to get the first pickings.

LONGFELLOW CREEK: We’ve reported twice on spawners spotted in the eastern West Seattle creek. “Diver Laura” James has gone in with a camera for a closer look – some of it was heartening, some not so much:

Longfellow Creek – Nov. 11, 2013 from Laura James on Vimeo.

Laura leads the Tox-Ick.org program teaching people how to reduce polluting, potentially deadly runoff; tonight she is at The Whale Trail‘s Orca Talk on behalf of the program.

West Seattle Green Space Coalition: Meeting tomorrow

November 8, 2013 at 7:34 pm | In Environment, Utilities, West Seattle news | Comments Off

The newly formed West Seattle Green Space Coalition invites you to its meeting tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon. From Mary Fleck:

Tomorrow, 11/9/13 at 3 pm, West Seattle Green Space Coalition will meet at High Point Library. All are invited. Seattle City Light’s surplus substations have great potential benefits for West Seattle neighborhoods. WSGSC is working to find best solutions and to coordinate efforts of neighbors. Please join us! Bring a used book for our book exchange.

The library is at 35th/Raymond. We first reported on the coalition’s formation back in September; the surplus substations mentioned in the announcement include half a dozen in West Seattle, with the city currently formulating its plan for their future.

Pre-construction meeting details what to expect in Lowman Beach area as Murray CSO-reduction project ramps up

November 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm | In Environment, Utilities, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

Just over four years ago, King County reps first came to Fauntleroy for meetings with neighbors about two projects to reduce combined-sewer overflows from two area pump stations. Now, many meetings later, both of those projects are on the verge of construction, and last night at Fauntleroy Church, the Murray project – named after the Lowman Beach pump station to which it’s tied – was discussed in detail with neighbors, in a pre-construction briefing. Ahead, some of what neighbors and Lowman Beach/Lincoln Park users alike should know about the impending three years of construction:

Click to read the rest of Pre-construction meeting details what to expect in Lowman Beach area as Murray CSO-reduction project ramps up…

2 major West Seattle streets about to get 100 more trees

November 7, 2013 at 3:39 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news | 35 Comments

We’ve heard about these planting plans at recent community-council meetings, and now we have official details from SDOT – 100 new street trees will be planted along Fauntleroy Way SW across from Lincoln Park, and along California Avenue SW in Morgan Junction, starting next Tuesday. Read all about them here.

Duwamish River: Taking a look toward its future, ‘for all’

October 31, 2013 at 3:24 am | In Environment, Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

(2011 photo by Danny McMillin)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“The Duwamish really needs our help.”

So began this month’s Sustainable West Seattle community forum about our city’s only river.

How can you help? One way is through simple personal action, particularly when it comes to reducing/preventing stormwater/runoff-pollution, a campaign crystallized at Tox-Ick.org, whose champion “Diver Laura” James emceed the forum. She told those in attendance that just days earlier, she had spoken about it to 800 high-school students outside West Seattle.

Another way: Realize that the process of determining a cleanup plan for the river – so polluted in spots, it’s a “Superfund” site – is the process of determining whether it can be “A River for All.” That’s the vision of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, whose coordinator James Rasmussen spoke at the forum, recapping the comment period just concluded on the Environmental Protection Agency‘s proposed cleanup plan for the river – a plan which would leave 62 percent of the river “under monitored natural recovery, which basically means, ‘we’re not going to do anything with it’.”

DRCC, however, wants to “kickstart that with enhanced natural recovery,” and is very intent on “source control” – addressing the source of pollution, present and future as well as past – being part of the plan.

Click to read the rest of Duwamish River: Taking a look toward its future, ‘for all’…

How many coho will come to Fauntleroy Creek this year? Drummers, singers welcome them home

October 27, 2013 at 11:56 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

That “circle of life” included multiple types of new arrivals during the annual “drum to call the salmon home” event at the Fauntleroy Creek overlook tonight, the eve of the annual watch for coho spawners.

It’s always an all-ages affair, but this time the span included at least four babies. And it included newly arrived West Seattleites – as it wrapped up, a departing family revealed they had just moved here from Texas. Now, the wait is on for more arrivals – the salmon themselves, should they take up the invitation extended by more than 50 who came to drum, sing, and move:

They even came for humor – creek/watershed steward Judy Pickens, who emcees the event year after year, was among those with a joke to tell:

(Sample joke: Why did the salmon cross the creek? To make a deposit in the bank.) Early on, Judy recounted the story of the event’s origins 19 years ago, when “three of us ventured down to the mouth of the creek” and ceremonially made some noise attempting to imitate the slapping sound of the female coho’s tail, creating the space for her eggs. Last year set a record, with 274 spawners counted, more than 100 above the previous record, set in 2001.

Fauntleroy Creek salmon: Drumming on Sunday; volunteer watchers needed next week and beyond

October 25, 2013 at 9:04 am | In Environment, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 3 Comments

(2011 photo from Fauntleroy Creek, courtesy Dennis Hinton)
Last year, volunteers watching Fauntleroy Creek counted a record number of returning spawners – 274! What will happen this fall? You can help find out. From creek/watershed steward Judy Pickens:

Salmon Watch 2013 on Fauntleroy Creek will get under way October 28 with veteran watchers. As soon as they start seeing spawners, though, any and all new volunteers will be welcome to join. That will most likely be on or about November 1, when high tides will be in the 12-foot range. To get on the “I’m interested” list, email judy_pickens@msn.com.

Right before Salmon Watch begins, it’s time to call the salmon home, with the annual gathering at the creek overlook (across Fauntleroy Way from the ferry dock and up the embankment), 5 pm this Sunday (October 27). All welcome, all ages; bring a drum if you have one, but it’s not mandatory since there are also songs and chants to which you can add your voice. Judy says that this year for the first time, there’ll even be salmon humor. Be there!

Tomorrow: Imagine, and talk about, the Duwamish River’s future

October 20, 2013 at 6:00 pm | In Environment, Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

In the wake of Saturday’s semi-annual Duwamish Alive! cleanup day, you have the chance tomorrow night to join in a discussion about the river’s future – not just the bigger cleanups that are happening now and in the future, but also the vision for what it should be. Sustainable West Seattle is convening the conversation, to be moderated by “Diver Laura” James, who shared the photo above from the start of Saturday’s cleanup (including kayaks loaned for the occasion by West Seattle’s Alki Kayak Tours). Reps from the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition will be there too, as well as other organizations with a stake in the river’s future, but this isn’t just about the experts – it’s about you. Come to C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) Monday night, 7-9 pm.

Duwamish Alive! fall 2013 edition: Cleaning up water & shore

October 19, 2013 at 6:52 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Thanks to “Diver Laura” James for sharing photos from today’s fall edition of Duwamish Alive! cleanup, more than half a dozen work parties on and around the waters of the Duwamish River.

If you missed the chance to help out today – the next Duwamish Alive! events will be in the spring, and you can watch the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for numerous community-cleanup opportunities between now and then.

West Seattle Junction losing trees today; replacements will follow

October 16, 2013 at 2:21 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

When the crew we photographed at work on SW Oregon west of California SW today is done, The Junction will have seven fewer trees. But West Seattle Junction Association director Susan Melrose tells WSB they will all be replaced. We had seen the tree-removal notices on two SW Oregon trees last week, noting “poor health” and “poor form”:

Then came a tip today from Eddie, who noticed the removal work in progress. There’s also a tree in front of West 5 that’s being taken out, and pear trees that – as mentioned in our coverage of September’s Southwest District Council meeting, which was attended by Seattle’s city arborist – weren’t thriving either. Melrose says the crew will grind down the stumps both for these trees and others that have fallen down recently, and will mulch the tree wells; replacements will arrive next spring, though the species hasn’t been finalized yet.

Got a little time Saturday? Be part of Duwamish Alive!

October 14, 2013 at 12:30 pm | In Environment, How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

View Duwamish Alive! October 19th, 2013 in a larger map

Twice a year, you can roll up your sleeves and help the Duwamish River by joining in one of multiple volunteer events on and along the river and in its watershed, from West Seattle to South Park to Tukwila. The autumn edition of that big event – Duwamish Alive! – is 10 am-2 pm next Saturday (October 19th). You still have time to sign up to help at one of the sites shown on the official map – just go here ASAP.

Genesee campus tree makes history: ‘Best in City’ honor

October 12, 2013 at 2:15 pm | In Environment, Genesee Hill, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

Admiring the fall colors this weekend? A visit to the past-and-future school site on Genesee Hill (50th SW/SW Genesee) might be in order – to pay your respects to that American Elm honored as a “Best in City” tree in PlantAmnesty‘s Heritage Tree program. Karen Lyons shares the photo and the news:

I belong to a group that is trying to save some of the fine trees on the school’s 6.2 acres. I’m the group’s botanist so I volunteered to take a tree survey last year and found a magnificent American Elm! The majority of American Elms in the US were wiped out by Dutch Elm disease. Somehow this tree is either immune (making it valuable for research) or has escaped the disease. I later contacted the Heritage Tree committee and they sent a group of 6 investigators to measure and take samples of the Elm. That was a few months ago. On October 1st I received this letter naming this tree and awarding it as “Best In The City”. It will be spared!

District documentation verifies that the tree will not be taken out during the construction of the new school – from last month’s summary of the newest design changes: “The steep hillside on the site will be fully protected, as will the significant and exceptional trees on the hillside (including the old elm near the center of the site).” The district expects to start construction next spring; the current Schmitz Park school program is expected to move into the new school at mid-year 2015-2016, while the district proposes to turn the current Schmitz Park building into an early-learning center.

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