The West Seattle Bee Garden is officially launched! As you’ll see in our video, Seattle Police motorcycle officers, the Sounders’ Sound Wave musicians, City Council President Sally Clark were part of the parade bringing the bees to the garden from West Seattle Elementary at midday today – along with lots of kids, from Roxhill Elementary as well as WSES:
(Photos by WSB’s Katie Meyer)
It was all part of a festival celebrating the start of the garden at High Point Commons Park, with a demonstration-beehive enclosure, a pollination garden, and more.
As with all of today’s big events, we have more photos of this one to add here later when this busy day calms down – check back!
ADDED 8:38 PM: As promised, more photos – starting with this one:
Viewing ensued after the beehives arrived in the back of the pickup truck seen at the end of our parade video, above. And then – on to their new home!
Yet more West Seattle volunteers were hard at work today getting the West Seattle Bee Garden ready for its closeup – tomorrow is the West Seattle Bee Festival, including the parade from West Seattle Elementary to bring in the bees that will be living in the structure you see here. We visited two months ago when nothing more than timbers were standing in the Bee Garden’s spot at High Point Commons Park (Lanham/Graham), and now, tomorrow’s the big day, one year after Lauren Englund first went public here with her dream of a demonstration beehive to show people how vital honeybees are to our survival. The festival runs 11 am-3 pm tomorrow, including a picnic and various festivities in addition to the 11:30 am parade – which you can be part of, by the way, as explained here.
At the time of last year’s Furry Faces Foundation plant sale, F3 leader and plant-raiser Teri Ensley‘s house still had damage to fix from a fire a few months earlier. Now – as the 2013 plant sale begins – Teri is back in her house after rehab and repairs by Ventana Construction (WSB sponsor), work she is so proud of that she’s even incorporated Ventana’s name into the plant sale:
The shelving holding plants on the south side of Teri’s house is dubbed “Ventana Terrace” now, signage and all. Today is the first of four days of the sale – till 4 pm, then again tomorrow 10 am-4 pm, and the weekend of June 1-2, 3809 46th SW. It all started with more than 1,000 plants on “Ventana Terrace” and in the front yard, including herbs, perennials, annuals, vegetables, more – and the F3 “Tag Your Pet” campaign is happening there; read about it all in this WSB Forums post.
Before we get to the big list of what’s up today, one more reminder of two community projects in which your participation, giving just a little time, can make a big difference – one starting this morning, one this afternoon:
PAINT IT OUT: A new graffiti-fighting effort gets going today and volunteer power is vital. Meet at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center at 10 am. Here’s our preview with more details. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
‘PRESTO GARDEN’: Also previewed here earlier in the week, this Sustainable West Seattle-led project will create a garden growing fresh food for people served by the White Center Food Bank. Today from 1 pm to 5 pm, they would love your help at the planting party for the garden, which is at Westcrest Park. (From the park entrance at 8th and Henderson, head up the road to the right to the parking area; you’ll find the garden in the P-Patch next to the play area at the top of the hill.)
A day before the West Seattle Bee Garden debuts with a celebration in High Point next Sunday, another new local community garden will debut in Highland Park on Saturday – a section of the new Westcrest Park P-Patch dedicated to growing food for the White Center Food Bank. The “Presto Garden” project is being led by Sustainable West Seattle, incorporating donations from local businesses and organizations listed in this update on the SWS website. Here’s where you come in: Many hands, light work. Be there on Saturday (May 18th) 1-5 pm for the planting party that will help make it happen. Westcrest is at 9000 8th SW (for those not familiar with the park, we’re tracking down specific directions to the planting site, and will add them here).
(Saturday photo courtesy West Seattle Bee Garden)
One year in the making, and one week remaining until the celebration of the new West Seattle Bee Garden, at next Sunday’s WS Bee Festival (May 19th). This weekend, writes Lauren Englund - whose dream, reported here in May 2012, started it all – the beehive enclosure is being finished, and you are welcome at a Sunday work party (starting at 10 am). And after that, it’s festival preparations. From Lauren:
For those who may not know, the High Point Neighborhood Association is hosting the West Seattle Bee Festival next Sunday, May 19th, to celebrate the opening of this space. It will include a picnic and parade! Here are some of the details:
Picnic Time: 11 am to 3 pm
Picnic Location: Commons Park at 31st Ave SW and SW Graham St
Parade Start: 11:30 am
Parade Start Location: West Seattle Elementary – 6760 34th Ave SW
Parade Route: North on 31st Ave SW from the WSE parking lot, across Morgan St, past the Bee Garden and into Commons Park. The total route is 0.5 miles.
Want to join the parade? Fantastic! Everyone is welcome. Set-up will ‘open’ at the West Seattle Elementary parking lot at 10:30 am. There will be face painting and an opportunity to make a flower for the parade. Look for a friendly face carrying a helium ballon for answers to questions. The Sound Wave marching band will be leading the way. Fun!
The picnic! Holy smokes some amazing people want to come hang out!
Remember the call for plant pots at Arbor Heights Elementary, for teacher Marcia Ingerslev and her farming first-graders – and the great response? The tomato plants – and some radishes too, we’re told – have been on sale after school this week and you’re welcome today as they sell plants one last time before Ms. Ingerslev has to haul the remainders off to be donated! The parent volunteer who shared the photo says it’s your chance to “be a proud new home to a grown-from-seed tomato plant (or radish) for a donation that goes fully to the farm program.” It’s a short sale window – about 3 pm to 3:30 pm, we’re told – but if you can make it over to Arbor Heights (37th and 104th), the plants await you, at a $2 donation each.
No word yet on any breakthrough in Wednesday morning’s arson at Longfellow Creek P-Patch in Westwood. But after a WSB commenter asked whether anything was needed to help the gardeners recover, we sought out an answer – and got it today from Minh Chau Le of the Department of Neighborhoods, who manages the community garden as part of the P-Patch program.
I was very pleasantly surprised to hear of the offers of help and support that came in, first via the posted comments of your readers and then via Lois Maag from DON, who has been fielding communications about the incident. It was so great to see that the types of community caring that we strive to foster within each P-Patch were coming to us from the greater community as well.
As reported by the Seattle Fire Department, the damages amount to around $500. The Longfellow Creek P-Patch, like every P-Patch throughout the city, is very much a community-driven effort. It currently does not have money or supplies readily on hand to replace the items lost. Should you continue to receive inquires from concerned neighbors who wish to help out in some way, please feel free to share this list of items that would be useful to the P-Patch as it begins the gardening season after having suffered the arson:
· 1 sturdy wheel barrow 3 cubic foot capacity or greater
· 1 Hori hori digging tool
· 2 digging shovels
· 2 digging forks
· Gift certificates in any amount to: Home Depot, TrueValue in the Junction, or McLendon’s Hardware.
The arson reward fund mentioned in the sign in our photo, by the way, does not involve public funds (we got a question about that too) – it’s from an insurance-company-supported foundation. If you have any information about who set this fire, call 800-55-ARSON. And if you have questions or other ideas about helping out, reach Chau via the P-Patch Program.
Story and photos by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Sustainable West Seattle continued its “Successful Gardening with Nature” series Monday night with the second of three installments: “Designing the Perfect Garden.”
A walk-through of the Community Orchard of West Seattle included adding topsoil around existing fruit trees and planting seedlings that have been grown in South Seattle Community College’s greenhouse.
To demonstrate “companion planting” (placing plants that provide beneficial qualities within close proximity of each other) Stu Hennessey and Narcissa Nelson led forum attendees in a planting exercise.
The West Seattle Bee Garden is now five weeks away from its scheduled opening – with, as reported here last month, a parade and picnic to which the entire community is invited. Right now, it’s work party season: the photo above is from a blessing given during the first work party last weekend, at the Bee Garden’s site next to the P-Patch in High Point’s Commons Park. As Bee Garden instigator Lauren Englund noted, “We removed 3500 square feet of sod during the rainiest weekend on record at Sea-Tac since 1948! Woohoo!”
Lauren was planning to follow up on that work party by picking up the Bee Garden’s hives from Daniel Sullivan of Shipwreck Honey and procuring the bees from a beekeeper in Burien.
What’s also been happening is a revision of financial goals. Community donations are still very much appreciated, and what’s been received so far has enabled the project to reduce its fundraising goal – so it’s now a four-digit number instead of five. The IndieGoGo page for the project still shows the old goal rather than the reset $8,000; Lauren says they’re still looking to fund educational signs, beekeeping equipment, two additional locally built beehives with frames, a small solar panel, demonstration supplies, a webcam with wi-fi to place at the hive entrance, and refreshments for volunteers during ongoing work parties. You can help by contributing here; you can sign up for weekend work parties by going here; and you can also be part of the celebration May 19th, 11 am-3 pm – details here.
(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
Yet another great example of generosity: We wrote on Thursday about the call for one-gallon plant-pot donations for the tomato-growing project in which Arbor Heights Elementary teacher Marcia Ingerslev and her students learn, teach, and share – and about an hour ago, that call was answered, big time! Our photo includes some of the donors as well as excited tomato-farming students. (We’ll be adding a few photos from parent volunteers who were there too – THANK YOU!)
Spend this Saturday gardening, to help financially challenged families grow their own food! Seattle Tilth‘s Just Garden Project is hoping for more than 100 volunteers to join the “Spring Into Bed!” work party at more than a dozen backyards and community centers in High Point. The official announcement says this is meant to “empower families to become self-sufficient, grow their own food and make healthier food choices.” Just show up at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, 6400 Sylvan Way SW, for garden-building 10 am-2 pm and a celebration afterward. RSVP by e-mailing email@example.com – and find out more at springintobed.org.
Story and photo by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Sustainable West Seattle is taking a new approach to its monthly member meetings by focusing on a particular theme each quarter. Last night kicked off this quarter’s “gardening with nature” theme with a focus on soils.
Due to our region’s glaciated geological history, our soils can be challenging to work in, and often take time, energy and amendments to create an environment where plants can thrive. Stu Hennessey (right) demonstrated the work that has been done at the Community Orchard of West Seattle – site of part of the meeting – to improve the soil, taking it from a compacted lawn to a healthy, nutrient-rich soil supporting edible plants and fruit trees. Much of the resulting produce will be shared with the Delridge Grocery, announced last night as one of three SWS Green Grant Recipients (we reported on the grant recipients here, before last night’s meeting was over).
The healthy soil was created using a method called “layering” which is also known as “lasagna gardening.”
(Lauren Englund in photo from May 2012 WSB story)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
When we first introduced you to Lauren Englund in May of last year, she had an idea – saving honey bees through education, by setting up an educational/observational hive – and needed help to make the dream come true.
It’s a dream with an underpinning of urgency – without bees, our lives are at risk.
Now – after community meetings, and a blossoming group of helpers (including Christine Bartels, at left in our photo above with Lauren on the right) – the dream is close to reality, in the form of the West Seattle Bee Garden, set to launch next to the High Point Commons Park P-Patch with a parade this May.
Right now, though, the next stage needs even more help – and that’s where you come in.
Part of it involves crowdfunding, through an IndieGoGo campaign that’s under way, to augment the Department of Neighborhoods matching-fund grant that’s helping fuel the project, as well as rallying volunteers for upcoming work parties.
We talked with Lauren at the Bee Garden site one recent gray, chilly day. The bees’ future home was only timber in the ground, but she painted a bright picture of the pollination garden that will bloom in this area east of the future bee enclosure:
And she rhapsodized about the expected visits from students and community members finding out about bees’ crucial role in our ecosystem.
The framework that’s there now will house the bees’ home as well as observation areas and informational features. They might even have webcams so people can check in online. The entryway to the garden will have a two-sided mosaic.
The stars of the show of course will be the bees themselves, which will come from local beekeepers, will arrive in style, with a community parade. There will be two hives for starters – “local genes, local DNA, no chemicals, no pesticides.”
What the West Seattle Bee Garden needs right now is “dollars, and bodies,” says Lauren – help in the form of work-party participation in April and May, starting April 6th – sign up here – and donations to the IndieGoGo campaign – do that here. You can get in on pavers to be placed in the garden, at a certain donation level, as well as other contribution rewards, as is typical in the crowdfunding world. (Check them out on the right side of the IndieGogo page.)
The High Point Neighborhood Association is sponsoring the picnic and parade that will celebrate the bees’ arrival at 11 am May 19th – with a marching band leading the way! The bees will be marched in, in a sealed container, as part of a festival-like atmosphere – Lauren expects games, arts, crafts, even food trucks all around the park.
The festival is only the beginning – then, the first summer of bee-watching, bee-tending, pollination, and education will begin. Lauren hopes the West Seattle Bee Garden will teach people about pesticides, and how they affect bees (among other beneficial insects) – it’s not as simple as it seems when you grab a product off the shelf at a store. And it’ll be an opportunity for people to learn other things about bees – why they swarm, for example.
Nearby West Seattle Elementary is already involved in the project and other schools are welcome to join, she adds – including being part of the parade.
P.S. Here’s the plant list so far for the pollination garden; Lauren notes that it’s “specific to good pollinators for honey bees,” but they hope to incorporate plants that also are conducive to “butterflies, mason bees, hummingbirds, bumblebees, etc.”
Hellebore (late winter)
Crocus (late winter)
Witch Hazel (late winter)
Oregon Grape (spring)
Alpine Strawberry (spring)
Japanese Snowbell Tree (summer)
Bee Balm (summer)
Black Eyed Susan (summer)
Geranium Sanguineum (summer)
Asters (late summer)
She hopes that eventually, there will be plants to bloom year-round. But again, it’s time now to jump in and help – work-party signups here, contributions here, and if you have questions or ideas – e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and check the website, which includes a photo gallery, FAQ, and updates.
(Photos courtesy Karrie Kohlhaas)
In the months ahead, rain gardens will be part of at least two government-led projects in West Seattle. A private project that’s already in place in North Delridge continues to draw interest – including a school field trip for which Karrie Kohlhaas was the neighborhood liaison today. She shared photos and this report:
This morning, Chief Sealth International High School brought 25 ninth-graders on a tour of the Rain Garden Demonstration Cluster on 25th Ave SW between Brandon and Findlay (10 rain gardens in the front yards of 10 neighbors on 25th).
The students have been learning about storm water and how it impacts the environment and nearby waterways. Students visited Longfellow Creek before walking 25th Avenue to learn about rain gardens for the first time.
I met with students and teachers to explain how a rain garden works and to show them the different types of plants in a rain garden. We talked about why someone might want to plant a rain garden — how it can both absorb excess water in the winter and be a low maintenance landscaping in the summer and most importantly how it filters toxic pollutants before the water makes its way to local waterways like nearby Longfellow Creek.
As expected, some of the students were more interested than others. I told them that this might not be so fascinating right now, but when they have a home one day, they may stop and think about planting a rain garden instead of grass, which is not beneficial to the environment. They are finding out about grass alternatives much earlier than I did. I only discovered rain gardens a couple years ago. I told them they are way ahead of the curve.
Since we installed 10 rain gardens on our block in 2011, we’ve had many visitors. Many gardeners, a local Muslim school, curious West Seattle and Delridge neighbors, and even people who heard about the project on NPR and PBS in other states have made our block part of their visit to Seattle. I’ve enjoyed spreading the word about rain gardens and the benefits to homeowners, the environment, and the community.
If anyone wants to come check out the gardens, they are welcome to walk the block. It’s a great example of neighbors and non-profits working together to improve the community. While here, you can also see the street improvement on our block, where we collaborated with SDOT and Stewardship Partners to augment a drainage solution in the street by adding, yep, more rain gardens as well as native plants in the planting strips up and down the block. This spring will be a great time to come and check it out when everything is blooming and budding.
Here’s a map to the neighborhood.
ADDED SATURDAY: Chief Sealth social-studies teacher Noah Zeichner tells WSB that this was one of 10 “field experiences” taken by ninth-graders on Friday as part of the multidisciplinary WEST Project (Water, Ecology, and Sustainability Team). The destinations also included:
• Renton Water Treatment
• Cedar River Water Shed
• Water 1st
• Seattle Biomed
• Duwamish Boat ride
• Solid Ground
• Rainier Urban Farms and Wetlands
• Urban Gardens with Composting
• Gates Foundation Visitor Center
Local and global water issues continue to be a focus at Sealth, and this year’s World Water Week is coming up – at which time, among many other activities, students will present their projects to students at adjacent Denny International Middle School. More on WWW coming up in another WSB story this weekend – meantime, here’s previous coverage, including a note about this year’s keynote address, to which the community’s invited.
(Photo from 2012 West Seattle Garden Tour, by Nick Adams for WSB)
Before hundreds of people spend next July 21st wandering beautiful West Seattle gardens – the West Seattle Garden Tour will again celebrate “The Art of Gardening” with its second annual poster-art contest! With less than a month till the deadline, the WSGT is recirculating its call for artists. Not only will the winner’s work be seen by thousands – there’s a prize: $500. There’s also a list of rules/guidelines for entries, so if you’re interested, check out the contest details here (the entry form is linked on that page too).
You still have till 3 pm to get to one of the first holiday open houses of the season – the always-popular event at West Seattle Nursery (California and Brandon). Though it’s a spectacularly sunny day, the biggest draw, during our stop, was the wide array of holiday decor inside:
Along with free espresso and snacks, WSN also has had a slate of presentations – including cider-making with Matt Pope from CityFruit.
Three dozen fruit trees on trellises at the Community Orchard of West Seattle are in need of somebody special to plan their care and their future. Here’s the announcement from COWS:
The Community Orchard of West Seattle, located at the South Seattle Community College North Entrance (6000 16th Ave SW), is currently seeking an Intensive Fruit Trellis Volunteer Coordinator.
Did you know the 1/8-acre Community Orchard site contains 36 dwarf trellised fruit trees? These trees must be weighted and pruned in a very specific manner to stimulate fruit production. When done properly, the trellis can produce incredible apple yields in just 3 years time!
COWS is seeking someone to help plan the next steps for our intensive fruit-tree trellis and other fruit-bearing trees.
The perfect volunteer would be a landscape/horticulture student or experienced gardener with knowledge of fruit=tree care and maintenance.
This person will help to research high-intensive trellis care, and develop a plan for the long-term management of this important resource.
For more information about this volunteer position, please contact the Community Orchard @ email@example.com
One more hour to join the revelry at Barton Street P-Patch in Westwood, finishing its first full spring/summer season and still growing strong:
The Harvest Festival/Potluck is on till 3:30 pm. If you haven’t seen the garden yet, go check it out … this time last year, they were still in the midst of construction, and now, it’s down to the finishing touches.
If you followed the garden-design saga last year, you’ll recall the successful campaign to save the big tree in the background of that view. The garden’s at 34th and Barton, east of the 7/11 and biodiesel station, south/southeast of Tony’s Produce.
Out of the WSB inbox tonight:
ROSES, MORE ROSES, AND STILL MORE ROSES from 9 AM until 3 PM on Saturday, October 20th. The roses are available at SW 61st and Beach Drive SW, the former home of Rich and Ruth Fandek. This lovely rose garden has graced the West Seattle waterfront for years and years. It is presently being partially dismantled. About 60 rose bushes are still available.. It’s a “YOU DIG” event. It will be helpful for you to bring your own shovel, pitch fork, pruner, and bucket. Rose bushes are available for a suggested donation of $!0. The activity is sponsored by the Mary-Martha Bible Study Circle of Hope Lutheran Church. All donations will be given in support of a professional Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod church worker student. Questions? Contact Irene Gehring at 937-9180
The photo above, from county property records, doesn’t do justice to what the rose garden looked like at its peak – our first residence in West Seattle was a rental a block away, in the early ’90s, so we remember the summer colors very well – but that photo’s all we could find.
Thanks to Bryan and Janet Jones for photos from the grounds of the former Genesee Hill school, where the community gardens are getting some TLC from neighborhood and Seattle Pacific University CityQuest volunteers. That work’s going on till about 2 pm.
But it overlaps with another event you can join in, too – from 1 till 3 pm, make mosaic stepping stones with Bright River Studio artist Terri Goodwin. Just bring “a colorful old plate or tile to break up for the mosaic” and “dress for mess.” You’ll get to keep your finished creation.
ADDED: Afterward, Janet sent out this summary:
Today was a gold star day at the school, with several long-awaited tasks accomplished, as follows:
Four new basketball nets installed
Some playground sweeping
All summer debris transferred to the dumpster
Ivy pulled from the Dakota hedge
Wildlife area tidied
Wood chips wheelbarrowed to beds – wildlife area and behind play structure
Two and a half trash bags of litter picked up.
Photos with story posted to the wsblog
Stepping stone art
Thank you one and all!
If you bought a ticket for this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour, then that big ceremonial check is in part from you! Tuesday night at the Duwamish Longhouse, the WSGT celebrated this year’s eight beneficiaries – by presenting them with a grand total of $24,705, following what not only was a well-attended tour but was its most successful yet at drawing revenue from sponsors (including WSB again this year). Individual photos ahead, along with details on how the $ will be spent!
Remember Lauren Englund and her idea for an “observational/educational beehive” in High Point, where she lives? We featured her pitch here back in May – and she’s just e-mailed to say “We got the space!” Next Tuesday, everyone interested in the project is invited to a design meeting. Ahead, excerpts of the e-mail she sent to supporters, including the meeting time/date/place: Click to read the rest of Followup: Lauren’s bee project gets the green light…
Five weeks from today, school starts. But there’s still a whole lot of summer left to enjoy – and today, blue sky and bright sun graced a high-profile work party at the garden on the Denny/Sealth campus. Above, new Seattle Public Schools superintendent José Banda joined Seattle Storm guard Svetlana Abrosimova in getting some plants in the garden’s raised beds. That was just one of the tasks tackled today:
And we do mean tackled. As in football. Participants included former Seahawks – like Forey Duckett:
And school leaders too – here are Sealth’s principal Chris Kinsey and vice principal Lupe Barnes with superintendent Banda:
Sustainability was the theme here – new planting beds were built from recovered cedar, for example; both schools are certified Washington Green Schools. And after a few hours, everybody was ready for a “zero-waste lunch”:
The produce was all grown in the Denny/Sealth garde and consumed with compostable utensils.As big as this was, it was actually just a prelude to an event next month, the nationwide “Green Apple Day of Service” sponsored by the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council on September 29th.
The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington Green Schools, Seattle Public Schools, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Storm will join community volunteers and students from Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School to spruce up the Joan Allen Memorial Garden at Denny school. During the Wednesday, Aug. 1 event, work crews will build raised planting beds from recovered cedar, plant fall crop seedlings, weed existing planting areas and improve the school’s garden storage shed.
The district says new Superintendent José Banda will be there, too.
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
The clouds made the colors and patterns stand out just that much more during today’s 18th annual West Seattle Garden Tour. WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams visited some of the nine featured gardens; above, Barbara Post and Margie O’Coyne walked through the Pollinators’ Paradise (Davis & Plucinski) garden, admiring the fireglow. Also from that garden:
Participating gardener Sarah Cecil Martin answered Chris Porter‘s questions about a rose bush in her garden (Urban Growth), which is also where visitors saw this glass/stone path:
Another splendid stop: The Rohwer garden:
This one, for the tour, was dubbed “Perennial Plush”:
In the Houghton/Wong garden, tour-titled “North by Southwest,” a bee headed for the sea holly:
Another view from NxSW:
WSB co-sponsored the WSGT again this year; net proceeds go to local nonprofits (here are this year’s beneficiaries).
That’s the whiteboard for what’s available right now at the High Point Market Garden Farm Stand, open for the first time this year, Wednesdays 4-7 pm. The farmers took a quick break for our photo:
Their plots are literally next to the stand – so it’s as farm-fresh as you can get – 32nd and Juneau (map).
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