Community involvement for MLK Day: Sustainable West Seattle

January 18, 2015 at 7:11 pm | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Wondering about community work you can do tomorrow on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? Might be as simple as coming to a meeting: Sustainable West Seattle has chosen Monday night for its annual membership meeting, themed “Learn, Volunteer, Join.” The invitation is for anyone and everyone, member or not, per the official announcement:

On the National Day of Service, start the New Year off by donating some time to Sustainable West Seattle (SWS), the organization spearheading West Seattle’s effort to provide alternatives to globalization and planet exploitation. SWS is looking for new members and board members for 2015’s “projects of hope.”

Here is your chance to influence the shape of your sustainable community and local projects. The evening will include:

*Review of Projects & Events in 2014
*Look Forward & Idea Sharing for Focus of 2015
*Prospective Board Candidates — Attendees for consideration by Incoming 2015 Board will share their ideas for, and what they can contribute to SWS
*SWS Members at large and interested participants (not SWS members) share ideas for local West Seattle efforts and to help SWS as an organization

Dessert will be provided by the current 2014 SWS Board. Hope you can join in the local effort with Sustainable West Seattle.

It’s happening at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 5612 California SW (if you’re taking the bus, the California/Findlay RapidRide station is steps away), 6:30 pm. P.S. New benefit for SWS membership – discounts at several local businesses!

Sustainable West Seattle presents awards, celebrates a busy year

August 21, 2014 at 9:27 pm | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

This year, Sustainable West Seattle members and friends headed into the trees for the group’s annual picnic, gathering among the food-producing plants at the Community Orchard of West Seattle on the northeast edge of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. Before dessert time – which included the option to make smoothies with a human-powered blender! – SWS’s Stu Hennessey announced this year’s honorees. First, Steve Richmond, honored for his work with native plants and removing invasives – projects such as the wetland restoration by Sanislo Elementary – “which he does all by bicycle!”

Speaking of bicycling – tonight’s other honoree was West Seattle Bike Connections president Don Brubeck, not on hand, but lauded by Stu for his “mild-mannered” advocacy, and everything he and WSBC have accomplished in just a few short years.

Stu also listed some of SWS’s main projects/events this past year, including the orchard itself, where a row of trellissed apple trees grows – most made naturally problem-resistant, compared to a few on the north side that aren’t:

Apples were going into the cider press borrowed from the West Seattle Tool Library, also a SWS project:

SWS also planned and presented the GreenLife area at West Seattle Summer Fest again this year; other programs and projects include DIY Bikes, Tox-Ick.Org, Spokespeople, and West Seattle Meaningful Movies, whose next presentation, September 6th, is “Princess Angeline,” about Chief Sealth‘s daughter, an event also intended for support of and updates about the Duwamish Tribe‘s ongoing battle for official recognition.

Find out more about SWS at

You can help! Sustainable West Seattle welcoming, celebrating volunteers next Saturday

April 28, 2014 at 6:32 pm | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

(WSB photo from SWS picnic – including a celebration of volunteers – last August)
“Volunteers are the essential ingredient to make West Seattle more sustainable.” So says Sustainable West Seattle, inviting you to its first Volunteer Orientation and Appreciation Party next Saturday (May 3), 4-7 pm, at CrossFit West Seattle in The Admiral District (4200 SW Admiral Way). From the announcement:

… The orientation for prospective volunteers includes descriptions of what SWS volunteers do and the many opportunities offered. Volunteers work at the Tool Library, Community Orchard, Tox-Ick wastewater awareness program, multiple bicycle activities including WS Spokespeople, West Seattle Bike Connections and our newest project, DIY Bikes.

… The celebration includes a Volunteer Appreciation Party, with a potluck, music and green prizes. SWS will provide food and beverages and you’re welcome to bring a dish to share. For additional information, contact Kimberly Leeper at

West Seattle holidays: Festive ‘Festivus’ for WS Tool Library

December 6, 2013 at 8:25 pm | In Holidays, Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Yes, there really is a Festivus pole at tonight’s West Seattle Tool Library/Sustainable West Seattle holiday party/fundraiser at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (that’s Chas Redmond next to it in our photo). They chose the theme of the “Seinfeld“-sparked anti-holiday just for fun – and a lot of that was being had when we stopped by in the early going, with a casual dinner, kids’ activities, silent auction, and more:

Out in the lobby, an unexpected sight – Santa Claus!

Santa (with Bill Reiswig in our photo) said he was actually on his way to another event so wouldn’t be able to stop for the traditional Festivus “airing of grievances” or “feats of strength.” We didn’t check the roof for his reindeer, but we’re sure they felt right at home on this North Pole-chilly night. If you missed the party, you can visit the Tool Library on the north side of Youngstown, open two weeknights and two weekend days each week, where you’ll even find the cider press that was in use at tonight’s party:

The nonprofit Tool Library also suggests that gift memberships make great presents – for Christmas as well as Festivus; you can even buy them online.

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, 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’…

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.

Video: Sustainable West Seattle honors ‘Diver Laura’ James, WS Bike Connections at Lincoln Park picnic

August 19, 2013 at 10:00 pm | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | Comments Off

That photo is from tonight’s Sustainable West Seattle community picnic at Lincoln Park, where SWS (whose president Kimberly Leeper is second from right) honored West Seattle Bike Connections (4 reps at left) as Sustainability Champions and “Diver Laura” James (at right) as Volunteer of the Year. Here’s our video of the back-to-back presentations – and speeches:

As members explained in the clip, WSBC is a relatively new group – its early organizational outreach last year, in fact, involved the WSB Forums. WSBC has since gotten deeply involved in advocacy for safety, for a louder West Seattle voice in transportation planning, and much more. You can find WSBC online here.

“Diver Laura,” meantime, at first gained attention for her amazing underwater video and cleanup work – and then got increasingly involved in organized environmental advocacy, taking over the Tox-Ick Monster runoff-reducing campaign and most recently joining up with Puget Soundkeeper Alliance.

The announcements were part of an annual tradition for SWS, now in its seventh year (first mentioned here on WSB in the summer of 2007) – a celebratory summer picnic:

This past year, its meetings continued evolving into community forums, focusing on a particular sustainability topic for more than one month at a time – such as a popular series on gardening. Watch for upcoming events – not just sponsored by SWS, but related to sustainability, all over the peninsula – on the group’s frequently updated website.

Sustainable West Seattle announces annual picnic for August 19th

August 10, 2013 at 9:39 pm | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Much yet to come this summer – including Sustainable West Seattle‘s annual picnic on the Lincoln Park shore, just announced:

Join Sustainable West Seattle on Monday, August 19th for our fun and beautiful Annual Community Harvest Celebration and Picnic!

We will be gathering at Shelter #3 at Lincoln Park, the large shelter with a barbecue grill, on the southern end of the park near the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal dock. The picnic begins around 4:30 pm with the preparation of the grill. We should have everything ready for celebrating by 5:00 pm. Members, guests, and new folks who want to check out this group are asked to bring a potluck item to share — side dish OR dessert would be great. SWS will provide the protein for the BBQ + condiments. Bring your own dishes/utensils, if possible. The picnic continues through sunset on the beach and usually concludes around 9:00 pm with shelter-area cleanup.

We’ll honor a few of the amazing people in our local community, too – Sustainability Champion and Volunteer of the Year. Also, consider bringing your acoustic instrument to share a song or two with our creative & playful group…maybe a community jam will happen?! We’d love to hear about the “green” things you’ve been up to in the last year! Come on out and connect with an inspring community of people, ideas, and practice!

West Seattle Summer Fest countdown: New Timebank debuts!

July 11, 2013 at 5:54 pm | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news | Comments Off

The countdown’s almost over and West Seattle Summer Fest 2013 is hours away – but we have a few more previews tonight – including this: The brand-new West Seattle Timebank will debut at Summer Fest! The idea’s been percolating for a while, and there was an organizational meeting last year. Now, Tamsen Spengler sends word the West Seattle Timebank‘s website has just gone live, and the Timebank will be at GreenLife with Sustainable West Seattle (see the GL location on the map above), 11 am-5 pm all three Summer Fest days, Friday-Sunday. To find out more about it, check out the brochure here and the flyer for the July 24th orientation, here.

Need tools? West Seattle Tool Library expanding hours, days

June 27, 2013 at 10:25 am | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Just in from Sustainable West Seattle‘s Kate Kaemerle – the WS Tool Library is adding more hours for summer:

As of July 1st, WSTL is adding hours on Tuesdays from 5-8 pm. They are also adjusting their hours on Thursday and weekends to serve more member requests for tools and workshop use.

“We’re expanding our hours to keep up with demand for our tools,” said WSTL Manager Micah Summers. “Our new hours should help accommodate more people and increase the convenience of checking tools in and out.”

The new West Seattle Tool Library summer schedule begins July 1st:

Tuesday 5-8 pm (new day)
Thursday 5-8 pm (new hours)
Saturday 11 am – 4 pm (new hours)
Sunday 11 am -4 pm (new hours)

The West Seattle Tool Library is a non-profit, community service, offering access to a collection of over 1,500 tools. With more than 1,000 members, the tool library has helped build orchards, playgrounds, greenhouses and supported thousands of home, yard and neighborhood projects.

The West Seattle Tool Library is located at:

Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW

The West Seattle Tool Library is a project of Sustainable West Seattle and was made possible by a neighborhood grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and is powered by the lending-library-management system.

Happening now: Sustainable West Seattle and friends build ‘Presto Garden’ to help White Center Food Bank

May 18, 2013 at 3:38 pm | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

(First two photos courtesy SWS)
Thanks to Kate Kaemerle from Sustainable West Seattle for sharing updates from the “Presto Garden” project that’s now moved on to the planting stage at Westcrest Park P-Patch in Highland Park. It was just a couple of hours ago that volunteers were putting down compost, as shown in an earlier photo from Kate:

And a few hours before that, we caught up with Kate and Bill Reiswig getting ready at the West Seattle Tool Library:

(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
Food grown organically and sustainably in the garden will be donated to the White Center Food Bank. Read more about the project on the SWS website; if you haven’t been by yet, head for 8th/Henderson; they’re scheduled to continue till 5, and the more help they have, the more they can get done.

ADDED: We went back around 4:40 pm to see something close to the “after” photo:

Now – it’s time to grow!

Sustainable West Seattle to debut new garden next weekend, growing food to feed those in need

May 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm | In Gardening, Highland Park, How to help, Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

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).

Sustainable West Seattle explores ‘Designing a Perfect Garden’

April 16, 2013 at 1:16 pm | In Gardening, Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

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.

Click to read the rest of Sustainable West Seattle explores ‘Designing a Perfect Garden’…

Sustainable West Seattle digs into natural gardening

March 19, 2013 at 9:42 pm | In Gardening, Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

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.”

Click to read the rest of Sustainable West Seattle digs into natural gardening…

Sustainable West Seattle awards grant money to 3 projects

March 18, 2013 at 7:41 pm | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

From WSB contributing reporter Keri DeTore at tonight’s Sustainable West Seattle community forum: SWS has just announced not just one winner from its new grant program, but three. Keri says the newly renamed Delridge Grocery group received $1,000 – you can congratulate them at their membership “launch/lunch” event next Saturday – and another $1,000 was split by the Time Bank of West Seattle and DIY Bikes applicants, after SWS announced it had extra money to give. The three were among six applicants for the new program; in addition to making their pitches to the group, they also were rated in an online survey open to community participation. Main topic of tonight’s event is “gardening with nature”; we’ll have Keri’s report on that later – the forum continues at the SSCC Horticulture Center and Community Orchard of West Seattle until 9.

You be the judge! Who merits Sustainable West Seattle’s $1K grant?

March 6, 2013 at 11:31 am | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Sustainable West Seattle has a $1,000 Green Incubator Grant to award, with six potential recipients in the running. SWS is now inviting you to help judge – rating the proposals for those six West Seattle/White Center projects. Even if you haven’t heard about them before, you can help by going to this online survey page, reading the thumbnail description of each proposal, and rating each one on how it relates to five criteria: Feasibility, Sustainability, Social and Economic Justice, Community Building, Educational Elements. SWS will use your feedback and choose the recipient in time for an announcement at its March 18 Community Forum at the South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) Horticulture Center/Community Orchard of West Seattle site.

Also on Tuesday: Sustainable West Seattle’s annual meeting

January 21, 2013 at 12:50 am | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | Comments Off

In honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s birthday, today is the MLK Day of Service – but tomorrow (Tuesday) you have multiple opportunities to carry on that spirit of service, by participating in community meetings. Here’s one more from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar that we’re making sure you see ahead of time:

Sustainable West Seattle‘s annual membership meeting is Tuesday, January 22nd from 7 – 9 pm at the West Seattle Senior Center.

You’ll hear about SWS programs for 2013 and ways that you can get involved as a volunteer. We’ll be introducing our new and returning board members plus appreciating our outgoing board colleagues.

You will also learn about the kick-off of our 2013 SWS Green Project Incubator Grant with $1000 generously donated from the CoHo Team of Windermere Agents. SWS will offer this grant to a West Seattle resident who applies with an idea to foster sustainability in our neighborhood. Come to the meeting for more details.

1,000th-member milestone approaches for West Seattle Tool Library

November 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Almost two and a half years ago, the West Seattle Tool Library opened its doors (WSB first-day coverage here) – and this week they’ve announced they’re on the brink of signing up their 1,000th member. They’re looking for ideas on how to mark the milestone, and also inviting you to share your Tool Library story – this update on the Sustainable West Seattle website has the details. Looking for Tool Library hours and other info? Go here.

Metro apologizes, promises Arbor Heights changes @ Sustainable West Seattle transportation forum

October 15, 2012 at 11:46 pm | In Sustainable West Seattle, Transportation, West Seattle news | 37 Comments

ORIGINAL REPORT, 11:46 PM MONDAY: While we upload video and put together the full story, we did want to share a few toplines from tonight’s well-attended Sustainable West Seattle Community Forum, focused on transportation.

We estimate around 60 people filled the upstairs hall at the Senior Center of West Seattle, surprising one panelist, City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who had brought only 20 copies of a handout he wanted to circulate. Though the panel was prepared to discuss a wide range of transportation topics, the Metro changes/RapidRide C Line debut dominated, and when one attendee asked everyone from Arbor Heights to stand up, that covered about half the room. Metro planner Victor Obeso acknowledged the transition had been rocky and when asked by one attendee to apologize, did so. Later he also confirmed they expect to make some changes to address problems like Arbor Heights’ dramatic reduction in service, and that they are trying to get the RapidRide service to the promised 10-minute spacing, rather than multiple buses in a row after longer gaps. The forum ran the full two hours, and we have it all on video:

ADDED 6:57 AM TUESDAY: Video added. Text to come later this morning today.

ADDED 6:40 PM: Our full story, after the jump:

Click to read the rest of Metro apologizes, promises Arbor Heights changes @ Sustainable West Seattle transportation forum…

Sustainable West Seattle honors a hero, celebrates a milestone

August 20, 2012 at 9:24 pm | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

When the campaign to stop the Tox-Ick Monster burst onto the local scene last year, the unsung hero behind it was Cate White, leading Sustainable West Seattle‘s education and outreach efforts to get people to take action, little by little, to make a big difference in Puget Sound’s water quality. Cate is unsung no longer – tonight, during SWS’s annual summertime picnic at Lincoln Park, president Christina Hahs announced her as the group’s 2012 Sustainable Hero:

In case you couldn’t watch the video – Cate is leaving West Seattle soon, headed for the Bay Area, but the fight against Tox-Ick will live on – Cate has helped secure several major grants, and was there to celebrate the $10,000 the campaign is getting for Laura Jamesrecent win as a Cox Conserves Hero.

Another celebration at tonight’s picnic: SWS is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. We went back into the WSB archives and found our first mention, a quick announcement of its first meeting in spring of 2007. Christina brought homemade green-iced cake tonight to mark the milestone:

And if you did see/hear the video – the dogs who were “cheering” for Cate were Christina’s Corgis, Sedona and Piper:

The picnic took the place of this month’s regular membership meeting, so there were announcements, too, including Saturday’s Duwamish River Festival in South Park and tomorrow’s weekly Health and Harvest event at the Community Orchard of West Seattle, 5-7 pm on the northeast side of the South Seattle Community College campus. SSCC is also where SWS plans its September meeting, which will focus on winter gardening – watch for details and lots more on its frequently and thoroughly updated website,

Congratulations! Laura James wins Cox Conserves Heroes award, gets $ for Sustainable West Seattle

July 25, 2012 at 9:16 pm | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 10 Comments

Just got the news, and that photo, from a proud Laura James – best known here as “Diver Laura,” who has often shared video of amazing underwater sights as well as news of cleanups on sea and shore: She won the Cox Conserves Heroes award, which means a total of $10,000 for Sustainable West Seattle, her chosen nonprofit! We first told you in June that she was a finalist in this year’s contest. Then, voting ensued – till one week ago – and today, Laura was announced as the winner. (She was the only West Seattleite among the finalists, who are all shown here; the other two will each earn a $2,500 grant for their chosen nonprofit.)

(Laura with Cate White, Sustainable WS Tox-Ick fighter)
ADDED 9:49 PM: We asked Laura for a comment. Her reply:

A huge thank you to KIRO 7, Cox Enterprises and the Trust for Public Land for helping fight the Tox-Ick Monster! Many many thanks to my Friends and Family – Facebook or otherwise – who voted, My dive buddies who make the dives possible; a special thank you to Kelle Fitzpatrick for nominating me; and West Seattle Blog for your relentless support! I could not have done it without all of you!

“Tox-Ick,” you might recall, is the “face” of the Sustainable WS toxic-runoff-fighting campaign (read about the “monster” here and about simple actions YOU can take to fight it).

ADDED THURSDAY MORNING: Here’s the official announcement, now published on the Cox Conserves Heroes website.

West Seattle Tool Library goes mobile! Delivery/pickup trailer debuts

July 11, 2012 at 10:00 am | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

(Photo courtesy West Seattle Tool Library)
As its third year of operation gets under way, the nationally renowned West Seattle Tool Library is adding mobile service – and you can take a peek firsthand during tomorrow night’s “Ask an Expert” event at the WSTL. Here’s the Tool Library’s official announcement:

The West Seattle Tool Library is pleased to announce that we are going mobile. Thanks to a few generous sponsorships and the ongoing support of our growing 700-plus member community, the tool library has purchased a trailer and refurbished it to serve as a mobile extension of our well-loved collection of tools.

The new mobile unit, sized seven- by 14-feet, will be stocked with a variety of the most popular tools. The trailer will allow for members who do not have a vehicle, who need a tool that doesn’t fit in their vehicle or simply want the convenience of having it delivered, to do so for a fee of $10 each way. The mobile tool library will also be available to community groups who are working on a project and need a large number of tools on site.

Members will be able to request a pickup or delivery by contacting the library by e-mail at or by phone at (206) 317-4671.

“This mobile unit will dramatically increase accessibility to the West Seattle Tool Library for a number of our neighbors who, for one reason or another, can’t always make it down to the tool library itself during open hours,” said Patrick Dunn, tool library founder. “It’s a really exciting opportunity to reach out to the community and ensure that everyone has access to the tools they need to take on projects of all sorts.”

The bright red unit, which resembles a horse trailer and was purchased in used condition and refurbished to a pristine state by Tool Library Director Micah Summers, will be officially rolled out to the public Thursday night, July 12, at the Tool Library’s regular DIY community meetup and “Ask an Expert” night. It will then be on display at the GreenLife exposition (part of West Seattle Summer Fest ) this weekend in the West Seattle Junction.

Held at the tool library’s permanent location in the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way, the “Ask an Expert” event runs from 6-8 p.m. and offers area residents an opportunity to bounce project ideas off fellow DIYers and receive advice from experts in a variety of home improvement and sustainability fields.

The mobile unit was made possible by grants from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, the West Seattle Garden Tour and other donors.

The West Seattle Tool Library officially opened its doors in June of 2010, offering free community access to a variety of more than 100 tools out of a small storage closet. Just two years later, that modest collection has grown to over 1,500 mostly-donated tools, serving a membership of around 700 people from a renovated workshop space at Youngstown.

The tool library also hosts a wide range of educational classes and workshops, a fixer’s collective and social events geared toward the Do-It-Yourself community. Besides Summers, an intern and a number of volunteers help keep the library open and humming on weekends and Thursday nights.

You can check out the WSTL inventory via its website –
ADDED: Another reason to go!

Also visiting the Tool Library this Thursday evening are the folks from ‘Spark Truck.’ Out of Stanford Design School, they’ve created a mobile unit filled with 3d printers, laser cutters, and other tools to help promote hands-on making and design to youth. They’re currently on a nationwide roadtrip.

Vote for ‘Diver Laura’; help Sustainable West Seattle win $

June 18, 2012 at 11:00 am | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 29 Comments

Congratulations to Laura James, also known as “Diver Laura,” whose underwater adventures and sea/land volunteer work – like “The Great Battery Roundup of 2012” – are often featured here on WSB. She is one of the finalists for this year’s “Cox Conserves Heroes” award, and online voting is open now. Here’s what’s at stake, from the Cox/KIRO TV announcement:

A total of $15,000 will be donated to local environmental nonprofits on behalf of the finalists. By being a finalist, each individual has secured a $2,500 donation for his or her nonprofit of choice. The finalists are now competing for an additional $7,500 – bringing the total donation on behalf of the winner to $10,000. The winner will be chosen through an online public vote.

Laura’s chosen nonprofit is Sustainable West Seattle. To vote (and to see who she’s up against!), go to

(West Seattle has had a finalist once before – Fauntleroy Creek steward Judy Pickens in 2008.)

Sustainable West Seattle: Energy Fair; tea fundraiser with CoolMom

May 22, 2012 at 3:36 am | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

A busy few days for Sustainable West Seattle – with two events in three days. Monday night, the group brought a powerful lineup of energy education and experts to the monthly SWS Community Forum at the Senior Center of West Seattle. Above, Craig Jones from Sustainable Works, which specializes in energy audits and retrofits. Energy audits are also big for Community Power Works, whose Greta Hutchinson was on hand:

Now that winter’s finally past – just might be the right time to evaluate how to make your home more energy-efficient for next year. Or even do something more dramatic – go solar!

Eric Thomas from West Seattle-based Solar Epiphany was there to talk sun power in the form of the EcoLEAP program – with multiple options for going solar either big or small.

Ahead, our photos from the SWS/CoolMom tea party on Saturday: Click to read the rest of Sustainable West Seattle: Energy Fair; tea fundraiser with CoolMom…

Cupboard runneth over? Sustainable WS collecting mugs, glasses

April 19, 2012 at 7:31 am | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

Spring cleaning? Sorting through things in preparation for WSCGSD? Maybe you have mugs and/or glasses you never use, just cluttering the cupboard. Sustainable West Seattle would be happy to put them into service:

Sustainable West Seattle is excited to announce that we are creating a reusable dish collection. Our goal is to create a large collection that can be used for events, like parties, so that disposables will not need to be used. We are currently accepting donations of mugs, drinking glasses and wine glasses. Donations must be in good condition and not have any chips or sharp edges. Our current goal is to collect 100 mugs, drinking glasses, and wine glasses.

Donations can be left at the following locations:

*West Seattle Tool Library – 4408 Delridge Way SW – Thursdays from 6-9 pm, Saturdays from 9 am-2 pm and Sundays from 1-5 pm
*Think Outside the Car event on Saturday, April 28th, from 10 am-2 pm at Westside School playground – 34th and Holden Street
*Sustainable West Seattle table at the West Seattle Farmers Market on May 6th

After the collection has been established, we hope to lend it out to other groups in West Seattle to reduce the amount of disposables used in West Seattle.

Protecting Puget Sound: 1 more chance to find out how

March 21, 2012 at 1:39 pm | In Environment, Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | Comments Off

One more time, tomorrow night at West Seattle High School, you can find out how to fight the Tox-Ick Monster – a mythical creature born of toxic runoff – and do a double good deed. If at least 50 people show up for the presentation, Sustainable West Seattle will contribute $1,000 toward a rain-garden project at WSHS. Cate White explains, “The school’s student-led Earth Service Corps is coordinating the rain garden project with other local nonprofits including Stewardship Partners and Sustainable Seattle. Rain gardens are an excellent first line of defense against the polluted runoff that threatens the health of Puget Sound and its most emblematic wildlife: salmon and killer whales. The students’ aim is to turn the rain garden into a permanent feature that can be used for science education for years to come. Please help them attain their vision.” Just show up at WSHS at 7 pm Thursday (March 22) – free pizza, too.

Followup: Tox-Ick Monster finds new foes at Sanislo

March 9, 2012 at 12:39 am | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Our photos are courtesy of diver/photographer Laura James, who was there as Sustainable West Seattle‘s toxic-runoff-fighting Tox-Ick Monster presentation brought in a big crowd at Sanislo Elementary on Thursday night – beating, Laura says, the 50-person goal, which means that an environmental project at Sanislo gets a $1,000 donation. Everybody who came was a winner – free pizza, free native plants:

And you can join the fight too – next chance, 7 pm March 22nd at West Seattle High School, which also gets a $1,000 grant if at least 50 adult community members turn out for the presentation!

Next Page »

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