Environment 1661 results

FOLLOWUP: Fencing removed at Lowman Beach Park

(WSB photo, this morning)

2:29 PM: If you’re looking forward to full access at Lowman Beach Park now that the seawall-removal/habitat-restoration project is over, you don’t have long to wait. More of the fencing has been removed – the south section that had temporarily displayed art by Gatewood Elementary fourth-graders – and the rest, which is mostly near the park’s big trees, will be down soon, confirms Seattle Parks spokesperson Karen O’Connor: “The fencing on Lowman Beach should all be down this week and the district crew will finish mowing around the trees to make the area more accessible to the public. The grass did get long during the construction.” The construction lasted about eight months, which was the duration estimated when work on the $1.2 million project began last fall.

7:50 PM: Just went by again – the rest of the fencing is now gone.

Footbridge, trail, art ahead as ‘natural drainage systems’ work expands to 24th/Kenyon

About a block east of Denny International Middle School, where SW Kenyon bends northward into 24th SW, a tangle of blackberry vines all but hides the public trail that leads to a footbridge over Longfellow Creek and, beyond, toward Delridge Way. Seattle Public Utilities is about to give the area a major makeover as part of its “natural drainage systems” work. SPU expects to start work this week that will result in:

*New walkway, bridge, and boardwalk to make it easier for people to get to nearby schools, homes, and bus stops

*Natural drainage systems to reduce pollution in Longfellow Creek

*Art installation to enhance the space and connect community to the creek

The artist is Brian Borrello from Portland. Here’s a rendering from the design presentation (which you can see in full here):

According to the construction alert SPU says it’s sent to neighbors, work will last about six months. The streets are expected to remain open but there will be pedestrian detours. This is part of a larger project that includes work along 24th further south, and will include work at Sylvan/Orchard, as explained in this “online open house.”

WEEKEND SCENE: Farewell party for longtime local advocate James Rasmussen

(Photo by Tom Reese)

One our area’s most-passionate advocates is retiring and moving away. As noted in our daily event list, a gathering Saturday in South Park was a sendoff for James Rasmussen, who’s spent 20 years with the Duwamish River Community Coalition, most recently as its Superfund Manager. from the DRCC’s announcement of his departure:

Having represented the Duwamish Tribe on the organization’s Advisory Council for 10 years before joining the staff as Executive Director/Coordinator, as a member of the Duwamish Tribal Council for 26 years, and as the founding Director of the Duwamish Tribe’s Longhouse and Cultural Center, James has been a consistent and active voice in environmental, habitat, and community issues along the Duwamish River and in the Seattle region for over 30 years. He played a fundamental role in the Environmental Protection Agency’s formation of the Duwamish Superfund Roundtable, which will inform the next phase of the Cleanup Plan, and is a beloved and legendary figure within the community as well as further afield for his great depth of knowledge of the River, its history, as well as the science of the Superfund cleanup.

James is much sought-after as a public speaker and allyship for his serene yet tireless advocacy for a clean and healthy River and River Valley. He will be missed greatly and we wish him a peaceful and satisfying retirement—as Duwamish Valley community members, we owe him a debt that can never be repaid. He has our deep gratitude for pushing policy-makers and Responsible Parties to work towards a better environment.

Rasmussen is moving to Las Vegas to be with family. With him in the photo above are, at left, DRCC executive director Paulina López and, center, Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen. One month ago, when the tribe announced its legal action to secure full federal recognition, Rasmussen was among the speakers, declaring, “The recovery of the Duwamish River must include the restoration of the Duwamish Tribe.”

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Hike on Saturday to celebrate National Trails Day

June 3, 2022 11:34 am
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 |   Environment | Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news

The weekend’s almost here and you have many options for how to spend it. If you haven’t already seen this one in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – here’s a reminder of one option for celebrating our greenspaces, sent by Judy Bentley:

On National Trails Day, Saturday, June 4, follow the water in the Puget Creek Watershed. Under the guidance of Steve Richmond, long-time advocate for restoring the health of Puget Creek, follow the creek from its origins near Puget Ridge Edible Park to its outlet into the Duwamish Waterway near the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center. Part of this three-mile trail from ridge to river and back is standard gravel; other parts are unimproved social trails. Begin at the Puget Ridge Edible Park, 1899-1801 SW Brandon St, at 11 a.m. RSVPs welcomed at wdgtrails@gmail.com.

READER REPORT: Students and nonprofits all win big at 2022 Environmental Slam

Students from several West Seattle schools were among the competitors again this year in the Environmental Slam. Thanks to Marco for sending this report on how it went:

On Thursday, May 19th, it was time again for the annual WFFE Environmental Slam. WFFE (Washington Foundation for the Environment) is a nonprofit based in Seattle. Our mission is to empower young people to use their voices to advocate for the environment and climate-change initiatives since 1979. The Slam promotes environmental research, activism, and presentation for young people in Washington in grades 5-12. It is a showcase of individuals and teams from around Washington competing to make the most compelling case for action on regional environmental issues. Winners in each category of the Slam designate a local non-profit supporting their cause to receive a $500 donation in their name.

This year marked an especially successful event, because we were able to hand out $3,750 in total to these nonprofits picked by our young presenters:

oceana.orgenvironmentwashington.orgkab.orggreenpeace.orgclimateclock.worlddrawdown.orgseaottersavvy.orgclimate-refugees.orgwolfhaven.orgpugetsoundkeeper.org

This was the thirteenth year of the environmental Slam (and the 2nd year online). With 10 entries from Genesee Hill Elementary, McClure Middle School, Explorer West Middle School, Madison Middle School, and Whitman Middle School we had a great spread of presentations. First place selected by our expert judges (from the local nonprofits Futurewise, Sound Experience, and Zero Waste Washington) went to the presentation on the orcas of Puget Sound and raised $550 for Environment Washington. Second place went to the Climate Rap, benefiting Climate Refugees. We also learned about Turtles, Trash in our Parks, Fossil Fuels, the Climate Clock, Sea Otters, Wolves in Yellowstone, Fossil Fuels, Global Warming, and Pollution in Puget Sound.

Since we hosted the Slam online, we don’t have a picture of this year’s actual winners, but this picture from 2019 will give you a good idea of how happy our winners were with their success and the money they raised:

A huge THANK YOU to all our donors, volunteers, supporters, teachers, parents, and especially the wonderful youths who taught us so much!

More information at Washington Foundation for the Environment. WFFE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization chartered in Washington State.

VIDEO: King County Executive asks voters to chip in to save more green spaces

(WSB/WCN photo)

$1.81 a month to raise more money to save the “last, best” green spaces from disappearing.

That’s what King County Executive Dow Constantine is proposing charging property owners in a ballot measure he announced today at White Center Heights Park.

The cost, Constantine says, is what the owner of a “median-priced” home in King County would pay if voters approve the measure, which he is asking the County Council to place on the November general-election ballot.

Even at that, he says, it’s not an entirely new tax – he says it would bring back what property owners used to pay for the half-century-old Conservation Futures Program. The announcement explains:

Land conservation in King County – and 13 other counties – is largely funded by the Conservation Futures program that the state created 50 years ago. A series of actions by the state has dramatically reduced the amount of revenue that the program can generate for counties. Voters have the option to restore the local program to its original rate of 6.25 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value from its current rate of 3.12 cents. That would cost the owner of a median-value home about $21.75 more per year.

Constantine was joined at the park – setting of other media events for environmental programs – by De’Sean Quinn, the Tukwila City Councilmember who co-chairs the Land Conservation Advisory Committee, as well as Open Space Equity Cabinet co-chair Michelle Benetua, Trust for Public Land’s Northwest director David Patton, and King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski. Here’s our video of what they said:

The money raised by this would, according to the announcement, “accelerate the Land Conservation Initiative, a regional partnership of communities, cities, farmers, businesses, and environmental leaders to protect 65,000 acres of the highest conservation-value open space.” Constantine launched the initiative three years ago. The land it’s saved includes a five-acre site in North Highline. That’s one of the sites intended to bring public green space closer to more people; Constantine said that 20 percent of the people in King County don’t live close to any. It’s about equitable access, climate change, wildlife protection, and more, he said while making the case. Quinn lauded him for the “political will” to push for this “to meet the urgency of now.”

WHAT’S NEXT: Dembowski, who chairs the Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee, will sponsor the proposal. Councilmembers have until late July to approve sending it to the November ballot. Meantime, the Land Conservation Initiative continues working on potential sites to protect – not only via buying them; sometimes other tools are used, such as conservation easements, or the purchase of development rights, to take the pressure off property owners. Constantine said they can’t comment on what’s in negotiations or under consideration, for obvious reasons.

SO LONG, SALMON: Season starts for school-hatched fry in Fauntleroy Creek

137 fry, raised by The Cove School‘s preschoolers (with grownup help), were released into Fauntleroy Creek this morning, on the second day of this year’s Salmon in the Schools releases.

Fauntleroy Watershed Council volunteer Dennis Hinton talked with the students about this phase of the salmon’s lives, and then they took turns releasing the fry into the creek:

Over a span of a little more than three weeks, a dozen schools and a Brownie troop are releasing fry into the creek. They’ve been tending to the salmon since volunteers Judy Pickens and Phil Sweetland led distribution of eggs back in December. The fry are released into upper Fauntleroy Creek, as the lower-creek habitat is reserved for the results of last fall’s big spawning season (244 spawners).

FOLLOWUP: Here’s the total tonnage from spring Recycle Roundup

May 2, 2022 5:48 pm
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 |   Environment | Fauntleroy | West Seattle news

(WSB photo, April 24)

Speaking of Fauntleroy …we have the total tonnage from the recent Recycle Roundup at Fauntleroy Church, courtesy of Judy Pickens:

West Seattle is 15.35 tons lighter today than before the spring Recycle Roundup on April 24 at Fauntleroy Church. Over the course of the day, the crew from 1 Green Planet unloaded all manner of recyclables from 470 vehicles.

The congregation has been hosting these events since 2010 as part of its commitment to stewarding the environment. Since then, the roundup has returned more than 300 tons of metal, e-waste, and other products to the resource stream. Watch for the fall roundup in late September.

This time’s total was not far from the record 16.54 tons brought via 540 vehicles three years ago.

If you have non-curbside recyclables that can’t wait until fall, you can use the Where Does It Go? lookup tool to find out how to deal with them. (And if you have paper to shred – bring it to the annual event sponsored by John L. Scott Real Estate Westwood [WSB sponsor] next Saturday!)

YOU CAN HELP: Which Junction will ‘win’ Sunday’s cleanup challenge?

April 27, 2022 11:24 pm
|    Comments Off on YOU CAN HELP: Which Junction will ‘win’ Sunday’s cleanup challenge?
 |   Environment | How to help | West Seattle news

As promised – here’s your next big chance to help West Seattle shine! If you haven’t seen it in our calendar already, or in our mention during Morgan Community Association coverage last week, here’s a reminder about the CleanupSEA Junction-to-Junction event this Sunday (May 1st):

This has turned into a “cleanup challenge” of the Junctions (Admiral, Alaska, Morgan) to see which gets the most volunteers. The direct link to the event signup and see the latest numbers is here:
signupgenius.com/go/10C0F49A4AD2EA3F5CE9-cleanupsea

RSVP is appreciated, but not required. It helps us plan enough supplies. Stations open at 10 am, with supply return by 1 pm, so people can show up any time and clean for as long or short as they desire.

Jenny Frankl and Jenn Charoni from Seattle Adopt-a-Street will be at the Morgan Junction Park location to support the cleanup and invite people to learn more about Adopt-a-Street and how they can lead their own cleanups.

We’ll have a CleanupSEA tent at the West Seattle Farmers Market for supply check-out/in and to just stop by and learn more.

FOLLOWUP: Here’s how the Seal Sitters/SR3 Alki cleanup turned out

Many hardy, good-hearted volunteers are showing up for community cleanups – and tonight we have a followup on one of the bigger recent events, The photos and report were sent to us today by organizers of the Alki cleanup led by SR3 and Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network:

On Friday, April 15, more than 100 volunteers joined Seal Sitters and SR3 for an early Earth Day celebration on the 1-year anniversary of the SR3 Marine Wildlife Hospital. Staff from the Seattle Seahawks, Delta Airlines and Forum Social House,came out to help gather over 90 pounds of trash that might otherwise have ended up in the ocean.

Supplies for the pickup were provided by Seattle Parks & Recreation and Puget SoundKeeper Alliance. Seattle Seahawk DeShawn Shead awarded SR3 Executive Director Casey Mclean the Delta Community Captain award to recognize the great work SR3 does for our community.

To learn more about SR3 or get involved, go to sealifer3.org. To learn more about Seal Sitters or get involved go to sealsitters.org.

More opportunities to join in a community cleanup are coming up – watch for our next story!

FOLLOWUP: Fauntleroy/Fontanelle tree gets root exam as advocates watch

As announced, a city crew showed up at Fauntleroy and Fontanelle this morning to examine the roots of a big chestnut tree that residents fear will be lost in a curb-ramp project. (Our previous coverage is here and here.) Indeed, city arborist Nolan Rundquist told them, the root system is too extensive to proceed with the standard ramp design – he spoke with the handful of people who looked on as the roots were examined, including Sara Macko, who lives in the house with the yard that’s home to the tree:

Another complicating factor in redesigning the corner would be the hydrant, the city crew noted.

But as planned, they’re going to take what they learned back downtown to talk about it. The tree’s roots, meantime, will be protected with burlap. The tree’s advocates, meantime, are hoping to learn more about what a redesign would cost so that they could do crowdfunding if needed.

FOLLOWUP: Rally planned Monday to urge city to save threatened tree

(WSB photo, earlier this month: The tree & the sidewalk, NE corner of Fauntleroy/Fontanelle)

We’ve been reporting on the possibility that a curb-ramp project just north of Solstice Park could lead to the removal of a big old chestnut tree. It’s on private property, but close enough to the sidewalk that its roots have spread out over time. As noted here last week, the city promises to assess it and try to save it, but Sara, who lives on the property that’s home to the tree, wants witnesses, and is organizing a rally:

The city is breaking ground at the foot of our ancient Horse Chestnut Tree in the morning of Monday, April 25th. We want to create a presence for the arborist, onsite workers, and city officials in order to show the community’s outcry for the tree’s preservation of life.

Sara adds:

We are gathering to advocate for the health of our environment! The removal of legacy trees such as this is severely reducing our city’s canopy tree cover, creating what are called “heat islands.” These heat islands are devastating to native plants and wildlife. Last summer, Seattle experienced a mass bird death in result of record-breaking temperature spikes due to climate change. One of the best actions we can take to help our habitat is preserve the lives of our ancient trees that provide shade, food, and refuge as our world grows hotter.

We are also here to express our support of the ramp! We want our friends on wheels to have ease of access to our lovely parks, and of course our lovely tree. We are here to emphasize that accessibility and sustainability are NOT mutually exclusive! Both accessibility and the preservation of wildlife and plant life are vital to our community’s health! Come join us!

Seating will be provided for those who cannot stand for long periods of time. [We have approximately 6 or 7 chairs.]

The gathering is planned to start at 10 am Monday on the lawn on the SW Fontanelle side of the Solstice Park tennis courts.

Don’t need it? Don’t toss it! Recycle Roundup under way in Fauntleroy

(WSB photo)

Electronics are just part of what they’re taking this time around at Fauntleroy Church‘s Recycle Roundup, continuing until 3 this afternoon. We stopped by in the first hour, and the crews from 1 Green Planet were already busy. Here’s one more reminder of the will/won’t-take list:

It’s a free dropoff service in partnership with 1 Green Planet, but if you can make a monetary donation, the church’s Green Committee will accept it to help cover expenses. Again, this continues at 9140 California SW [map] until 3 pm – lots of time, so unless you truly can’t get there until the last minute, they ask that you go sooner rather than later.

Ready to recycle? Fauntleroy Church ‘Roundup’ tomorrow

(WSB photo, last April)

One last reminder – tomorrow’s the day to bring recyclables to Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW) for its next Recycle Roundup, a free dropoff event. 1 Green Planet is scheduled to be there 9 am-3 pm Sunday, so no need to get there early, but organizers ask that you not wait until the last minute, either. Here’s the list of what they’re accepting (and NOT accepting) this time.

EARTH DAY: 5 ways to keep the greenness going Saturday

Today is Earth Day, but observances continue into the weekend, mostly community cleanups. Above is art spotlighting the ongoing need for them – Highland Park artist Dina Johnson created her collage “Plastic Ocean” and installed it on her fenceto raise awareness about plastic pollution. She explains, “The elements were found near my home and White Center, and a few on the beach or Westcrest Park. They are common, non-degradable objects that are discarded with no thought, doing appalling damage to the environment and to wildlife. Yes, the foamcore board and waterproof paint are pollutants as well.”

Want to minimize the harm carelessly discarded items are doing? Your opportunities tomorrow include:

HIGHLAND PARK ELEMENTARY: The HPE PTA invites you: “Join us anytime from 9-noon Saturday for liter pick up, mulch spreading, planting, sweeping, and grounds improvements at Highland Park Elementary School. We will meet on the blacktop.” Free coffee, doughnuts, and pizza. The school is at 1012 SW Trenton.

ALSO IN HIGHLAND PARK: 10 am-noon Saturday, starting at award-winning Highland Park Corner Store (where you can pick up bags, grabbers, and gloves, 7789 Highland Park Way SW), community cleanup with Highland Park Improvement Club and HPAC.

HIGH POINT: Residents of High Point are invited to meet at the lot behind award-winning Neighborhood House (6400 Sylvan Way SW) for a 10 am-noon community cleanup Saturday.

ALKI BEACH: Join a student who’s organized a 10 am cleanup at the beach Saturday – info’s in our calendar listing.

Also Saturday:

ELECTRIC VEHICLE FAIR: 10 am-2 pm in the Greenbridge Library lot (9720 8th SW), see EVs or even show yours off – more info in our calendar listing.

FOLLOWUP: Will Fauntleroy Way tree survive curb-ramp construction? Here’s what SDOT is doing

Towering over those road-closed barricades at Fauntleroy Way and SW Fontanelle is the old chestnut tree we told you about a week ago. The tree is on private property, close to the corner where a curb ramp will be built, and the residents of the house on that property are worried that the construction will lead to the death/removal of the tree. They’ve been asking for an update from the city, and received this from SDOT‘s Ching Chan via an email thread on which we were cc’d:

… we will not move forward with construction work at the northeast corner of Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Fontanelle St until our Arborist has had a chance to inspect the tree root system.

The project team just confirmed that our Urban Forestry Arborist and our contractor will be onsite next Monday morning, 4/25 to remove the sidewalk to inspect the tree roots. Our Arborist will supervise the air spading work (break up and remove compacted soil around tree roots using compressed air) to ensure it is conducted properly and that the tree will not be harmed in the process. Our Arborist will conduct an inspection once the root system is exposed. The assessment will then be shared with our ADA Program Engineers to help them determine whether there are feasible alternative curb ramp designs at this corner that can minimize damage to the tree’s root system. This process may take up to several weeks.

We will notify property owner … and tenants at this property once we’ve come to a decision. We will notify adjacent households once construction is scheduled so they are aware and informed of our work scope and schedule.

The tree trunk is currently adorned with signs of support, and the residents are still gathering online petition signatures in support of preserving it.

Plug into more info about proposed EV-charging lot @ Morgan Community Association’s quarterly meeting Wednesday

One month after we first reported on Seattle City Light‘s plan to turn a former substation site into a lot for charging electric vehicles, you have a chance to find out more. The proposal for 4118 SW Morgan is on the agenda for Wednesday night’s quarterly meeting of the Morgan Community Association – two days before the city closes a survey on the proposal. For the rest of the 7 pm online meeting’s agenda, plus attendance info, see the listing on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar.

NEXT WEEKEND: Get ready to recycle

img_6602(WSB file photo)

As the new week starts, we’re reminding you again that the next dropoff Recycle Roundup at Fauntleroy Church is less than a week away – Sunday, April 24th. Here’s the list of what will be accepted (note that it changes from event to event, so what you see in our photo above may not match with what’s acceptable this time):

(You can also see the list here, including what NOT to bring.) 1 Green Planet is the church’s partner for the 9 am-3 pm event, which is held rain or shine

WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: Duwamish Alive! brings hundreds of helping hands to Seattle’s only river

(Texted photos)

Right now from Seattle to Tukwila and beyond, hundreds of people are working on and near the Duwamish River and its watershed as part of the return of the one-day mega-work party Duwamish Alive! Above and below are photos from the kickoff ceremony at həʔapus Village Park & Shoreline Habitat in West Seattle; before getting going on their projects, volunteers heard from speakers including Mayor Bruce Harrell:

The sites and organizations who are participating today, according to the Duwamish Alive! Coalition:

Pigeon Point, West Seattle with Delridge Neighborhood Development Association
Heron’s Nest, West Seattle with Shared Spaces Foundation
həʔapus Village Park & Shoreline Habitat, West Seattle with Duwamish River Community Coalition, DIRT Corps, Port of Seattle
North Wind’s Weir, Tukwila with King County Dept Natural Lands & Water
Riverview Park, Kent with Green River Coalition and Kent Parks
Fenster Nature Park, Auburn with Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group
Duwamish Hill Preserve, Tukwila with Tukwila Parks, Forterra & Friends of the Hill
Duwamish River Kayak Cleanup, West Seattle with Puget Soundkeeper Alliance
Delridge Wetlands, West Seattle with DNDA
Duwamish Longhouse, West Seattle with the Duwamish Tribe
Herring’s House Park, West Seattle with Seattle Parks
Cecil Moses Park, Tukwila with King County Parks

If you’re volunteering at one of today’s sites, send a pic so we can add!

FOLLOWUP: Andover RV-encampment cleanup results, and what’s been done elsewhere

The latest Andover RV-encampment “remediation” cleanup is over, so we asked Seattle Public Utilities about the results. Spokesperson Sabrina Register says crews working there, primarily this past Tuesday, “collected and disposed of 15,000-thousand pounds of trash and debris.”

We asked about plans for six other RV encampments around West Seattle. None are “currently scheduled for remediation,” Register replied, adding that “Sites considered for remediation include locations where five or more RVs are present, and public health and safety-related factors are assessed.” So here’s what has happened/will happen at the six sites about which we inquired:

We have performed intense, one-day cleans (called geographic or geocleans) at the following locations:

Barton (east and west) of 16th SW (1/3)
SW Brandon west of 26th SW (2/14, 4/4)
SW Juneau near 26th SW (3/3, 4/4)
West Marginal Place (1/10, 3/16)

The following two locations are scheduled for geocleans in the near future:

1st Avenue South in the SW Detroit vicinity
2nd Avenue SW south of Highland Park Way

The amount of trash and debris that SPU reported removing in this Andover cleanup is double the total from four months ago.

YOU CAN HELP: Volunteer cleanups in West Seattle tomorrow, Saturday, and beyond

Got some time to volunteer? Opportunities abound at West Seattle volunteer-led cleanups.

FRIDAY BEACH CLEANUP: Friday, all are welcome at this 10 am-noon beach cleanup (mentioned here previously) organized by wildlife advocates:

Volunteers needed! SR3 (Seattle Response + Rehab + Research) and Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network are hosting a cleanup of Alki Beach at 10:00 am on Friday, April 15, in honor of Earth Day and to celebrate the first anniversary of the SR3 Marine Wildlife Hospital, the SeaLife Rescue Center. Show your love for all of the creatures that depend upon our beaches & learn about the important work being done by SR3 & Seal Sitters.

Please dress for Seattle spring weather and bring appropriate footwear (waterproof is recommended.). In consideration of the environmental impact of single-use bottles, water will not be provided, so please bring whatever water and refreshments you’ll need. GoodDay Donuts will be provided!

Equipment (gloves, hand sanitizer, bags, buckets, grabbers) will be available, but please bring your own if you have them! No need to register- just show up! Meet at Statue of Liberty Plaza, Alki Ave SW at 61st Ave SW. All ages welcome!

We also have two announcements from Erik Bell, who leads cleanups every weekend, and is supporting these two over the next two days:

FRIDAY HIGH POINT CLEANUP: Noon-2 pm Friday, Erik and other volunteers are “helping support the High Point Community Cleanup being organized by Seattle Housing Authority. This is a family-friendly, leisurely clean.” Meet in the parking lot behind Neighborhood House High Point, 6400 Sylvan Way SW.

SATURDAY PARK CLEANUP: Rotary Viewpoint Park (35th/Alaska), 11 am-1 pm. Erik and other volunteers are helping support “\an active encampment cleanup that has been organized by We Heart Seattle (adults only)” with “buy-in from the people living in the camp to come help in the cleanup. That said, the area will be a grittier style clean with areas needing cleaning up around the tents (we’ll receive instruction as to what needs cleaning there) as well as over the hillside, which will be a tougher area to access.” They’re also welcoming people to clean up along the sidewalk on 35th, Erik says.

For both of the above cleanups, he adds that “Vests, gloves, buckets and pickup sticks will be provided.” If you need to contact him, 206-852-9552.

EARTH DAY WEEKEND: Plan ahead for multiple West Seattle cleanup-volunteering opportunities! Here are links to the listings in our event calendar:

Highland Park Elementary cleanup, 9 am-noon April 23

Student-led Alki Beach cleanup, 10 am-noon April 23

Highland Park community cleanup, 10 am-noon April 23

And looking even further into the future:

Highland Park Way cleanup, 9 am-11 am April 30

FAUNTLEROY FIGHT: Family pleads to save big tree threatened by SDOT project

Even as the city moves slowly toward a policy aimed at protecting trees, more are taken out daily, mostly for development. A short distance north of Lincoln Park, one big old tree is endangered for a different reason: A city transportation project.

Crews are working right now on the west side of Fauntleroy/Fontanelle [map] to build curb ramps. When they get to the east side of the intersection, Sara says, the huge chestnut tree at that corner of her yard is in danger.

She’s launched an online petition drive to try to save the tree, which they believe is more than a century old. The petition page tells the tree’s story in detail, including Sara’s personal plea:

We cherish this tree and its history. We love observing the animals it provides for, and are honored to behold its abundant glory and all the creatures that enjoy it. I gather snips of the flowers to make arrangements for meditiation. My housemate and her daughter collect the chestnuts annually and use them for arts and crafts! We were set to create a ladder this year so that we could climb it and build a treehouse! We long to protect it. Trees like this are sacred and SHOULD NOT BE DESTROYED!

Similarly, our neighbors over at the Kenney take walks and come to our tree specifically to gather chestnuts for their own decor, and to enjoy its sentimental value, as many of them have grown up visiting this tree in their childhood. We have many West Seattle residents pass by this tree to enjoy its splendor. This is a generational staple of our neighborhood.

After hearing from Sara, we asked SDOT about the tree. Here’s the response we received from spokesperson Ethan Bergerson:

SDOT has not made any decisions to remove this tree. At this point, we are only planning to temporarily remove some of the adjacent concrete sidewalk panels which were already lifted up by the tree roots, so that our arborists can get a closer look at the root structure. Our immediate objective is to better understand our options, and whether it is possible to trim the tree roots in a way that maintains the health of the tree so that the sidewalk can be repaired and the curb ramp installed.

As you noted, this tree is on private property. We have been having an ongoing conversation with the property owner, who has been aware of this situation since last September and understands that they share responsibility with SDOT for repairing the sidewalk damage. Their tenant learned of the situation more recently and initially believed that we had made a decision to remove the tree. We have since spoken with both the owner and tenant to make it clear that this is not the case and we will continue to share information about the tree and curb ramp design and construction as they become available.

Sara’s not taking any chances. Her online petition is collecting signatures, and her housemate’s 9-year-old daughter has written a letter with her own plea:

The petition page even includes a design proposal for building the curb and saving the tree. Sara writes, “I want to be very clear: we absolutely want our sidewalk and streets to be accessible for everyone! There are ways to do this that do not involve killing our tree.”

FOLLOWUP: ‘Remediation’ cleanup under way at Andover RV encampment

(WSB photo, this morning)

The city “remediation” cleanup at the SW Andover RV encampment – noted here last Friday – is under way. No RVs appear to have moved, but city-contractor junk-hauling trucks were there when we went through around 9 am, along with SDOT and SPD vehicles. The “no parking” signs that went up last week indicated the work would start Sunday, and we did see one of the junk haulers at the 28th/Andover corner again that day:

(WSB photo, Sunday)

As we reported last week, the “No Parking” signs are basically a request, not an order, and SDOT told us they would not be towing vehicles unless they clearly had been abandoned. This is the first “remediation” since last December, when the city reported removing almost four tons of “garbage and debris.”