Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dueling Plant Events: John & Summit Bedspread Party and Native Plant Salvage

This Saturday there's double the plant fun with a mulch and bedspread party at John & Summit Park and a Native Plant Salvage down in Black Diamond. Details below:

John and Summit Bedspread Work Party
When: Saturday December 4th, 9AM (Rain, snow or shine . . . we're working!)
What: Distributing organic coffee chaff, chocolate mulch and leaves into the garden beds, then covering it all up with our burlap bedspreads

If you have small tarps, please bring them. We have everything else you'll need to help.
We really need your help! Come and bring your friends, too! We'll be moving soil in rain, snow or shine.
Delicious coffee and treats are being provided! Please RSVP to Barbara at gingergooddog@gmail.com so we know how many to expect.(Even if you forget to RSVP, come garden with us!)

King County Native Plant Salvage
Join other volunteers digging up trees and shrubs from this site scheduled for development in the morning. In the afternoon, we’ll be potting up the salvaged plants so they can recuperate before going to King County habitat restoration sites. Once replanted, these native plants will help reduce erosion, shade streams and provide habitat. Special thanks to Yarrow Bay Holdings for providing the salvage site.

When: Saturday, December 4, 2010

9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m: Salvage plants
1 p.m. to 4 p.m: Potting at Holding Facility

Where: Black Diamond for salvaging/ Issaquah for potting

Directions to the Salvage site: From I-405 near Renton, take Highway 169 past Black Diamond. Turn right onto SE Green Valley Road. Go approximately 1.5 miles and watch for sign on right. Turn right into site on gravel road. Volunteers who dig for King County from 9:00 to 12:00 are eligible to dig plants for themselves from 12:00 to 2:00.

Not a morning person? Volunteers are also needed at our Native Plant Holding Facility from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. to help pot up the salvaged plants. Volunteers who help with potting are eligible for free native plants.

Directions to the Native Plant Holding Facility:

From I-5 or I-405, take I-90 east to Highland Drive exit (exit 18) in Issaquah. Stay left on the off ramp to continue onto Highland Drive through several lights. Turn right onto Issaquah–Fall City Road. Just past Endeavor Elementary School, stay straight onto Duthie Hill Road.
The Holding Facility is in Duthie Hill Park (on the right) at 27101 Duthie Hill Road. Drive to Nursery at the end of the road.

Notes: A parent or guardian must accompany volunteers under 16 years old. Dress for the weather and be prepared to get dirty. Sturdy shoes or boots are recommended. We’ll provide gloves, tools and light refreshments.

Please call Cindy Young at 206-296-8065 or email cindy.young@kingcounty.gov if you plan to participate.

{And yes, I've been hearing "da dah ding ding ding ding ding ding ding" in my head ever since I thought up the post title}

Burlap Quilting Bee for John and Summit Park!

There is an important 'burlap coffee bean sack quilting' get together tomorrow, Wednesday, all day and evening (9am to 9pm) at the nearby Seattle Presbyterian Church.

Unpaving Paradise will be amending the soil at John and Summit Park this Saturday with rich nutritive greens and browns. When finished UP will put the soil to bed for the winter by covering it with mostly pre-assembled quilted-together burlap coffee bean sacks. UP wants to give a 'nice look' to the garden for the local community to admire over the winter months. Therefore getting the 500+ coffee bean sacks stitched together in shapes mirroring and custom fitting the designed plots is important. Not only for appearance but to quickly and deftly cover the soil without walking on the soil and compacting it.

The plan is to have pre-measured template patterns on the church floor and then to quilt together the coffee bean sacks to fit the patterns. Many of the sacks have been already stitched together in strips so as to save time on Wednesday's assembling project.

The stitching is simple and requires no previous experience. We will have all materials ready for you. And feel free to be creative by sewing in thick colored yarn!

Please come and help out even if only for an hour. There are two volunteers so far who are coming. Consider lending a helping hand.

They have free church parking on the north side of the building and you are allowed to park for free from 7 to 9 pm in the pay parking lot just across the Street (Howell). The Church (located just behind the Seattle Central Community College) is a block south of East Denny. The quilting bee will be in the downstairs Fellowship Hall; entrance thru church's north side parking lot.

1729 Harvard Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122-2227

Saturday, November 27, 2010


On and right before Thanksgiving, I got some very sweet texts from good friends of mine about how thankful they were to have me in their lives. Right back at you, guys. I was struck by the trend, at least in my little friend circle of Seattle 20-somethings, of seeing Thanksgiving as a day to be thankful and express gratitude for the good things in one's own life. It made me happy and made me think about all the things I'm grateful to have in my life, which in turn made me happier.

Even if my faithful readers didn't have the chance or time to be thankful on Thanksgiving, I hope that you will at some point (or at several points!) during the holiday season. My bet is that it will give you a breath of space and happiness in this midst of the next month's short days and busy schedules - that's what it did for me, anyway.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fresh from the Inbox: FREE TREES for Seattle Volunteers and Upcoming EarthCorps Volunteer Opportunities

Pre-Script: Chris LaPointe is a fellow student at the Evans School of Public Affairs at UW. If you do go to one of the volunteer events (which are good fun if you like digging in the dirt), please compliment him on his general badassery.

Hello Volunteers, Partners & Friends:

That's right Seattle volunteers, we are offering you FREE TREES for your service! During this Thanksgiving week, EarthCorps and the City of Seattle want to say thanks for volunteering and helping restore our natural areas. As recognition of your hard work, the Seattle reLeaf Trees for Neighborhoods program is excited to be able to offer you free trees to plant in Seattle yards.

The details: Trees must be planted in yards (and not as street trees) in Seattle. Tree supply is limited. Applications deadline is Dec 6. Program participants will receive up to 4 free trees per household, watering bags, a bag of GroCo compost, and training on proper tree planting and care. Trees can be picked up on December 12 between 10:30 am – 2:15 pm in Crown Hill. More directions will be sent when your application is accepted.

Available species include:

-Shore pine (Pinus contorta ‘Contorta’)
-Katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum)
- red oak (Quercus rubra)
- red cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Excelsa’)
- Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)

To receive a free tree, you must meet these guidelines:

- Live in Seattle, and plant the tree on your property (renters must have their landlord’s permission)

- Plant the trees in your yard, and not as street trees

- Do NOT plant the trees under power lines (these are large trees that will eventually grow into the lines)

- Commit to caring for the tree in the future, including watering for the first 3 summers

To get your trees, send in the attached application ASAP. Questions can be directed to:

Jana Dilley
Seattle reLeaf

In volunteer event news, things are slowing down a bit this holiday season but we still have a few events scheduled. It’s easy to sign up just visit the volunteer calendar on our website at http://www.earthcorps.org/volunteer.php, choose the project that you would like to participate in and click on Sign up for this event and complete the on-line registration process and we will handle the rest. All you have to do is show up (on time, please).

Save the Dates:

January 8, 2011 – Kiwanis Ravine – First EC Volunteer event of 2011

January 15, 16 & 17 – MLK Jr. Weekend of Service (Jose Rizal Park, Dearborn Park & Cheasty Greenspace)

April 2011 – EARTH MONTH



Please notify me if you wish to be taken off of this distribution list. You are receiving this email because at some point you volunteered with EarthCorps or expressed interest in receiving information on EarthCorps volunteer events.


Chris LaPointe
Volunteer Program Manager
6310 NE 74th Street, Suite 201E
Seattle, WA 98115
206.322.9296 x217

EarthCorps is a community of people dedicated to restoring the Earth. Join us!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sledding Mayhem on E Denny Way or An Ambulance Arrives at the Sledding Party

This evening I repaired to the spontaneous Son of Snowpocalypse sledding party down on Denny and Bellevue with Mark Atwood. I went down the hill twice - once in a turned-over recycling bin with two other fellows (one of whom was Rob, a frequenter of Gamma Ray Games) and another time on a borrowed baking tin. The first run went very quickly and very well. The second time was fine until I got hit in the back by two goths on a table. It hurt, but I stuck around awhile longer until the ambulance showed up.

Maybe ten minutes after my 2nd run, two groups of sledders in recycling/trash bins went drag racing down Denny. They were doing fine all the way down, no tip-overs or collisions, just one successful dismount off the back of the right-hand bin (I was very impressed).

Then a four-door sedan came cruising up the obviously closed E Denny Way. One of the sledder-filled bins hit the car and made it spin. I heard from another onlooker soon after that in the collision/spin, the car rolled over a sledder's leg. The ambulance came to pick up said sledder soon after.

Recent Events: SteamCon II and Son of Snowpocalypse

It has been an exciting fortnight. I got to spend a week home sick, got well enough thanks to modern medicine to work at SteamCon II, and now it's snowing like mad in our fine city of hills.

At SteamCon the 2nd, I mostly admired other people's costumes and helped them accessorize further with the wares of Realms of Regalia. RoR mostly sells the extra fiddly bits - pins, feathers, ribbons, lace, cords, applique, jewelry. You can imagine our booth was extraordinarily popular at a steampunk convention. I'll have another post with pictures and stories to follow.

As for snow...wow, what a fitting start to the beginning of steampunk season: the more layers the better! I was delighted to wake up this morning to a fine view of our winter wonderland. I only have to commute to UW and back (Evans School, whatwhat!) so when evening classes were cancelled, it only took me two hours to get home. Steve, the driver of bus #2384/ the #48 this evening is to be commended for his commitment, skill and dedication to duty. Even though we crawled along more slowly than an arthritic hamster, Steve got bus #2384 up the back of Capitol Hill. This is way more than the drivers of the 10 or so cars we passed on the way up can say, that's for sure.

After a couple of hours of excited tweeting and Desert Bus viewing, I made my way down to the inevitable sledding party on E Denny Way. See next post for details.

(sledding picture courtesy of David Lichterman)